About the Ubud Art Market:
Locals call it Pasar Seni Ubud. It is one of the most popular markets in Bali, and is a must visit if you enjoy shopping and handicrafts. The traditional art market itself is located at:
Jalan Raya Ubud No.35,
Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar,
Bali 80571, Indonesia
It’s open from 8am to 6pm. The Ubud Art Market is a street maze of shops and souvenirs, and if you look hard enough and bargain, you just might find some amazing hidden gems.
What you’ll find:
// Sarongs – We call them `ie lavalava in American Samoa. Probably the most versatile piece of material ever, I love sarongs. You can find mandala prints, elephants, batik and ikat designs in every color and pattern imaginable.
// Penis things – I’m not kidding here. Lots of penis made of wood (yes, it’s punny) that pay tribute to the old practice of penis worship. I don’t know the details of the practice, but you can find huge penis bottle openers and incense holders, which might make a funny and functional souvenir.
// Jewelry – Ubud is known for its talented silver smiths, so you can find silver jewelry pretty much anywhere, and even take a silver making class! I don’t usually wear jewelry, but I couldn’t resist this sterling silver wave shaped ring I bargained for only 40,000 rupiah (~$3USD)!!
// Clothes – Lots of great cotton, linen and even silk garments. Ian bought a blue cotton batik shirt with coconut shell buttons, and I got a 100% silk batik robe which makes me feel so luxurious.
// Bamboo straws – Sustainable and makes great souvenirs to take as gifts for friends. I fell in love with these straws when we had dinner at La Pacha Mama, and was so stoked to find them at the market.
// Bags – Who doesn’t love bags? The rattan roundie bags from Bali are especially popular these days (you might have seen them on instagram). But there are so many different bags to choose from. Straw and canvas totes, cross body bags, clutches, leather purses, backpacks, yoga mat slings… am I missing more?
// Homeware – Dishes and bowls and cups, and candles and cushions and home decor. There is a lot of really beautiful handmade homeware that are perfect for decorating your home.
// So much more – There’s a plethora of fun and interesting trinkets and homeware and decorations. From keychains and koozies to handmade baskets, paintings, toys, and home goods–the Ubud Art Market is a bargain shopper’s heaven.
How to Haggle:
Ask how much, but only ask for the price if you really want to purchase it. The vendors expect that you will haggle so they’ve marked this up by a lot. I’ve found it works best to my advantage when I start asking at only 30% of the ask price. Think about how much you’re willing to pay for it, and consider the time and resources it took to make it. Be fair and always ask with a smile.
*Pro tip: Go to the market early in the morning because vendors believe that their first sale is a sign of a good luck, so they will often offer you the cheaper “morning price”when you’re haggling.
How to Deal with Impulse Spending:
I wanted to buy so many things! I already know that if I ever become a homeowner in the future, I am coming to Bali just to shop for all the cute things to fill my home! On this trip though, I came prepared to resist the urge of spending money on material things. Call me weird but I actually Googled photos of the Ubud Art Market before my trip just to see what I might want to buy and I thought about whether or not I wanted it or needed it. It was actually super helpful. I asked myself: Would I use it? Do I really want to travel with it? For so many of the kitschy things, I probably would get buyer’s regret. Plus, I was determined to make it through this trip with just my backpack and duffel, so my mind was made, and I only bought 6 things I could easily travel with.
What I bought:
1. Silk batik robe. I loooooved this purchase. One of my favorite garments to date and it was in my favorite color, green!
2. Rattan roundie bag. You can probably tell by now from all the photos that I was obsessed with these rattan bags. There were dozens of different shapes and sizes, and if I was to mail a box home, I would have definitely gotten a bunch more.
3. Incense. Ever since my trip to India, I will pretty much only buy sandalwood incense because the scent reminds me of that time of my life, which I loved.
4. Bamboo straws. I love buying things that support environmental wellness, and these eco-friendly bamboo straws were perfect for traveling souvenirs.
5. Sterling silver ring. There were so many to choose from, but I honestly didn’t even want to get a ring until I saw this very simple wave-shaped ring. It was too cute to pass up.
6. Wooden magnets. One of those kitschy things I said I wasn’t going to get, but ended up getting them because they were cute (picked out the flip flops and surfboards shaped magnets) and super cheap.