ali has a thriving fashion scene and a beautiful design. Balinese are simply aesthetic and artistic and it can be seen everywhere, especially the clothes. But that doesn’t mean just fancy boutiques or haute couture designer stores. For those who don’t want to break a bank and still want to find beautiful clothes, there are – markets! Markets are a huge part of everyday life for Balinese people – place for shopping, socializing, gossiping, meeting neighbors. It is also a great place to get some really amazing garments that would usually cost much more in a shop. The quality may not be top notch, but the fabrics are bright and fun and will make you and your friends and family happy for at least one season. Most popular and best markets are in Kuta, near to the beach and in Ubud, just close to the Ubud Royal Palace. They are actually a smart choice for the bargain-seekers as some shops in Legian, Seminyak, Kuta, and Ubud sell all the same goods but their prices are almost twice as high.

You can find beautiful dresses – short and long, tops, trousers, skirts, bags, wallets and silver jewelry and the best part is you can haggle for all! There are some rules though; don’t start bargaining if you don’t want to buy the garment since that is simply rude and taking the time of the vendor. Another point to remember is that when it comes to bargaining – it is best to be friendly. Bargain hard but don’t get angry or pushy, and don’t make insulting jokes. You will get nowhere and might get in an argument.

Stay calm and smile, even if the vendor is stubborn and make a joke or two. Ask for the ‘morning price’ if it seems you are amongst the early birds or an ‘afternoon price’ if it’s later than 3 pm. When all else fails, drop the line “Saya minta harga local”, which means you would like a price that locals get. If all that doesn’t get you at least 30 percent off the initial price, walk to the next stall where you will more than likely find a similar garment with a more flexible seller. If the seller really wants to make a deal, he or she might give you a final low price, and if not, there are more shops to look at. Follow these simple tips and dive into the shopping heaven that is the island of Bali!■

Bali Pocket Magazine