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Jamaica Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Jamaica

Local produce, handicrafts and duty-free bargains are just some of the reasons to hit the shops. Jamaica is renowned for its fine hand-loomed fabrics, embroidery, silk screening, woodcarvings, oil paintings, sandal-making and woven raffia. There is also a popular Quaker-run workshop specialising in wicker furniture, floor mats and other tropical furnishings at Highgate Village in the mountains. At the In-Craft centre, it is also possible to buy custom-made rugs and reproductions of pewter and china from the 17th-century ruins of the ancient submerged city of Port Royal.

Jamaican specialities include rum and rum-related products, such as Ian Sangsters Rum Cream. The island's most famous produce market is Coronation Market, Kingston. Other markets worth visiting include Linstead Market, Kingston; Brownstown Market, St Anne; the Savanna-la-Mar Market, Savanna-la-Mar; and the Albert George Market, Falmouth. Also locally made and sold are Pepper Jellies, jams, Blue Mountain coffee, hot sauces, and spices.

So-called 'in-bond' shopping allows tourists to purchase international goods free of tax or duty. Goods are sealed (hence the 'bond') until away from Jamaican waters and must be paid for in Jamaican Dollars.

Shopping hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1700; Sat 0800-1300. Some shops close half day Wednesday in Kingston, and Thursday on the rest of the island.

Nightlife in Jamaica

After-dark Jamaican entertainment ranges from the sophisticated to hedonistic. As the home of Bob Marley, live reggae music can be found throughout the island. There are also regular street dances and steel bands in most towns and villages. Torch-lit limbo dancers and fire-eaters often form a part of frequent folkloric parades. Calypso, jazz, rock, soca, reggae, and many other styles of music can be found in a host of neon-lit nightclubs. The Jamaica Tourist Board's 'Meet the People' evenings offer a chance to interact with the locals throughout the island. Contact the tourist office in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, or Port Antonio.

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