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Bali shopping

Thursday, July 3, 2008
Shopping on holidays is almost a necessity. But shopping in Bali is not about walking into a shop, picking something up and paying for it. It is in art and bargaining is a must. Even those not accustomed to bargaining soon get into the swing of it, and the challenge is fun for both the purchaser and vendor. It's all about "best price" for both parties.

In Bali you can shop for a wide range of fine art and handicrafts including antique, semi-antique and modern furniture; paintings; crafted gold and silver jewellery; wood and stone carvings; masks; woven and dyed fabrics; as well as clothing and much more. Opportunities are not just found in main areas such as Kuta. There are many pokey little shops selling a variety of goods, and all proprietors are keen to make a sale. Little villages also have shops and will happily barter with you.

Always start with offering less than one-third of the marked price and even walk away until you get the price you are prepared to pay. Be sure to have the exact amount of money.

Shopping centres such as Geneva have cheap handicrafts, and Kuta Square has many shops and a branch of the Matahari department store and supermarket.

Bali Galeria has loads of outlets including Prada, Body Shop, Planet Sport, Nine West, Marks & Spencer, and up-market jewellery shops. Quality shoes and bags are sold at Bata, Gutako City Bag and Mahkota Sepatu. Kid's Station and OshKosh B'Gosh sell children's clothing.

Kartika Discovery Mall is huge and air-conditioned. The three storey mall has a Centro department store selling Esprit, Guess, Giordano, Polo, Prada and cosmetics and fragrances from some of the best-known houses — Bulgari, Gucci, Estée Lauder, Revlon, Clinique and Shiseido. For surfing gear, go to Quiksilver, Billabong and Planet Surf. Children are catered for at Kids' Station and Guess For Kids.

There is also a Sogo department store, Periplus bookshop, Boots chemist, Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut, Baskin & Robbins and a Black Canyon Café.

The newest shopping centre is Carrefour at Sunset Road featuring a huge hypermarket of the French retailer. The top floor is stocked with food, baked goods, prepared food, wine, dairy products and electrical goods. Lower floors have a variety of shops selling everything that you can imagine.

A visit to Jenggala Keramik is rewarding in many ways. It began in 1976 as an experimental cottage by the late New Zealand designer-potter Brent Hesselyn and the late Indonesian hotelier Wija Waworuntu. Many international and local talents have contributed to the centre's development over the years, and they produce wonderful high-quality, handcrafted ceramic and glassware. You're bound to want to buy something to enhance your home — and there's a cafe to enjoy while you are deciding just what to buy.

If you love wooden furniture and antiques, you will love Bali prices. Weight restrictions on aircraft mean you will probably have to have items shipped home, and there are all sorts of quarantine and customs formalities to adhere to.

There are endless shops selling indoor and outdoor furniture and garden accessories, mostly in Seminyak, but try to seek a reliable one. Packing may not be of the best quality and it's very difficult to try to claim for the insurance you have paid for once you are back home.

While you are possibly getting carried away by the choice and range of "must-have" goodies, in Bali there are a few things to remember: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Don't leave cash or valuables lying around and always have a back-up if your credit card or money is stolen. Most places don't accept credit cards, so carry the minimum amount of cash with you if you can. Double check the amount of money you receive, even at money changers.

Be particularly careful with vendors near tourist attractions. There are professional rip-off artists around, known for selling fake everything — even fabrics with sprayed on patterns which look, for a short time, as though they are woven.


Bali, Indonesia.


As a guide only to shipping prices, this is what you may expect to pay:

Single item: $190 a cubic metre
30 cubic metre container: $2700

Items will need to be fumigated.

Creative Holidays has accommodation at the Bali Dynasty Resort starting at $54 a night. The Bounty Hotel rooms start at $30 a night. Bali Mandira Beach Resort and Spa rooms start at $65 and Jimbaran Puri Bali Resort starts at $118 a night. All prices are per person twin share. One day passes to Waterbom Bali are from $21 for adults and $12 for children. Seasonal surcharges apply.

Garuda Indonesia has 28 flights a week to Denpasar.

Airfares from:

  • Darwin $ 622
  • Perth $ 852
  • Melbourne $1105
  • Sydney $1122

Darwin: Valid for sale until November 20, 2008 and for travel between July 21-September 18, 2008 and again between October 6-November 20, 2008.

Perth: Valid for sale until March 31, 2009 and for travel between July 16-September 23, 2008, October 8-December 9, 2008 and January 14-March 31, 2009.

Melbourne: Valid for sale until March 31, 2009 and for travel between July 13-September 18, 2008, October 5-December 11, 2008 and January 14-March 31, 2009.

Sydney: Valid for sale until March 31, 2009 and for travel between July 21-September 25, 2008, October 13-December 11, 2008 and January 19-March 31, 2009.

Fares from other Australian capitals and regional centres are available in conjunction with Virgin Blue and Executive (Business) Class fares from all Australian ports.

Prices correct at July 3, 2008.

For further information

Creative Holidays
Or book through your travel agent

Jenggala Keramik Bali
Jl Uluwatu II, Jimbaran
Kuta, Bali
Ph: +62 361 703 311
Fax: +62 361 703 312

Mitra Sejati Furniture
Jl Dhyana Pura #511X
Seminyak, Bali
Ph: +62 361 731 485

Garuda Indonesia
Ph: 1300 365 331

It is recommended travellers to Indonesia see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended for Indonesia. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information visit

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