I have always been excited about visiting a market place in a new country. Since the time when there was no currency, market place has been one place of confluence. Traders walking across far distant continents, to meet at a market place and beyond the business, there were exchanges. Exchanges of culture, food and influences. No matter how many malls open up, the old world market place will have its own charm. 

One of our best market experience was at The Grand Bazar in Turkey. Unfortunately, we only had 2 hours for the market, which wasn’t enough to explore the place. Any sensible person who went to the mammoth Grand Bazar would telll you so. In Mauritius, on the penultimate day, we went to the local market and picked up some spices. The market set up by locals by the lake Geneva – montreaux was also an interesting experience indeed. And how can I forget my walk through the weekend market at Thimpu, Bhutan. 

Ubud Art market – Background 

 A visit to a local market means a chance to encounter locals and embrace local culture. Experiencing local food and local shopping goes hand in hand. I enjoyed all of these and more at Ubud Art Market at Bali. It is a traditional market that has a very strategic location in the heart of Ubud tourism, namely on Jalan Raya Ubud No.35 in front of Puri Saren Agung. In the past, the market was located close to Puri Saren Agung. It was a place built by the king of Ubud to facilitate the needs of his people. Gradually, Ubud Market developed into an art market with the influx of tourists. The Saren Agung Palace or the house of the king, opposite to Ubud Art Market is also a great tourist attraction. If you are fortunate, you can meet the artist/ sculptor, as they are from the nearby art villages.

I spoke to Dr. R. Sigit Witjaksono, Director of Tourism Marketing for East, South and Central Asia Region, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia. He confirmed that Ubud Art Market began to develop as a center for art activities because of the large number of artists living in Ubud. These artists initially worked to make art for traditional ceremonies. The area around Ubud Market that developed into this selling area is Jalan Karna corridor”. In my opinion, it’s half a day of activity to explore UBUD Art market in totality. There are many eateries around and the Royal Ubud Palace is just on the opposite side. Keep a day to enjoy yourself without being rushed. Here are some facts about UBUD Art Market which is worth knowing.

Few facts about UBUD Art Market which you cannot miss 

  • Timings and best time to enter – The market is open from 9 AM to 6 PM. It’s divided into two parts. The Western part is the main art market and the Eastern part is the traditional market for groceries.
  • Navigating through the alleys – Never be afraid of the alleys. Keep walking and you will come to an open end. The Alleys are crowded with shop owners and their merchandise. There is no entry fee and exploring the night market is also an interesting proposition.
  • The Famous Jalan Karna corridor – If you are a fan of Julia Roberts, then Bali will always be special for you. As major part of the movie was shot in Bali, the famous Jalan Karna Corridor was shown in the film Eat Pray Love in 2003
  • Local Balenese art and more – The reason why Ubud Art market is a sought after place is the presence of everything in one place. The market has so much to offer. From jewellry, clothes, bags, shoes, local Balinese art and so much more. As a tourist, it’s always worth picking up something which represents local Balenese art. Don’t be surprised, if a shopkeeper comes playing a musical instrument.

Shopping is key in Ubud Art Market 

  • Merchandise available –  It’s perhaps easier to list all that is unavailable in Ubud Art Market. The majority of things sold here are in the form of artworks and handicrafts, such as paintings, sculptures, wood carvings, Balinese Barong mask motif shirts, Balinese cloth, various Balinese snacks, accessories, and various souvenirs. The colourful commodities in the art market can be simultaneously eye-catching.
  • Can’t be missed – Your shopping bag should bring back but not restricted to some of these things. Local handmade statues and masks, handbags which come in different shapes and sizes, typical souvenirs like key chains, tea coasters and slightly naughty beer bottle openers, there are many more. Silver jewelry with stone work is available at throwaway prices and are a must buy. 
  • Tricks of the trade –  There are no Bar codes, neither there are any fixed price tag. The shop owners also know that all tourists come here will bargain. Almost all the stall owners sell the same stuff, so in case you don’t like the price, move ahead for the next stall. The other trick is to visit the market when opening or when closing, there is an urgency to sell by the shopkeepers, which results in reduced price
  • Food – How can there be a market without its trademark food stalls . Across the world, be it The Grand Market Turkey, Caudan Water front in Mauritius and others, Ubud Art market also has its own food stalls. There are fruit sellers and there are small kiosk owners and one of the most popular one is the chopped tofu in peanut butter sauce with some prawn wafers

Some of the pictures from there

Ubud Art Market by Pikturenama entry

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