Le Pahia is a small shopping center in the north of Vaitape.
I only found it because I was looking for a cybercafe, which can be found at the pastry shop, L'Appetisserie. It was the only cybercafe that I found on the island.
What to buy: Next to the pastry shop, there's a black pearl shop, souvenir shop, flower shop and camera and appliance store.
What to pay: At the cybercafe you can surf the net for 40 CFP (0.3 EUR) per minute.
The supermarket is located in the shopping center in Vaitape area. Here, you can purchase drinking water, snacks, bread, first aid items, and all the other general grocery items for a lot cheaper than other smaller markets or convenience stores. I went here almost daily during my stay.
This small supermarket is conveniently located between Hotel Le Matai Polynesia and Sofitel Marara.
We sometimes came here to buy our lunch: French bread and cheese & dried sausages.
What to buy: Food and drinks, gifts, clothes, bath and beauty.
What to pay: normal supermarket prices for food but more for the gifts.
Bora Bora (I guess Tahiti and all islands in the area) is known for its black pearl. There are Black Pearl shop everywhere on the island. Many duty free shops let you pick peals you like, and make jewelry with it for you.
What to pay: The selections are endless from less than $10 souvenir class to more than $10K fine jewelry class with gold or platinum setting. Ask questions about the grade, color, shape, etc. about the peal before you purchase it.
What to buy:
Of course you can buy T-shirts, caps, and all the usual tourist stuff in Bora Bora. Even black pearls, if you want, although I read in several sources that you should better do this in Tahiti because there is a kind of competition and a bigger selection. (But it is cheaper in the Cook Islands…)
All the rest can be bought on the other French Polynesian islands as well.
Although you get pareos (pareu, sarong, lavalava or however you want to call it) everywhere in the South Pacific, I found those in French Polynesia had the most unique design – and not just those designed in Gauguin style. But some with the Gauguin style design were so beautiful, you could put them in a frame like a silk painting and hang it on the wall.
This surely is not unique to Bora Bora – but I think they are stunning, not just depicting hibiscus and other tropical flowers.
You will surely get a better deal at the central market in Papeete – but I would go for anything that captivates me when I see it, or you might be disappointed if you do not find anything as nice on the other islands. If you can afford to holiday in French Polynesia you just have to have some spare dollars, euros or francs… ;-)
If you want to buy black pearls but are not a pearl expert, you might want to go to the Polynesian Bureau of Expertise (O.P.E.C.) which is located in Vaitape next to the Post Office. They do X-rays in front of your eyes to measure the nacre thickness, and they will give you a certificate of expertise and valuation.
We found this shop on the circle road while we were looking for drinks. They sell everything from the snack to the washing powder...
We took our beverages and drank them on a bench behind the house, facing the sea.
I notice the bright pareos that were hanging on a clothes-line and I really couldn't resist buying one ;-)
Motu Tehotu, 98730, French Polynesia
Good for: Couples
Motu Ome'e BP 506, Bora Bora, 98730, French Polynesia
Good for: Business
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