Oh how I love markets. I make no secret of it. Sure, I like buying cheap things, but the main reason is I love the chaos! So the housewife yelling, shin bumping, meat smelling, incense burning, slippery floored quagmire of the daily morning Ubud farmers market was a particular treat.
You have to be keen, because it starts early. Before 6am. Before the heat kicks in and spoils all the food. And maybe more impotantly, before it melts the mums schlepping about with heavy baskets perched on their hips and heads, trying to sort out their families meals and offerings for the week.
|Farmers' utes lined up in the Ubud market carpark, lined with baskets of fruit and vegetables|
|A lady sells colourful flowers (used for offerings), garlic cloves and chillis|
|Mountains of dried fish, noodles and seasoning|
|A chicken, obviously|
Above left: Cakes!
Above right: Fruit, eggs and other essentials.
We also paid a visit to another craft market, renowned for being even cheaper than Ubud, and filled with crafty nick nacks, in the Sukawati village. I have to say, the quality at most of these markets' craft goods is not great, and you certainly get what you pay for. A lot of pieces are mass produced replicas of more traditional pieces and they will of course tell you almost anything for a sale. So if you are going to these markets to shop, my advice is to use your head, pick what you buy with care, and take everything the shopkeepers say with a grain of salt. You do need to negotiate becuse otherwise you will be stupidly ripped off (just wander into a supermarket early in your trip if you need a point of comparison). But despite all of that, I also think its good to negotiate in good faith and pay a reasonable price. Indonesia is a developing country and lots of people earn less than half of what you earn in an hour, for their entire days hard work.
|Entry to Sukawati market|
Nevertheless, Sukawati certainly has a lot of stuff for sale. Fabrics, beads, dresses, bags, the notorious Bintang t-shirts, carvings, hats, etc. It was really hot when we arrived, and although I wanted to explore more, the muggy tarp-built tents in the back area had the combined effect of somewhere between a sauna and a convection oven. After buying an armload of brightly coloured wooden beads for my girlfriends back home, I almost passed out. So despite any vague intentions of extended gift buying, I just took photos instead.
|Yep, bags and thongs, you got it|
|Like a turtle, one savvy Sukawati shop-keeper carries her hat shop on her head. Or something.|
|Get your rainbow body bling right here|
Note: If you'd like to start at the beginning of this thread of Bali posts, go back here.