How to get the most out of your first Bali holiday!
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With the exception of checking out the odd liquor stores, sports stores, car yards and boats, shopping of all kinds is not a favourite pastime of mine but I do feel qualified enough to at least throw in a few comments on the subject for your consideration.
Over the years, my wife in particular and myself to a much lesser degree, have been in and out of most shops in Tuban,Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Sanur and Ubud.
The tips I am passing on to you here have been gleaned from observing my family and friends experiences over many years.
There are two distinct types of shops. There are those with a shop front like you are accustomed to and also covered street stalls known as markets. I will explain the market setup first.
Important: Transport to and from different shopping areas is just as important as the actual shopping in my humble opinion. Having said that, you may like to give consideration to a Taxi or private transport with someone like my friend Charlie. M:0815 5792272 E: [email protected]
First timers guide to Bali shopping:
IMPORTANT: It is entirely your decision but I do suggest you do not start spending until you are confident with understanding the local currency and conversion rates. You will find my explanation listed under MONEY.
Markets contribute to a huge amount of the total built up area in the Kuta Legian areas where it is very competitive for many Balinese traders day in day out in varying degrees of heat and humidity.
Because Balinese business people are very conscious of protecting their livelihood from competition of their near neighbours, they will do everything possible to earn your business before you leave their shop and spend elsewhere.
The markets mainly cater for copy sun glasses, watches, DVD’s, CD’s, jewellery, bags of all descriptions, wood carvings, candles, t/shirts, shorts, shoes, sandals, dresses and bathers just to mention a few of the offerings
My suggestion with shopping at the markets is not to be in a hurry to spend because you look and sound like a new arrival and they know it. If you spend early you could pay up to three times too much on your first outing, Ouch.
Control your spending urges for at least a day while observing what others do and say. Ask other guests at where you are staying for advice on how much you should pay for different items before you have a spend up.
My next shopping tip is to never suggest a price unless you are really going to buy it at the price offered. As soon as you mention a price the game starts.
If the seller agrees to your price in this circumstance and you don’t buy, you are asking for trouble and possibly an embarrassing scene. It is considered very rude if you don’t buy on the agreed price.
Following is a guide of how you should approach the situation after seeing something appealing enough to make you want to buy if the price is right.
- Ask how much the item is. Don’t make an offer.
- The seller should always open the bidding.
- Avoid eye contact during negotiations.
- When you are given an opening bid, halve it.
- Now you can pick it up and barter up or down the scale depending on your limit or desire to own it.
- If you agree on a price you should buy it.
- If you don’t come to an agreement, it’s all good practice.
Bartering can be fun and you will enjoy the experience once you get the hang of it.
Here are a few items and average prices, which you may be interested in bartering for: Sarongs between Rp 20000 – Rp 35000, Singlets and tank tops Rp 20000 -25000, Handbags Rp 50000 – 70000, T/shirts Rp 30000, Stubbie holders pack of six Rp 20000.
Before leaving bartering, it will be in your interest to re-read the chapter on Meet Locals where I make mention of Made (Marday) and Romy.
Fixed Price Shopping:
All other Bali shopping is fixed pricing but from my experience it pays to ask for a better deal because sometimes you win.
Shops and shopping centres open at 10am and close at 9pm.
There are a number of excellent shopping centres for you to explore in Bali catering for anything you care to mention.The best way to do this is by Bluebird taxi.
“Centro” which is huge and very popular is located at the beach toward Tuban. If you can’t find what you are looking for here I will be very surprised. If you are on the beach in Legian or Seminyak and looking towards the airport you can’t miss seeing Centro Shopping Centre, a huge white building in the distance. It’s a pleasant walk along the beach at the right time of day and also gives you another perspective of your surrounds.
“Matahari” located at Kuta square is Bali’s original largest shopping centre and is now surrounded by modern and very competitive centres. Matahari still appears very busy and well worth a look if you are interested in shoes of all sorts and sizes at very cheap prices plus amongst other things a huge range of clothing from babies through to adults.
“Carrefour” is similar to a Kmart store. The store caters for almost everything you are likely to want. I recommend you check this one out.
“Galleria” another big and interesting centre with much the same on offer as all of the others.
“Kuta square” is where you will find some very classy shops.
A magazine produced in Bali known as the Yak is a must for you to get your hands on during your holiday. The magazine explains anything and everything worth knowing about in Bali, such as hotels,villas, apartments, fashions, restaurants and the best in after dark experiences plus a whole lot more. To help make your holiday in Bali more enjoyable, you should check this site today, www.theyakmag.com Most fashion shops, restaurants, coffee shops and any Circle K stores will sell you a copy for about Rp 70000 to Rp 80000.($7 to $8)
Fashion Tips For first -timers:
Here are a few ideas for your consideration
“Biasa.” Jl. Raya no 36 Seminyak. Ph 730308, www.balibiasa.com/
Very fashionable ladies and gents clothing.
“Animale” Jl. Raya Seminyak no 82.
Animale is very popular for ladies fashions with sizes ranging from 8 to 22. A good selection from their appealing range of fashionable clothing is always available to choose from.
“Selini.” #5 Jl. Dhyana Pura Seminyak. Tel.730850 Mob 0811396251. Selini 11, #97 Jl Raya, Seminyak. Tel 7426482
For something a little different, you may wish to check out this chick little shop for some lovely garments made in Vietnam. I think the young ladies would enjoy a fossick here. The shop is about 100 meters on the left after turning off Jl. Raya into Jl Puri Dyhana.
“Body and Soul”
You will be delighted with what is on offer at these two trendy shops, Jl. Seminyak # 11, in Seminyak or go to Seminyak square Jl. Laksmana units # 7-8
These popular Perth owned boutique’s are just as much a favourite with the girls in Bali as they are in Perth.
The following suggestions would be more appealing to the younger set and children.
So Clothe, Jl Laksmana No 28, Seminyak. Tel 737653
Lily Jean, Jl Laksmana, Seminyak.Tel 737441
Nico Perez, Jl laksmana, seminyak.Tel 738308
Paul Ropp, Jl Laksmana, Seminyak. Tel 734208
K&I, Jl Laksmana No 18, Seminyak, Tel 736477
Bali homeware and furniture shopping:
There are a good number of homeware shops in Jl. Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Raya stretching from Kuta through to Kerobokan to keep you busy for days on both sides of the Road, each with their own specialities.
However, there is one that stands out from the crowd in my opinion and that is “Sourcing Bali” the sister business to “Rim Cargo.”
For a very small fee Sourcing Bali will pick you up from your Bali address, take you on a half or full day tour to look at furniture and homeware products, which maybe of interest to you. In the event you do buy any of these products, sourcing Bali will arrange to have them picked up, packed and delivered to your home in Australia or other countries.
From my experience this impressive business caters very well for the serious shopper looking for something different and in particular for business people wishing to import stock for their own stores back home. Recommended.
To get an idea of what I am talking about, go to www.sourcing-bali.com or take a taxi ride to Jl. Gunung Salak no 31a Kerobokan. Ph. 9003025Desmond James, director. mob 0811392181
Also worth a visit:
- Disini a stylish homewares shop located Jl Raya Seminyak # 6-8.
- Vinoti Living, Seminyak Square fashionable furniture and homesware.
- Havalli, Jl Raya Seminyak Synonymous with bed linen, tableware, curtains and other decor.
- Jenggala Keramik Bali, fabulous ceramics collection located at Jl. Uluwatu 11, Jimbaran.
- Surya Aguna Furniture, Julan Raya Mas Ubud, Gianyar.
- Mercredi, is filled with beautiful things. Located Crn Jl Basangkasa and Jl Kayu Aya, Seminyak. E: [email protected] Ph: +62 361 735 516
For all things kids, you will be delighted with what you will have a choice of in any of the following suggestions. (Please Note) The phone numbers listed below for Childrens Clothes are local numbers from local phones. Also check “Communications” listed on this website for directions of how to use phones in Bali. +62 361 are for calls from Australia
Jellyfish. Jl.. Laksmana, no 2b Seminyak.
Dandelion. Jl. Raya Basangkasa no 28 Seminyak. Ph 730375
Kuta kids. Bemo Corner Kuta ph 755810
Kidsagogo, JlKayu Aya N0 29 Seminyak. Tel 736651
Indigo kids, Jl Pantai, Kuta opposite Warung Made and also Jl Melasti,Legian and also Jl Seminyak, Seminyak.
Manik Sari Costuming: A wonderful shop for girls and boys costumes, which can be purchased from stock, made to order or copies from pictures. Jl. Pura Bagus Taruna # 533. mob 087762623332
Bali leather products:
Please note: All shops listed below are either owned or managed by reputable tailors, who will endeavour to provide you with the best possible product they can, thus ensuring their reputation remains at a high level of customer satisfaction.
Also most if not all of these tailors, will produce an excellent copy from a picture or photo provided by you, in the event you have seen something special to copy. Please note, drop +62 361 from local calls made in Bali from a local phone. For advice on how to make calls in Bali, please refer to the post under the heading of “Communications”
2nd Skin, Leather by Design,
For the best in Bali leather products, visit this very new boutique leather shop, which has up to the minute designs in stunning leather products and has earned top position in this section. It should also be at the top of your list.
For those in the know, the name Terry Indra Setiwan will impress you as he is a renown leather craftsman and partner in the business. Terry has over 20 years experience in his trade and creates only the best of everything when it comes to beautiful leather products such as bags of all descriptions, shoes, coats, jackets, and belts to name a few. For an inside look at what’s on offer, go to www.2ndskinonline.com
You will notice the business welcomes retail and wholesale orders for their leather, snake skin and suede products. The business caters for both ladies and gents.Two other partners in the business are delightful sisters Amber and Tynuska Mulley who are in charge of management and sales. I am sure you will be impressed with the service from these ladies and the knowledge of their products.Highly recommended.
News Flash May 2013: The partners opened another shop during May 2013, located further north on the right hand side at 147x Jl. Petitenget. The shop is in a much better location, is larger and more attractive to cope with the growing demands for their products. The partners currently hope to close their original shop after moving everything to the new store mid to late October 2013.
Tommy’s. Jl. Padmar Legian, Ph. +62 361 756770. The shop is situated opposite Posers Corner Bar, approximately twenty meters on the left going towards the beach past the entrance of Garlic Lane in Jl Padmar.
Merino Quality leather clothing. Situated on the corner of Jl. Legian # 358. Kuta BALI. Email: [email protected] Telp: + 62 361 755410. Owner: Ketut Surata (0812382803)
Gecko leather. Jl.Legian.Tel: + 62 361751386, Email: [email protected] Website: www.geckobali.com
Dolphin Leather. Jl Sahadewa (known as Garlic Lane) situated between Jl.Melasti and Jl. Padma, Legian-Kuta Bali. Telp/Fax: + 62 361755278. Owners: Putu or Nyoman.
Merry’s Collection, Leather Fashion and Tailor: Jl Padma Utara, Ruko #6, Kuta Bali. Telp: + 62 361 7453145 Mob: 0810338353167 Email: [email protected] Owner: Aristo. Website: www.merryscollection.baliklik.com
Aura. Situated opposite Villa Jodie in Seminyak on Jl. Laksmana # 21x is well worth putting on your list if leather is of interest to you. This small but very busy shop owned by Mr. Harry has an excellent collection of his handcrafted leather and suede products on display at all times for you to inspect real quality that this business offers. The chances are, you might see something that fits you perfectly already made. Harry specialises in jackets, boots, shoes, bags and suits. Open 7 days a week 10am- 10pm. Telephone +62 361 737127
First-timers guide to recommended Bali Tailors:
House of Komangs: Komang Sri has carved out an excellent reputation in her very competitive trade and is an astute business women. My wife, daughters and their friends have been dealing there for sometime and have always been extremly happy with what they have had made, which is no mean feat considering how perfect my girls like there tailoring to be. Recommended:
Komang can be found in Legian, Padma Street on the left hand side as you walk down the street from Jl. Legian, just before you get to Garlic Lane. Ph: (0361) 7473144, M: 081 236 00523. E: [email protected]
Komang has a wide range of materials to choose from and produces fine tailoring in a short time frame.
Olga Bali Tailor, Website: www.olgabalitailor.com Email: [email protected] Situated at Jl Sahadewa # 15 Legian. The address is also known as #15 Garlic Lane. Olga is very good and very busy so it’s advisable to make contact early into your holiday for anything you want made. Olga also has a stock of material but if she has not got what you want, Olga has access to all types of imported fabric. Ph.62 361 8569045 Mob 081338749936. The service which Olga provides is excellent.
Sanjaya. Jl. Werkudara Utara Legian Kaja. Ph 7982174 or owner Yitno. Mob 081353309724
A Good Tip: Do your research well on your first visit before committing yourself to any particular tailor. A small item like having one pair of your favourite shorts copied is a good way to test them out.
Alta Moda is well worth a trip if you are considering having any clothes made in Bali. They have a huge range of materials covering over three floors, which are sourced from around the world.
The decision is yours to make whether you just buy their material and take it to your tailor or have them do it for you. Alta Moda are very professional in this regard. Either way, you would be best advised to get a quote from both. If this is of interest to you, go by taxi or with your driver to Alta Moda, Komplek Galeria, Blok Entrance 1 No 3-6, Jl.Patih Jelantik, Kuta. My friend Charlie from Bali would be a good contact on this occasion. M:08155792272 E: [email protected]
There is a large number of tailors in Bali and most stock a good range of materials to choose from. However, I suggest you take your own material with you on the first occasion and in particular if you have something special in mind and intend having something made early during your holiday period.
To have something made in Bali can be a real nuisance because you will find yourself tracking backwards and forwards for fittings and sorting out problems along the way. On your first visit, I suggest you do your home work well regarding a suitable tailor and leave it until your next trip before having something made rather than wasting a lot of your precious time.
A Good Tip: Always ask how long it will take to make your order, then put some urgency into it by fibbing a bit, say okay but no longer because we go home on Thursday or whatever. Get them to make a firm commitment because once you place your order with a paid deposit, they have you on a string.
Rim Cargo. Branch office Jl. Laksmana no 32 Oberoi Seminyak. Ph +62 361 737670
General manager, I Nengah, mob 08123995700
Director, Desmond James mob 0811392181
I personally recommend this business, which is very efficiently managed and will appeal to people who wish to buy a quantity of products but not necessarily a container load.
Rim cargo also accommodate clients with smaller wooden containers, which can be placed within containers of a larger size for transport to your destination.
For the best info on this subject go to www.rimcargo.com
Bali Surf Shops:
Genuine surf clothing stores offering top brand names like Billabong, Quicksilver, Hurley etc are well represented in Bali. You will come across a number of them while you are out shopping in the main drag from Kuta Square through to Jl. Laksmana, Seminyak. The best Quicksilver store I have come accross with a huge range of clothing and accessories to choose from is located in Seminyak Square. I recommend this Australian owned business.
You will also find reasonable copies in the market areas but you will have to ask for them because they are well hidden for obvious reasons.
Some handy tips to remember
First-Timers Handy Shopping Tips:
- Never carry a handbag or shopping bag on your shoulder or in your hand while walking on the outside of a footpath alongside a busy Road like Jl. Legian, Jl. Seminyak or Jl. Raya. If you do, you could be relieved of it very quickly by two people on a motorbike. Bag snatching is becoming more common but is not a problem if you carry your bag or bags against the wall or shop front.
- Don’t rush out and start spending on your first day because it could cost you three times more if you are not alert to this possibility.
- Be aware of what you can and cannot take back to your country of origin regarding souviners, food, nuts and fruit. Australians must declare any objects made from wood, shells, grasses and banana leaf to name a few but it is your responsibility to read and understand the customs standards in the brochure.