Monday, 22 June 2015

Things to See and Do: Bazaar Labrin

A Cultural Extravaganza - Creole Food, Live Local Music and Souvenir Stalls

If you happen to find yourself on Mahé Island, Seychelles on a Wednesday, wondering what to do, then you should definitely check out the Bazaar Labrin in Beau Vallon - a cultural extravaganza featuring affordable local dishes, live local music and local arts and craft stalls.

Situated in the North of the island and set against the back drop of the stunning Beau Vallon Beach, Bazaar Labrin is a (very) tourist friendly glimpse into to the Seychellois way of life, and a great opportunity to add a cultural element to your paradise island getaway. 

To make the most of it, arrive early and in-time to catch the sunset (actually, what's better is simply spending the day on the beach and letting that transition into the bazaar). There is something magical about sunsets from Beau Vallon Beach, with the silhouette of Silhouette Island standing sentinel in a fiery sky as the sun dips into the Indian Ocean.

What to eat

Although meat and even burgers are available, take advantage of fresh fish and local flavours and try one of the many creole options on offer.  Octopus Curry is always a winner, and nothing beats a succulent grilled tuna kebab. Look for the chapati stall (its the couple with the cowboy hats and the (usually) long queue) for an easy-to-eat and tasty option. Chapatis are similar to  a roti and come filled with a choice of curries and lentils. 


 What to drink

There are a host of local fruit juices available and you'll be able to find soft-drinks and water. If you drink alcohol you won't be able to find any beers, wine or spirits on sale. However, you should definitely seek out the local toddy lady (recognizable by the plastic bottles sticking off of tree branches, a local tradition). Definitely worth a try, toddy, or Kalou as its locally known, is a fermented drink made form the sap of coconut palms. TIP: ask for the semi-sweet version, as it is sweeter and tastier to drink. Just don't drink to much or else your legs will get a bit wobbly. 

What to buy

There are a host of stalls selling local arts and crafts, clothing and other Seychelles souvenirs. The selection here is adequate enough that you shouldn't need to set anymore of your precious holiday time aside to shop elsewhere. 

When to come and when to go

Before sunset or straight off a day on the beach is definitely the best time to arrive. Also, as the night progresses the food stalls generally start running out of their options so if you arrive late you may end up with less of a variety, so you shouldn't need to  be there later than 8:30. However, Beau Vallon is a hub of activity, and you could always move on to one of the nearby restaurants bars or hotels to take the night further (Berjaya Beau Vallon Resort houses a casino).

All-in-all, Bazaar Labrin is a great experience and the perfect opportunity to experience local culture when you visit Seychelles. Safety, good food, local products and the surreal sunset setting of Beau Vallon Beach make this a good decision for your Wednesday evening on Mahé Island, Seychelles

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Article by Niki Gower, NGMC Seychelles