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Fiji

Fiji

 

Paradise or not?
I was in Fiji for three weeks. The first week I was ‘island hopping’ on the Yasawa islands and one of the Mamanuca islands. Well, that was amazing! The other two weeks I was on the main island, Viti Levu. And that was the real life. Still beautiful but also shows how hard life is sometimes, the struggles and the differences in circumstances.

 

The islands
Well, this was what you call paradise. I went to Nacula Island, Naviti Island, Waya Lailai Island, South Sea Island. The first three are a part of the Yasawa island group and the last belongs to the Mamanuca islands.
I’m speechless. Palm trees, clear blue water, beautiful beaches. It was relaxing and luxury. Because there is not much on the islands you can’t go grocery shopping for yourself, so make sure you book your accommodation with meals.
By boot, we went to the islands. The boot couldn’t reach the shore so a small boat came to pick the people up and took us over the last part to the island. No pier at the islands so the last last part we had to walk that through the water. The luxury continued here because they carry my luggage from the small boot to the island.

They welcomed us with singing and dancing on the island. Also in the evenings, they treated us often with a great show.
You have to think 30 degrees, sun, sand and swimming in the sea. Drinking from a coconut, sleeping in a hammock.
We went swimming at the blue lagoon where we could snorkel and see fish with all the colours of the rainbow. Later that week we went swimming at the coral garden, as the name says there is a lot of coral. WOW stunning, seriously this coral was amazing! A complete underwater world. In my opinion, it is even more beautiful than the great barrier reef in Australia.
The last island from this ‘island hop trip’ was a really tiny island, in five minutes you could walk around the whole island. That felt great. It was uninhabited only a few employers and the guest were sleeping here. It was amazing to stand on such a tiny piece of land with palm trees.

 

Viti Levu, real life
Back to reality. From a tourist hotspot to the real Fiji life. Maybe you can compare it to Disneyland and a normal city. The tourist hotspots; all designed to give you this special loving feeling where everything is good and relaxed and the real life where you have to work to have something to eat, pollution as a consequence and all kind of other problems that go with that. I stayed at the coral coast at the Beachouse. Went to different cities, Nadi, Suva and Sigatoka. The coral coast is beautiful, Fiji is amazing but especially in the cities, you see the real life, not that it’s not beautiful but it’s different. Mostly nature makes it stunning and in the city is less nature and more trash.

The plastic trash is also a problem in the cities of Fiji, especially around the markets. I have seen way worse but still, it is sad to see. The markets itself are nice, really fresh fruit and kind people.
The culture is completely different from where I am from, The Netherlands. For me, it had a little similar feeling as in Africa. The people are really kind and like to talk to you. Once I had to take the bus in Nandi, I was the only white girl. So when I jumped out, soon there was a man who started talking with me and helped with my backpack. Really nice but at the end of the bus trip he asked my contact details and I am always a little bit suspicious. First of all, they are very nice people; but some also tend to be nice because they know you are a tourist and the fact that you have more money than they have, so they hope to benefit from that. Sometimes I wish I could just blend in completely in every culture, that they don’t see that I am a tourist, to see how life really is.

 

What to know before going to FIJI:
  • Visa: Do you need a visa? This is different for the country you are from, so check this before!
  • Vaccination: hepatitis A, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), Polio.
    But to be sure check with your own medical health centre for travel vaccinations. It also depends a bit from which country you are from!
  • Best time to travel: May until October. Winter in Fiji, dry season, temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Water: Can’t drink the water from the tap.
  • Wall outlets: Type I, same as in Australia.
  • Food: There are small supermarkets in the bigger cities and food markets. But I would recommend booking accommodation with meals.
  • Pre-book? Best to book in time, especially in high season on the small island they have limited space and they are very popular.
  • More:

  • If you have, bring snorkelling gear (you can also rent it).
  • SUNSCREEN, the sun is strong and you are easily burned if you just relax in a hammock all day.
  • Give yourself the opportunity to see the difference between the tourist space and the regular Fiji life.
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