Answers from Our Experts (3)
It is more than possible to spend your entire trip in Bali with nothing but shopping on the itinerary due to the sheer amount and range of things that are sold here. Below are a number of areas to keep in mind while you scour the island for unique treasures to bring (or ship) back home.
1. Seminyak. Seminyak is about a half an hour from the Ngurah Rai airport and the best place to go for adorable boutiques carrying women’s clothing and accessories. All along Raya Seminyak road down towards Kayu Aya road you can find everything from flirty beachwear to exquisite Balinese lace in modern silhouettes to of-the-moment edgy brands like Shakuhachi, which is Australian-designed but produced in Bali.
2. Kerobokan. This area is not far from Seminyak and is your place to go for home furnishings. Lining the road are an amazing selection of shabby-chic dressers, multicolored lounge chairs, day beds, glass sculptures, and more. You can also custom design your own furniture set to ship home.
3. Kuta. Kuta is the place to go if you enjoy wandering through alleys full of little stalls selling fun knick-knacks to bring back as souvenirs. Along Legian street you’ll find an abundance of surf and skate shops like Rip Curl, DC and Oakley. There is also a mall that recently opened in Kuta called Beachwalk, which carries international brands such as Topshop, Fossil, Mango, and Aldo.
4. Ubud. This artsy area is about an hour’s drive north from the bustling area of south Bali. Silver jewelry, traditional crafts, and paintings are just a few of the things that will have you reaching for your pocketbook to exchange currency yet again.
Bali has incredible shopping with strips going through the island lined with unique boutiques. Seminyak is the place for the most upscale, design-forward shopping. We love Blue Glue, found around the island, for it’s walls and walls of flattering swimwear designed locally, and Buddha Wear for its form-fitting, yet insanely comfortable dresses and casualwear. Ubud is the place to find flowy skirts, cotton blouses and beautifully died sarongs. Expert carpentry is another enticement as you drive through the countryside and spy beautifully carved door frames (it is possible to have these custom-made and shipped). The road out to Ubud takes you through sterling silver shops and outside of Ubud, artists colonies make for possible finds for both novice and expert art collectors.
Bali is a great place to visit with an empty suitcase. You will find specialty shops, high-end fashion boutiques through to market stalls and tons of bargains. Bali is very well known for creative designs, beautiful lace, batiks, unique bags, beaded sandals, and colourful housewares. You may be tempted to send a tea-chest home and stock up with large stone statues, wooden art pieces, ornate paintings and beautiful furniture, all at a fraction of what they cost back home.
Ubud: There are lots of small boutiques as well as major brand name shops if you are after clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. Uluwatu has the finest Balinese handmade traditional white lace and is a worth a visit or try Animale which will satisfy the high-end shopper (their head office is in Bali). Both are centrally located in Ubud centre. For bargain market shopping then head to the Ubud Markets at the top of Monkey Forest Road for shirts, dresses, cushions, shoes and bags and Balinese housewares and trinkets. You will have to bargain hard here. I suggest you try the Bintang Supermarket in Camphuan – just 1 mile up the hill from the main shops. It has an upstairs area with an array of shoes, clothes, bedding, homewards at fixed prices and it’s super cheap. No need to bargain here with everything price-tagged and it will give you a good benchmark of what you should be paying.
Outside of Ubud: Grab a local driver and private vehicle (USD$40 a day) and visit the nearby village of Mas. Woodcarving and beautiful furniture is on display along the roadside and you can meet the woodcarvers, making pieces right in front of you. The village of Celuk is famous for gold and silver smiths. If you want stone ware and statues head to Batubulan. It is essential to have a car and drive, plus you have the added advantage of having a local with you to help with bargaining.
Kuta/Legian/Seminyak: All the well-known designers have shops in this area and you will find an extensive selection of shoes, women’s and men’s clothes, beach ware and very creative designs. Be sure to check out Biasa, and for men’s and women’s fashion, Paul Ropp. You will find a good range of fashions including accessories and teenage fashions at Body and Soul and for beachey-active life try Billabong and Quiksilver. As a general rule, Kuta is cheaper for shopping and Seminyak has more exclusive shopping. Legian sits between the two on price and variety of shops.