The sarong has become a popular symbol of the island of Bali. It is considered appropriate ceremonial attire for followers of the Hindu faith as well as a form of versatile resort-wear for international travellers’.
Basically there is nothing more to a sarong than a 2-metre length of coloured cotton material. It is commonly wrapped around the waist in a clockwise manner as an alternative to wearing a conventional skirt or pair of trousers. Tied securely with a knot or with a fashionable buckle, a sarong made from soft cotton is comfortable, but also ideal to beat the heat in tropical weather conditions. Worn as a simple wrap over swim-suits for the beach, the sarong becomes a multi-functional item as it is spread out on the sand to lie on, folded up to become a headrest or just placed over the face to prevent sunburn. As evening draws the sarong can be dressed up with a top and sandals as the perfect outfit for a casual dinner.
photo taken from caribbeancharter.com
As the trend for spa facilities in Bali has developed beyond all expectation, the sarong is also utilized as a handy cover-up during massage and traditional beauty treatments. Spa therapists make use of the sarong by discreetly draping it over body parts to ensure modesty at all times. Many spa operators design their own sarongs with motifs and colours that harmonize with the natural products and interior of the venue.
photo taken from nusaduahotel.com
The flexibility of the sarong is endless. An attractive design makes a focal wall hanging, a makeshift curtain or a cheerful throw to disguise a shabby piece of furniture. It can double as a tablecloth to brighten up a dining setting or just placed at the end of the bed to anticipate the chilly night air.
Basic cotton sarongs are available from beach vendors and market stalls for as little as Rp15,000-. It is important to remember that these cheap cotton sarongs should be washed separately as the dyes may run or stain other clothes in the laundry. Larger established boutiques and hotel gift shops usually stock a collection of sarongs in rich textiles, different shades and motifs featuring decorative embroidery, fringing and delicate beading. These high quality fashionable sarongs are a lot more expensive than the cotton beach cover-ups, but they are well made and designed to last.
photo taken from alasiesta.com
Whatever type of sarong you purchase in Bali, it will certainly evoke pleasant holiday memories when you wear it, drape it or hang it back home.