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Sukawati Art Market

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pasar seni sukawatiSpending a nice holiday on the island of Paradise is full of endless experience, and do not forget to buy something memorable for yourself and your family, also some friends you have at home. One activity you will enjoy is an original "shopping adventure" to hunt souvenirs, hand-made crafts, shirts, Balinese cloths, and paintings in the art market. If you wandering around Bali, and decide to shop for Balinese souvenirs or special gifts, Sukawati Market probably is the most suitable choice for you. This traditional art market provides wide range of handicrafts, either in finished or semi-finished condition.

This market is very unique as it is already open in the early morning and visited by both domestic and foreign visitors. It is highly popular among visitors who spend their holiday in Bali. Within and even outside the market, you can find like a myriad of art shops that offers wide range of products. Simply one stop-shopping. One outlet may provide more than one item, like garments, souvenirs, paintings (unframed), basketry, colorful kites and so on. Many items sold in Kuta or other areas in Bali are mostly originate from here. So they are considerably cheaper if bought here. It is good place to explore the shopping experience in a natural way, get in touch with common people and see how the locals go about the art of negotiation. Shopping is also an art of experience. On the one hand, you may enjoy many kinds of art products all in one spot. It reflects the diversity of local art and crafts and the creativity of its people.

You will get a new experience in the 'art of buying'. You should bargain the price even though the vendor offers you a "morning price." Meaning especially low, to start off the trading day with a few promotion sales and hope to make the day a successful one. It does not mean you have to accept it as it is, it's not a fixed price. If you are good at bargaining you will get the best price you can afford, and the vendor keeps "smiling and thanking you". If they don't smile anymore, you know his cost is higher than your offer. Good at bargaining is a bit more than insisting on a price. The range of 60% to 70% from the price given by the vendor is usually an acceptable price.

Sukawati road-facing market located in the Gianyar Regency has a strategic position as it is passed through during the tour to some destinations to the east. With the increasing number of visitors each year, some local communities opened a similar art market, usually with a more modern structure, just before the 'original' Sukawati art market. The product list and the price are mostly the same, though, but the 'feel' is different. So make sure to have a local guide who can show you the 'original' market, where you can see one of the traditional market place in Bali.

Even though there are so many big and modern artshops in Bali nowadays, mostly accept credit card payment and some of them even open 24 hours, the existence of traditional art market is unique. The experience of dealing with local people, browsing the shops through small market alleys and sometimes bump onto a stranger, choosing what to buy from a pile of goods, and bargain for a good price is just...priceless.

Sukawati art market can be accessed through bemo transport, tour bus, or taxi. If you are equipped with a street map and confident with your map-reading skill, or simply accompanied by a local fellow, you can go there by motorcycle. Because it is a road-side market, you can easily see it, that's when you see great numbers of motorcycles and cars are parked in front of shops selling colorful items. Just before you reach Sukawati art market, you can visit Celuk village, the center of gold and silversmiths. Visitors can drop in after watching barong and local dance performance in the morning. Another attractions in Bali, which near Sukawati is Batubulan, it is also art center and offers various Balinese souvenir especially sculpture products.


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