On the outskirts of Ubud in the village of Lod Tunduh, there is a sign on the road, indicating a jewelry museum, named Museum RUNA, just 500 meters away. I know there are a ton of places calling themselves ‘museum’ / ‘galleries’ and are just shops, with flashy display cases. Back in 2004 I checked out Museum RUNA, to see what it had to offer.
The driveway to Museum RUNA is quiet, and gives the impression the Museum doesn’t see much traffic. The quiet elegant buildings are a pleasant surprise, and on arrival, you don’t see any staff on duty. Heading past the reception desk after paying the entrance fee, ( it costs 10,000rp to visit the museum), you can walk upstairs to view the gift shop, featuring assorted silver jewelry, fine batiks and sarongs. I picked up one sarong to find it cost $250, the batiks were $25. Nice stuff but I’ll wait till my pay rise, to shop here.
The RUNA House of Design and Museum is a celebration of the 25 years of jewelry making by Palar Runi from Bandung Java. The museum was opened in December 29th 2001 and named RUNA to include her husband Adrian’s first name.
Downstairs are the 2 museum rooms which featured glass cases containing elaborate silver jewelry by Runi. Staff will allow you to take photos. Regarding the question of whether Museum RUNA is a museaum or a shop, the staff say the items are not for sale, but if you are interested, you could enquire.
It seemed to me that most of the jewelry was elaborate and large, with a selection of pendants, broaches and necklaces. According to the free brochure Palar does brisk business overseas, not that she�s the one banging these things out.
Adjacent to the museum is a 2 storey set of rooms which are available for rent. This area really is tranquil and without traffic, unlike downtown Ubud. I was given the tour and the comfortable rooms with porch or balcony will run you $100 per night ( though I was told you can bargain). Across from the museum and the available rooms is the family house which I also got a tour of. This isn’t for rent but the whole place seemed to gel together in some weird way. I think the house was the original structure followed by the museum and the family still live here. I sat out in one of the bale�s sipping a hot tea with a staff member who told me about the place and about her family.
If a visitor came here, they might be the only guests, as prices promise to be high for this exclusive jewelry. This isn’t the back street Celuk deal, where a local will knock out 500 pieces of surfer jewelry for you.
It is though another little part of Bali that seems unique. I said goodbye to the staff and set off back to Kuta. You can make it from Kuta to the RUNA is an hour my car or motorbike.
•What is it?
Museum RUNA is a celebration of the 25 years of jewelry making by Palar Runi.
•Where is it?
Lodtunduh, south of Ubud.
•How far is it from Kuta?
Fine jewelry collection, batiks, sarongs.
•Who is Museum RUNA good for?
People looking for special jewelry, people who enjoy exploring small unique places.
•Who is Museum RUNA not good for?
People looking for cheap jewelry, people who want action / adventure.
•When it is open?
Museum RUNA is open daily from 9am – 5pm