Welcome to The Takeaway, a series highlighting the best goods a destination has to offer. Every week, we’ll showcase seven gifts every traveler should consider in terms of quality and value.
The verdict is out: if you’re looking for a stunning yet affordable getaway, set your sights on Indonesia. In addition to its stunning beaches, explosive culture and and array of temples, Indonesia is known for bargains. As the manufacturer of major clothing brands and the source of ingredients used in many cosmetics and beauty products, Indonesia is an ideal spot to find deals on global goods.
Of course, the island nation has plenty of local items to take away, too—textiles brimming with brightness, intricately carved handicrafts, flavorful coffee and incomparably beautiful wooden furniture. Currently one U.S. dollar is equivalent to approximately 13,311 Indonesian rupiah.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Food’s assistant editor. Her eternal food baby is named Frederick.
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Cosmetics: As with other Asian countries, Indonesia's beauty market is booming. Additionally, as with clothing, Western cosmetics cost a fraction of the price.
Photo by Josh Estey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Handicrafts: The Balinese town of Ubud is packed with local craft markets. For a gift you won't find anywhere else, seek out batik stamps and traditional Wayang Golek puppets.
Photo by Agung Parameswara/Getty Images
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Textiles: Indonesian bazaars overflow with traditional textiles including batiks, ikat, sarongs and selimut. If you're looking for labels or outdoor wear, Indonesia is laden with outlets.
Photo by: Hermes Images/AGF/UIG via Getty Images
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Wood: Indonesian teak, mahogany and even petrified wood is utilized as decor, carvings and furniture. Balinese shops like Kharisma Dewata offer wooden products starting at single-digit prices.
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Spices: Indonesia harvests a wealth of popular spices like cinnamon, coriander and lemongrass. Although they're more easily found at supermarkets, you'll find better quality and prices at street markets - just make sure to haggle.
Photo by Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images
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Coffee: Indonesia's climate makes the collection of islands a caffeine powerhouse, and centuries of farming secured its spot as one of the globe's top producers of coffee. It's also home to the famously expensive kopi luwak, a blend including cherries digested by the Asian palm civet.
Photo: Dennis Tang, CC-BY
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Silver: Indonesian silver has been crafted into intricately designed jewelry and decorative items for centuries. For the highest quality and artistry, visit Bali's Celuk village, the country's hub for smithery.
Photo: Keris Indonesia, CC-BY