No shopping experience in Samoa is complete without visiting the markets.
The produce market in Apia, a permanent fixture, is open every day of the week but is best from Monday to Saturday. Offering a dazzling array of fresh local produce as well as some cooked Samoan favourites to nibble on, walking along the various family owned and run stalls you will marvel at the sheer number of bananas, coconuts and taro in all shapes, colours and sizes, as a veritable fruit bowl of other exotic tropical fruits and vegetables in season. An icy cold niu (drinking coconut), is the perfect accompaniment to this experience. Beware of going to the market hungry, as the delicious aroma of cooking food may inspire you to bite off more than you can chew!
The flea market is the place to pick up all those uniquely Samoan handicrafts, traditional and locally made. You'ill find intricate hand crafted wood carvings, beautiful kava bowls, woven pandanus mats, lavalavas (sarongs) printed in every colour under the sun, all that have all been produced just a few kilometres away in the villages. Not only do you support the local economy, but they are eco friendly and sustainable as well. It is your one stop shop for gifts for all your loved ones at home, and to treat yourself to some tasteful souvenirs too.
It's best to visit the fish market early on a Sunday morning from about 6am. There is an amazing variety of the fish available, including freshly caught yellow fin tuna, octopus and moray eels – all at exceptionally low prices. Be adventurous and try some of the more bizarre options available, like the sea-cucumber gizzards!