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Fiji travel advice: 8 things that surprised me on my first visit

Fiji travel advice: 8 things that surprised me on my first visit

Past year, it was Bali. This 12 months, it is Fiji. I am little by little dropping my travel virginity with some of our closest neighbours and possessing a blast in the course of action.

I have usually easily travelled to faraway locations. I have lived in London and Bangkok, visited New York and Singapore 8 times each individual, and I’m coming up to 5 visits to Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

When it comes to close neighbour Fiji, even so, I have been as well busy traveling around to pay out it much attention. So as the aircraft arrived into land at Nadi Intercontinental Airport and all I could see underneath was aqua-toned h2o, a lovely coastline and a cluster islands in the distance, I questioned why I had under no circumstances before visited what so quite a few folks known as paradise in the South Pacific.

As I explored just a fraction of the 332 islands in this archipelago above the subsequent times, the paradise promises proved to be no exaggeration. Fiji was considerably additional than I envisioned, and I was astonished by all I discovered. 

See also: I traded Bali for Fiji, and acquired the shock of my everyday living

See also: 12 etiquette policies you will need to know in Fiji

Less than four hours' flying got this Aussie traveller to Fiji.

Less than four hours’ flying got this Aussie traveller to Fiji.

It’s so close

Obtaining travelled 9 hours to stay in beach resorts in Thailand and Vietnam, it was pretty the revelation when the Fiji Airways flight from Sydney landed at Nadi in just beneath 4 hours. Then, 90 minutes just after landing, like a 50-moment ferry trip, I was floating off Lomani Island Resort on Malolo Lailai Island. As I swam out into comforting waters, I realised I would be even now in the air if I was heading to Thailand. 

Ferry trip to the islands.

Ferry vacation to the islands.

It is so thoroughly clean

Whether splashing about on the beach locations on the key island of Viti Levu or way out in the archipelago at sites like Malolo Lailai Island, the seashores and oceans of Fiji have been joyfully clear. Acquiring experienced wading earlier wads of human waste and rest room paper on Phuket beaches and dodging plastic bottles at many other Asian hotspots, the spectacularly crystal clear waters of Fiji designed a welcome change.

Pristine beaches - yes, really.

Pristine seashores – indeed, really.

It is so pleasant

From the initial ‘Bula’ welcome at the airport, and with every single a single that adopted, the Fijian locals established a warm and inviting ambiance. Arriving at the island resort, a occasion sang to welcome us. As a lady place the salusalu garland close to my my neck, she beamed with a smile and exclaimed, ‘Welcome home.’ And it felt extremely a lot like she meant it. It was the similar throughout just about every come upon – in shops, dining establishments, taxis. Bula, indeed! 

No "Sir" here.

No “Sir” listed here.

It is so informal

At each individual hotel I stayed in, team users – entrance desk, housekeeping, waiters in the eating places –called me by my initially name. There was no Sir or Mr Burfitt presented everybody just referred to as me by my 1st title – and I preferred it. Everything was appropriate and polite, but this laid-back again tactic took away any starchy formality and rather made it all so considerably much more comfortable. 

The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is one of Nadi's must-dos,

The Backyard of the Sleeping Huge is one of Nadi’s need to-dos,

It’s a great deal extra than a seashore

“Don’t bother with Nadi. There is absolutely nothing to see there,” slurred the drunken Aussie lounging by the vacation resort pool. Basically, there was a lot to learn, as I observed at the graceful Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple, the lively Viseisei village, the paths in the Koroyanitu Countrywide Park and the beautiful partitions of orchids at the Garden of the Sleeping Large, as soon as the property of Hollywood good Raymond Burr of Perry Mason fame. Climb to the top rated of the hill for the ideal views across the island and out to sea.

Koroyanitu National Park. Picture: Tourism Fiji

Koroyanitu National Park. Photograph: Tourism Fiji

It is much more than resort central

The major resorts dotted around Denarau Island are all luxurious, but you are in the coronary heart of tourist central where by you are possible to encounter far more Aussies than Fijians. Get discovering alongside the Coral Coastline, about an hour from Nadi, or even further to the Pacific Harbour to see the real Fiji. Along the way there are a lot more chances to take a look at close by villages and meet up with the locals.

Sunset from the island.

Sunset from the island.

It’s not a low cost holiday

The exchange level is $A1 to $FJ1.5, but community expenses are normally large. The Lomani Island Vacation resort was a tropical island paradise setting up at $599 for every evening, whilst the Sofitel on Denarau Island arrived in at $310 for each night. Less expensive deals were being experienced at the Mercure for $130 a night and Airbnbs can start at just $50. But all tours, meals, beverages, ferry outings and taxis value about the exact same as they would in Australia. If you’re utilised to a affordable Bali cut price, don’t go searching for related in Fiji.

Resort life is sweet - but yes, it is worth venturing beyond the resort, too.

Vacation resort lifestyle is sweet – but yes, it is worthy of venturing beyond the resort, way too.

It lingers on

The sheer splendor of Fiji leaves a long lasting impact. There is something about standing shoulder deep in the dazzlingly ocean, as vibrant fish swim shut by and the sea stretches out to the horizon, with only the occasional island breaking up the watch, that wants to be experienced. The lasting term that arrives to thoughts about Fiji is “addictive”.   

The writer was a guest of Lomani Island Resort (charges start from $599) and Fiji Airways

See also: 

These are the ideal islands to stop by in Fiji

Inside the Fiji islands that Google purchased

5 qualified guidelines for booking a Fiji holiday getaway