The Papeete Public Market is in every sense the heart of the city. Pretty new buildings, located just one block from the waterfront, have been constructed to house the vendors in Le Marche, as the municipal market is called.
Open daily from 5 A.M. to 6 P.M., the marche reaches its peak of activity very early on Sunday mornings, when Tahitian families come to shop for their Sunday dinner.
This is the perfect place for photographs. Here are displays of lovely floral arrangements of orchids and anthuriums, marigolds and daisies, red ginger and jasmine, shell necklaces, woven hats and baskets.
The upstairs section is reserved for artisans selling Pareus, tifaifai quilts, cushion covers and other handicrafts. Luscious ripe fruits are on one side, Chinese vegetables on the other. Strings of brightly colored fish are brought from the fishing boats to the market each afternoon around 4 P.M., also a good time to visit.
Farm-fresh meats are sold, sometimes on the hoof, with squealing pigs and quacking ducks adding their voices to the din.