When you touch down in the beautiful island of Bali, you’ll notice immediately that there are plenty of Bali souvenir options. The bustling streets are lined with souvenir shop after souvenir shop. These standard hole-in-the-wall souvenir shops in Bali are typically overpriced (you have to do some serious bargaining) and sell the same thing… how many “I Love Bali” and “Bintang” t-shirts can you possibly buy?
Despite what you might think from the outset, there are some beautiful and very meaningful Bali souvenirs you can find to take home with you as a little memento of your trip.
Traditionally, the Balinese people were mostly trained in arts and crafts so buying something of that nature is as authentic as you can get
There are indeed plenty of things you can buy in Bali. You can pick yourself up a gorgeous genuine leather handbag or wallet or some cool surf gear, but it’s not 100% Bali – these are things you can buy anywhere.
The thing to do is to hunt out those memorable keepsakes from Bali that really are Balinese; things that are made by the local Balinese people, things that are made out of original Balinese materials, and something that’s going to remind you of the unique Balinese culture. Traditionally, the Balinese people were mostly trained in arts and crafts so buying something of that nature is as authentic as you can get.
So we’ve compiled this list of some beautiful and (sometimes) useful Bali souvenirs and where you can find them!
Balinese Food Souvenirs
While they don’t last forever, Balinese food souvenirs make for a good gift, especially since it’s home to some of the most famous coffee in the world.
Are you a coffee lover or do you have a loved one back home that’s a coffee fanatic? Then you’ll have no problems knowing what to buy in Bali.
Bali is home to some of the best (and most expensive) coffee in the world. The island’s mix of lush jungle, hot sunshine, and rich volcanic earth means that Bali produces some of the best coffee varieties ever. Look out for the Robusta or Arabica coffee beans, or if you want to really buy a unique coffee variety, buy some Lombok coffee (just don’t tell whoever you’re giving it to how it’s made)!
If you’re stuck with what to get some of your foodie friends back home, treat them to some traditional Balinese snacks. Kacang Matahari is probably Bali’s most popular snack. These fried peanuts boast a unique taste of dry and sweet. Perfect for an after dinner treat, a beer snack or an in between meal grazing snack, Kacang Matahari will surely be a hit amongst your nut loving friends and family.
Traditional Balinese Wood Carvings
The Guardian Spirit of Bali, Barong masks are popular Bali souvenirs. These intricately designed wooden masks have both a fun and scary element to them. Typically worn in the traditional Balinese Barong dance that highlights good versus evil, they’re also often hung in the home to ward off evil spirits. So if you’re looking for a piece of Balinese art that represents the strong Balinese culture, the Barong mask is always a good option.
if you’re looking for a piece of Balinese art that represents the strong Balinese culture, the Barong mask is always a good option
If you’re a fan of trendy home décor and homeware, you’ll fall in love with the beautifully carved wooden bowls, serving spoons, and trays. Use them as cool-looking functional items or as decoration, but whatever you choose, there’s no denying that these carved homeware items from Bali, which are typically made of rosewood, teak and suar, are excellent souvenirs from Bali – you won’t find anything like this back home!
Woven Ata Crafts
Have you ever wondered about those cool-looking woven flax-type bags and baskets you see everywhere in Bali? Made out of Ata, which is a traditional Indonesian plant used for weaving and hand knitting, you can pick up trendy place mats, wall hangings, small colourful trinket boxes, and beach bags, all of which make for the perfect and very useful Balinese souvenir.
You’re probably not going to find any silver jewelry that’s so intricate and affordable anywhere in the world. Bali is famous for its silversmiths, most of who hail from Celk, a small Balinese village. Pop in and see the silversmiths busy at work and buy some affordable one-off pieces of silver jewelry for a fraction of the price. If you can’t make it to Celk while you’re in Bali, you can still pick up silver in one of the many specialist silver shops in Ubud and Kuta.
Bali is famous for its silversmiths, most of who hail from Celk, a small Balinese village
Bali Essential Oils and Natural Soap
Pampering and spa treatments are synonymous with Bali. In fact when you think of Bali, you might automatically think of the renowned Balinese massage, so it comes as no surprise that Bali is also well known for a variety of aromatic essential oils. Made from natural Balinese materials, Bali essential oils are moisture rich and can be used for massages, dry skin, meditation and even as a luxury bath oil. You’ll be able to pick these up in some of the natural cosmetics shops in Legian and Denpasar or upmarket spas and hotels.
Made from natural Balinese materials, Bali essential oils are moisture rich and can be used for massages, dry skin, meditation and even as a luxury bath oil
Natural soaps are also huge in Bali. Usually made out of a mixture of natural essential oils and other vitamin-rich products, these are great as souvenirs, small gifts, or you can just use them in your home. They look pretty and they’re perfect for all skin types. Kou and Alami are two prominent boutique stores in Bali that specialise in soaps and other natural beauty products; what will your scent be?
Dupa, otherwise known as incense is everywhere. As soon as you touch down in Dempasar, you’ll smell the distinct aromas of burning incense. Visit a spa and the sweet smells of sandalwood will waft around you as you lie on the massage table. Or just walk down the street and see the numerous daily offerings on the roadside with incense burning. Take the smells of Bali back home, either for yourself or for friends, and you’ll be constantly reminded of your times in Bali.
Dupa, otherwise known as incense is everywhere
The Balinese Sarong
Sarongs are a huge part of everyday life in Bali. Men, women and children all wear sarongs, typically when they enter a temple or attend a ceremony, however, many traditional Balinese people in the villages still wear these on a daily basis.
the Balinese sarong makes for a fabulous souvenir or gift to bring home
Bali sarongs are distinct. They’re not your average sarongs. Colourful with geometric batik designs, the Balinese sarong makes for a fabulous souvenir or gift to bring home that you can choose to wear at the beach, use as, a chair throw, a wall hanging or even a curtain; the choice is yours!
A Bali Kite
Bali is renowned for its kites and kite making. It’s not uncommon for young children to head down to the beach and fly their beautifully designed colourful kite in the hope of it reaching the Gods. Kites can be seen everywhere in Bali, and there are even a number of popular kite festivals at some of Bali’s most famous beaches, like Sanur.
You haven’t seen a kite until you’ve seen one of Bali’s 3D kites. While they may look bulky and you’re wondering how you could possibly fit this into your luggage, it doesn’t matter because these kites, which are sold at the many beachfront markets in Sanur and Kuta, easily fold down. From ferocious mighty dragons to colourful proud peacocks, the range of kite designs is endless.
Where to Shop for Bali Souvenirs
Most people leave their souvenir shopping to the last minute. If you fall into the same category and you’re looking for some Oleh Oleh Khas Bali (customary Bali gifts), the trick is to either pick them up as you see them or head to one of the main shopping streets in Bali where you’ll need to dedicate at least half a day to shopping towards the end of your trip.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to bargain. If there’s no fixed price, start at 25% of the price the shop owner states and work from there. Bargaining with the Balinese is an experience, but it’s also part of their custom – they expect it!
The main shopping streets of Bali where you’ll definitely find everything listed above are:
Sunset Road No. 88, Kuta
Jalan Raya Ubud
Jl. Monkey Forest
Jalan Raya Seminyak