Going to Ubud’s central market ~ Bali, Indonesia

Sometimes jetlag can be a good thing.


We are easily up and out the door on our motorbike and on the way to the local market at 7 a.m.  We’ve been told that by 9 a.m, when the tourists start flocking in, the “real market” makes way for a  “crafts bazaar”.  We have little appetite for that kind of touristy set up, and conversely plenty of appetite for the real thing.

We love markets, especially new ones in new countries. Markets are always a place to experience the people in their most natural environment, buying and selling the food that they will serve their families.

First observation is that before getting into the fruit and vegetable market, there is a large section that is dedicated to offerings.  Those too busy with modern jobs to put together bamboo leaf packets and to cut flower petals from their gardens can go to the market to select and buy  offerings.

Either way, offerings will be made to the Gods before just about any Balinese gets into the rhythm of their day.

Bright fuschia hydrangea petals in a basket, brighten up the market place.
Women making their selections from the line of flower petal vendors.
Peta, enjoying the variety of colors and textures in the market place.
A little of this petal, a little of that, some greens, a leaf basket = offering of the day.
Not only petals, but also fresh leaves which have been cut and woven into shapes. An art form  in Bali.
These are the leaf baskets, used as containers for the petals, all piled together creating circular shapes
The fruits available are, not surprisingly, remindful of Vietnamese markets.  Yet we do bump into unknown fruits, such as the “snake skin fruit”, which is a delicious crunchy apple-meets-pineapple white fruit with a black pit.
This woman is selling offerings as well as durian fruit ~ a pungent SE Asian fruit that takes getting used to.
Snake skin fruit, so called due to the external appearance of the skin being similar to a snake. New to us and quite delicious.
What else can one get at this market? Here is a random sampling…
Birds eye view of one section of market in Ubud.
Ben is eagerly checking out the different stalls.
The bright reds of tomatoes and fresh chili.
3 types of fresh eggs as well as palm sugar muffins to the right.
Vegetables aplenty.
Sardines and swordfish. Balinese mythology puts the sea and its creatures at the lowest level of its cosmology. As a result seafood is not prolific (even though Bali is an island with plenty of fish in the seas around.)
Suckling pig is a Balinese specialty.
A variety of kitchen tools from knives with beautiful wood handles to lava stone mortars.
Spices ~ an essential component in Indonesian food!
Black rice accompanied by coconut “cookies”
A variety of snacks in little packets from dried peas to coconut cookies. Snacking is popular between 2 daily meals.
The women make balancing a heavy load seem easy, as they have mastered the art of doing this while talking, shopping and walking.
Breakfast of rice, eggs, greens, variety of spices.
A young girl (on left) selects her petals for the daily offering, and jumps back onto her motorbike to get to work.
Crunchy toasted coconut shavings and peanuts, spices… all toppings crucial to Indonesian food.
Market is also a place to get “breakfast”, which it turns out is exceedingly sweet bite sizes of compressed rice dipped into palm sugar, crispy coconut and honey.
Mini rolled up “crepes” made from rice flour, coconut and palm sugar.

7 thoughts on “Going to Ubud’s central market ~ Bali, Indonesia

  1. Ezra

    Wow, look at all that color! You two are so blessed to get to travel through these exotic lands. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us. 🙂

  2. Stanski

    I Love Love Bali and Ubud especially!!!
    Great depiction you guys – and how cool you got to the main market so early!! I never did make it there so early… Next time!
    Great photos of the market and of the statues in next post – scary stuff indeed!!
    Someone once told me the scary statues were made that way so as to scare off the evil gods… Interesting and still don’t know if there’s truth to that… haven’t checked it out yet…
    I love the offerings all over Bali and so great to see all the offering goods for sale at the market!!!
    Looking forward to more pictures and stories from one of my favorite places on earth!!
    Love and Light,

    1. Greenglobaltrek

      Stan, we do too! Such a very special place in the world!

      The one time I don’t mind getting up early is to get to a market place with the locals…so worth it!

      Thanks for your beautiful enthusiasm Stan!


  3. Peta Kaplan and Ben Sandzer-Bell

    Stan, yes apparently the scary statues are placed strategically in front of temples and homes as guardians whose role is to scare away evil spirits. The reason the eyes on the statues are round and large, is so that they can keep “an eye open” constantly and never sleep. Always in protection mode.

  4. Pingback: The bounty of food markets of Asia ~ Indonesia, Hong Kong (Part 3) – Empty Nesters on a Green Global Trek

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