Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I was prompted to write this article after reading an article about Montego bay, Jamaica by a well known site that offers information about destinations around the world.In my opinion the site misrepresented our market vendors in Jamaica. This is what was written about Montego Bay, "Be prepared to be pursued by aggressive vendors. Vendors selling a craft item may mean the difference between having a meal or going hungry, and that situation often leads to a feverish attempt to peddle goods to potential customers, all of whom are viewed as rich. Warning: Occasionally this harassment turns ugly or even violent, so watch your back if you decide to turn it on an angry vendor." 
I wish to dismiss this over exaggerated frivolous report and defend our market vendors in Montego Bay, Jamaica who I know to be decent people trying to make a living and certainly not resorting to any violent behavior. As a traveled person, I visited Hong Kong in the 90's and there at Stanley Market in Kowloon if you touch a Higgler's product you have to buy it, and if you don't buy it, you get cursed in Chinese. (not stereotyping this was just drawing inference from my personal experience to make a point.)
Now with that out of the way, let me give you some tips about shopping in Mobay. If you have time for only one shopping complex, make it Old Fort Craft Park, as the vendors handicrafts here are more varied in that you have the option of purchasing both souvenirs and more serious gift items. This shopping complex with over 200 market vendors are all licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), and is located along the Howard Cooke Boulevard. Here you are able to purchase wall hanging pictures, hand-woven straw items, and wood sculptures. There are also skilled vendors who can braid ladies hair. 
Another option is the the Crafts Market located near Harbour Street in downtown Mobay, you can find a good selection of hand-made souvenirs from Jamaica, these includes straw hats,bags, wooden platters, straw baskets, musical instruments, beads, carved objects, and wooden carved Rastafarians. 

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