Find out all about the not-to-miss markets, beaches and more in Bali. From our local expert to you.
Located in Bali's capital, Badung Market
(off Jalan Gajah Mada) is probably the island's biggest traditional market. The four-storey building is filled with stalls, although many makeshift ones litter the parking lot and surrounding area. If you stick to the outside vendors you can get the same goods as inside but at a fraction of the cost (and avoid the sweltering heat indoors). Souvenirs, homewares, clothing, accessories, pets you name it, they've got it here! The day market is on from 5am to 5pm, and the night market from 5pm to 5am.
The Smile Shops
Items sold at the Smile Shops in Ubud and Denpasar
are donated (brand new or in good second-hand condition) by expats and tourists alike. Proceeds from the sales aid locals who have craniofacial disabilities, such as cleft lip and benign facial growths, but can't afford reconstructive surgery. There's a good selection of jewellery and bags, clothing items, English-language novels and clothing for kids at affordable prices. And it's for a good cause. Happy shopping!
Single girls (and anyone else who wants to chill out at the beach without being disturbed) should head to Callego
(Petitenget Beach, phone +62 361 731 613). Located at the end of the small road next to Hu'u on Jalan Oberoi, it's a massage parlour popular with the females and the gay community, and also has a cafe that serves up cheap local and European eats.
Watch seaweed being farmed from the sea off Geger Beach
in Nusa Dua
for something different. Accessible via a dirt track off the left of the road toward Nikko Bali Resort
, the best time to catch the farmers in action is 8am to 10am, and 4pm to 6pm daily.
The famous sweet, tender ribs at Naughty Nuri’s
in Ubud (Jalan Raya Sanggigan) keeps the warung
(local eating place) busy at all times of the day. If you do not want to wait 45 minutes at dinner time for a table, take a short 50 meters walk to Nacho Mama
. Open and run by same people of Naughty Nuri’s you can get the same ribs along with their menu of Mexican food.
Shopping for Local Crafts
If you have time, skip the shops and buy direct from the artisans at these places: gold and silver from Celuk
; stone carvings from Batubulan
; wood handicraft from Mas
; paintings from Penestanan
. Hire a local driver to bring you to the different villages, watch the local crafts men and women at work, and purchase directly from them and avoid having to pay for the fees of the middleman.
Venture a little beyond Ubud and discover more sights such as the only cow farm of Bali, in Bangli just outside of Sideman, which supplies majority of the hotels, restaurants and supermarkets with fresh mozzarella, ricotta and primosale cheese daily. Discover how local coffee is roasted the traditional way at Munduk Moding Plantation
. For a glimpse of how peaceful and serene Ubud might have been before the presence of retail shops catering to tourists, take a 10-minute drive to Melayang Village
and soak in the easy pace of life among the village folk.
The orange tiles seen on most roofs of buildings in Bali are produced in this village, which is located in the Tabanan
regency, and approximately 15 kilometres northwest of Denpasar. A better souvenir than traditional terracotta roof tiles are the ceramics products that include cups, soap dishes, vases and ash trays. Although they are produced in various colours, green has become the identifying colour for made-in-Pejaten ceramics.
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