If you are in Bali and want to do some serious shopping for local arts and crafts, despite its reputation Pasar Kumbasari in Denpasar is not the place to go. And while you may be able to barter for a tacky souvenir for a price a bit cheaper than you’ll get elsewhere on the island, Kumbasari’s neighbor – equally touted as the place to shop – Pasar Badung is not the answer either.
Located right next to each other, separated only by the Badung River, and with seven floors of shops combined, you’d think these two markets would be a shopaholic’s paradise. But both are more traditional markets and both exist to serve the local populace, not the touri crowd. Pasar Badung is the more popular of the two, lower floors of the market are filled with vendors selling meat, fish, fruit, and veggies. The upper floors are for spices and traditional Balinese and Muslim attire as well as Balinese ceremonial equipment such as umbrellas and baskets. Pasar Kumbasari, on the other hand, is purely an art market, stocking sarongs, paintings, textiles, woodcarvings, and other souvenir items, few of which are made in Bali.
While neither market offers much for the average touri shopping-wise, a visit to the area is still worth your time. Photo-ops abound and the color of a traditional Balinese market makes for a memorable outing. The ground floor areas of Pasar Badung are a maze of Balinese ladies preparing and selling traditional Balinese snack foods battling for space along the narrow aisles with fruit sellers and flower vendors. It’s a riotous mix of scents and colors and a much better view of how the locals live – and shop – than you’ll find in the island’s heavily touristed areas.
Related Posts You Might Enjoy: