The Local Bazaars
The best part of shopping in the Maldives is browsing among the quaint and colourful local shops in Male along Chaandhanee Magu, Majeedhee Magu, Orchid Magu and Fareedhee Magu around which the city’s social and commercial life seem to revolve. Housing shops of every description these streets are similar to bazaars catering to a range of consumers and selling everything from local handicrafts to jewellery, perfumes, cosmetics, garments, various electronic gadgets and even tuna and other local delicacies.
While Majeedhee Magu specializes in the latest consumer products Chaandhanee Magu off Republic Square, where most tourists disembark, is where the souvenir shops are. Thudu kuna the Maldivian traditional reed mats with black and white motifs, models of Dhonis in various sizes and materials, shell jewellery, hand painted and crafted lacquer ware in vibrant colours made of local wood, a range of items in coconut shells and knick knacks are available in the shops that line the street. Sharks teeth make good mementos of a holiday. Shops on Fareedhee Magu have these on display made into designs that can be worn as an eye catching piece of jewellery. The most prominent merchandise is clothing of all sorts, from traditional Maldivian costumes to various types of beach and holiday wear. T shirts with hand painted designs are a good buy and some retailers will even custom make one. A great choice is found in shops selling beachwear on Chaandhanee Magu. Batiks are another great buy in shops in Chaandhanee Magu and Orchid Magu. Chandhanee Magu is also where people go to for reasonably priced electronic gadgets. An interesting selection of wristwatches can be found in shops along Orchid Magu. The bazaars are also the places that both locals and visitors go to for their essentials. The shops also stock several fish based food products from canned tuna to sun dried Maldive fish. Haggling is expected in most shops and it is the best way to come to an agreement on the price of the item of your choice.
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