There is a very large selection of African print and batik cotton fabrics for sale in the Kumasi open market. The girls and guys there will sell you the fabric, and then you can get clothes made by the tailors. African clothing is perhaps the most colorful in the world, and very comfortable in hot weather. I bought many shirts to wear as I would my Hawaiian shirts--parties and relaxing with friends on a warm summer day. But, since I'm also a teacher, I like to wear these shirts to work from time to time to interest the students. The fabric stalls are small and stacks of fabrics very high. So, crawl on in and examine what's for sale. At the time I was browsing, I became interested in shooting portraits of the attractive young men and women. These folk are really gorgeous!
What to buy: Again, one can buy the fabrics and get clothes custom made very quickly. I recommend giving a well-fitting garment with the design that you like for a model. The tailor can copy it exactly and add the buttons that you choose. Alternatively, there are many ready fit garments for sale as well. Much of what people enjoy is simply browsing the thousands of possible prints and batiks available. Incidentally, these cotton fabrics are very durable and wash well without bleeding. In contrast to my knit shirts bought in Guatemala, for example, these fabrics are very stable and don't shrink. Ask for advice. The vendors will gladly help.
What to pay: The prices are generally fixed, but you'll have to haggle a bit to determine what the bottom price is. I recommend browsing and bargaining with many vendors, selecting a little here and there to determine the best price. In general prices are incrediably low.
In Chinua Achebe's classic English novel, Things Fall Apart, the tradition bound main character frequently "breaks the kola nut" in the presence of ruling elders and kings. For tourists passing through Kumasi, it's a wise idea to stock up on kola nuts as a gift for chieftains in the rural parts of Ghana, and also in Burkina Faso, Mali, and elsewhere in the West Africa. Kola nuts are an astringent nut that is chewed for it's mild drug properties. I tried to get high on the stuff, but didn't experience much effect. Since they are grown in the tropical regions around Kumasi, stocking up before heading to the drier regions north will save some money. I can't recall the exact bargaining price, but I do know that I was amazed at how much higher Kola nuts sold for in Mali. In the image, one nut is split while the other is whole.
An enormous sprawling market in the centre of Kumasi, you can’t miss it!
What to buy: You can get all your day-to-day requirements here at Kumasi market, from your food (meat, vegetables, fruits, spices), to your cooking utensils and clothing. I am not sure I liked the look of the dried meats, but everything else looked very nice, especially the spices.
Cyntia Boutique is a good shop for nice female clothes. A model photographer has a studio the same building, and clothes from Cyntia is popular among the models there. The building is located in a busy street on a hill above the big market.
What to buy: Women's Clothes