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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Vanuatu

Vanuatu Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Vanuatu

There are many boutique and speciality shops in Port Vila and excellent duty free shops that sell perfumes, jewellery, sound equipment and alcohol. The 'lower' main street (nearest the harbour) has the banks, chemists, boutiques and duty free shops while the 'upper' main street has an array of Chinese owned shops. There are souvenir markets on the harbour front that sell handicrafts, carvings, sarongs, necklaces and novelty items like WWII Coke bottles and 'baskets blong titi' (coconut shell bras). Inexpensive hair-braiding is also offered here. Fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers are available at the colourful Mama's Markets (open 24 hours, close Saturday afternoon to Monday morning) and there are a number of well-stocked supermarkets. There are several liquor outlets (they also close Saturday lunchtime to Monday morning). Alcohol is available in resorts on Sundays.

Shopping Note

While most carvings and wooden artefacts will be fine to take home, they should be declared for inspection.

Shopping hours

Shopping hours vary – most open at 0730 and close at 1700 Mon-Fri and supermarkets stay open until around 2000. Shops open Saturday mornings. Some businesses close for 'siesta' from 1130-1330 (except restaurants, banks, supermarkets and the post office). The market in the town centre is open 24 hours (closed Saturday afternoon to Monday morning) for flowers, fruit, vegetables and handicrafts.

Nightlife in Vanuatu

Port-Vila has several nightclubs with music and dancing. There is also a cinema. Evening cruises are organised with wine, snacks and island music. Traditional music and dancing take place at various island festivities to which visitors are welcome, and some hotels put on evening entertainment and dancing. Details are available from the Vanuatu National Tourism Office.