Bali is a shopper’s paradise. One product that is extremely popular with visitors to the “Island of the Gods” is batik. Many small shops sell batik products, ranging from wall hangings to table clothes to men’s, ladies, and children’s clothing. Prices and quality range from one extreme to another. A great way to see a wide range of Batik product, and also how it is made, is to hire a driver for a half day. This will set you back about 200,000 Indonesian Rupiah or roughly 20.00US. Half a day should be five hours, although our driver short changed us by about 45 minutes. He was in a hurry to get to a relative’s wedding, so we didn’t say anything.
Most of the batik “factory” shops are in close proximity to each other. Travel time is about 25 minutes from Ubud in the town of Batubulan. We visited the following:
1. Batik Popiler II……Phone 361-46397
The batik here was beautiful, and VERY expensive. Before going into the showroom we were able to watch workers producing the batik. Most of them are women, and they were all working on silk wall hangings and shawls. The colors and patterns were fantastic, as were the prices. The silk batik pieces retailed between 600.00 and 1000.00US. The cotton products were much cheaper, but still pricey. Our driver seemed anxious for us to buy here, so I think he was getting a commission.
2. Cap Galuh…..Phone: 361-298304
This is where the locals shop. Everything was cheap, and the quality not always that great. This is a great place to pick up sarongs for around 3US. Be sure to check the sarongs carefully. Many have major flaws like holes and tears. However, there are nice ones to be had, if you take the time to check them over. We also found some cheap men’s shirts that were an acceptable quality. In addition to the cheap prices we received a discount coupon.
3. Sari Amerta Batik Collection….Phone: 361-299057
This was my favorite of the three shops. The prices here are in the medium to high range. There is a large selection of men’s and ladies clothing. If you are in the market for table clothes and napkins this is the place. Like the first store, you can also tour the workshop. We bought batik bags here, and a dress for a gift.
A half day is plenty of time to travel to and browse the shops. Be warned, when we were there none of the shops had the air conditioning on, so all three were VERY hot. Numbers 1 and 3 had areas where customers could sit. They also allowed smoking, which really surprised me! The prices are advertised as “fixed”, but if you are buying a lot or an expensive piece, negotiation is possible.