Probably the best known of the craft villages around Ubud, Mas Village is famous for its wood carvers, and it’s possible to pop into the workshops of mask-makers and sculptors around town. There are also a number of more formal galleries, such as Tony Raka, which has expanded beyond carvings into modern art and tribal pieces.
You don’t need a tour to visit Mas Village, and there are no admission fees involved. Many travelers visit independently, on a private tour, or with a private driver, although the village is also a popular stop on cultural tours of Ubud and its surroundings.
Some Bali craft tours combine Mas Village with Tohpati Village, where residents make batik; Celuk Village, which majors in silver; and the painters’ district of Batuan Village; sometimes a visit to the art markets of Ubud or Sukawati is included. Most Mas Village tours include a chance to see carvers at work and an opportunity to buy souvenirs to take home.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mas is a must-visit for anyone who loves indigenous art.
- The quality of pieces—and their price—varies widely in Mas, from a few dollars to well into the thousands.
- Be aware that guides may receive commission for taking you into specific shops.
- If you can’t find what you’re looking for, carvers in Mas will be happy to make pieces to order. Just share reference photos and establish sizes.
How to Get There
Mas Village is located about 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of Ubud. There are occasional “bemo” minibuses from outside Ubud Market and the Batubulan terminal near Denpasar. But visitors who don’t speak Indonesian will likely want to hire a private driver or join a tour rather than risk navigating the narrow, choked roads around Ubud.
When to Get There
Monday through Saturday are the best days to visit Mas. Many workshops close on Sunday, and even galleries tend to have shorter hours on that day. Be aware that smaller workshops may close for major Balinese festivals, such as Kuningan and Galungan, which happen roughly every seven months. For the quietest experience, arrive early or late in the day.
Balinese Wood Carvings Around Ubud
From beautifully carved doors to monstrous masks, from elegant tree-root sculptures to figurative pieces, anything and everything can be carved from wood in Bali. But until around a century ago, the wood carver’s art was reserved for temples and palaces. European artists who arrived in Ubud in the 1920s and 1930s changed the shape of sculpture and made villages like Mas what they are today.