Did you know there are two Ubud markets? There is the souvenir shoppers heaven and then a secret food market. Information about the food market is pretty hush hush so I’ll let you in on the secret.
Have you ever noticed how things basically come to a grinding halt at 10 or 11 pm in Ubud? There’s a reason for that, locals get up BEFORE the crack of dawn to get their morning started. The reason being 1. It gets hot in Ubud quickly and 2. There is a lot to do!
In order to start the day locals need to make an offering to the gods, make breakfast and get back before tourists/family wake up so they can help them get their day going. All of these supplies can be purchased at the central early market.
So where is it and why is it a secret? It’s a secret because the food market turns into the hawker market around 9am so in order to see the food market you have to be up early. We arrived at 8 am after some struggle and no breakfast but boy was it worth it.
We saw big baskets full of beautiful flower petals, all the seasonal fruit a person could want, no rambutans sadly. There were wares for sale and spices and baskets and baskets of eggs all different colours. I saw fish heads covered in flies and knives of all shapes and sizes. In the back parts there is shoes and clothes and all around everyone is haggling.
A couple of tips for you to remember:
- Arrive early, honestly you can forget going after 830 all the good stuff is gone and prices go up for the tourists
- Find out from locals at your homestay what a kilo of your desired fruits cost. It’s not a bargain if you haggle the price down 10% without knowing they started at 30% more than it’s worth. Once you haggle and they agree on your price it is very rude to walk away. Don’t haggle unless you’re committed.
- Ask to try the desired fruit and know what ripe looks like.
- Be kind and respectful, don’t make faces at something you think is different that’s not what traveling and new experiences is all about, try to blend in.
- Bring cash or at the top of the market across Jalan Raya is an ATM
Ok so you’re all set arrive early and enjoy! For the address it is easiest to google Ubud market, the food market is only at the top near Jalan Raya while the tourist market will stretch all the way down a couple blocks (after 9am).