One day while cooling off at our pool while in Maui, I had the chance to chat it up with a few visitors, learning about their adventures and must sees.
I love how people on vacation talk. They have TIME to talk. There’s a big difference.
We got to chatting about (the lack of junk) shopping, and one gal piped up, “Have you been to the Maui Swap Meet yet?
Well that turned my junk radar on high! I learned that this is the largest swap meet in all of Maui, loaded with local food, arts and crafts, garage sale type stuff and a few antiques for good measure.
I checked it out online, gasped, and made plans to go the next day.
The day was a hot one, as always. But as long as you carried water and wore sunscreen, you’re good to go. And take cash. It was only .50 to get in, and parking was ample and free.
I meant to take a picture of the entire meet from the outside of the gates, but… I got there too late. By the time I got out, most had packed up and left. Oh well.
Just trust me when I say, it was indeed BIG.
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And it’s right here that I admit I can’t name all the vendors I took pictures of. I misplaced a stack of cards, so I’m at a loss. Tried to find biz names from the Maui Swap Meet Facebook page but didn’t find the unnamed in this post. So if one of these is, you, please let me know in comments and I’ll name you! 🙂
I didn’t know where to head first… so many isles. So I just started walking.
This booth was so clever. They cut up chunks of license plates, and made the signs to spec while you waited. Brilliant!
I stood there and spelled out Maui Junk, until I couldn’t find certain letters. By then, the lineup had grown so long, I decided to take in the rest of the swap meet instead of waiting in line for one thing. Boo.
But I was on a time crunch and I didn’t want to miss a thing.
p.s. go early!
Neat though, right? They had middle sections with fish and all sorts of beachy things to chime in with the islands.
These coconut figurines were a howel! From fish to crabs to whatever else. My closeup pics didn’t turn out… drat! True repurposing right here.
I did find a few flea market type tables, but the majority were unique hand crafted goods you didn’t see by the millions, transported from China. These were one of a kinds.. and that’s another VERY good reason to check this place out when shopping for souvenirs.
Made in Maui with Maui things. Now THAT is a true souvenir.
And then THIS. These driftwood pieces burned with sayings were absolutely beautiful! By Maui Drift.
What a neat idea.
These driftwood word pieces on wood or husk backings were so cool AND affordable! The HI came home with me.
I think Spam must be big here! Aren’t these succulents graphically fun and adorable?
These carried the true essence of the area. A ‘don’t worry, be happy’ sense of humour.
It wasn’t for sale. I always fall in love with fixtures… are you like that too?
But these guys were kind enough to comment back with, “You want to buy THAT?! If you want to take our garbage away, go ahead!”
I really tried to give them a few bills but they absolutely refused. But I apparently gave back by giving them something to talk about later I’m sure!
I really enjoyed these two! You could tell they loved hangin’ out here.
They were selling some old money, and these apple bananas, freshly picked from their own backyard.
I felt they were too green, so I didn’t partake. But I had purchased ripe ones elsewhere and let me tell you, you have not had a real banana until you have these.
And of course, no swap meet is ever complete without some good eats…
A MUST TRY are the fresh coconuts.
This one booth was the back of a pickup truck stocked full. He removed the husks, then drilled a hole so you could first drink the water.
Then he’d cut it in half so you could enjoy the pulp.
The coconut water was AMAZING. It was like a delicately flavoured water, with JUST enough sweetness. Beautiful.
But the coconut pulp had a really rubbery texture, so it wasn’t for me. But others devoured it, so I’m sure it’s fabulous. 🙂
Sweetest pineapple in the world. Guaranteed to not make you pucker!
If you come to this booth, get these. Homemade samosas with homemade mango flavoured dipping sauce. To die for. I seriously had to sit down after my first bite, so I could take my time and truly savour all the flavours.
And then I ordered another plate. LOL
Don’t even think about dieting while abroad here.
There were so many other foods to try, but the place closed down on me. So get there a little earlier than an hour before they close… ya think?! 🙂
The Maui Swap Meet will most definitely be on my visit list should I ever go back. It was soooo fun!
And only about 10 min from the Iao Valley… swoon…
So… I’ve been home for over a month now. It isn’t quite as hard to look at these pictures at this point. But I admit, I feel the wanderlust pull if I do Instagram scrolling of travel sites. I don’t think it ever goes away.
But at least I can prolong our own visit just a little longer by showing you late posts… with more to come. 🙂
16 thoughts on “Desire authentic souvenirs? The Maui Swap Meet it is!”
Oh, this looks like fun! No matter where I travel to, I hit yard sales and flea markets because they always have different junk….I mean TREASURES, than we do in St. Louis. I pack an empty suitcase inside my big suitcase so I can stuff it with all my treasures and bring them home in one piece.
Haha YES! Our bags definitely bulged just a little more on the way home. Mostly filled with kona coffee though… of course. LOL
Donna, I recently watched the Sunday morning CBS morning show which had a story about Spam in Hawaii…it’s HUGE !! They showed the area of the store where they were on shelves… took up half an aisle! Whereas, at our stores you might find…oh…a dozen cans, right ? They had a lot of different flavors. I thought there was just one! It was incredible!
When I lived in Panama as a kid (military dad) we had a coconut tree in the yard so I got used to fresh ones. LOVE the coconut milk and fresh meat. Although a little “rubbery” it’s a wonderful taste, unlike the stuff you buy shredded in bags. I’ve also grown pineapples at home once I cut off the top of a store-bought fruit. It takes a year or longer, but eventually my plant gave me a pineapple. Although much smaller than store bought, it was heavenly sweet! So much different than the store.
Love the drift wood signs! Glad you are home again safe and sound.
I totally missed the Spam boat, didn’t notice it at all at the grocery stores. Next time I’ll go hunt and try one! My son would have probably loved it.
Coconut MILK… I wasn’t sure if it was water or milk. Thanks!
It’s quite unbelievable we can be in a place that far away one day, and be back in our homes the next. Like I blinked and I was never even there. It’s nice to be home to do stuff, but I miss that climate (and coffee) every single second!
I have never been here! Now it is a must the next time I am in Maui. And yes, Spam is big all over Hawaii – it is a staple in try Hawaiian cuisine.
It’s close to the main airport, a very easy find with a good GPS!
I love that license plate art. That’s happening in Mexico too, and last year I bought one for Robert which says “Ti Amo” and now it hangs in our place in England. Love those quirky signs. I tried to get someone to custom make one this year, but, apart form “Pay $80 up front and we’ll make it for you next Tuesday” promises, I didn’t get very far. Maybe I need to go to Maui. 😀
The prices added up quickly here too, I think my sign would have cost about that as well. But… how cool all the same!
Yes this place is great! I thought I had suggested it when you first told us you were going to Maui but I think sometimes posts don’t get through. The Samosas are wonderful, it was a mother and daughter team when we were there, very nice ladies. I loved the flowers and they often last until the next Sat. market. Always want the pottery but a little heavy to get home. So glad you got to see it.
I’m sure you did suggest it Dee… I just tend to forget what I did an hour ago, so it was like an all new idea once I got there! 😀 Great, fun place!
Maui as a whole could use a little more junk though… wonder why I’d suggest that…LOL
Love the Maui Swap meet. Last fall was the first time I discovered them too. We came early and hit every stall. Next time I’ll come hungry so I can eat!
What an awesome place…soooooooo many unique products…I just LOVE those license plate signs and the driftwood art, as well! If I ever get to Maui, I know just what will be top of my list to check out! Thank you for taking us there and letting us experience it vicariously through you as your incredible pix transport us there expertly! Such a treasure of a place!
Hi Susan! Glad you enjoyed the tour! I’ll have to do a Best Tips post at some point so it’s easy to refer to. Coming… soon? 🙂
A “Best Tips” post would be most helpful, actually…plus, it would make for a very entertaining read, most especially if you plan to include some of your amazing photos!
I probably won’t get to Maui for a long while, unfortunately, but I’ve now got it on my bucket list…your posts and pix have made it THAT irresistible! 🙂
Hi Donna…simply love to visit your site…always am inspired by something totally neat and different. Your trip to Hawaii has been a fun thing to see in pictures. My three daughters and I took a trip in 2008, same thing…we had the most wonderful couple of weeks. Island hopped, and experienced so many wonderful things. We loved the food and took advantage of the delicious seafood, and everyday things that are indicative of the Islands. You take great pictures and it is so enjoyable to take a walk with you through many of the unique and beautiful parts of island living. We loved Hawaii. Funky Junk is a place I come see what is new. You keep things current and always have something amazing that you are creating – always a fun place to come and visit… and I love the Spam story…being from Florida and my parents were Southern, we made good use of it when I was growing up, Ha! Haven’t tried that in years… The flea market trip was awesome also…and the coffee-the best… thank you Donna… Aloha!
Ohhhhh you get it!!!! 😀
And thanks for the kind words on all things blog. So happy it’s diverse enough!