After dining at my favorite Indonesian restaurant in NYC last night, Satay Junction – check it out for incredible prices, great service, and pretty authentic eats – it made me miss our time in Bali. Carsten and I were in Indonesia a little more than a year ago and had hoped to live there for six months, thinking Carsten could easily find a job as a Scuba instructor. This turned out to be harder than anticipated, and six months turned to three when we ran out of funds, but we had a fabulous time nonetheless. I thought I’d share our favorite finds with you this week!
Good shopping makes a great vacation even better, and Bali is truly a shopper’s paradise. The tourist-friendly southern peninsula of the island, from Sanur to Jimbaran and up the coast to Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu hosts one store after the other of trendy clothing, sarongs, and tourist knicknacks. Get really creative and bring clothing or furniture designs to copy and have any number of vendors clamor to custom-make what you’re looking for. With some planning and an open mind, this could be a great way to pay for your vacation. I had bikinis custom-made according to my designs for $8.00 and resold them for $40.00.
For the most authentically Balinese shopping experience, head to the capital of Denpasar. The pollution is bad and the driving much worse, but it is definitely worth the trip. If you dare to brave the streets on a moped (during any part of your stay in Indonesia, in fact), I highly recommend it as you’ll forever be talking about this adventure. Join the legions of Balinese in traffic – from old grandmothers to farmers with a crate of chickens to families of four – all atop one moped – and head to the sprawling main market off the street of Gajah Mada. This is where the locals shop for meat and produce and flowers for the daily offerings, and where you can score a tasty treat or two. Adjacent Sulawesi Street hosts the best fabric stores in the city where you can find a wide variety of silks, lace, and batik prints for a fraction of the price elsewhere.