Bali is one of the islands that make up the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is the favourite shopping destination of almost every visitor in Indonesia. Even if tourists visit the island with no intention of shopping, they find themselves unable to resist, among others, the items of fine art, carved items of stone and wood, the colourful woven fabrics, both antique and new furniture, handicrafts, the delicately carved jewellery in gold and silver, masks and paintings. The best places to buy these are the handicraft villages, the shops in Sanur and in the Kuta/Legian area, in the Sukawati market located on the road to Ubud and in the town of Ubud.
One aspect of shopping that is best avoided is a visit to the duty free shopping outlets as they sell local products at increased prices.
There is some great shopping to be had in the Lesser Sunda Islands, and our Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands Shopping Guide below tells you where to find the best bargains and what to shop for. Be sure to also take a look at our Indonesia Shopping Guide to learn more about shopping throughout the whole country. While shopping, relax and revive your energy at one of the many Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands restaurants.
A favourite buy among visitors to Bali is the exceptionally striking hand-woven traditional cloth. Other popular items are carved items of sandalwood, handicrafts made out the lontar leaves, and the sasando. This is a traditional musical instrument that is available in a miniature size as well.
Bali's shops sell all kinds of products; visitors are often astounded at the sheer quantity and variety on display. From traditional antique items to the most modern, you will find it all in the markets here. Shops selling similar items are generally located close to each other making it easy to compare both prices and quality.
Do not forget to carry cash since credit cards are not accepted everywhere. Bargaining is a common practice here. Do not hesitate to bargain as getting a good deal is largely dependent on your bargaining skills and market smartness.
Other than the traditional local items, goods that are very popular among shoppers here are copies of illegal DVDs featuring recent movies. The DVDs are available all over Bali and are priced very attractively at 10000 Rupiah per DVD or 100000 Rupiah for 11 DVDs. Other cheap goods are beachwear and casual wear, leather goods, shoes, seashells and all kinds of trinkets. The shops in Kuta and Legian are the best place to find these. Similar items are available at much higher prices in many of the hotel gift shops.
Tourism on the island of Sumbawa is still developing and the island has a very rural feel. The markets here are much less hectic and crowded in comparison to those in Bali and they sell mostly fruits and vegetables. The rustic Maluk Market is a must-visit if you like rural markets. An early morning visit to the market will get you fresh fish, prawns and squid at very low prices. Prices here are in general much lower than in Bali and Lombok, thanks to the lack of visitors. Shopkeepers are friendly and if you carry your camera, they are sure to ask you to take their photographs.