A holiday agenda can quickly fill up trying to satisfy everyone’s expectations – I want relaxation, you want adventure and the kids need impressive new profile pictures – but it all works out, and in the end, we all want the same thing: souvenirs.
Picking up gifts and treating yourself to something exotic is part of a good tourist experience. This is especially true in Bali, where there is a great selection of things to buy – genuine leather bags, wallets and sun hats are priced at a good value but are not exclusive to the locale. Opposites are key chains, pens and T-shirts which scream “I – only in Bali but not made from the finest materials.
With a bit of effort, you can take home keepsakes that are true to their origins – goods made from local materials that represent the Balinese culture and traditions of artistic expression. The ornately carved statues, exotic Batik patterns, beautifully adorned temples and carefully handcrafted everyday items are what make Bali so special and memorable. Well, not all of these fit nicely into a suitcase.
So which asli (real) products from Bali are beautiful, useful items you can easily carry with you to be reminded of Bali for years to come? This list of souvenirs worth buying has pictures to inspire your shopping wish list and tips about where to go to find Bali’s treasure without a hunt.
Patung Kayu (Wood Carvings)
Barong masks are a prevailing Bali souvenir. Barong is Bali’s guardian spirit, and masks worn to play Barong and Rangda in the traditional dance about good and evil are sacred. Nothing is more representative of Balinese art and culture than a hand-carved Barong mask made from local wood.
Matching wood figures seated together to bring good luck and fertility to couples. Balinese pairs sit with their hands together in a welcoming gesture, making them easy to tell apart from similar Javanese dolls.
Wooden bowls, serving trays and other dishes are great for serving food or as décor. The best are made from a single piece of wood and feel heavy without being cumbersome. Some of the most beautiful hardwoods local to Bali are teak, suar, rosewood and sonokoling.
Baskets, boxes, platters and hats with different weaving patterns are handmade in Bali from rattan and wicker sourced from palm plants in Indonesia’s forests.