Piles of bright green chili, orange tomatoes, and psychedelic pink dragon fruit distract my eyes, while heaps of Indian spices make my nose tinkle. The air is humid and hot, with the smell of the seawater floating in from time to time. In the labyrinth that makes up the Nadi central market, all sorts of local produce are on offer — from the quintessential kava roots to the earth brown taro (commonly grown in the Pacific islands). Vendors from the valley and mountains have come here to sell their ware, hoping to make a small fortune from the crops they had painstakingly cultivated. Buzzing in a subdued but slightly chaotic undercurrent, the Nadi market is splashed with bright colors and swept in a wave of energy.
We’re wandering around the central market in Nadi town, here to catch a glimpse of locals out and about. This is a world away from the fancy, self-contained resorts along the coast. This is where Fijians go for their groceries, meet their friends, and basically hang out. We had come with the hope of getting a chance to see a slightly different side of Fiji and interact with locals – and we did just that here in Nadi market.
To share with you what we found, here’s a collection of photos that Alberto shot – we hope they take you there with us.
Warm and friendly vendors smile for the camera – this lady in particular is selling aubergine, spinach and carrots.
Heaps of coconut on offer – coconut is Fiji’s biggest export.
Bright green chili- the Fijians like some of their food spicy!
Fijian Indians selling an array of local vegetables including ladyfingers and pumpkin.
In a corner of the market, we find heaps of Fijian Indian spices on offer.
The very popular kava is found everywhere in the market. Kava is the root of the pepper plant and is usually consumed by pounding it and mixing with water to form a narcotic drink that has a numbing and relaxing effect.
Kava is wrapped into a spiral coil and offered as a gift when visiting friends and family.
Plates of long beans and bitter melon for sale.
Big, fat pumpkins are a common sight in the market.
Rows of pineapples, oranges and dragon fruit on display.
Many of the produce here remind me of home – here are some ginger on sale.
Fresh from the sea, mussels piled in heaps.
Sweet potato is another staple in the local cuisine.
Locals leaving the market as it starts to wind down.
Disclaimer: Our trip was made possible by Captain Cook Cruises, Air Pacific and Tourism Fiji, but all opinions expressed above are our own.