Maketi Fou

Top choice in Apia

Maketi fou (new market) scenE

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Abuzz with local merchants, shoppers, loiterers and men slamming it down over games of mu (Samoan checkers), this 24-hour market is a must-see shopping and social experience. Though primarily a produce market, pretty much everything is sold here. Souvenir hunters will find siapo (decorated bark cloth), woodcarvings, coconut-shell jewellery, lava-lava (wraparound sarongs) and T-shirts. A cold niu (drinking coconut) will give you strength to shop on, despite the oppressive humidity of the place.

The ambience is somewhat enlivened by the fume-ridden chaos of the adjacent bus station.