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Fiji Travel Guide

Safety

Theft isn't a pervasive problem in Fiji, but opportunists are everywhere, so be smart. Keep an eye on your luggage at all times, or store it in Nadi International Airport (approximately $6 per day) or in a secure room at your accommodation. Keep your doors locked at night, store your valuables in a safe, don't walk alone at night or hitchhike, and don't overtly flaunt anything expensive—money, jewelry, cameras, etc. Travel insurance and common sense are the best defense against thieves. Also, keep aware of your surroundings: Fiji has the potential to erupt into a political or environmental storm, so have a game plan that will take you to safety. Don't cause your own trouble, either: it's illegal to drink and drive in Fiji, and all drugs (marijuana included) are also illegal. If you're arrested for drug use or possession, you could be imprisoned in a mental hospital, so the risk is high. Sodomy and homosexual acts are also illegal, although the attitude toward gay and lesbians is slowly changing. Fijians are uncomfortable with public displays of affection from any couple, but overt homosexual behavior can be a magnet for trouble.

"Sword sellers" are something of a Fijian legend: an over-friendly person will approach you on the street, ask you a few questions, and start carving your name on a block of wood. They will then try to sell you this personal "sword" and will get belligerent if you don't pay for the ridiculous souvenir. If you encounter one of these charlatans, just walk away.

Distribute your cash, credit cards, IDs, and other valuables between a deep front pocket, an inside jacket or vest pocket, and a hidden money pouch. Don't reach for the money pouch once you're in public.

Transportation Security Administration. Transportation Security Administration www.tsa.gov.

Government Advisories

Fiji is fond of coups. In December 2006, Fiji's military commander deposed the elected government in the fourth coup since 1987. Although the situation appears calm on the surface and hasn't negatively affected travelers, journalists have been deported, and it has seriously impacted the economy and tourism, leaving the country in a deep state of uncertainty. At the time of this writing, there aren't any travel warnings for Fiji, but travelers would be smart to do their homework and keep their wits about them, as basic rights are uncertain and the situation could deteriorate rapidly and unexpectedly. Know where your exits are, avoid discussing politics (especially in major cities like Nadi or Suva), and stay away from demonstrations.

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (www.smartraveller.gov.au.)

Consular Affairs Bureau of Canada (www.voyage.gc.ca.)

U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (www.fco.gov.uk/travel.)

U.S. Department of State (888/407–4747 in U.S.; 202/501–4444 outside U.S. www.travel.state.gov.)

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