The Weapons Dealers of Bali

 Bali Market


When you travel, you start to notice that tourists gravitate toward particular souvenirs, depending on the location. In Argentina, I bought four gourds for drinking mate. In Costa Rica, I went hammock crazy. In Slovenia, I purchased slippers, which I don’t think is an actual trend there, I just liked the slippers.


But in Bali, all of the tourists were in the market for weapons and weapons accessories.


“Check this out,” one of my friends said, pulling a silver wand from his pocket. He pressed a button and shined a green laser light onto a hill miles in the distance. “Pretty cool, huh?” He then turned the light on the crowd, dancing the green dot off of Western rears and bronze bodies.


Two other people retaliated, returning the fire with green laser beams of their own.


I was looking to buy a surfboard and as I walked around Kuta, searching the shops for a good buy, I looked into one store where two guys were zapping the air in front of each other’s faces with high-powered stun guns.


“Cool,” I heard one of them say when the electric blue disappeared.


Later that night, I was sitting on a beanbag chair, sipping $2 Bintangs on the beach. A man walked among the drinkers wearing a backpackers’ pack.


“Cross bow. Blow gun,” he shouted, holding each weapon in his hands.


“What a peaceful place?” I declared, looking over my shoulder as the tourist behind me fiddled with the cross bow.


Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere

14 Responses to The Weapons Dealers of Bali

  1. Sam

    a Bali interesting story.

  2. Jai


    • Noah Lederman

      Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera at these moments. Whenever I happened to come across a weapon, I was looking for a surfboard or just getting out of the waves and electronics are usually best left at home in these instances. My wife had her camera when the man with the crossbow came through, but she thought that shooting a photo could cause him to shoot back. (And he wasn’t firing with an SLR…)

  3. Danni

    I too caught the hammock bug. It wasn’t in Costa Rica, but in Honduras. I would say they are similar enough to both warrant the purchase of an awesome hammock. There is just something about islands that begs for a hammock.

    • Noah Lederman

      I hope you at least got to swing on yours, Danni. Mine are tucked into closets, as I’ve only ever lived in apartments.

  4. Juliann

    Wow. I would have never pictured Bali this way. Isn’t everyone supposed to be sipping drinks on the beach??
    Juliann recently posted…The Mystery of the Ferris WheelMy Profile

    • Noah Lederman

      Much of Bali is sipping drinks on the beach (or surfing incredible waves). But there are a few aberrations that can be welcome. And some are not.

  5. Mac Housten

    where is this market?

    • Noah Lederman

      The market in the photograph is in Ubud, but it was in Kuta where I saw all the weapons. I did not see many weapons in the market in the photograph if that’s the question.

  6. guy

    These are made specially for the tourists, based on traditional hunting methods. Less Balinese, the designs come from Jawa , or more often Kalimantan (borneo) or other further-flung islands, as there they still hunt with them. They are not weapons, apart fro for huunting. For killing each other the Balinese use knives and spears traditionally. Being a not very inventive people they would also use farm implements in fights.

    • Noah Lederman

      Thanks Guy. So the Balinese and other islanders didn’t use stun guns hundreds of years ago?

  7. Christina

    That stun gun fight seemed a little out of control. It’s good no one got injured.

  8. Javier

    I have never been to Bali but hope to visit soon. It’s a great post for me and made a bit interested in Bali.

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