Karna Shopping Street │Bali. To experience the most lively areas of a city, we always head for the markets and shopping streets! Karna Street in Ubud caters mostly to tourists, so you won’t find much besides gifts and handicrafts, but it should not be missed. Like many markets in popular Asian cities, this is an oasis for tourists. In fact, all of the Ubud Markets are a one-stop-shop for anything you want to buy for souvenirs and a great place to experience the culture of Bali. This is one of the reasons that we love markets so much – they really do boast the cities brightest sights, sounds and smells. Busy and crowded as these markets may be, they shouldn’t be missed. We passed through Karna Shopping Street a couple of times, and just before sunset we found that most of the vendors were eager to strike up deals – perhaps in an effort to make a few final sales before packing up for the day.
Karna Street houses more art and craft products than you could imagine. From hand carved statues, paintings and hand woven bags to ice cream, personalized name signs, and a wide range of clothing options. Many of the vendors kept saying “only a dollar”, while holding out items they were trying to sell. We later figured out that, due to Bali’s popularity amongst Australian tourists, they were not talking about the American dollar. They were referring to the Australian dollar, which meant that the items were even cheaper than we had first assumed. Of course, shouting “only a dollar” is a good hook to get those passing by to stop and have a look. It is hard to look at anything in the markets in Bali without getting bombarded from every angle. The vendors are quite aggressive here. They will hold onto your arm and beg for you to buy something. They really tug at your heartstrings. If only the vendors knew how this causes many of us to feel overwhelmed and simply walk away.
We loved the small alleyways that lead off the main market street here. There were a number of hostels, traditional compounds, and businesses hidden in tiny walkways. So much to see and experience. Markets are amazing!