One of my intentions for this trip was to pick up a painting from Ubud, but that wasn’t to be. We were limited by time – traveling in traffic from Tanjung Benoa to Ubud ate into precious time, and the heat – the heat just made me long for the hotel room.
We did manage to stop by one artist studio outside of Ubud and woodworking shop in Mas. The problem with tour guides bringing you to specific places is that it raises skepticisms about the shops.
We did finally get some reprieve from the heat at the Monkey Sanctuary Forest after our ordeal at Gunung Kawi.
Joined the monkeys in a nice shaded walk,
and were recharged to go check out some other sights before we were off souvenir shopping.
Souvenir shopping in Bali is not straightforward like it is elsewhere. In other countries, there’s a list price you pay. In Bali, the vendor gives you a starting price, and you’re expected to counter. The haggling process ends when you arrive at a price you’re both satisfied with. I’d been wanting to get a Buddha head for years, but all the ones I’d seen in the US either just did not look right or the price was unreasonable. Finally, I spotted the perfect one in Ubud. When I asked for the price, the lady typed in 250,000(about $20) on her calculator. I made a face indicating it was too steep, so she asked me to type in what I wanted to pay. After a brief back and forth on the calculator, we settled at 150,000 RP. I thought I had scored, until later when our tour guide said people who are good at it, can get 60% off the asking!
No worries. I plan on going back to Ubud, and I’ll be ready then…