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Published: July 14th 2015
30 Minutes south of Ubud - totally worth the trip!
We arrived back in Padang Bai at around midday and after picking up our suitcase from Aquaria, we headed straight back to Ubud for some much needed shopping.
The local village markets we had spotted previously were on our hit list. Ketut told us Guwang Markets
are usually busy in the morning so we went in the afternoon (on a Thursday) at 3:30pm. They had such a great selection of artwork – both traditional and abstract. The thing to keep in mind here is that their ‘starting price’ will be lower than the main tourist markets so therefore your room to move on price shortens. At your standard Art Gallery in Ubud we would offer $200 for a $1,000 artwork. After a half hour of serious bargaining on our last day I got my favourite Mohammed Harahap artwork for $250 (originally quoted $1500). Considering you can’t find his work online for less than $2,000 I was happy with my bargaining skills!
Also at Guwang Markets, we bartered a vendor down from $75 to $50 for two paintings - one large (2 metres by 1 metre) and one
Artwork purchased from Guwang
We bartered a vendor down from $75 to $50 for two paintings - one large (2 metres by 1 metre) and one medium (70cm x 90cm) size. Here is the large painting now hanging in our study - everyone comments on it!
medium (70cm x 90cm) size. One of the paintings now sits in our study and everyone comments on it! Matt nabbed a stunning round white Shell Platter for $10AU (100,000 IDR – a bargain considering it is 40cm wide) and I picked up Bali's common "pom shorts" for $2.50AU (25,000 IDR) per pair. There was a huge amount of singlets, dresses, sarongs and general touristy knick knacks also. It was off to check in quickly at Evita Villas
(15 minutes out of Ubud) before heading to Pasar Seni / Pasar Umum Sukawati
(Sukawati Art Market). Unfortunately it was a little late when we arrived by scooter to Sukawati, but it looked like a very hectic market - largely selling clothing. The neighbouring Pasar Malam Sukawati
(Night Market, for food) had just begun when we arrived. We discovered the most delicious crispy snack, called Rempeyek
- thin wafer like chips made from rice, kaffir lime leaf and peanuts. At just 1c (1,000 IDR) per packet we snatched up a bag of them! We also grabbed a Murtabak (stuffed pancake)
from a street vendor outside a local Indomaret before heading back to the hotel for pre-dinner showers.
Evita Villas were really lovely, let us have a late check-out and rented us a Scoopy for just $5AU (50,000 IDR)
The staff at Evita Villas were really lovely, let us have a late check-out and rented us a Scoopy for just $5AU (50,000 IDR). Some of the photos on the net are amazing of Evita however our room (Room 105) was a little tired a mouldy. However you really can’t complain when you have your own private pool and hot breakfast delivered to your door for $70AU a night! There did seem to be a fine line in Bali between average and great – anything under $80 can be a little tired but once you hit the $100 mark you’re pretty much guaranteed a great stay. Well that was what we encountered at least!
On our last night in Bali we ate at the Legend Café
in central Ubud. There were so many local customers so we figured it would be delicious - yet we found it a little lacklustre. The beer wasn't anywhere near cold and they were sold out of three of our first choices (granted it was 8:30pm). Although it was empty we should have returned to our cooking school restaurant Bumbu Bali just around the corner.
Pasar Seni / Pasar Umum Sukawati
Largely selling clothing with a fantastic Pasar Malam Sukawati (Night Market, for food) opposite
We had a (fantastic) habit in Bali of stopping and buying beer on our way back our hotel. Take note when in Bali the Indomaret convenience stores don’t stock beer – only the Coco Mart stores
and selected small convenience stores stock alcohol. We also found Coco Mart had a great range of snacks and customs-friendly spice packs and souvenirs which was a great option for our last night in country.
Trust us to leave the most important purchases to last! We woke up early on our last morning in Bali to head to Tegallang Ubud
first. The Jalan Raya Tegallalang main road traverses 10.5km through this Bali heartland and halfway you will find the famous scenic stopover of Tegallang Rice Fields
. To be honest we didn’t even get that far… we were too immersed in the Tegallalang arts and crafts, just several kilometres north of the main Ubud hub. We quickly stopped in at this super yummy Western Patisserie called White Box
(on Jalan Raya Andong) beside the Commonwealth bank. Definitely a great place for a pre-shopping Coffee and Sugar hit!
Brekky at Evita Villas
You really can’t complain when you have your own private pool and hot breakfast delivered to your door for $70AU a night
With only a five hours to spare before driving back to Denpasar we shopped, shopped, shopped! Things were definitely cheaper than nearby Ubud with Copper Pendant lights starting price at $80AU (800,000 IDR) and Glass Mosaic medium sized dishes start price at $6AU (60,000 IDR). There was also plenty of wall art, pottery, mosaic mirrors and wood carvings. Absolutely worth a trip if you are a shopping for your home or simply keen to avoid the hustle and bustle of Ubud markets. *I have also read the Tegallang vendors close on Sundays so keep that in mind if you’re planning a visit.
We returned to Ubud Markets
quickly for a few things I had spotted the week before. Matt negotiated $40AU (400,000 IDR) for two round beaded wicker baskets (one large 40cm and one small 20cm). I also grabbed a hat and some extra spices before scooting back over to Pasar Seni Sukawati
. Sukawati is so much cheaper than Ubud and is far more relaxed. Unfortunately the locals don’t speak the best English (to be expected) and bargaining is harder. We picked up some coconut wood candle holders, serving dishes and
Wall hangings at Tegallang Ubud
shell spoons for around $10AU (100,000 IDR).
Begrudgingly, we packed our suitcases into Ketut’s car, said farewell to Ubud - and to Scoopy - and made the drive south back to Seminyak. We figured we may as well go check out what all the fuss was about. As soon as we hit the Kerokoban area we could tell things were getting more Western. Our first stop was Seminyak Square, which was totally pathetic. There were little markets out the front trying to sell Rosary style beaded necklaces for $40AU. The 70%!o(MISSING)ff rule of thumb seems to go out the window here as I simply could not get a sale over the line. Figures as much with all the “rich Western tourists” getting around this area.
Ketut didn’t like seeing our disappointment so he stopped just outside of Seminyak to show us Geneva Wholesalers
on Jalan Raya Kerokoban. Prices here were roughly 10-20%!h(MISSING)igher than the lowest prices we negotiated at the regional village markets but it is definitely a great place to head if you are not the most confident bargainer! They had everything, literally
On Jalan Raya Kerokoban just outside of Seminyak
everything. Shirts, sarongs, wood and she'll products, metal statues, incense, cushion covers - pretty much any "Bali trinket" you can imagine. There's also a parking lot for your driver/scooter which was great in this SUPER hectic part of Bali.
One last stop before the airport...back to Benoa
- where we first started our Bali journey! We went back to a little Art Shop with undoubtedly the best prices in Bali…trust us, we looked at A LOT of art. The shop is hidden away on the left hand side as you drive into Benoa along Jalan Pratama. It is half way between the second Bumbu Bali restaurant and Main Coco Mart/Blue Surf Shop. Pretty much beside number 89 ‘Mega Batik’ and ‘Batko Solo’
shops. Unfortunately we didn’t catch his name but he has several Australian clients who purchase for Art Galleries back home. He seems to get stock direct from artists (trust me these definitely weren’t copies!) or from exclusive Galleries. We purchased three large abstract Tinghal paintings and a small floral artwork for $300AU (3,000,000 IDR). Everyone assured us “you’ll find what you want in Ubud” yet we still drove back to good
They had everything, literally everything. Shirts, sarongs, wood and she'll products, metal statues, incense, cushion covers - pretty much any "Bali trinket" you can imagine
old Benoa to get our favourite pieces.
We also needed to grab the customary bottle of rocket fuel (I mean Arak
)! Our driver Ketut assured us the best Arak is made in Singaraja, coincidentally Ketut’s home town. Concerned he was possibly being sentimental we asked our art dealer and some of the local Benoa stall holders, and what do you know, they all agreed the best Arak comes from Singaraja. So if you’re looking for the best quality, most authentic Arak to take home, keep an eye out for ‘Made in Singaraja’
on the bottle. We picked this up at Coco Mart (in a super cute ceramic bottle) for $13AU (130,000 IDR). For the smokers out there cigarettes are also super cheap. I picked up a carton of Marlboro Gold’s for my grandmother for $18AU (180,000 IDR) from Coco Mart also.
We wanted to end our culinary tour of Bali on a high so we decided to go to one of Bali’s most prestigious restaurants Bumbu Bali
. We went to the ‘Pasar Malam outlet’ at the top of Jalan Pratama in Benoa. We were in such
Benoa Art Shop - BEST IN BALI!
On Jalan Pratama half way between the second Bumbu Bali restaurant and Main Coco Mart/Blue Surf Shop. Here's one of the three large abstract Tinghal paintings now hanging in our dining room.
a rush I didn’t take note of what we actually ordered but it was all completely scrumptious. Admittedly a little spicy for me but Matt said it was the perfect heat – the type of heat where the flavours still shine through. Interestingly Bumbu Bali also had their own in house Arak distillery contraption – definitely worth a trip there even if it’s just to try an afternoon Arak cocktail.
It was sad to leave Bali - and Ketut who we had grown fond of during our driving trips - but I was secretly longing for a home cooked steak too! All in all we had a fantastic time, fell into some tourist traps but came out the other side stronger and more confident with Indonesia. Would we return? Definitely. We’d love to explore more of east Bali, particularly Tulamben just north of Amed. We’d also like to stay in Uluwatu and explore more of those hidden cliff-style beaches. If we renovated a property and was looking for fittings and interiors we would head back to Ubud (to Tegallang and surrounding village markets) for shopping. GILI MENO. We would return to our little
‘Pasar Malam outlet’ at the top of Jalan Pratama in Benoa - STUNNING food! The perfect final meal for our time in Bali.
island paradise any day of the week. As for Kuta, Seminyak and Nusa Dua – we’d totally skip over them.
Bali, you were wonderful – see you again one day! xo Alyse
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