Though Bali is renowned for its sea, sand, and sun, once the sun goes down it doesn’t necessarily mean that all you can do is taking shelter at your hotel. Yes, it is too dark to gaze at the sea, and you’re most-likely gonna attract the attention of the coast guards when you bury yourself underneath the sands in the dark.
But no worries. There are still plenty of things left to do actually, such as paying a visit to these 5 unique night markets you must “go-to”:
Sanur Night Market
Being left earlier by the sun because it is situated on the eastern side of the island doesn’t make Sanur beach deserted after dark. By dusk every night, food stalls selling countless dishes beckons people using their aromatic fumes produced when they are processing menus such as satay, nasi goreng, seafood, Chinese food, and Balinese traditional snacks.
When you are tired of eating the Western dishes of Kuta Lanes or Legian’s, you definitely have to come to this night food bazaar, which is located on Jalan Toba, Sanur. .Do not expect a five-star greetings, but here, taste matters. But make sure you go to Sanur Night Market earlier (around 7 or 8 pm), because by 9 pm most of the menus may have already gone. Taste matters, remember?
Gianyar Night Market
Staged in the heart of Gianyar Regency, this night market is within reach if you are staying in Ubud. If not feeling too peckish , those staying in the southern part of the island can always roam by their scooter up north to this night bazaar just to do some shopping. Compared to the crowded Kuta, Gianyar Night Market is a monastery.
This market starts earlier and ends later than Sanur Night Market. Since it is literally a market, you can also find other items besides food and beverages. If you go there straight from your surf spot and—only God knows why—you forget to wear a t-shirt, Gianyar Night Market has many stalls selling cheap clothings and other fashion accessories.
Taman Sari Night Market
Located on Jalan Tangkuban Perahu No. 2, Kerobokan Kelod, from the break of dawn until dusk Taman Sari Market is where you can balance the dosage of vitamin “sea” and vitamin C within your body; the traditional market sells various tropical fruits from mango to mangosteen with reasonable price which you can bargain.
But as the dark sets, it transforms into a festive night market with food stalls scattered, where you can have a bite to eat—or two. Who can resist the temptation to taste a bowl of meatball soup after finishing a full plate of grilled chicken satay, anyway? The night market is open daily from 5 to 12 pm.
Kereneng Night Market
Here is a rule of thumb when it comes to finding a place to eat during a holiday: “Eat where the locals eat.” Kereneng Night Market on Jalan Kamboja, East Denpasar, is always occupied mostly by the hungry Bali residents.
Opens from 6 pm to 2 am, Kereneng Night Market offers various kinds of local dishes, such as the omnipresent babi guling, nasi jinggo, or the Javanese’s nasi campur. Make sure you ask for the food price or ask for the menu before ordering. If it was too pricey, you could always go to other stalls.
Kumbasari Market on Jalan Gajah Mada, Denpasar, supplies nutrients for both your soul and body. As one of the oldest art markets in Bali (launched in the late 70’s), Kumbasari offers various kinds of Balinese’ signature artworks and souvenirs with reasonable prices. But try not to linger here too long because you’re gonna need an extra baggage since there are so many unique things to buy here—batik clothes, woven fabrics, carvings, paintings, and even jewelries
Once you’ve already got your souvenirs, it is time to fulfill your hunger. Around 6 pm everyday food stalls selling local food and beverages will be installed around Kumbasari Market, like that of Siem Reap’s old market in Cambodia.
So are you ready for a night ride to one of these must “go-to” night markets?
Text by: Fuji Adriza