Best Gifts from Vanuatu

A vacation is never complete without buying a souvenir. These little trinkets are our tickets back to memory lane. It mostly reminds us of the sweet memories we've had of our brief stay in a locale.

The capital of Vanuatu, Port Villa is like a small resort town with tiny boutiques. Take advantage of shopping and stocking up what you need here for there are only a few essential items sold in the outlying islands.

There is not a lot of choice when it comes to souvenir shopping so I've rounded up the possible souvenirs that might interest you while visiting its gorgeous islands and beaches.

1. Vanuatu Map Wrap Around (Sarong)

This is sold everywhere. Even the men and women would use it as a wrap around. You can use it as a beach towel, dry yourself after a swim or hang it on a wall to remind you of Vanuatu. Or if you are like me, I used it as a skirt.

2. Flower Hair Clips

These flower hairclips made of foam are so detailed they almost look real. The popular ones are frangipani's or plumeria's. Even the flight stewardess on Air Vanuatu use it. I know that in some Pacific islands, wearing the flower on the right means you are married while wearing it on the left means you are single, available and ready to mingle, I often don't follow the protocol.

3. Colorful plumes

Dr. Alicia, Dominik (a teacher the local school) and I 

These plumes are special to Tanna and come in the colors of the rainbow. You then put this on your hair.

The ni-Van (locals) often give this as a gift which they encase in a slim bamboo tube similar to the one I'm holding below.

4. Fans

The women here make beautiful hand weaved fans in different designs. Some are trimmed with yarns and the really special ones with feathers

5. Bags

Like the bag I am using in this photo...

You can also get personalized bags like this which are again weaved by the locals. You can ask them to write your name or something on it.

6. Vanuatu Money

There is a good exchange rate here even for me who comes from a third world country so you can get smaller bills or coins and give it away as souvenirs. I know I do. Especially that only a few people ever manage to find their way to Vanuatu.

7. Letter

Probably one of the best would be getting a volcanic ash covered letter sent from the foot of Yasur Volcano! And the real stamps you get with the letter is just pure love.

8. Pictures

My personal favorite is the once in a lifetime experience of dressing like a Tanna Woman. My face got painted with colorful powders and I get to wear a grass skirt. And since I am conservative, I wore a scarf to cover my hoo-has instead of going bare-breasted.

9. Vanuatu Dolls

Wouldn't it be lovely to get one of these dolls? It is rare to find dolls in dark skin tone as everyone desires to have the western standard of beauty-fair skin and straight hair.

What's your favorite Vanuatu souvenir?


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