Interior View - Biasa, Bali, Indonesia


The name means ‘nothing interesting’ but the walls of this boutique are lined with attention-grabbing minimalist separates and bandeau tank tops that are beautiful but barely there.

Merchandise at Gaya Ceramic Arts Center, Bali, Indonesia

Gaya Ceramic Arts Center

Across from the impossible-to-miss Gaya Fusion gallery, on Ubud’s western perimeter, this innovative sibling doubles as both an intimate art space and world-class ceramics studio. Look for regular exhibits by international artists-in-residence, as well as tableware (which can be found at such top resorts as the Amandari and Bulgari). Those with the time and inclination can sign up for two-day classes or two-week workshops in throwing, trimming and sculpting clay. At break time, meander back to Gaya Fusion’s onsite gelateria for a range of creamy flavors, like coffee and chocolate-ginger.

Merchandise at Jean-François Fichot, Bali, Indonesia

Jean-François Fichot

Frenchman Jean-François Fichot's studio continues to turn out breathtaking original jewelry and home decorations. The front room is decorated with Chinese ceramics, buffalo-hide baskets, gilded Buddhas and vintage Japanese fans, all providing a gorgeous backdrop for Fichot’s trademark silver filigree. At the back is a more intimate space filled with strands of golden-hued Lombok pearls, lapis lazuli earrings carved into intricate rose blossoms, and Baroque rings set with crystals and semiprecious stones like emerald and tourmaline.

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Kerambitin Market

Happily this local market located in the gorgeous 17th-century town of Kerambitin is still mostly under the tourist radar. Here, you’ll find seemingly countless varieties of rice, vegetable and fruit, plus stalls to try tasty snacks.

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Homey, Kyoto-style cooking has become popular in Tokyo since chef Keiji Mori opened the city’s first high quality Kyoto eatery ten years ago in Aoyama. Diners may select elegantly presented items including sashimi, grilled fish and regional delicacies off the à la carte menu or opt for Maru's special course menu, which will include the house specialty donabe clay pot rice and is well-priced. The location in Ginza has a great value lunch menu includes Kyoto classics like chicken nabe and yellowtail teriyaki.

Food at NAMU, Samui, Thailand


It may seem incongruous for Tokyo-trained chef Sin Keun Choi to have joined the W Retreat Samui team from Las Vegas, where he served as resident chef at the Bellagio Hotel. But after dining at Namu, it is clear that this two-time Thailand Iron Chef challenger is the island expert on innovative gastronomy. Well-aligned with the W's identity as hip and cutting-edge, Chef Choi applies these same characteristics to his menu of modern Japanese dishes. Using technologies and techniques that give each dish an added twist, Namu offers deliciously futuristic menu items like tuna sashimi pizza with mango and tomato micro caviar or Wagyu beef cheek and foie gras hand roll with fried shallot. Namu, the Korean word for wood, is representative of the restaurant’s re-invention of basic life elements. The dining room reflects this sentiment both literally and figuratively, with minimal wood furnishings, clean lines and subdued lighting creating a relaxed, authentically Japanese ambiance. Open for lunch and dinner, it is a great option for those looking to diversify their dining while on Koh Samui. For visitors particularly interested in SK Choi’s contemporary craft, the chef now offers culinary classes at the restaurant.

Editors' Picks
Exterior at  Oka Kartini Gallery & Studio 22K, Bali, Indonesia

Oka Kartini Gallery & Studio 22K

For antique and contemporary Ramayana puppets hand-crafted by a true master, head into this two-room treasure trove on the grounds of Oka Kartini Bungalows. Just next door, high wood walls are lined with valuable vintage batiks from around the Indonesian archipelago. (Ask the owner to translate the complex meanings behind some of the cloth history books.) Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, come here for Wayang Kulit shadow puppet shows.

Merchandise at  Paul Ropp, Bali, Indonesia

Paul Ropp

At this Seminyak institution with stores all over Bali, you can shop for colorful, frocks, linen trousers and chic straw beach bags.

Shop in Seminyak

Seminyak’s one shopping street has at least three names as it snakes along the coastline but that inconsistency is part of Bali’s charm. Start across from The Legian by picking up sterling silver chopsticks and Wonder Woman style silver cuffs at Maru (Jalan Laksmana 7A, (62) 361 734 102). Pop into Paul Ropp (Jalan Raya Seminyak 39, (62) 361 734 208) for colorful, entirely original frocks made from antique sari material. The Corner Store (Jalan Laksmana 10A, (62) 361 730 276) stocks rather kooky kids’ togs, from delicious apple stamped dresses to tie-dyed concert tour tees for the family’s littlest head-bangers. Finish any ensemble with sky-high stilettos at Niluh Djelantik (Jalan Raya Kerobokan 144; (62) 361 733 074). Sari Shop (Jalan Raya Seminyak 36, 62-361-464-298) is the place to collect vintage batik sarongs. Nip around the corner to Allegra (Jalan Kunti, (62) 361 734 019) to load up on ethically farmed exotic skin accessories by homegrown talent Leyla whose oversized beach bag is the unofficial Bali Birkin. Before calling it quits, duck into Biasa (Jalan Raya Seminyak 36, (62) 361 730 308). The name means ‘nothing interesting’ but the walls are lined with attention-grabbing minimalist separates and bandeau tank tops that are beautiful but barely there.

Editors' Picks

The Corner Store

Located in Seminyak, this boutique stocks rather whimsical kids’ togs, from delicious apple-stamped dresses to tie-dyed concert tour tees for the family’s littlest head-bangers.

Interior at Threads of Life, Bali, Indonesia

Threads of Life

Fair trade feels extra fabulous at this non-profit boutique just off Ubud’s main drag, which promotes women’s empowerment and sustainable development through traditional Balinese weavings. Threads are soaked in natural dyes then woven into motif-covered fabrics, which are turned into bold men’s shirts, striking silk shawls and unique sarongs. Venture below-ground to the well-lit gallery filled with more woven wonders, plus charming betel boxes from Sumba, featuring mythical birds hand woven of lontar leaf.

Editors' Picks

Ubud Central Market

Like much of Ubud, this market of handicrafts and local treasures, was further put on the map when it was featured in the film Eat, Pray, Love. In addition to the upstairs area with its wares ranging from textiles to furniture, the vegetable and fruit market in the basement is a quick education in the island’s natural bounty. Prepare to bargain.

Ulun Ubud

Stop by this leafy, laid-back resort, located on the road into central Ubud. The affable Balinese owner, Gustu, keeps multiple warehouses filled with massive dining tables carved from Dutch teak logs, imported from Java, plus unusual antiques, like a wooden canoe and rice sifter carved with mythical animals from Kalimantan.

Exterior view - Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia


Stop at one of the many Uluwatu brand shops dotted throughout Bali for breezy resortwear and linens for the home, which are all locally hand-embroidered with Balinese lace.

Interior at Wrkshp 13, Bali, Indonesia

Wrkshp 13

Sumatran Johnny Ramli studied fashion in Melbourne before opening this boutique-cum-gallery at the still edgy northern end of Seminyak Beach. Bali’s beautiful people come here for snakeskin disco bags in eye-popping shades, deceptively simple gold rings embellished with raw diamonds and roomy satchels in snake, lizard or cow hide. The shop also carries custom furniture, like the reversible, rough-smooth dining table, which runs down the center of this industrial space.

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