Perhaps almost everyone who’s been to Kuta has been approached by someone offering a souvenir—such as the bow and arrow. “Cheap, sir,” he say, unwrapping a sheet of newspaper covering the bow.
Hearing that he’s selling a cheap souvenir, it’s understandable that you’re interested. But here’s a tip: if you’re not rushing something, try not to buy one. Besides, it’s not cheap at all. “I’m gonna go home next week, anyway. I need something to bring back home.” Well, no worries. You still have plenty of time to buy one of these souvenirs:
The Legendary Bintang T-Shirt
Bintang t-shirt is pretty much the same with Beer Chang t-shirt in Thailand or Angkor in Cambodia, or Bia Ha Noi in Vietnam. Almost every tourist who’s been to Bali has this t-shirt, even if, perhaps, not all of them has ever drunk a bottle of Bintang.
The good news is you don’t need to visit the beer factory to get the t-shirt. All you have to do is taking a little stroll to the art market in Poppies Lane II—you won’t sweat yourself. It won’t be difficult at all for you to find one since almost all of the shops have it. It’s cheap, but make sure to haggle a little.
The Absurd yet Funny “Joger” T-Shirt
You’ll have no idea how to react after reading the funny words written on a Joger t-shirt. (The similar experience you get when watching The Simpsons or Family Guy … or Ted.) However, though absurd and funny, the writings on Joger t-shirts also contain cirticism of the Balinese urban life.
Since Joger has been more popular among the local than foreign tourists, most of the words are in bahasa Indonesia. But no worries, it also has t-shirts written in English. Here’s a tip before buying a Joger t-shirt: there are a lot of counterfeit versions of Joger sold in the market. The genuine t-shirts are sold only in two Joger outlets, on Jalan Raya Kuta and in Tabanan.
The Delicious “Pie Susu”
Pie susu means milk pie. Unlike any other pie, it’s very small, only twice the size of a penny. But it’s delicious. Topped with sweetened condensed milk, the combination of the taste will make your mouth wet instantly.
One of the most popular pie susu in Bali is “Pie Susu Enaaak.” One of the shops is located on Jalan Dewi Sri VIII Blok B No. 8, Legian. If you’re staying around Kuta, it is within walking distance. Since pie susu is really tempting, make sure you don’t finish the whole package when going back to your hotel. You’re gonna take it home, remember?
The Confusing yet Tempting Luwak Coffee
There’s only one creature in the known universe allowed not to flush its dung after taking a dump: the civet (or luwak in bahasa Indonesia). After digesting coffee beans, people will happily collect their shit, wash it, dry it, roast it, and grind it. People will sell it and serve to the market as a premium coffee.
The civet literally “turns shit into gold.” Luwak coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world. A cup of coffee luwak is sold around USD100 in New York and London! If you want to buy some luwak coffee beans, go up north to Gianyar. There are several coffee farms selling luwak coffee in Gianyar regency, one of which is Bali Pulina, Jalan Banjar Pujung Kelod, Sebatu village, Tegallalang.
The Unique Lontar Artwork of Tenganan Village
Decorated with lontar leave artworks, your living room would be a lot more artistic. You can find this kind of artwork in one of the oldest villages in Bali, Tenganan Pegringsingan, which is renowned for its legendary kain gringsing and Perang Pandan or Pandan War.
There are several lontar artwork artists in Tenganan, each of which has its own distinctive style. There are those who are inspired by sacred manuscripts, yet there are those whose works are inspired by the architecture of the Balinese traditional buildings. You’re free to choose. Since it’s not cheap, take a look at their works before buying one.
The Relaxing Aromatherapy Candles, Myrrh, and Frankincense
If your nose can talk, it’ll say: “I love Bali!” Why? Because the air of Bali smells really nice. How come? Because people burn myrrh and fankincense and aromatherapy candles all the time!
For the sake of nostalgia of your extraordinary days in Bali, it’d be nice to bring a couple of the aromatic substances home. They won’t be difficult to find. All you need to do is going to one of the artshops scattered all over Bali.
The Bottled Balinese Alcoholic Drinks
There are three kinds of authentic alcoholic drinks in Bali: beer, brem, and arak. Beer is nice, but too industrial. The second one is rather traditional; the fermented product of sugar palm fruit—not too strong. The third one is the distilled version of brem and the purest … and the strongest.
Brem and arak are mostly homemade and sold all over the island. But you can also find the bottled version of those alcoholic drinks in the mini market or liquor stores. “Do you have a recommendation?” Well, try Dewi Sri’s. It is one of the oldest and the best bottled brem and arak in Bali.
So which souvenir you wanna buy?