Vanuatu — Shopping and Leisure
The premier shopping destination in Vanuatu is the capital Port Vila. Visitors staying or transiting here to visit other islands may well want to visit the various shops and boutiques on the main part of town to get personal gift items or souvenirs in the form of handicrafts.
The main street is where the action is. The lower main street, the area closest to the harbor, has specialty boutiques, duty-free shops, banks, drug stores, and so on, while the upper main street is where visitors will find the Chinese-owned shops. Right on the harbor, meanwhile, are a number of souvenir shops selling sculptures, carvings, sarongs, native jewelry, and coconut shell bras, a famed novelty item precisely because of their funny-sounding name in the local language: baskets blong titi. A number of fresh-foods stores are also in Port Vila such as Mama’s Market, which sells fresh vegetables, fruits, and flowers.
Visitors will be glad to know that Port Vila is a duty-free port and several duty-free shops have been set up in the city to cater to tourists, especially those visiting Vanuatu aboard cruise ships. One of the most established duty-free shops here is Prouds Duty Free, which sells jewelry, perfumes, watches, clothes, and many others. Those looking to buy gadgets and tech products may want to visit Downtown Duty Free Vanuatu Sound Center. Apart from electronic devices, it also sells liquor, jewelry, and watches.
Those shopping in Vanuatu must note that tipping, bargaining, and haggling are not practiced in the country. Locals believe these encourage a ‘master-servant’ relationship in the tourism industry.