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Shopping in Fiji
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Shopping in Fiji
  Taveuni Travel Tip

Although Fiji has duty-free shopping for small appliances, jewelry, porcelain, cameras, perfumes and cosmetics, they are probably not cheaper then at discount stores in United States.

The price of the crafts in Fiji are reasonable. Bargaining is expected in the markets. Most shops are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday until 1 p.m. There is no trading on Sunday.

Traditional crafts in Fiji include products made from masi cloth, a fine paper product made from the inner bark of the mulburry tree. Historically, masi was used for dresses, turbans and loincloth. Today, it is used as a canvas for beautiful wall hangings and for place mats. A good place to shop for masi crafts is the government handicraft center in Suva.

Pottery is another product beautifully handcrafted by Fijians for thousands of years. The designs on the clay pots are simple and strong and still molded by Fijian women without a wheel. Visitors can see the entire process (from kneading the clay, to forming it, to drying it on hot coals) at the Fiji's cultural center and at Orchid Island.

Several resorts offer cultural demonstrations. We watched Fijian women weave hats with wide blades of green grass. When they were through, the handsome hats were sold to the audience.

Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, shops and by car rental agencies and tour operators. American Express, Diners Club, Visa, Master Card and JCB have representative offices.

Business and government offices are open five days a week: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. are customary. Post offices are open every week day from 8-4.

Tipping is not expected in Fiji. However, money dropped in jars labeled 'Christmas fund.' are appreciated. These funds are distributed among the entire staff of the establishment keeping alive the tradition that sharing is the way of life.

Calling home from anywhere in the South Pacific is not cheap. The most expensive phone call I ever made was from Tahiti via satellite from a hotel. It was $170 US for 20 minutes. A call from Suva to North America is $7.80 for the first three minutes and $2.70 per-minute thereafter. Remember that hotels add a surcharge, so ask before you call. Something I neglected to do.

The Fijian dollar was roughly .51 US August 2000




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