Malawi produces a variety of colorful arts and crafts. Items are invariably handmade and there is no factory production of curios. Purchases include woodcarvings, wood and cane furniture, soapstone carvings, decorated wooden articles, colorful textiles, pottery, beadwork, cane and raffia items. The standard of woodcarving is one of the highest in Africa. The Mua Mission, south of Salima, where carvers are trained, has an excellent shop. Traditional musical instruments are also sold throughout Malawi.
The main western-style shopping area is around Shoprite and the Nico Centre in Area 3, on the west bank of the Lilongwe river in Old Town. A newer, similar shopping center is located near the Mchinji round-about across from the Seven Eleven filling station – the Crossroads Shopping Center. Several internet cafes are located in and around these two shopping centres. Gifts and crafts can be bought from the post office craft market directly opposite the Nico Centre.