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brucemoon Fiji - A travel report by Bruce
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Fiji,  Saudi Arabia - flag Saudi Arabia -  Al Mad¿nah
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brucemoon's travel reports

Fiji - in the Pacific - land of smiles and warmth

  18 votes
Fiji can be magic or tragic - depends on you. Don't get caught at a resort (tragic), but move out of the mainstream and enjoy the charm of the Fijian locals (magic).


Lesialeva Point - great snorkelling, and the fishing is good as well.
Lesialeva Point - great snorkelling, and the fishing is good as well.
One of the first things you'll notice when visiting Fiji is that the Fijians have big bright smiles - flashed often - while the surly Indians don't seem to know how to smile!!! . . After the British colonialists found they coudn't exploit the native Fijians to work long hours for a pittance, they imported Indians (largely from Calcutta). Now, Indians comprise about 50% of the population. . . As the Fijians generally retained ownership of their agricultural land, the Indians were left to derive an income form urban exploits. Thus, the retailing in all cities / towns is undertaken by Indians. Unfortunately, the Indians brought to Fiji were of the poorest caste, and in Fiji they generally demonstrate little sense of pride. Thus, the retailing areas are dirty and the traders ready to rip you off. This is most pronounced on the main island - Viti Levu. . . Once you leave the Indian dominated Viti Levu, you are in Pacific heaven! I really enjoyed interacting with the wonderfully friendly - English speaking - locals on the other islands. The way they are so willing to engage in conversation is disarming. . . Outside Viti Levu, the beaches are breathtaking. Some have white sand, others black sand. The coral reefs - even for snorkelling - are good. The local markets are fun, and the haphazard bus schedules makes for interesting times. . . Fiji has also allowed foreigners to dominate the good beaches with 'resorts'. Many are priced as if they are in the US. The islands to the north west are where many resorts concentrate (eg. Yasawa's). Even the local 'backpacker' establishments there charge exhorbitant prices. Try instead the island of Vanu Levu or Tavueni. Take a ferry/ship from Suva to Savu Savu... Then catch a lift from there.

Favourite spots:
Savu Savu at low tide.  Up close on a sunny day its even better.
Savu Savu at low tide. Up close on a sunny day its even better.
Savu Savu has to be the best harbour in the Pacific. The holiday accommodation (accessable on the web) is relatively inexpensive. And, the nearby islands are stunning. . . . If you go, you'll have to start on Viti Levu. But, do yourself a favour and spend as little time on Viti Lavu as you can. If you only have time for Viti Lavu, try the north side, especially around Rakiraki.

What's really great:
The hospitality and genuine warmth of the locals is fantastic. And, it is made even more pronounced when comparing to the surly behaviour of the (imported) Indians.
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Once outside the island of Viti Levu, if the Fijian locals don't start talking first, it's so easy to start talking with them. And, while they have so much hospitality to give - when they smile, it's so big a smile it lights up your whole life.
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Bula!

Sights:
There's so much to see, get out of town, and don't stay too long on the sand islands.

Accommodations:
Rental Accommodation is worth it.  This was US$50/day - sleeps 4.
Rental Accommodation is worth it. This was US$50/day - sleeps 4.
Try the net for self accommodation - well worth it. Often just out of town in great locations. But, taxi's are cheap.

Restaurants:
Fijians are used to Pacific food (starch & fish), Indians just like curry.

If you are in a place where you can cook, visit the local market and buy reef fish (usually for pennies). MMmmmmm. I loved it.

Other recommendations:
Magic!!  Wish I was back there.
Magic!! Wish I was back there.
Savu Savu is a magic jewel. A great starting point for the other islands, but travel can be haphazard.

Published on Sunday June 26th, 2005


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Sat, Aug 06 2005 - 04:59 AM rating by tokyomike

Great report, Bruce. I loved the opening! Learned a lot.
Mike

Tue, Jun 28 2005 - 06:23 PM rating by picasso

Interesting and informative with attractive images
Thank you.*****

Boris

Mon, Jun 27 2005 - 06:51 AM rating by rangutan

Brilliant report, specially as the first one. Well done. The report should be reloaded under the capital "Suva" or one of the island names like "Viti Levu". This report is filed under Fiji, a small town in Saudi Arabia!

Mon, Jun 27 2005 - 05:22 AM rating by davidx

Very informative and great to read.

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