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One of the first questions taxi drivers ask upon picking tourists up from Fiji's gateway airport in Nadi is, "Which island are you going to?" They're referring to those that make up the two groups to the west and, to be sure, the assumption that you're traveling farther is an easy one. A short ferry ride from Nadi, the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands seem to be in a world of their own.
While Viti Levu's main concern is cutting and processing sugarcane, here it's all about the weather and the catch of the day. Translucent, warm surf and glittering white shores allow these islands to fulfill the glossy brochures' promise and satisfy the snow-plowed commuters' dreams.