Our last port of call in Bali was Denpasar, not far from the airport. Here we had just one day and night before taking a Cathay Pacific flight back to London, via Hong Kong. Our plan for this 24 hours was to get in as much souvenir shopping as possible, since we had discovered that Denpasar is known for its excellent and inexpensive markets and stores.
We were admiring her coconut soup bowls. The previous day we had been looking at similar bowls for sale in the central Ubud market. The seller had been asking for IDR 90,000 (€5.50) per bowl, which seemed to us a little steep (see below for some better prices).
The lady from Run’s Warung told us the Ubud market was too expensive – with prices aimed at unsuspecting tourists. She said she bought her own wooden plates and utensils from the Badung market in Denpasar.
Well, this was a useful revelation, and very timely – near the beginning of out trip – before we’d had time to spend cash on souvenirs. So, we decided to postpone such purchases until we returned to Denpasar at the end of our trip.
Our Hotel in Denpasar – The H Sovereign Bali
Our hotel in Denpasar – the H Sovereign Bali – is located close to the airport. We paid IDR 575,000 (€35) for a double room for the one night, including breakfast.
Our plan was to check in early at the hotel, and then spend the afternoon and following day shopping at the Badung market.
The hotel was comfortable and friendly – everything we needed for our final night in Bali. Just off the main lobby of the hotel we found a couple of places to eat.
We had a decent evening meal at the Maisa Japanese restaurant, and a good breakfast snack the following morning at the Owl Stone Cafe and Bakery.
Denpasar Markets – Secret to Souvenir Shopping in Bali
The following day it wast a 40-minute taxi journey through the heavily congested streets of Denpasar to reach the Badung market near the center of city.
Our Bluebird taxi ran on a meter, with the fare coming to just over IDR 100,000 (€6).
Badung Market, Denpasar
On the particular day we were visiting (Sunday) the market was only open for half a day. In fact, by the time we arrived, many of the stalls were already shutting down.
However, we were still able to find places to shop. The prices here were certainly lower than the markets in Ubud, but nothing to get too excited about, and the shopkeepers drive a hard bargain.
We ended up buying a few small souvenirs but (luckily for us) we didn’t blow the remainder of our indonesian currency here.
The 24-hour Krisna Store
We had almost given up on our shopping hopes when we found Krisna’s – literally within a stone’s throw of our hotel – the H Sovereign Bali – on the Jalan Raya Tuban No. 2.
If you’re looking for low-cost souvenirs in Bali, then don’t waste your time trying to haggle down the outrageous prices of the Ubud and (to a slightly lesser extent) Denpasar markets.
Instead, save your cash and head over to Rama Krishna. Here, you can purchase many of the same market items at 1/3 of the price.
Krishna’s is a 24-hour indoor store selling a wide variety of goods and souvenirs at knock-down prices.
At Krisna’s, there’s nobody trying to pressure you into a sale. No need even to haggle: The prices of all items are clearly marked and are non-negotiable.
Whatever you do, don’t save any of your Indonesian currency for last-minute purchases at the airport. There we saw identical items we had bought at Krisna’s – but at 3 to 4 times the price.
Sample Souvenir costs at Krisna’s in Denpasar
Here is a price-sample of some of the items on offer at Krisna’s:
- Spices – white pepper, chilli, whole black pepper, really red chilli
IDR 180,000 (€12): 3 euros each for the 4 spices
- Men’s shorts & top – IDR 75,000 (€5)
- Women’s Asian-style trousers – IDR 75,000 (€5)
- 4 Coconut bowls – IDR 120,000 (€8)
- Set of woven placemats and extras – IDR 45,000 (€3)
- A selection of exotic fruit, including Soursop, mango, salak, and dragon fruit – IDR 75,000 (€5)
- Himalaya creams from the Pharmacy – IDR 75,000 (€5)
- Sarong and batik sheets – IDR 75,000 (€5)
Having emptied our wallets (and filled our rucksacks) at Krisna’s, we were just about ready for our long-haul flight back to Europe.
Our Cathay Pacific flight would get us to London in the early morning. This would give us the chance to do a lightning-tour of the city before catching our last flight home in the evening from London Luton.
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