Fiji’s Five: Why You Should Rob a Casino and Glide to Yasawa Islands!

Travels — 23.9.2015

I know I know… For most of my readers Fiji is most probably one of the most secluded places on earth but I still think you need to float there at least once in a lifetime. You have seen the Coke ads and Adidas’ and know NOTHING’S IMPOSSIBLE! You don’t even need to rob that casino. If I could afford it, you can too. That’s why take these notes as a stimulus to spare some extra and satisfy yourself with a paradise escape one day.

So what’s so special about Fiji?

Losing track of time

If you want to stop fighting against time at least once in your life, Fiji suits you well. There is nothing much happening and that’s the best part of it! What happens in Fiji, stays on in Fiji… You are doing the same couple of things all the time: snorkeling, reading book in the sun, eating, sleeping and maybe a few activities like hiking, diving or beach volleyball. You do that all the Bula time! The conception of time in Fiji is so called Bula time. Bula is the local greeting; you say Bula when meeting people but it also describes the Fijian time. It also means: take your time. When you get there forget your watch. You don’t need that. They will ring the bell for you when the food is ready. Let the life cruise and concentrate on the significant, your existence. To be or not to be? The answer is the first one. BE!!! Like Maya the Bee – just snuffle the Fijian flowers and be happy!

Losing a track of time goes quite smoothly...
Losing a track of time goes quite smoothly…
Just hammock time and reading time
Just hammock time and reading time
Flower power – the islands are green and full of these beauties
Flower power – the islands are green and full of these beauties
Hiking views
Hiking views

Fiji water

I’m not talking about the hipster water brand consumed by the Hollywood stars and wannabes now. As an aware recycling consumer I’m anyway against the water bottles, I’m a plastic bottle hater, haters gonna hate – that’s good. But what I’m talking about is the actual water – the light blue sea around the Fijian Islands. It’s magical. It’s like jumping into a giant aquarium full of colorful fish and coral and pure turquoise h2o. I think I felt like a fish myself for a moment. Whattawowfish – a pink fish with turquoise stripes! I really have recommended Fiji for all the divers I know. Snorkeling goes too. And what is great is that from May onwards there is the Manta ray season when the huge, even five meters wide, Manta rays are passing the islands.

Don't you wanna dive in?
Don’t you wanna dive in?
Treasures
Treasures

Fine meat after cannibalism

So cruel! How cool! Fiji used to be known as Cannibal Isles, and even not that long ago. They say about 150 years ago the last man was eaten. But who knows. The village chief that I visited in one village claimed that cannibalism has occurred still on the 90s. Anyway, I didn’t get to taste a man. Have only licked this far hahaaaaa! Sorry! But they say people taste like pork. However I got to eat the best drumsticks ever! Such a delicious local fresh chicken. The family resort where I was staying, Nanuya Island Resort on Nanuya Lailai Island, had chickens on the backyard. They had self-sufficient ecosystem all the way through. And fresh everything, from pulp to meat! Fruits were so sweet too…

After eating well (beware; not all the places have that great food, read reviews, they’ll tell you a lot) you can get Kava high. Kava is a Fijian drink that numbs your tongue and makes you floppy. I couldn’t drink it much though, I think this drink made of plant extract tasted a bit too organic to my taste…

Cannibal fork
Cannibal fork
Coconuts, Bananas, Papayas!
Coconuts, Bananas, Papayas!
Cava makes you chill out
Kava makes you chill

Warm welcome at the gates of paradise

As entering the heaven on earth there is the whole family singing and playing Fijian instruments and welcoming you. They are very good at music and happy, smiley, hospitable people. There are strong family communities in Fiji and they take care of each other and the visitors. At least on the smaller islands which are hotspots for tourism.

When arriving to island there is the family welcoming you
When arriving to island there is the family welcoming you
I visited a local village and school
I visited a local village and school
The village dog is sunbathing
The village dog is sunbathing
Travelling with locals
Travelling with locals

My top (Yasawa) islands

Fiji consists of 332 islands. It’s the top five honeymoon destination in the world. I had there two weeks which was good time to visit some of the famous Yasawa Islands, but I would say that two weeks is the minimum to make sure you get that concept of Bula time… Yasawas are the islands were many of the tourists usually go – so you should double check the timing of your trip if you want some peace. Next time I am planning to try out some other islands. There are quite a few to pick from! But this time, out of Yasawas my absolute favorites were:

1) Nanuya Island Resort on Nanuya Lailai Island

Lovely island, peaceful and beautiful. Super friendly family, that take you to places. They took me to nearby “Honeymoon Island”, picture perfect deserted island, to spend a day and have a picnic. They also brought me to a genuine local Fijian village, where I got to talk with the chief of the village and visit a local school. Besides kayaking and ok snorkeling I could also do some little hiking on the island.

Watching the sunset in front of my beach house on Nanuya Island Resort
Watching the sunset in front of my beach house on Nanuya Island Resort
Fitting the shell bras on the deserted "Honeymoon" island
Fitting shell bikinis on the deserted “Honeymoon” island
Chief without a shirt
Chief without a shirt

2) Octobus Resort on Waya Island

My luxurious stay in a beach front suite. A perfect place when it comes to enjoyment. Very cozy atmosphere and a beautiful setting. Nice pool and terrace, not to mention crazy cool snorkeling just in front of the beach. The water gets deep very quickly and the whole new coral world starts right there. I lost my words. But I can also tell that there was some really good cake and coffee in the resort. Yum yum yum dot com!

Uuuu these cakes
Uuuu these cakes
Enjoying the Bula time and ice chocolate coffee
Enjoying the Bula time and ice chocolate coffee

3) Mantaray Island Resort on Nanuya Balavu Island

Also very cool snorkeling in here! And a funny easy tide that you could basically just float and admire the under water scene. It was May and I was really waiting for the Manta rays to come but unfortunately they were a bit late. There is young, relaxed spirit in the resort and also some good spirits during the happy hour!

Hippie
Hippie
Welcome to the jungle
Welcome to the jungle

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– I also visited Wayalailai Ecohaven on Wayalailai Island, and the resort was quite okay and there was some interesting hiking on the island.

Can you spot the man with the moustache too?
Can you spot the man with the moustache too? I named this Salvador Dali rock – his moustache were lighter though
Little cottages of Wayalailai Ecohaven
Little cottages of Wayalailai Ecohaven

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Just finished hiking before the storm
Just finished hiking before the storm

– Then there was Nabua Lodge on Nacula Island, that I didn’t like so much
– And Bounty Island Resort (Mamanuca Islands), that was very close to the main island and Nadi (airport). I suggest to go to the further islands and start island hopping from there.

A few more pictures:

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Landing on deserted island
Landing on deserted island
Vulcanic base
Vulcanic base

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Local hospital
Local hospital
Mum is hanging the laundry and grandma taking care of the baby
Mum is hanging the laundry and grandma taking care of the baby
Construction style
Construction style
Village chief telling about the Fijian history - white missionaries and Christianity, cannibalism, tribe traditions...
Village chief telling about the Fijian history – white missionaries and Christianity, cannibalism, tribe traditions…
Boys playing, older men chatting
Boys playing, older men chatting
Yard decorations
Yard decorations

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Bula Time
Bula Time

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Moving from island to another with Awesome Adventures ferry boat
Moving from island to another with Awesome Adventures ferry boat
My laid-back look, very jungle!
My laid-back look, very jungle!

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Storm is coming
Storm is coming

Fiji – facts

– Volcanic born archipelago of 332 islands and over 500 islets in the South Pacific (over hundred are inhabited)
– Other nearby islands: Vanuatu, New Caledonia (FR), Kermadec Islands (NZ), Tonga, Samoa, Wallis and Futuna (FR), Tuvalu
– Official languages: Fijian, English, Fiji Hindi
– Currency: Fijian dollar
– Capital: Suva on Viti Levu
– Fiji got its Independence on 1970 from the United Kingdom
– Fijian time zone is UTC+12 (/summer +13) – when I flew from Fiji to Hawaii, the day started again!

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