Fiji is known as a paradise for its natural beauty and the huge variety of activities that you can do there. But there’s also a lot of really great shopping that can be done. When you go on a holiday, one of the most important things you need to bring back with you is a souvenir! So we’re going to go through some of the best places to go shopping in Fiji, what you can expect to find there and how to go about getting the best prices!
Where to Shop
Depending on what you’re looking for, or hoping to find, there are a couple of different places that will serve you the best shopping experience. Being large international chains, most of the resorts and hotels in Fiji include their own Duty Free shops where you’ll be able to find familiar brands. Tappoo is a local brand you may not be familiar with, but being affiliated with a high quality Western-style shopping experience, you’ll find most things here you’d be used to at home and it has a fairly strong presence in and near most resorts. A lot of the hotels also have a ‘Jacks of Fiji’, which is your go-to place for handicraft.
If doing your shopping within the resort doesn’t appeal to you, there are still plenty of other options in Fiji for you. Some of the best places for shopping include Port Denarau Marina, Nadi Town, Sigatoka Town and Suva. In each of these places you’ll find both local stores and larger shopping complexes which are home to international brands. But one of the best experiences, both from a shopping and cultural perspective, is strolling through the various local markets and bartering with the friendly locals.
What to Buy
There’s a good chance you’re going to see some familiar brands in Fiji – names like Pure Fiji, Bondi Beach Bag company, Australian Designer, Fiji Water and Vono Beer are all very common. But you’ll also find all sorts of quaint artifacts and souvenirs like gold jewelry and cotton and silk garments.
As with everything in Fiji, there’s plenty of variety available, and bound to be something to suit everyone’s tastes. One of the most popular things most tourists bring home for friends and family are the Fijian ‘bula’ shirts. These colourfully designed shirts will put a smile on anyone’s face. Other popular items include carved tanoa bowls which are typically used to mix and serve Fiji’s national drink, ‘Yaqona’ (Kava), as well as replica Fijian war clubs, ‘cannibal forks’ and Fijian combs.
Along with the usual popular items, you’ll also be able to find an incredible array of handicraft like Fiji woven baskets and mats, masi (tapa cloth), animal wood carvings and pottery items – these being some of the hottest selling local products. If you’re interested in getting your hands on some traditional Fijian garments, the ubiquitous Sulu for men and women is Fiji’s all-purpose, ‘one size fits all garment’. Women wear these beautifully comfortable garbs in dozens of different ways, from a wrap to wear by the beach to an evening dress, while Fijian men in business or government jobs wear them as a day skirt. We wouldn’t recommend you wear your Sulu to work when you get home though!
Other Helpful Shopping Tips
While bartering is an accepted part of shopping at the local markets in Fiji, it’s always a good idea to do it with a smile on your face. Depending on your skills as a negotiator, you may be able to shave some of the price off whatever it is you’re looking to buy, but you should never get angry if you don’t reach the price you want.
In terms of open-times, most stores in Fiji are open from 8am until around 5pm or 6pm depending on how busy they’ve been. If you’re shopping in the hotels and resorts, they sometimes stay open later in the night to facilitate for guests who have been out during the day. You’ll also not have to worry too much about carrying a load of cash around with you if you’re shopping in stores rather than markets, as most major credit cards are widely accepted.