Ubud Shopping Market
Is your day incomplete without a shopping trip? Then Bali is the vacation spot for you! There are large markets in all of the bigger villages where you can buy just about anything your heart desires, from sarongs to jewelry, furniture to statues, little gift items to new bed frames…there is a Bali market for everything. Prices are great but if you want to bargain for a better deal go right ahead. Unlike the fixed price stores, vendors are willing to deal in most market shops. And bargaining can be half the fun. Early morning is the best time for a good price as the first sale of the day brings luck.
Of all the markets I’ve shopped in, my favorite is the Ubud market. It is large enough to have a great selection, but small enough to see everything in a couple of hours if you are “just looking.” Located at the corner of the Main Road and Monkey Forest Road, it is right in the heart of Ubud. Across the street are the Palace grounds and a block down is the famous Lotus Pond. I like to stay at Puri Saraswati Bungalows just a block away, an easy walk to the market and back with your many purchases.
Both tourists and local Balinese shoppers frequent the Ubud market. The front corner has most of the gift items for the tourist trade. The back, opposite corner is aimed at the local trade with more clothing and a very nice selection of sarong shops. If you want to step up from the splashing dolphin sarongs to a traditional print, head for the back. Here you can also find seamstresses who will gladly make up a temple outfit for you or sew you a nice dress from a favorite sarong.
The market building is a two-storied square with an open courtyard where you will find among the numerous stalls, woodcarvings, sandal sellers, temple umbrellas and basket vendors as well as ‘designer watches’. Walk towards the Monkey Forest Road side and you will find a number of vendors selling earrings, rings and other jewelry pieces. Nearby you can find spices and incense. Upstairs there is finished clothing as well as gift items like wind chimes and kites…so many great things that you will be tempted to buy “just one more” as the sellers like to say.
The market even provides a toilet, Bali style, at only Rp1000 per visit. There are ATM machines near by on both the Main Road and Monkey Forest where you can get rupiah with your debit card. This is a great way to get shopping cash for the best exchange rate, plus the little booths are air-conditioned. Just make sure you have a 6-digit pin number and grab your ATM card as soon as it pops out. If you delay the machine takes it back to prevent theft.
Now that you have plenty of cash and a game plan, go shopping! The vendors are friendly folk who are happy to see you and will remember you on your next visit. You will head home with a wonderful collection of gift and souvenirs at a price so low you can get something for all your friends.