Fiji - How is it really?

Old Jan 24th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Fiji - How is it really?

Hi there,

I've been reading all the posts about Fiji and there are so many mixed reviews. Fiji is on my list of "things to do before I die" list. Some people are saying the best times of their lives. Others are saying it was awful. SO my question is, it really worth a very long flight (from Connecticut), a few thousand dollars, and 2-3 weeks of my time? Or would we better off at a different island in the pacific? Finally, if was not a good experience, can you tell me why?

If so, when is the best time to go? My husband and I are looking for a romantic resort on the ocean to relax and to really experience the Fijian culture.

Thank you for your words of wisdom.
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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I love Fiji - but only away from the mainland! The best time to go is from around March through to September, and try and keep away from the Australian and New Zealand school holidays.

The best place to go really depends on your interests. If you are scuba divers and want to do a lot of diving choose one of the resorts in the north (Matangi, Qamea). If you like to do a bit of everthying - including some diving - but want better weather and beaches choose somewhere in the Yasawas (Navutu Stars) or Mamanucas (Navini).
The resorts in brackets are the ones I've stayed at and really loved. One tip would be to go the the smallest resort you can - you'll find them much more relaxed and personal and they have a much better connection with the locals.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 04:09 AM
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We loved Fiji when we were there in April or May of 2005. To put it in perspective, during that trip, we also travelled to Hawaii (Big Island & Kauai), New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands and B.C., Canada.

We stayed at a very small, remote eco-resort called Papageno on the little-known island of Kadavu. This place was very special - amazing food, wonderful locals and very natural. I can't say enough about it without sounding like a plant so I won't. However, of all our 4.5 month trip, this is the place that we had the most "National Geographic" type moments for example, the time I was kayaking over to the mangroves and a school of slender, silver fish "flew" in front of the kayak - unreal. There was also the time we went snorkelling a very short boat ride from the resort. My husband and I held hands and swam together in awe of the unspoiled "garden" of coral and sea life around and below us - the best snorkelling experience ever.

If you go, go to a small resort with good ties to the locals and get off the main land would also be my advice. Having only been there once, I'm not an expert by any means but our experience there was indeed unique.

(If you are really keen I could email you a few photos and provide more info.)

Good luck wherever you travel!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Fiji will probably yield more mixed reviews because it is much more diverse than most other S Pacific destinations. There is a huge variety of islands and accomodations, ranging from minute specks of land to very large island, and low-end backpackers to 5-star resorts.

Personally, I think it is worth the long trip, and your dollar will generally last longer than in alternative locations such as French Polynesia, Cook Islands, or Hawaii.

We have stayed at several mid-range places on a few different islands, and have nothing but great things to say. I have dived over other parts of the S Pacific (FP, Tonga, Cooks, Oz, NZ), and Fiji is definitely my favorite.

We too had a great experience staying at an 'eco-resort' on Kadavu - Matava (http://www.matava.com), where we felt like we were at the end of the world. We also loved Taveuni, where we stayed at a very pleasant diving resort (http://www.aquatrek.com/). And, we had a fine time on the main island of Viti Levu, including a memorable guided 3-day hike through the interior highlands.

We never made it to any of the norther islands, like the Yasawas or Mamanucas, but I have heard that they are fantastic too.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Thanks all. This gives me piece of mind about this trip. I'll definitely check out those places. We want to learn to dive before we go so we'll be beginners when we get there. But I'm very looking forward to it.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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I lived in a remote village for about a month on the mainland between Suva and Nadi on the coast and even though I found it to be so different than Tahiti or Hawaii.
I would venture to the outside islands than the mainland.
Being a girlie girl, I could not get over the sea snakes that would swim with you during the day and come up on shore at night and they are considered the most dangerous creature in the world..I have not seen them in any other islands and maybe it is different at the smaller Fijian islands..
Friends of ours own Tavarua and the surfers play with the snakes and yes they can only bite between the toes or hands..they are called 3 strokers in Fiji because that is how long you live for.
Is Fiji still in a coup situation?
The Fijians are lovely people and I wish you all the best on your decision.

 
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 06:34 PM
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Hi Tahiti Tams

Yes Fiji is still governed by a military dictator. I think reality is finally catching up with him though, so do not be suprised if he calls for fresh elections soon, (after of course he has himself pardoned off all the crimes he has conducted). I the main politics is confined to the East coast. Most passes the West coast by. The West coast is where most of the tourism centres are.

Fiji is a great place to visit, though the offshore islands are definately the place to head for. The mainland is decidely average.

Navini in the Mamanuca islands is a favorite. Very relaxing place to visit. We are certainly keen to return again (finances allowing). Fantastic reef just off the beach, brilliant staff, great weather. What more could you ask for.
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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Our daughter is in the Peace Corps in Fiji and from the coup side all seems peaceful and safe. We visited her last summer and while our experience may be a little more adventure than you were anticiapting it was amazing. We had a five day cruise on the an "adventure cruise" boat out of Savu Savu and while the weather itself was an adventure it was a truly amazing trip from the standpoint of natural beauty and cultural immersion. We visited Polynesian, Fijian and micronesian villages. Check out their website and see if you might be interested.
And yes, my saw sea snakes, sharks, dolphins ( swam with them) and virgin dive sites. What a trip.
I would not suggest staying on the main island if you really want to get a feel for something tropical and remote.
Have a wonderful time.
I am headed to New Zeland in a few months to meet up with the PC daughter.
Can't wait. Have fun. Chris
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 05:45 PM
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oops. Forgot to mention the cruise:
tuitai,com
www.tuitai.com
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Bula! A trip to Fiji worth it? Absolutely! It is difficult to describe what a wonderful trip my husband and I had in May of 2005. The best word I can think of is "magical". We stayed at a wonderful island called Malalo. We had the best welcome, the best stay, and the best farewell anyone could ask for. We actually cried as we left. It felt like we were leaving our good friends (the staff) that we had met during our stay. We finished our stay at the Sheraton in Nadi. It was nice, but you felt like you could have been in Hawaii or San Diego. To truly experience the real Fiji, stay at an island like we did. I also hear that Castaway Island is also a nice place. But if we were to go back, I would stay at Malalo in a heartbeat.
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 10:58 AM
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OOPS! I realized I spelled "Malolo" wrong. I spelled it "Malalo". Sorry... It has been two years after all. To confirm, the spelling is "Malolo".
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