Tonga is one of the best places in the South Pacific to shop for Polynesian crafts such as tapa cloth, wood carvings, shells, and woven mats. Tapa cloth plays an important role in Tongan social life. A long and skilled process is involved to convert the bark of the mulberry tree into tapa cloth which is in turn fashioned into items such as fans, place mats, wall hangings, table cloths and handbags.
Visitor should look for baskets made out of the bleached fibers of pandanus and coconut leaf and wood carving featuring figures of ancient sacred images. Most of the shops are located along Nuku’alofa’s main street and back roads.
Visitors to Nuku’alofa will find a good selection of restaurants offering both international and Tongan cuisine. Seafood, fresh lobster, shellfish, and fresh fish are available all year. Marinated raw fish, or ‘ota ika, is often served as an appetizer; the raw fish is marinated in fresh coconut milk, lime juice, and hot chili peppers. Beach Resorts offered Tongan feasts and traditional entertainment and are highly recommended as a must for tourist.
Many restaurants in Nuku’alofa have small bars; along the waterfront and central Nuku’alofa are some popular bars and there are several good disco clubs.