Detailed review by merkat
Ubud is known for its artists' colonies and you can buy some really precious pieces of art there, but prices are respectively higher as the colony and individual artists is more recognized. Still, the Ubud Art market is a must see thing for sure. If you haven't planned to buy art from recognized artists, but you still want to take home some artistic souvenirs, this is the best place for you. Although unrecognized artists make those artworks, they are beautiful and breathtaking, especially wooden carvings, made with lot of tiny details. The quality of the artwork in Ubud market is obviously higher than quality of art pieces you can find in the other parts of Bali (in markets). The only thing that you cannot find here in better quality is a traditional Javanese batik and wayang kulit, for which you have to go to Java (eg. Yogya or Surabaya).
There is a great variety of artworks: from hand-painted batik, acrylic paintings on canvas and wooden carvings to lava-stone carvings. But heres one very important rule: you have to BARGAIN. Bargaining is part of tradition all over South-East Asia, and Bali is not the exception. If you are not sure how to bargain, then you should check prices of similar things in stores and try to achieve a price of at least 30% less than in stores. Of course, the first price you offer should be lower than you're actually prepared to pay, since you'll have to rise it few times until you come to the price that is satisfying for both sides. Once one party agrees to the offered price, the deal is closed and you cannot bargain any more. It's important that you are aware of the fact that this oral agreement is binding for both sides, which means that you are obliged to buy the item and the seller is obliged to sell you the item by the agreed price. Bargaining takes a lot of time and if you are not enjoying it, maybe you should give up and just tell the price that is 10% lower than the shop price - you'll be surprised how fast can you close a deal. But just dont buy for the first price offered, if you dont want to be considered a "pigeon" (and as a consequence, on each following stand you'll receive much higher first offer than they usually give to tourists). On the other hand, if you are at least a little bit altruist, you may keep in mind that those people do not earn much and are mainly underprivileged, so you might want to agree to some price that was a little bit higher than youve expected, but still within your budget.
Although the market is very colorful and interesting, you might think twice about taking photos, because the place is crowded and many pickpockets are using unwariness to steal whatever they can. You might also take extra care of your purses and wallets, and most of all, keep an additional eye on your children, as they can easily get lost within seconds, attracted by many interesting things all around the market.
With all plusses and minuses, this is a unique experience, and you should not miss it. The biggest problem for you is how NOT TO buy too much of everything and create yourself a problem of overweight luggage, while checking in on your flight back home.
Traditional Market of Ubud