The Best Place To Shop, Sukawati Art Market

A trip to the enchanting island of Bali will not be complete without taking home some of the fine pieces of its illustrious artworks and handicrafts; and there is no better way to obtain these than through the art of bargaining with local sellers at an authentic Balinese folks market.

The best place to shop among the entire gamut of Balinese authentic artworks and handicrafts is the Sukawati Art Market, located on the Sukawati main road in the Gianyar Regency, some 20 km northeast from the capital city of Denpasar.

Open daily from 08.00 to 19.00 hrs. Central Indonesia Time, Sukawati Art Market is Bali’s largest, most distinguished and long-standing art market. Sukawati has a long reputation as the center for shopping for the wide variety of  Balinese artworks and handicrafts dating to the 1980’s. The two-storey market building is usually packed with shopping holidaymakers and locals sourcing for household and daily necessities. It is an alternative, inexpensive and complete shopping destination conveniently situated on most tour itineraries to the central and northern regions of the island.

The Sukawati Art Market, Gianyar
The Sukawati Art Market, Gianyar (Source : tempatberlibur.wordpress.com)

A wide range of Balinese distinct souvenirs can be found here from framed paintings, carvings, traditional woven textiles, traditional kites, handmade bags, women’s accessories, shirts, sarongs, to Balinese ceremonial items and daily local household items, and more – all at reasonable ‘bargain prices. This is the best place to hunt for that iconic Balinese “Barong” T-shirts as well as other mementos and keepsakes of your memorable Bali holiday.

Most of the fine paintings on sale here are generally replicas of the signature paintings of maestros, such as Blanco, Arie Smit, Bonet and Han Snel who have all lived in Bali. However, there are also some Bali’s original ‘Kamasan-style’ paintings. Clothes, sarongs and other fabrics of different sizes, colors and patterns as well as bedcovers of varying colors and designs can be seen hanging from the ceilings or stacked neatly in  piles at the many shops on the ground level. Balinese traditional masks, wayang kulit (leather puppets), sculptures in myriad shapes and sizes, wooden frames with distinct Balinese carvings, and other decorative items can also be found in many shops on the back area of the market.

Sukawati Art Market in Gianyar
Sukawati Art Market in Gianyar (Source : ayorafting.com)

With the latest development of a number of modern art shops and souvenirs centers in Bali, which normally accept credit card payments while some of them even open 24 hours, the existence of this traditional art market certainly offers its own unique sensation. The experience of dealing with local people, browsing through the shops along small market alleys, choosing what to buy from a pile of goods, and bargain for a good price will surely be an unforgettable experience.

ACTIVITIES

Considering its proximity to Denpasar and Ubud, you will find no problem in staying in both cities. For the accommodation options you can refer to the destinations of Ubud and Denpasar.

With an array of souvenirs and other interesting items on sale, shopping is obviously the main theme here. However for an extensive experience you can also visit the nearby Celuk Village which is the center of gold and silversmiths, or the village of Mas, center of the best woodcarving artists. While there, do take time to catch a performance of the Balinese traditional Barong and Keris Dance which is staged daily at the village of Batubulan, about 4 km from the Sukawati Art Market.

GET THERE

Sukawati Art Market is located along the Jalan Raya Sukawati main road 20 km northeast of Denpasar and about 10 km south of Ubud. From the tourist hub of Kuta, the trip to Sukawati will take an average time of 1 hour, depending on traffic. Situated right by the main road connecting Denpasar and Ubud, the Sukawati Art Market is easily notable by the lines of parked cars and motorcycles along the roadside and also the crowded ambience of a village market.

Tips

Shopping in Sukawati Art Market requires some bargaining skills. A rule of thumb for bargaining is to start at half the offered price, which is probably the actual production cost of the item itself, and then work your way to the acceptable price agreed by both. On your first visit, better spend some time browsing through the market premises for similar items of interest and make comparisons to get a general idea of prices.

Besides the stalls, there are also peddlers who actively offer their ware to visitors. Patience is needed, as it is easy to find yourself getting completely overwhelmed by their constant hassle.

Better do not buy from hawkers, since when you buy from one an entire crowd will soon descend on you pressing you to buy from them all.

Facebook Comments

"Photos are copyrighted by their owners."

error: Do Not Copy