Whether it was your intention or not, a trip to Bali will always include a shopping trip or two. I mean, how could it not? Every area in Bali has its own flair when it comes to the goods you can purchase and you are sure to be suitably impressed to see how well the dollar converts to the rupiah and the amazing bargains you can get your hands on.
But shopping in Bali is not all about cheap watches, DVD’s, sloganed t-shirts and knock off designer bags. There are some genuinely excellent articles on offer as well.
Bali is home to some of the most beautiful woodwork, jewellery, textiles and arts and crafts that are really unique and spectacular. Modern Balinese art culture is an amazing melting pot of cultures, religions and traditions. Over time Bali has combined Chinese, Buddhist, Hindu, Javanese and Western artistic influences to create the spectacular diverse art that is on offer today across the island.
Bali batik cloths
The Bali batik cloths (the beautiful cloths that you will find on sale all over the place) is unique from the batik cloths that are made across the rest of the Indonesian archipelago.
The designs that are carefully created on the soft cloth are inspired by religion, myths and legends and contemporary influences. The village of Tenganan is famous for its excellent cloth and textile work and if you head out there you can find some genuinely spectacular pieces to add to your collection (or wardrobe)!
Woodcarving is a big deal in bali, from statues to jewellery to table settings and ornaments the tradition of carving into wood has certainly stood the test of time.
Wooden carvings are an important part of Balinese culture. Check the quality of the wood, its strength and its sealing to ensure that you will be able to bring your purchases back through customs.
Canvas paintings are special items to hang in your home after returning from the holiday of a lifetime.
There are beautiful traditional replicas on sale all over the place but Balinese artists are actually embracing more modern styles and expressing their own unique flair. There are great museums on the island where you can view some of the more traditional work that has been preserved for time.
To shop for anything arty, take a shopping trip into the heart of Ubud, Bali’s arts hub.
The markets and the handicraft villages are full of beautiful artistic items that are for sale all year round. Sometimes you can even see the artists working their magic.
Go shopping in Bali, and go home with something unique that will remind you of your special holiday for a lifetime. A fake Prada bag might feel good for a day, but a beautifully handcrafted unique wooden necklace will truly impress your friends.
Sash Milne has helped us with this Bali shopping guide. She is an expert on travelling Indonesia. She lives in a small village on the south coast of West Java and shares her travel tips on www.barefootinked.com.