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Shopping in Mauritius – not just about beaches

Shopping is something which comes without calling for women tourists. So if you are a woman reading this, we know how you feel. If you are a man reading this with a shop-loving wife sitting at home, we know how you feel (grins). But love it or hate it, you can’t get away from shopping especially when you are at an exotic destination like Mauritius. So, with tour packages to Mauritius, what you will get (whether you want it or not) is a few hours of shopping which your woman will enjoy violently as if her whole life depends on those few pennies for which she will joyfully haggle till the final breath.

Mauritius has a reputation of being a beach destination. There is no point arguing this. It is indeed a beach place and its string of corals and blue waters do make this island a mouth-watering destination. But after you have done your diving and sun-bathing, you can let your wife hop over to the yummy markets and bazaars which the towns stack in small or large quantities.

The capital Male is the commercial point of the island. It is here that you can do what women call as ‘sophisticated’ shopping. So, you can expect a few good-looking markets popping up here and there. But don’t expect to run into those larger-than-life malls which you get to see at every point in Bangkok or Singapore.

 Perhaps the best place for shopping (and for serial shopping) is the town of Grand Baie. Grand Baie bazaar is the best place for cheap shopping (inclusive of bargaining). No woman will be able to resist the charm of bargaining at this bazaar’s stalls, almost snatching the yellow outfit she loves right from the teeth of the miserable seller. But this is not a night bazaar and is open during the daytime till 6 pm.

For the ‘sophisticated’ bit of shopping, this supermarket called ‘Super U’ is the most popular choice. Sunset Boulevard is another corner where you can look for clothes, electronics, souvenirs and almost anything shop-worthy.

A small distance from Grand Baie lays this corner called Goodlands which is another significant place for local shopping. Here, a shopper can indulge in plenty of items of Indo-Mauritius origin.

Mauritius, no doubt, is more about beaches, scuba diving, golf-playing and wildlife. But this piece was meant to throw light at another aspect of tourism in this island. If you find this place is worth a trip and a few thousand rupees, you can book it under tour packages abroad.

Manya Singh