If you’re traveling to the island of Fiji, your trip will likely be full of things like snorkeling, beaches, and fruity drinks. It’s also worth taking the time to explore the local shopping because Fiji boasts very impressive local food, clothes, and woodworkers.
Fiji is very well known for incredible woodworkers. You can find these great items in street markets, and in shops. One thing to consider when buying wood items is the Customs requirements of the countries you’re flying through to get home. For example, Australia doesn’t usually allow wood into the country, so you may be forced to give up your souvenirs at the border. If you’re buying wood items, also be sure to check to make sure that the wood has been properly treated – you can tell this by looking for a shimmer on the wood. Proper treatment means the item is much less likely to rot. Also, always try haggling. Even in shops where it doesn’t seem possible to haggle, sellers are often willing to lower the price if you are persistent.
The United Nations “Free” Shop
If you’re looking for art, woodwork or clothing, definitely check out the “FREE” shop. It is a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative to support aspiring local artists and craftspeople. All pieces at the shop are screened to ensure that the original artist was paid appropriately and the pieces have more of a contemporary look than what you will find at the handicraft market in town. You can find items like paintings, carvings, lamps and lamp shades, Sulus (sarongs), woven handbags, Fiji style pillows, jewelry, and other clothing for all ages.
The Suva Handicraft Center
The Suva Handicraft Center is another place to find great art. In this center, the artists themselves are selling the pieces, and often are willing to customize a piece for you with your name.
The Local Market
There is a local street market in the center of Lautoka. If you’re looking for a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, spices and kava, this is the place to go. Just don’t expect the perfectly formed fruit that we seem to get at home. The prices are reasonable and negotiable.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about places to shop in Fiji.