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Vague Question, but would love to here if you think French Polynesia or Hawaii is more beautiful...

Vague Question, but would love to here if you think French Polynesia or Hawaii is more beautiful...

Old Jan 18th, 2003, 07:21 PM
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Vague Question, but would love to here if you think French Polynesia or Hawaii is more beautiful...

I know this answer is subject to opinion, but that is exactly what I am looking for.

Do you think the islands of Tahiti (ie, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Rangi, etc) or the Hawaiian islands are more beautiful?

Whatever your opinion, is, why do you think so?

I think this will be very helpful to me as I am trying to figure out which destination we should go to for our honeymoon. We love to snorkel, dive, take island tours, etc. and eat too!!

Thanks so much for the help - I will also post on the US board...
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 07:42 PM
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French Polynesia - by far. This is not to put down Hawaii - which is gorgeous too, but the islands of the South Pacific are much more the ideal vision of what a tropical island is like. This is mainly due to the fact that the islands down there are much older and so have had much more time to develop extensive systems of reefs and motus. This results in a lagoon environment - with calm clear water ideal for snorkeling, and collections of tiny palm-studded islets laying just a few feet above the water. There are a few lagoon areas in Hawaii (notably Kaneohe Bay on Oahu and Anini Beach on the north shore of Kauai), but generally the coast of Hawaii is rougher and the reefs not developed enough to create true lagoons. Of course the trade-off is that the surfing and other such wild water sports are MUCH better in Hawaii.


By the way, the wonderful lagoons that French Polynesia is so well known for are also found in the nearby Cook Islands and other places in the South Pacific (all of which are cheaper than French Polynesia).
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 06:51 AM
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French Polynesia because there are fewer people and the water is so many wonderful shades of blue.
Years ago we took a Wind Song cruise around the islands - it was discontinued but has been reintroduced. It is a wonderful way to see this area. Have a big time!
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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It isn't even close. French Polynesian islands are so much more beautiful than Hawaiian islands, there is just no comparison. Speaking as a geologist, they both have the same origin (chains of volcanos formed as the Pacific Plate moves over a stationary mantle 'hot spot'), but the Society, Tuamotu, and Marquesas chains that make up most of French Polynesia are far older than the Hawaiian chain. As a result, the central volcanos have been deeply eroded into spectacular tall spires and cliffs, and waves have worn back the island edge, creating shallow lagoons. As the islands slowly sink, coral builds up along the former shoreline, creating huge reef complexes that circle the lagoon. You get islands like Bora Bora, fully encircled by a ring of reef structures and a shallow quiet lagoon in between. Finally, you end up with most of the Tuamotu atolls, where the central island has completely sunk below sea level, leaving behind a ring of little islands surrounding an open lagoon which can be 50km across.

In comparison, the Hawaiian chain is still forming, with active volcanoes on The Big Island, as well as underwater nearby. The other islands are starting to erode, but there has not been enough time to develop substantial barrier reefs or atolls.

If you want to see erupting volcanoes, go big-wave surfing, climb to high altitude, or need high-rise hotels, then Hawaii is for you. Otherwise, most of French Polynesia is a much better choice.

Of course, as mentioned above, I would go to the Cook Islands first too!
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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Wow!! Thanks so much for all of your help - you really have helped me make my decision!!

Now I just have to figure out if it is going to be the Cook Islands or FP!!

Since this is a honeymoon, I kind of feel like FP has more "luxurious" accomodations - would you agree?

Thanks so much once again!!
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 10:52 PM
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French Polynesia is more romantic and exotic looking - mainly due the presence of overwater bungalosws. I'm not sure that I would say that they are necessarily more luxurious, but some people might think otherwise.

One thing to keep in mind about the islands of the South Pacific, versus Hawaii. Hawaii definitely has more of what you'd have to call "luxurious" accomodations, as well as far more choices in food and activities. Some folks find the service and accomodations in French Polynesia to be overated and overpriced. If you choose to go to that part of the world you must keep in mind that all things run on "island time" and you need to "go with the flow". The big bucks that folks pay to stay in French Polynesia is not for the food or service, but rather for the experience of being (if only briefly) in one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you go there expecting American standards of accomodations, luxury, and service you may be disappointed. This is their country and they run things as they see fit.

You'll find some of this laid-back attitude on Hawaii, but it's really common in the South Pacific. Personally, I think that the Polynesians' attitudes towards life and work is the correct one. After all, when the time comes to take your last breath, there will be none among us who will think "Gee, I should have spent more time at the office."

The residents of Hawaii live longer than those of any other state. There's a reason for that - they don't sweat over the little stuff or let the clock run their lives - as result, they have lower stress. Life's a beach (as they say). We can learn from that.

Old Jan 20th, 2003, 07:27 AM
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Pesonally, I think that French Polynesia is luxurious - just a different kind of luxurious than Hawaii.

HAWAII - high rise hotels, hundreds of rooms, lots of marble and granite, huge sunken whirlpool tubs, air conditioning, conference centers and ballrooms, satellite tv or cable, water slides and fountains.

FRENCH POLYNESIA - individual romantic bungalows 3 steps from the ocean, teak wood floors, old fashioned claw footed bathtubs, mosquito netting on beds just for show, open windows and doors with 180 degree water views, no tvs.
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