5 BEST NIGHT MARKETS IN BALI
These best Bali night markets offer you a unique shopping and dining experience after dark. These night markets, otherwise referred to locally as ‘pasar senggol’ or ‘pasar malam’, are where you can discover favourite local snacks that you can try for yourself, and you can gain insight on traditional household items and their uses. A thriving shopping scene by day, some of these markets seemingly never cease to operate, and they take on a different form with more choices of stalls opening at around 18:00. These markets are a great place to enjoy an array of local and traditional cuisine at very reasonable prices, together with Balinese crafts at great bargains.
Here are 5 best Bali night markets that feature the common crowded scene where you brush shoulders through tightly spaced stalls and impromptu vendors, hence the name ‘pasar senggol’ or ‘bump market’ in the local tongue. The scene may seem a little chaotic, but that is just one of the fun and exciting aspects that you should try at least once on your visit to Bali
The Sanur night market, known as Pasar Malam Sindu, is in fact the nightly transformation of the traditional Sindu market where most of the locals and Sanur residents source their daily necesseties, ritual items, and morning groceries. By night, usually starting around 18:00, it provides a sensory experience with its local food stalls opening up and meals on wheels rolling in before cooking up anything from lamb satay to fried rice at very local prices – great for budget travellers. The market’s large parking area serves as the main grounds for the night market, where you can freely roam and wander around the smoking grills and frying woks for a very exotic Balinese experience. A serving of chicken satay with 10 sticks and a plate of rice is merely between IDR 15,000 and 20,000, while a similar serving with lamb and a drink can be IDR 25,000-30,000.
Pasar Kereneng Night Market and the nearby Asoka Market are difficult to differentiate due to their close proximity with each other, and are often referred to collectively as simply ‘Pasar Kereneng’. They form one of the Denpasar city’s largest traditional markets, after Badung Market, which is only 1.8km to the west. Well over a thousand vendors sell all sorts of items – most of which will tempt your curiosity more than your wallet, but popular items include batik cloths, traditional kitchen utensils, farming tools to groceries. Its transformation into the famous night market scene starts in the late afternoon around 16:00, when food stalls and carts wheel in. The food stalls at the southern border of the market grounds are open during the day and late into the night, comprising the delicious and Bali-famous dish of ‘nasi babi guling’, alongside various Javanese cuisine of mixed rice ‘nasi campur’. Kids’ toys such as balloons and simple toys like dandy propellers and bubble blowers are also sold.
The Kuta Night Markets, otherwise known locally as Pasar Senggol Kuta, have long served the Kuta and Legian backpacking community with its very affordable dining scene with a wide variety of local cuisine. There are in fact two separate night markets that collectively share the ‘night market’ reference. The main market is on Jalan Blambangan, the same road where the Vihara Dharmayana Chinese Buddhist temple resides, and the second one is several minutes’ drive south on Jalan Tuan Lange. During the day, only a few stalls open, while others mostly cater to dinner times with certain types of cuisine requiring longer times to prepare: ‘gulai kambing’ (lamb stew) and ‘soto babat’ (clear aromatic beef tripe soup). It’s fair to say The Kuta Night Market is predominantly about cuisine.
The Gianyar Night Market is one of the main evening haunts for hungry locals and international visitors coming from and staying at the main resorts in Ubud. The market is located on Gianyar town’s Jalan Ngurah Rai. Most foreign visitors call it a hidden gem, with a bustling market scene full of warungs and smaller stalls selling everything from live pets to all sorts of cuisine at cheap prices, clothing items and fashion accessories and kids stuff. The market is hard to miss and can be slightly chaotic with the traffic and hordes of scooters parked on one side of the road. The night scene is brilliant with the many fluorescent lamps at each stall. Although busier during the weekends, you visit any day of the week. A local food haven on its own, you can choose from the ubiquitous ‘babi guling’, as well as roast chicken, ‘bakso’ meat ball soup, and various desserts.
The island’s main and largest traditional market, the Badung Market or ‘Pasar Badung’, and Kumbasari Art Market right next door across the Badung River are usually regarded as one. Badung Market is where locals from all over offer their wares, comprising fresh fruits, meat and poultry and groceries, while Kumbasari houses extensive choices of batiks, traditional ikat weave cloths, a dedicated floor where you can source wooden carvings, key rings and traditional and contemporary art paintings for souvenirs, and a number of jewellery stores offering locally produced golden necklaces and silver bracelets. Most of the kiosks at Kumbasari apply fixed prices, but are open to bargaining. The Badung Market’s front open-air grounds shift into night market mode from 18:00 with various vendors opening up. Meandering around can be fun, but it can also be dizzying with the cramped stalls and narrow spacing. If you’re looking for souvenirs to bring back home, cross over the small bridge to Kumbasari to find your treasure.