Bula Fiji – “Hello” in the Fijian Tongue
Yes! That’s how they say “Hello” in the Fijian tongue!
With air transport gradually developing into an increasingly affordable means of travel, holidays at isolated archipelagos in the middle of oceans are gaining popularity. Some of these potential tourist spots like Hawaii, New Zealand and Philippines are already being tapped to their brim. While there are others, certain parts of which have managed to escape human exploitation. As a result this has prevented their ethnicity from being infiltrated by cultures from neighboring continental land-masses.
Fiji, dotting the South Pacific Ocean is one such region.
This little country, Fiji, is sheltered away from the larger landmasses of Asia and Australia by long flight hours over the Pacific. Therefore Fiji does not make it to the list of preferred spots of getaway. Rarely does s tourist doesn’t realize how much he or she is missing out on by not going there.
Tourism forms one of the major sources of income for the Fijian propped economy. This can chiefly be attributed to the tranquil and peaceful marine ecosystem it is a part of. And also the sincere attempts of the Fijian tribes as well as residents to preserve the same. While most other marine destinations have infested themselves with urbanization and associated hustles, most of Fiji sleeps in a predominantly tribal environment. Almost the whole of it surrounded by the azure Pacific ready to pacify your thirst for a respite. One can experience the purest form of marine ecosystem, tribal culture and the associated cuisines. You can also enjoy a host of other activities without losing the possibility of a perfectly comfortable stay, catered by the highly hospitable people of the region.
Photo credit: Shinjana Mukherjee
Reaching Fiji is difficult from some parts of the globe due to the limited number of airlines operating here. However, with planning, it is possible to reach from almost anywhere. Its position in the South Pacific Ocean makes it the transport hub of the region. Nadi is the most important airport with eleven international flights operating here. Presence of four ports enables logistics via waterways. Due to the scattered nature of geography and tourist spots distributed among small and large islands, it is advisable for any traveler to maintain a map of the country to plan one’s itinerary.
Nadi Airport, Fiji
As you arrive by flight, you touch down at Nadi airport. It is located on the western coast of Fiji’s largest island, Viti Lebu. A day’s stay at Nadi would be fine. It is an urbanized hub for eating, drinking and shopping. Nadi may be followed by the Denarau Island the next day. Get pampered in the best of accommodations Fiji has got to offer with it being the largest integrated resort. Denarau Island would strongly be suggested over that at Nadi. It boasts of a large golf course, stunning beaches and a host of other facilities and events.
One should not miss the Mamanuca and the Yasawa Islands accessible by daily water transport (Malolo Cat and Yasawa Flyer).
- Mamanuca Islands cater to the taste of a wide variety ranging from the adventure loving traveler to the one who looks for a tranquil family holiday. It has a number of resorts and hosts activities like dolphin watching, windsurfing, paragliding and sea diving.
- Yasawa Islands offer a break from civilization without any urban touch and are ideal for backpackers and flash packers. Especially relevant are the picturesque beaches where you have loads to explore.
From Nadi move on to the other side of Viti Lebu
- Return to Nadi from the Yasawa Islands, to catch a flight or a water-vessel to the second largest island of Fiji, Vanua Lebu. Here, the main town, Savusavu is less commercialized than Viti Lebu’s Suva. The resorts offer great beaches, diving spots and lots to do for the adventurous.
- From Vanua Lebu drop in at the neighboring island of Taveuni. Daily waterways from Savusavu and also flights belonging to the Sun Airways provide service to this island.
Photo credit: Shinjana Mukherjee
Eco Tourism at Tavununu
Tavununu is an off-track paradise nestled at Taveuni, complete with a waterfall and hilly terrain. Lonely Planet awarded the ‘top choice award among South Pacific destinations’ to Tavununu. Furthermore Taveuni is known for its eco-tourism and for the white and magnificent coral reefs it displays.
Next Halt at Suva
From Taveuni, one may fly off to Suva on the Sun Air. Suva is the capital of Fiji and houses everything one might expect from a large city. It has a vibrant urban and multicultural environment. After hopping on and off in relatively tribal areas, Suva unleashes a welcome dose of pamper and facilities. There are a number of picturesque gardens dotting the city. It is the perfect place to experience a host of sports and outdoor activities. One can interact with the local people who are ever-smiling and highly hospitable to the tourists.
Lomaiviti Islands, Fiji
The Lomaiviti islands may be accessed from Suva. These are at the heart of Fiji’s colonial past and are of historical interest besides providing for activities such as snorkeling and yachting. Kadavu is another island accessible from Suva by a ferry. It is the best place to experience the ethnic Fijian tribal culture with very few roads and a village. Kadavu Island is seated in the lap of nature with lush green rain forests and stunning birds populating the same. It has a barrier reef surrounding it.
Following Suva, one may choose to move on to the southern part of Viti Lebu, to Pacific coast/Beqa. It provides one with a number of activities to set your pulse racing. Exploring on four wheel drives and shark feeding dives are quite noteworthy among them. From here, you may complete your circuit by reaching Nadi, right from where you had begun and call it a trip. Seems like all the while during your stay at Fiji, you’d be treated by some of the most hospitable localities you could ever have come across.
The islands of Fiji which are hugely dependent upon tourism carry a stress-busting environment. This is due to the wonderful climate, low levels of atmospheric pollution and the laid back and happy-go lucky attitude of the people around. A trip to this abode of peace and carefree life is bound to soothe your nerves no matter how hungry they might be for adventure activities. It is not a disappointment either for your quest to be at peace and leisure.
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