When I booked my ticket to Bali, I wasn’t really expecting great shopping. From my last trip to the Kuta beach area some 15 *gulp* years ago, I didn’t find the offerings all that interesting. The usual Thai Patong beach kinda stuff, I recalled.
However, a friend shared this interesting post on shops in Ubud before I left, so I was determined to track down these finds.
And I wasn’t disappointed! In addition to the shops she mentioned, I sniffed out other little stores that earned quite a few of my tourist dollars.
|Colours of Ubud|
Jalan Monkey Forest
I loved the dresses sold at Pelangi Design (photos at middle row left, and bottom row left), all the more for the story behind it. Created and produced in Bali by designer Caroline Miksch, who is American born, educated in the graphic arts, and who moved to Indonesia in 1986.
Caroline began combining her signature “Bali batik” patterns in rich colors since 1990. Her line is called “cinnabarblue”, clothing created from brightly coloured batik fabric that is exclusively designed and made by hand one roll at a time.
The dresses are affordably priced (around S$30), and if my girls didn’t already have waaaaay too many clothes, I’d have bought 4 times the stuff I did.
Jalan Hanoman No. 27
Similar story for xS (photos at top middle, top right, and bottom middle). The prettiest modern cheongsams for kids. But I had hardly any cash and time left by the time I chanced upon that shop, so it was a tragic story of zero buys. My chief regret, since they don’t even have an online shop. Have to go back to Ubud and Get Those Dresses!
Kites (bottom right)
We also bought two kites (Layang) for the kids from a shop located along the road from Seminyak to Ubud. Priced between $8-$12, we thought they were good buys.
|Jams, oils and soaps|
Apart from Blue Stone Botanicals (photos in middle row) where I bought enough bottles of very affordable pure-grade essential oils, lip balms and soothing balms to qualify for another free bottle of essential oil! along Jalan Dewi Sita, and Nava (next door to Blue Stone), where I bought many little wooden spoons for the kids, our find of the trip was the jam from Crepes Confiture, aka Confiture Michele (photos in top row).
Located along the corner of Jalan Gootama, Confiture Michele is a cheery looking shop manned by a very friendly local lady. We happily purchased jams for ourselves and for family, and only belatedly realised that we would not be able to put them in our carry on luggage! Dash the silly rule on gels and liquids!!
In the end, we had to arrange for check-in luggage at extra cost (and much hassle, since we could not use our credit card at our budget airline’s counter though when we called the airline they said we COULD), and had to change extra local cash (did I mention we had spent it all before leaving the hotel?) at the airport, sigh.
|Ubud market sights|
Apart from the interesting local gems that we unearthed, there was the usual touristy large market, that peddles souvenirs that are probably made in China.
But it was still interesting to walk around the tourist trap type stores, soak in the atmosphere, and feast one’s eyes on the colour, as well as the variety Bali offers.
Next up, the hotels we stayed in!