Visit Tonga’s selection of shopping areas to soak up the culture and atmosphere of this pacific playground. You will find stores, malls and markets on the main island groups.
The Tongan arts and handicrafts are made using techniques passed down through generations of Tongan craftspeople. Most shops will have craftsmen on site so you can see for yourself how they do it: bone carving, wood carving, basket making and fine weaving, it really is an art! Probably the most famous local craft is the making of Tapa, a decorative bark cloth painted with traditional symbols and designs. Tapa is usually offered as a gift of respect at weddings, births and funerals.
Other Shopping In Tonga
The Western Union Mall and Office Complex building is located in the heart of the Nuku’alofa, City centre. This is a dynamic two storey office building, set on a beautifully landscaped courtyard. The design, and location is seen throughout the city centre. The multi complex building has nine retail shops, offices and an upmarket café.
Typical Tongan souvenirs are hand-decorated and woven tapa cloth, woven floor coverings, Ta’ovala pandanus mats, woven pandanus baskets, ‘Ali Baba’ laundry baskets, polished coconut-shell goblets and ashtrays, model outrigger canoes, ornaments, brooches, earrings, rings and silver-inlaid knives.
Tongan stamps and coins are collectors’ items; complete sets are on sale at the philatelic section of the Tongan Treasury. There are duty-free shops on Tongatapu and Vava’u, although the goods and services tax is only 5%.
Most shops will be open between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday and on Saturday morning between 8am and 12noon.