Samoa’s handicrafts are some of the finest in the Pacific. Baskets, bags and fine mats woven from pandanus fibres make excellent gifts and souvenirs and are inexpensive to buy. You’ll find exquisite examples of siapo (Samoan tapa) made from the bark of the paper mulberry.
Keep an eye out for the beautiful siapo at Apia’s Arts and Crafts Fair, held in March, and at the Teuila Festival. Wooden crafts include weapons and model canoes, and many people take home the beautifully carved ’ava (kava) bowls. These are the wooden bowls used for the ceremonial kava drinking.
Other crafts and souvenirs include a huge range of coconut shell jewellery, shell ula (leis), kirikiti bats and balls, printed t-shirts and the local lava lava (sarong).
Keep an eye out for coconut oil beauty products to bring back for friends and loved ones.
The busy stalls of Apia’s Flea Market on Beach Road (Monday to Saturday) sell everything from colourful Samoan clothing to crafts.
The Fish Market, open daily and best visited early on a Sunday morning or before 11am weekdays, is just behind the Flea Market, and where you’ll find freshly caught yellow fin tuna, octopus or moray eels.
For food bargains, Apia’s vibrant MaketiFou is located on Fugalei Street, just south of Beach Road. This colourful market has a lively atmosphere and the best selection of fresh local produce in town, and you can also sample traditional dishes and sweets, along with freshly brewed koko Samoa (the local chocolate drink).