Bali is well known for its transformative and peaceful energy. In the Island of Gods, the daily rituals, the incredible beaches, and luxurious forests and the endless flowers everywhere, will offer a feeling of bliss we want to last forever. A beautiful way to take that energy back with you and share it with your loved ones is to choose some Bali souvenirs you can regularly use. Yes, that’s right! More than just a pin to put on your fridge, we have chosen the best souvenirs from Bali for you to keep the island always in your mind and heart.
Stay in Bali for a few days and you will be taken aback by its charming atmosphere. The magic of Bali goes beyond its landscapes, colours or the unforgettable rice fields, there is a vibe in the air that everyone can feel and turns it into one of the most desired destinations.
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The most amazing (and useful) Bali souvenirs
Bali souvenirs are pretty much all connected to strong traditions and local products. Some of them are organic and handcrafted which means you will be helping the local economy and the life of Balinese families.
From clothes to scents, jewellery to food and home decor, there is a wide range of options. Plan some time to immerse in the local markets, visit artisan shops, talk to local people and learn more about the local way of life. It’s a perfect way to get a closer appreciation of its traditions and beliefs. If you end up buying another bag to carry all the things you couldn’t help but buy, we promise you’re not the first traveller to do so.
To give you some ideas, here are some of the best souvenirs from Bali.
Itak & Batik: quality and traditional fabrics
Ikat is a dyeing technique that consists of binding individual yarns with tight wrapping. The yarns are then dyed, and the bindings can be altered, to create different patterns. Once the dyeing is finished, the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth. While in batik the wax-resist is applied to the woven cloth, in ikat it's applied to the yarns before woven. Ikat textiles are easily recognized because of its “blurriness” design. There are only three places in the world where ikat is used as a process, Japan, India, and Bali. Therefore, it’s one of the most local and traditional Bali souvenirs.
Although batik isn’t as exclusive as the ikat, its popularity is even higher. Recognized as Indonesian heritage by UNESCO, it’s production has been growing in the last years. Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing, made either by drawing dots and lines with a tool called a canting or by printing the wax-resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes, allowing the artisan to repeat the process of soaking the cloth in different colours, creating colourful patterns.
Both techniques result in incredibly high-quality fabrics that you can find as skirts, dresses, shorts, shirts, for both men and women, or simply the cloth.
Silver Jewellery, a special Bali souvenir
Balinese jewellery, in general, is very charming. The silver tradition is one of the most ancient we can find in Bali. It all started when the Chinese immigration raise to Indonesia, during the 5th century, BC. The art of working metals started by developing in other islands, but the growth of the Islamic religion in the country pressured the Hindus to live in Bali, with many of the silversmiths migrating to the last Hindu island. Bali became a sanctuary for these Hindus, amongst them, noblemen and craftsmen who carried the silver tradition.
The main city where silver jewellery is produced is Celuk, but you don’t need to plan a visit in order to get your art pieces. Especially in Ubud, you can find specialized jewellery shops. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, medals, or even decoration, can be found, and the prices are fairly good.
Rattan bags are probably one of the most wanted Bali souvenirs. These bags are so beautiful and convenient and are also used in interior design. Make sure you get one as soon as you arrive since it’s the perfect match for any program on the island. Relaxed but at the same time chic, with the right size to carry everything you need. If you are a guy travelling with girls, share the tip!
Each bag is unique in Bali, and the process is artisanal, they are made with the leaf ribs and stalks of the Ata plant that abounds in Indonesia. The traditional manual making of these bags takes a long time, and it’s part of the Balinese ancestral knowledge and culture.
Cosmetics… you could eat!
There is a saying that states we should only put on our external bodies, what we can eat! Wait, we’re not telling you to go around Bali bitting soaps and shampoos, but the fact that almost all the cosmetics and beauty products are organically and locally produced puts them into that category of healthy products. Plus, have you ever noticed how naturally beautiful and young-looking the Balinese are? Organic cosmetics are their secret.
You can see beauty shops everywhere in Bali, but besides that, you can also easily find great cosmetics and buy them for yourself, or as a souvenir from Bali. The most common products are scrubs, soaps, and shampoo. Lemongrass, flowers, or fruits like coconut are just some of their incredible components.
If you have never been to Bali before, we have to tell you a secret, you’ll get addicted to massages. It’s a big thing on the island, and the price is very affordable. You can purchase massage oils and use them at home for their great aromas. A little reminder of how relaxed you felt in Bali.
Bali Sarong, one-piece fits all
Once you start visiting the sacred temples all over the island, you’ll be requested to use a sarong. A sarong is a cloth, both men and women are required to use in temples as long skirts, to cover the legs.
Made of lightweight materials, it’s the perfect souvenir from Bali since it’s easy to carry. They are also super trendy, quite cheap and you can find them literally, everywhere!
With beautiful patterns, sarongs are used as beach towels, dresses, shawls, home decoration… well, they are basically perfect and fit everything and everyone!
Lolok, something for good luck
The lolok (which is a penis for good luck) can be found as a souvenir everywhere in Bali, and in every shape. It can be a funny present, and since they are sold as different products, you can buy it as a keychain or a bottle opener. Ok, we know what you are thinking now. We promised to give you a list of Bali souvenirs that will keep the energy of the island with you, or your friends, and now we are talking about a phallus. There is an explanation.
These wood articles are in fact part of and tradition and belief of Balinese Hinduism. It is used as a protection and good-luck amulet. Before the evolution of science, when the natal mortality was extremely high, they would tight it to the babies, for them to grow up healthy and strong. The Balinese believe these figures keeps the evil spirits away.
Therefore, if you have friends going through a rough phase, make them laugh and boost their positive energy with an unusual souvenir.
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Barong, the sacred wooden masks
As the lolok, you will find a lot of different wooden carvings, but the most special are the Barong masks. These masks are not only aesthetically appealing, but they also have a spiritual meaning. Remnants of the animist religions of the island before the arrival of the Hinduism ended up incorporated in the new religion.
They represent different gods, which are considered to be present in all things, and are used in religious rituals, dances, and even personal ceremonies, such as weddings, funerals or in the celebration of individual achievements. The masks are a medium for ancestral spirits to visit the physical world, and the material, the time, the process of every mask results in a different meaning, role, and function.
Although the traditional masks were not used as decoration, it’s possible to find versions that you can purchase for decorative purposes. It reminds us of a very important lesson in the Balinese culture, that we need to work and live towards a balanced life.
Gamelan, the Gods’ sounds with you
Balinese music or the sounds of the Gods goes way beyond art, it’s part of the soul of the island. It is charming and hypnotic and can be heard during ceremonies and rituals. The locals need to train for quite a long time to master it, so it’s many times heard on the streets, or close to your hotels and guesthouses.
In the Balinese culture, they consider there are five necessary sounds to complete a ritual. Gamelan is one of those five sounds and every tone symbolizes God. Gamelan is consequently, considered a sacred instrument. Because of that, it’s natural to see its owner pray before playing and treat it always carefully and respectfully. The Balinese fast tempo music style is dynamic, loud and expressive. It boosts feelings of joy, peace, and happiness.
You can always by a Gamelan, but it might not be easy to take one back home. Because of that, they have created the Gamelan balls. Small and nice, the simplest way to close your eyes and travel back to the island through the sound of Bali
Coffee and chocolate, heaven's flavour
Almost 100% of the travellers would wish to find a magical way to take back home the unbelievable flavours of Bali.
Balinese coffee and chocolate are both flavours of heaven. We recommend the organic factories and shops of Ubud, where you can find different tastes, sizes, and textures. Make sure you taste all of them while you are still on the island, and then pick up your favourites and try to make them last until you land in your home country again.
When it comes to coffee, make sure you opt for a brand that respects the environment, animals and the human conditions of the workers. Our choice goes to the coffee from Kintamani Once back home, invite your closest friends for a coffee and share this wonder of Bali. Everything's better when shared!
Dupa, the scents of the Island of Gods
Our last suggestion is dupa. Easy to carry, cheap, simple, but definitely, one of our favourites. Why? Once you step into the airport, the first thing you’ll notice is the scent. That’s when you know, you have arrived at the Island of Gods. Dupa is a stick that yields aromatic scents once you light it up.
Balinese people practice their rituals every single day and dupa is part of the ritual. Buy these incredible aromatic sticks as souvenirs and recreate the wonderful atmosphere of Bali right in your home.
Whether you are about to start your dream trip to Bali, or you are already exploring the island, make sure you take some time to purchase an array of souvenirs from Bali. Your family and friends will appreciate it.
And one last tip, always say thank you with a smile and a nice Terima Kasih.
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