Souvenir shopping is an activity that every visitor of Bali finds him or herself entangled in at some point. Presents for those unlucky ones who were left behind or a new â€˜real branded' Armano shirt for yourself can be picked up at bargain prices throughout the whole of Bali . Even though Kuta prices may seem cheap to foreign visitors, in reality they are about a tenfold of its actual worth. Best way to spend as little as possible, and to find every single thing you're looking for in one single spree, is to head off to one of the big handicrafts markets outside of the tourist centers.
In a grubby four storey building in the center of Denpasar, the Pasar Kumbasari stocks every tacky souvenir you wish for, for a fraction of the price that the honest Kuta salesmen offers. The market is located on the West bank of the Badung River , just South of Jalan Gajah Mada. It is the perfect place to test your haggling skills and has an enormous selection of beads, bracelets, t-shirts, batiks, handicrafts and so on. The market closes around 4 pm . The nearby Pasar Badung is open 24 hours and is the biggest of Denpasar's markets. It can be found on the Eastern bank of the Badung River . The selection of souvenirs and handicrafts is more limited and can be found on the top floor.
If you find yourself in Ubud, there's another cheap and well stocked market in a nearby village called Sukawati. Sukawati is the center for the manufactures of those noisy wind chimes you hear all over the island, as well as temple umbrellas. The busy Pasar Seni (Art market) sells batik, toe slippers and handicrafts by the dozen. Most of the customers are shop owners from Kuta who buy the items here at whol esa le rates and then charge Kuta tourists a whole lot more. So, by cutting out the middle man and going straight to Sukawati, you can save yourself a lot of money. The trip to Sukawati from Ubud takes around 1 hour and allows for some terrific scenery on the way.
In general, the traditional markets are colourful bustling affairs, which are far more interesting than the rows and rows of tourist shops who sell exactly the same thing over and over again. Although tourists also shop here, most of the customers are locals, so if you'd like to blend in, do as the Balinese: Haggle â€˜til you drop!