Posted on 11 September 2011.
Home to over a third of the country’s population, and as the capital of Fiji, Suva is a multicultural city with a shopping culture to match.
The best way to fulfill your Suva attractions including your shopping experience is to walk. The Victoria Parade, Cumming Street, and Marks Street are some of the few stretches of road that are lined with merchants waiting to sell their craft. Clothing, electronics, jewellery, and especially food can all be found here. October and November mark the height of the Fijian tropical fruit season. During this time, mangoes are at their juiciest, and papaya, coconut, pineapples, and bananas are ripe for the picking. There is also a plethora of local vegetables to be experienced; dalo, cassava and vudi are three vegetables worth trying before you leave this island city.
Aside from the local merchants, there are public markets and government-run stores that offer high-quality goods at fixed prices. In Nadi and Sigatok, or along Thomson and Pier streets, you will find Jack’s of Fiji, Prouds, and Tappoo, which are considered reliable merchants for clothing and accessories. For authentic artefacts, however, return to the municipal markets for soaps, woven baskets, purses, fans, and crockery. You can even have clothing tailor made for you! Perhaps the most coveted souvenirs are the black pearls from Savusavu Bay that are sold all over Fiji. These dark treasures can set you back anywhere from $20 for a small pearl to $4,000 for one that is top grade. Yet, what could be a better souvenir to remind you of your visit?
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Posted on 06 July 2011.
For those who are used to shopping in sprawling malls and climate-controlled supermarkets and groceries, there is nothing like the Suva Municipal Market in the big island of Viti Levu on your Fiji holidays. There are no massive commercial fridges to freshly chill the vegetables and fruits and no glass displays protecting the goods. The Suva Municipal Market area has an open and airy market space where product stalls and walking peddlers display their wares to prospective customers.
The Suva market activity is fascinating to watch and one of the Suva attractions you must visit. At the market, customers will see an array of fresh produce, processed food products, local handicrafts, clothing, and items that cannot be seen in supermarket shelves. The fruit market on the first floor offers a variety of seasonal tropical fruits, from pineapples, mangoes, papayas, and bananas. There is also a fresh vegetable and seafood section on the first floor of the building.
The second floor of the market is laden with colourful powdery spices displayed in sacks and open containers. Here, visitors will also find locals selling kava, the Fijian ceremonial drink made from a variety of pepper plant. Stalls and itinerant peddlers sell an assortment of handicrafts such as tapa cloth, wooden carvings, and hand woven baskets at reasonable prices. For a quick lunch or dinner, cheap food stands serving barbecue and Indian food can be found near the market.
The Suva Municipal Market is located along Usher Street at Rodwell Road near the King’s Wharf. Market activities start at 5:00 am and end at 6:00 pm during weekdays. Saturday is the busiest day of the week but closing time is a bit earlier at 1:00 pm. For transportation options, take the bus at the station located along Rodwell Road at the back of the market. Before making a purchase, make sure that the product does not contravene with customs and quarantine laws in Fiji and Australia.
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Posted on 01 July 2011.
Located in Suva’s historical Thurston Garden, the Fiji Museum aims to preserve and raise awareness on the national heritage of Fiji. Until the construction and launching of the current museum in 1955, the Suva town hall housed the collection until 1919 when the hall was severely damaged by fire. Since that year until its permanent location at Thurston Garden, the collection was moved to different venues within the capital. The museum is one of the must-see Suva attractions.
The museum has in its possession an amazing assortment of archaeological, anthropological, and historical relics and artifacts reflecting Fiji’s history, culture, and traditions. From its original gallery in 1955, the museum has expanded into different sections to accommodate the museum’s growing collection of relics and artifacts. In addition to artifacts, the current Fiji museum proudly displays local Melanesian and Fijian art, in addition to contextual photography. There is also cheap holiday accommodation available nearby which makes your visit very affordable.
The current gallery displays include relics that show various aspects of traditional Fijian life. The museum structure is divided into prehistory, history, Masi, and Indo-Fijian galleries. A temporary gallery space serves as a venue for rotating displays and exhibitions. A separate gallery houses the art pieces of various local amateur and professional artists. The displays in the art gallery change in accordance with the museum schedule.
The museum gift shop has an assortment of handmade jewellery, pottery, clothing and other local crafts for visitors who are searching for the perfect collectible to bring home as a gift or souvenir. Demonstrations on local Fijian crafts are held regularly at the nearby Verandah and Mosamosa Café, which also provides the perfect venue for a family or group lunch, dinner, and social gathering.
The Fiji Museum is accessible from Mondays to Saturdays, including public Fiji holidays. The doors open at 9:30 am and closes at 4:00 pm, except Fridays. Current entrance fee is at AUD$ 3.90 for adults and AUD$ 2.80 for school-age children.
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