"True South Pacific Paradise" Fiji by etfromnc
Fiji Travel Guide: 1,044 reviews and 3,111 photos
An archipelago of over 300 islands circled by coral reefs forming a Pacific playground for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts - this could only be Fiji. The natural beauty of Fiji is extraordinary, but the true charm lies in its people. I neither dive nor snorkel but I dearly loved my all too brief stay there. I have never seen water so clear and rarely seen people so beautiful, both physically and from their hearts. The first night, in Suva, was rather loud as I was right in the center of what seemed to be the local's favorite places to party but the remainder was truly idyllic as I moved out of town a bit.
According to the latest Lonely Planet South Pacific Phrasebook, "One of the reasons many visitors from the English-speaking world find Fiji such a congenial place to visit is because they don't have to learn another language - most local people who come into contact with tourists can speak English, and all signs and official forms are also in English. At the same time, for almost all local people English is not their mother tongue - the majority of Fijians speak Fijian at home, while the second largest ethnic group, the Indians, speak Fijian Hindi." There may be some truth to that but, in spite the recent ethnic strife in Fiji. I just believe that there are a lot of really great people there and that just may be the reason that Fiji receives almost as many visitors (about 630,000 annually) as the rest of the South Pacific combined, yet it still feels wild and exotic. Scents of Indian curries waft from city roti shops while in villages Melanesian families may just invite you in for a bit of ‘grog’ (kava, a slightly narcotic beverage).
Fijians are often proclaimed to be the ‘friendliest people on the planet.’ Why shouldn't they be? They’ve got plenty to smile about – lush islands, kaleidoscopic reefs, cobalt seas, a wealth of marine life, world-class diving, romantic coastlines, awesome cuisine – and they love to spread the love around. Fijians have a rep for helping travelers feel welcome, thereby allowing you to uncover the best from this sprawling group of islands. Just don’t mention the coup.
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