Owing to its position at the centre of art and craft communities, Ubud serves as the best place to get handicrafts from every corner of neighbouring villages like Tegallalang, Mas, Celuk and Sukawati. You can only find a few internationally branded stores and famous local brands in Ubud such as Uluwatu, Animale, Polo Ralph Lauren, Billabong, Volcom and other leading surf brands, mostly along Monkey Forest Road.
Ubud Art Traditional Market
Ubud Market is located opposite Ubud Palace and is open from 08:00 to 17:00. It’s another place where you can get beautiful pashminas, silk scarves in various colours and sizes, lightweight shirts, creative handmade bags, woven baskets or hats, statues, kites and many other hand-crafted goods, made in the neighbouring villages of Pengosekan, Tegallalang, Payangan and Peliatan.
Shopping at Monkey Forest Road
Monkey Forest road is a famous landmark in central Ubud, and caters well to visitors with good quality restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, homestays and shopping venues, including International brand stores, sophisticated shops selling local designs, beautiful painting stores and handicraft and antiques outlets on each side of the street. Most of the stores display fixed prices so it will free you from the hassle of bargaining.
Tegallalang and nearby villages specialise in the carving of softwood figures. Brightly painted flowers, signboards, fruits, frogs, ducks, cats and animal figures all feature heavily. All the way along the 12-kilometre road shops also sell furniture and handicrafts made from glass, wood, bamboo, ceramics and shells – and many are much better quality than those you find in Sukawati Art Market or Ubud Market. If you are purchasing a large quantity of goods, Tegallalang is served by several cargo companies, ready to deliver your items to any country around the globe.
Sukawati Art Market
Sukawati Art Market is the biggest market in Bali to purchase handicrafts and traditional handmade products, and is located on the main road of Sukawati. This two-floor building is packed with tourists and locals almost every weekend, especially during summer, Christmas, Eid Ul Fitr and New Year’s holiday – sometimes you can’t even get a space in the parking lot. The market sells everything from paintings, statues, traditional woven textiles, traditional kites, handmade bags, women’s accessories, shirts, sarongs and Balinese ceremonial items (made from colourful ‘Prada’ – gold painted cloth), all at reasonable prices. They even offer a better price in the morning when the market opens at 09:00. To get a wholesale price and enjoy the fixed prices for each item, visit Pasar Pagi Sukawati (Sukawati Morning Market), which is open from 07:00 to 11:00 only, and offers handicrafts similar to Sukawati Art Market.
Wood Carving at Mas Village
Some five kilometres south of central Ubud lies the woodcarving centre of Mas, a village of high caste Brahmin families that has become a genuine example on how reflections of serene countryside life inspire earnest wood-crafters to captivate them in impeccably beautiful statuettes. Typically, Mas carvings are smooth, unpainted, and made of high-quality wood, but carvers also shape gnarly driftwood and tree roots into lizards, turtles, tortoises, abstract faces and fish heads. The carvers sculpt everything in Mas – weeping Buddhas, Vishnu, Garuda, Sri (the Rice Goddess), heroes, fruit trees, key rings, chess pieces, prancing horses and many other animal figures. Many excellent woodcarving shops line the main road. Each shop amiably welcomes tourists to drop in and see the carvers at work. It’s not always necessary to bring cash because some shops accept credit cards for your transaction but remember to always bargain for the best price.
Silver and Gold at Celuk Village
Further along the road towards Ubud is the village of Celuk, famous for being a village of gold and silversmiths. The village offers a multitude of gold and silver jewelry including rings, bangles, chokers, earrings, Tusuk Konde (hair accessories), broaches and many other accessories, some decorated with mother of pearl. Huge stores all the way along Jalan Raya Celuk house a wide variety of all types of intricately designed pieces. If you go off the main road into the village where the craftsmen live and work, you’ll be able to take an authentic souvenir back home for a price lower than in most shops.