American Samoa 2 by Alan & Flora Botting via Flickr Creative Commons

Samoa is like other Pacific island nations. Shopping can be enjoyable, but it isn’t the same as one would find in the United States. There aren’t any shopping malls to speak of, and major fashion brands are generally not available anywhere in the country. In addition, visitors won’t find pushy merchants looking to ‘rip-off’ unwary tourists. The shopping culture of Samoa is extremely laid-back, with many of the items offered being traditional products. Apia is where most of the busier market places are found. Most shops are open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with a one hour break at lunchtime. Saturdays only open until midday. Sundays are the Sabbath in Samoa, so businesses generally close on these days.


Samoa is famous for its siapo products. This is a cloth made from the bark of local mulberry trees, commonly used as a type of canvas for traditional Samoan artwork. The masterpieces from Samoa are frequently seen as the Pacific’s most beautiful forms of art. It is possible to pick up cheap siapo items at Savaii’s Palauli village.

Shell Jewelry

Another popular item for sale in Samoa is the traditional jewelry made from coconut shells and marine shells. They can be found in the beautiful markets across the country. A great place to find these items are the Apia Flea Market, which is located the Fugalei Street Food Market in Samoa’s capital city.

Traditional Items

Apart from the locally made jewelry and siapo products, there are many other traditional items for sale. Lava lavas are extremely popular. These are the Samoan sarongs that can be found all over the islands, worn by both men and women. Tourists should not forget to pick up some kava bowls. They are usually polished to a bright shine, and great for souvenirs.

Apia Arts and Crafts Fair

One of the best times to visit Samoa is during the Apia Arts and Crafts Fair. This important event is held in the month of March each year, in the capital city. The most impressive items on display during the festival are local products mentioned above, and beautiful artwork. Visit the Madd Art Gallery on Ifiifi Street to find the most alluring artwork in the country.

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