21 January 2013

Bali - Sukawati, traditional souvenir market

Traders at Sukawati Market in Gianyar are worried about the future of this iconic traditional art market, since they have been experiencing decreasing profits.

Slowly but surely, this market will go bankrupt if there is no effort to revitalize it. Some buyers preferred to shop at kiosks located on the outer parts of the market, since they were more accessible. Traders located inside have to struggle to attract the market visitors to have a look at the items they sell in their narrow kiosks located along the dim alleyways inside the market. Piles of cloth and souvenirs stacked inside the 4-square-meter kiosks make the place seem even narrower.

Last week, more than 100 vendors staged a protest at the Gianyar regent’s office over the local police’s ban on parking vehicles on the side of the street. They said people had no other choice than to park there due to the limited number of parking spaces provided by the market management. No big tourist buses were seen at the market. A large group of domestic tourists preferred instead to go to the Guwang art market, which has a larger parking lot. Some souvenir supermarkets have been established along the road to Sukawati, including on Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai in Sanur, in Batubulan and Mas village.

But for me still the best place in Bali to shop for souvenirs.

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