Vava'u produces some of the finest handicrafts in Tonga. The best place to shop in Tonga is South Seas Treasures (tel. 70-982), beside Port of Refuge in the Puataukanave International Hotel complex. It's owned by English expatriate Amecia Yeal, who collects extraordinary handicrafts, paintings, and drawings by local artisans and artists in Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and other Pacific countries. Her prices are as high as the quality, but you get what you pay for.
The local branch of Langafonua Handicrafts, the women's handicraft organization founded by Queen Salote, is adjacent to the Tonga Visitors Bureau. It carries a good variety of baskets, mats, wood carvings, and other items at reasonable prices. Also look in the small shops along the main street for baskets, mats, wood carvings, and other items.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.