Three of a kind
KOKOPO MARKET, PNG
Visit buzzing, open-air Kokopo market in East New Britain – one of the largest markets in the country – to peruse row upon row of stalls set up both out on the grass and under open-sided shelters. You’ll find everything from vegetables, fruit (don’t miss the delicious young coconuts), live crabs and smoked fish wrapped in banana leaves, to handmade cigars, betel nut and its accompaniments (mustard stick and powdered lime), as well as handicrafts like handwoven grass mats with colourful finishings.
Returning from a trip to Papua New Guinea without a bilum is like returning from Paris without a beret. You’ll usually find sellers armed with dozens of these colourful string bags, handmade with a technique similar to crocheting, towards the front of the market. The hardest part will be choosing just one from the rainbow of colours and patterns.
DON’T MISS UBUD MARKET, INDONESIA
In the centre of Bali’s laid-back art capital, opposite the Ubud Palace, Ubud market found fame after being featured in the Hollywood film Eat, Pray, Love. With a maze of stalls selling everything from traditional Balinese carvings, rattan bags, paintings, sculptures, silk scarves and trinkets galore, this is where to head for your Bali souvenir shop – especially because most items are locally produced.
Be prepared to bargain, because haggling is expected at this market. Some say to halve the vendor’s first price and go from there, others to simply decide what the piece is worth to you and try to get the vendor to agree. Either way, try to make it a price that’s fair for you both.
Being Australia’s biggest arts and crafts market, this biweekly market really is an unmissable feature of any trip to Australia’s Sunshine Coast, and well worth the 90-minute drive from Brisbane. With the tagline ‘make it, bake it, sew it, grow it’, the market offers an impressive array of wares from 600 local vendors. You’ll find homegrown and homemade food, as well as clothes, art, skincare products, homewares and much more.
SOMETHING SPECIAL This market is really more like a festival, with the music and entertainment being perhaps even more enjoyable than the shopping. Two stages play host to live bands, which you can enjoy, cold-brew coffee in hand, as you groove on the grass.