I wasn’t quite expecting it, but Ubud is a shopping mecca. Not only is it a shopping mecca, but it’s a shopping mecca with style.
Yes there is a lot of tacky touristy shops with mass produced products (which has its purpose), but smattered everywhere were these funky little shops with beautiful hand made things. I couldn’t get over how prettily everything was set out and I was drawn in to a number of shops.
Kou Cuisine – This is a popular little shop on Jl. Monkey Forest is filled with hand made jam and salt. So many different little jars of jam are available to buy (and taste), such as Mango jam, apple cinnamon jam, pineapple and guava jam, and my favourite – stawberry and banana jam. Kou also sells a few jars of Kusamba salt (Bali is known for their salt, and this is just one type that is available), and a small variety of homewares. I ducked in and tasted a number of jams, as well as their milk caramel jam. Who can resist milk caramel jam???? Certainly not me.
So I came out with a jar of strawberry and banana jam, milk caramel jam, and also a jar of Kusamba salt (I’m a bit of a salt nut) to bring home. The jams were around $4AUD, and the plain Kusamba salt was under $3AUD.
Kou has another shop on Jl. Dewi Sita (or was it Jl. Hanoman??) that focusses on organic soaps and bath products. They have full size soap available as well as cute little blocks wrapped in paper like lollies. Perfect for little gifts and at 8000IDR (or around 90 cents), you can buy a heap of them and they won’t break the bank. My favourite was the peppermint one.
Koko – This centrally located shop sells Indonesian basketware. While you can buy most of the rattan woven ware at the Ubud market, you can buy it here without having to bargain (and it’s not any more expensive than the markets after a hard bout of bargaining) and it is all of good quality. Koko is focussed on the Japanese market, as anyone who has been to Japan and pays attention to kimonos would know that traditional kimono bags are often made from finely woven rattan. Probably from Indonesia! The sales assistant was very nice and took the time to explain how the rattan is processed. I ended up buying quite a few items as I (a) love hand made items; (b) love handbags; and (c) it was pretty cheap. They are due to go online for retail sales but it is for the Japanese market and the website will be in Japanese. The basket handbag on the back left of the picture below cost around $28AUD.
Bulan Madu – If you haven’t noticed yet, I love hand made products. This small shop is located on Jl. Monkey Forest and sells tastefully tie dyed products such as tunics, dresses, pajamas, lounge pants, curtains, bags, and aprons. All made in small production lines, they use natural dyes and make small, fine patterns by making little knots in the material. I bought a tunic top with a little pattern along the hemline and also along one side of the neckline for around $10AUD. I also bought a half-apron for around $5AUD.
Wangi Wangi – This shop is located on Jl. Hanoman and makes soft furnishings for your home. curtains, coverlets, cushion covers and other small items like pouches feature in this shop. Most items are made from cotton. I picked up two cushion covers for around $9AUD each. I would have bought more things, but I was running out of space and cash…