After paying twice the regular fare for several taxi rides, we learned from locals what the general fare should be for known destinations... It is a good idea to ask your hotel personel what the rate should be in general or even have them call their contracted taxi cabs for ya.. and always negotiate beforehand how much you will be paying for the ride before you sit in the car... so BEWARE of taxi rip offs!!!
In Nadi, when recognized as a tourist wondering the busy streets by the locals, some people may approach you and offer to help you find your destination.. Often, they will insist on helping you even when you really don't need help.. Practice care since they may request money after helping you and actually walking with you to your destination.. Not all the locals are alike, in fact most are genuine people.. you always find some that try to take advantage of the tourists every where you go... If you don't need help looking for your destination and if the person insists on walking with you, nicely ask them to stop since you don't need assistance..
Watch out for the friedly locals in Suva and in Nadi that will try and befriend you and then sell you stuff. They are the sword sellings. They ask for your name, then they start carving your name in the swords. Then they "give" it to you, but then when you are holding it your hands , they demand money from you and tell you a sob story of a sick mother.
Even though you have your name in it, it doesn't mean you have to buy it.
Walk away and say that you never agreed to buying it.
If they follow you and force you to pay the money, say that you will report this incidence tot he tourist police and they might leave you at that point...
Unique Suggestions: If you want to buy stuff from the locals, whether it is from the market or from the sword sellings, be hard, beat them down to more than half of what they started, and then you might end up with a bargain.
Don't give in to their sob stories, half, if not all of them are not true.
Fun Alternatives: The best way to avoid the tourist trap is to travel with 2 or more people. Stay together , and always check with your travel friends the things that are being offered to you.
When travelling on the bus or taxi, check the prices and agree on a price before hopping in the taxi first before hopping in.
You can go to Nads handicraft store in Nadi, that offers good handicraft things at reasonable prices. They are open to give you a discount and the wages of their emplyees are not commision based, but they have normal wages and not like in Jack's handicraft where it is based on commision only, so there you have the emplyees "pounce" on you as soon as you enter the store.
Avoid Jack's handicraft and go to Nads handicraft, which is just accorss the road but more left.
The people are pleasant and not pushy at all.
Even when you're told not to be tricked into buying anything with a sappy story or roundabout phrasing, it may be more difficult than you think when the moment arises!
Upon walking into one shop, the owner tied a cheap little necklace around my neck saying it was a "gift." For the hospitality I was asked, upon leaving, to give a "donation" for the necklace. I handed one man a two dollar coin, but he refused to take it, simply saying "ten dollars." This was no donation. He refused to take my $2 and when I tried to leave requested the "gift" be returned... of course they tie them on so tight you can't take the necklaces off! I should have just ran out but when there is someone demanding $10 or to (impossibly) take an item off your neck, well, I had to pay the $10.
The moral is, saying "no" to pushy sellers may be harder here than you may think! If you don't plan on buying anything, it may be best not to travel with too much cash...it may be forced out of your wallet.
Pretty much all of Nadi Town is a tourist trap. I think you should go and walk around and at least check it out. Its convenient because the town is close to Denearau Island were all the resorts are at. But its like being in TJ or something with vendors trying to get you into their store. We didnt experience any sword sellers but we did experience alot of guys trying to get us to buy something and even giving you some sad stories. One guy noticed that Rob was Polynesian and told him not to shop at the Indian stores but to go to were the Fijian owned. Rob let him take him to another store a few blocks down. They were very very very friendly and we never felt threatened at all but it did take us a LONG time to get out of that store. I got a little frustrated and I went walking around by myself. By the time I got back Rob had spent way too much money already in there and they were still trying to sucker him into buying other stuff. They knew our names and I noticed that one of the guys was trying to carve our names into something. I dont even know what it was. I told him that I wasnt planning on purchasing that so I hope he doesnt carve our names. He looked at me like if to say but I already started. I looked at him back like if to say oh well. I wasnt trying to be rude but it was getting ridiculous! They are so sweet and friendly that you dont want to say no but they dont let you. I had to be firm yet nice. Rob wasnt too good at that. The guys even started putting sharks teeth necklaces around our necks and saying they were gifts blah blah blah. I think in the end we ended up paying for them. Then Rob was supposed to receive some change back from them and they asked if they could keep the change to help their village out.
Unique Suggestions: Jacks is a store that they have at the Port and in Nadi Town. there is no pressure to purchase anything but you mught get followed around in the store. I didnt get the feeling that they thought that we were going to steal but they wanted to make sure that if we had a question about anything at all that they would be there to answer it. Once I got something that I liked they quickly gave me a little basket to keep on shopping. Jacks has a bunch of stores throughout the island. Sometimes its alittle more pricey but less problem. This was where I bought most of my gifts for my friends and co workers.
Fun Alternatives: If you go in the other direction to Lautoka you wont get harrassed as much and things are less expensive. It was worth it to check out this little town. Although it appeared to be alittle bigger than Nadi. ( I think) I preferred to come here. I was left alone. I felt safe and there was no pressure.
Well, every hotel on Denarau Island is a trap and a pleasant one, compared to the "real" Fijian accomodation anyway.
Unique Suggestions: Go to Westin, Denarau.
Fun Alternatives: You would be better off not to try to avoid it!