Finding love in Bali is the thing to do for middle aged women from around the world ever since the bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert came out. Ubud especially benefited from the books climb to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list as that is where the author met her husband and followed a guru she had met on a previous trip. There are still signs everywhere claiming their piece of the pie and declaring their connection to the book.
The entire city of Ubud has transformed into a mecca for women of all ages with yoga for every level set amongst terraced rice fields, spas offering massages and organic scrub downs and cafes with all your favorite organic foods. But, what Ubud really excels at is retail therapy. For all those that come to find love, but are not successful they can console themselves with a new pair of shoes and a cute cocktail dress.
I wish I had been able to do more than window shop while we were in Ubud as they had a wide selection of clothes, handbags, soaps, kitchen supplies and homemade treats. Monkey Forest Road is where you’ll find all the upscale boutiques and more ways to be separated from your money then the rest of Indonesian islands combined. However, if you take a stroll to nearby Jalan Hanoman or Jalan Dewista you will find more wallet friendly prices as well as friendly staff, shaded cafes and a quieter shopping atmosphere.
I wouldn’t normally feature shopping as an attraction, but the stores were so inviting and the products unique it made me want to ship an entire box of goodies home. Below is a short tour of my favorite shops in Ubud:
Nava is a store that could have easily emptied my wallet. With a variety of Scandinavian style serving items and simple kitchen accessories I could have outfitted my entire kitchen with beautiful wooden and ceramic items. Utensils started as low as 20,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($2 USD) and larger items went up in price from there.
Renfua eco bag offers a variety of stylish bags for all purposes. The bags are machine washable, hand sewn and hand painted. They are mad of cotton and will only set you back about 200,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($22 USD) and up.
Pera Perak is a small jewelry shop with both inexpensive beaded jewelry and elaborate silver pieces. The simple beaded jewelry started at 20,000 ($2 USD) while the silver jewelry went from 100,000 to 800,000 ($11-$88 USD) a piece.
The aptly named Bags and Bling boutique features small clutches to beautifully made leather bags like the one above along with shoes, belts and jewelry. A small evening bag starts from 350,000 ($38 USD) and the hand-made bags can be more than 1 million ($109 USD).
With all the clothing shops in Ubdu it would be tough to pick a favorite, but Sini Aja stands out in the crowd. With their hand painted clothing each piece is one-of-a-kind. The prices are right, starting at 200,000 ($22 USD) and up.
Lem Viet Bali has beautiful leather goods from belts and bags to shoes. Prices start from 250,000 ($27 USD) for their colorful belts.
If clothes and accessories aren’t your thing then look no further than KOU Cuisine and body products. It may sound like an odd combination of items, but they divide their store between delicious condiments such as caramel jam and sumptuous bath products such as fragrant soaps and lotions. Kou soaps start at 20,000 ($2 USD) for the small ones and up to 100,000 ($11 USD) for large bars and packages. The culinary items are affordable as well with salt for 25,000 ($2.50 USD) and jam for 35,000 ($3.50 USD).
Whether you are looking to shop or just relax Ubud, Indonesia is a great place to while away a few days. You can explore the nearby rice terraces, take a yoga class or indulge in a week long retreat. Within a few kilometers of Ubud you can visit temples dating to the 11th century. If you are headed to Bali don’t miss Ubud, you may even find love…