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Fiji anyone
Old 07-04-2019, 03:11 PM   #1
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Fiji anyone

Has anyone traveled to Fiji?

We are looking to plan a trip to Fiji in September 2020. A week sailing around the islands and a week on land.

Any input welcome, even negative input as in don’t do it, if that’s your opinion.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:14 PM   #2
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Haven't been there for 56 years....but I can still recall the taste of Kava...yuk.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:13 PM   #3
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DW & I have not only been to Fiji, but also own a small freehold piece of property there on one of the smaller outer islands along with holding Fiji residency on assured income.

You could classify Fiji as being a 2nd world country with some 3rd world aspects.

Don't expect the level of service there that one might find in more advanced Western countries - unless staying at a swanky resort that sequesters its visitors from the local population and customs. If you think island time is slow, wait until you experience Fiji time! OTH, life that moves at its own pace unencumbered by demands does have quaint sort of appeal. This becomes very prevalent in the villages on smaller islands which we prefer rather than spending time in bigger cities like Nadi and Suva.

We've experienced world class scuba diving in Fiji. The Somosomo straits with the Rainbow reef and Great White Wall are spectacular. The Namena marine preserve in the Koro Sea was actually featured on a Jacques Cousteau special many years ago. Scuba diving there was awe inspiring.

Unfortunately, back in February 2016, Cyclone Winston, a Cat 5 storm and the most powerful storm on record in the South Pacific struck Fiji and did considerable damage to a number of reefs. Some have begun to recover, others were destroyed completely and some were missed entirely. We had to put our plans to retire in Fiji on hold after Cyclone Winston - the eye of which passed directly over the island where we have our property - did considerable and widespread damage. A number of our friends had their homes completely destroyed as were a number of villages. Many locals have left our island and may never return. As an island nation with limited resources, recovery from Winston has been painstakingly slow.

Fiji is a stunningly beautiful country. Fijians are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. It is not uncommon - especially in some the more remote village areas - to be invited as a perfect stranger to a local's home for dinner. DW & I have experienced a savusavu with a local village chief and are now welcome in their village at our pleasure.

If you are after culture, avoid the bigger cities like Nadi and Suva. If you want a resort style experience, there are plenty of those on the larger islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and they will do their best to provide you a reasonable facsimile of local Fijian life and culture. If you have a bit of a spirit of adventure, I would venture to one of the smaller outer islands and see if you can't arrange a home stay with a local Fijian family. You will sacrifice comfort for culture but it could also be the experience of a lifetime.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:16 PM   #4
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Haven't been there for 56 years....but I can still recall the taste of Kava...yuk.
Did you ask for high tide or low tide? The taste improves the more you drink and get buzzed.
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:02 AM   #5
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We went to Fiji in 2010 and loved it. The SCUBA diving and snorkeling were awesome. The most memorable part of our trip was the Fijian people. They were poor but would offer you the shirt off their back - very giving, happy and friendly people. We stayed on a private island resort off the coast of Taveuni. It was very pristine but not at all isolated from local culture. We went to a local church service (all in Fijian) and afterwards had kava with the Chief and several residents of the local village. The name of the resort is Qamea. The American owners sold it about a year ago so I’m not sure how it may have changed, if at all.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:05 AM   #6
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Unbelievable underwater nature around Fiji. Spectacular. Still is from what I hear although not like it was 40-50 years ago. Yes, the natives are extremely polite and friendly reflecting their culture.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:34 AM   #7
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Fiji is a stunningly beautiful country. Fijians are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
+1

candrew, thanks for the detailed narrative.

I last visited Fiji in 1981. It was beautiful then and would love to return.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:03 AM   #8
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You could classify Fiji as being a 2nd world country with some 3rd world aspects.
Have the ethnic relationships improved between the native Fijians and those of Indian ancestry?
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:26 AM   #9
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Candrew wow thx for your detailed post.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:29 AM   #10
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Have the ethnic relationships improved between the native Fijians and those of Indian ancestry?
Let's just say that those ethnic relationships, although somewhat improved, remain as complicated as ever.

Fiji's national election in 2014 resulted in the Fiji First Party winning majority rule. They managed to narrowly hold on to that majority in last year's election. Although P.M. Frank Bainamarama is Fijian, much of the senior and most influential members of Fiji First are Indo-Fijian. One of the ruling majority's first acts after the 2014 election was to disband the council of chiefs. This did not sit well with many native Fijians.

Fiji First has further exacerbated matters with native Fijians by allowing the appropriation of public land and waterfronts for commercial development by foreign investors - mainly the Chinese. Too often those developments have taken place with little oversight, no regard for their environmental impacts and in some cases have ruined fishing grounds that Fijians rely on for sustenance.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:44 AM   #11
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Candrew wow thx for your detailed post.
Vinaka vaka levu. Although DW & I are pretty much resigned to the fact that our dream of living in Fiji during retirement will probably not come to pass, the Fijian people and the islands will always have a special place in our hearts. If you decide to visit Fiji, I am certain you would find it as beautiful and enchanting as so many others have.

In late January of 2016, we were 2 weeks away from putting our house in the Phoenix area on the market having settled on a realtor to handle the sale. It was going to be one of the last and long planned for final steps in making our move to Fiji. Then Cyclone Winston struck in February. We still thought that we had a shot at our dream. Then the realities became apparent to us when we saw the obstacles that friends of ours and native Fijians encountered in attempting to recover from the devastation. The builder we were going to contract with is no longer in business. Construction supplies in short supply. Contractors unable to find people willing to work.

We still have our home in the Phoenix area but went ahead and retired anyway on our timeline and have spent almost the entirety of the past 3 years traveling about the world. Nevertheless, we miss Fiji and our Fijian friends and still occasionally dream of what might have been.
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:43 PM   #12
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We were there for a few hours on a cruise. It was a cruise from Sydney around several island. Not our favourite cruise. We prefered our time in the Gold Coast area and in Thailand to Fiji or Vanatu etc.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:44 PM   #13
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We were there for a few hours on a cruise. It was a cruise from Sydney around several island. Not our favourite cruise. We prefered our time in the Gold Coast area and in Thailand to Fiji or Vanatu etc.
Did your ship dock at Port Denarau or Suva, Fiji?
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:06 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=candrew;2261822]Let's just say that those ethnic relationships, although somewhat improved, remain as complicated as ever.

We visited there about 35 years ago, and yes I would agree that, at that time, ethnic relations were complicated. I remember getting an Indo-Fijian cab driver once who had to stop en route at the local police station to report that he had been assaulted by a local Fijian. At the time, we were just dumb 20 somethings who were too shy.naive to say anything and get a different cab. Yet, I found all of the native Fijians very friendly at that time.

Nemo, you must have had a bad batch of kava. A good batch would have a nice taste of local mud...LOL! It definitely didnt have any psychoactive effects on me.
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:12 PM   #15
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Look up my buddy Justin Hunter (https://www.fijipearls.com/) while you're over there. Bula!
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:37 PM   #16
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Spent a week on Tokoriki Island with DW in 2014. Absolutely magical country. Pristine water and beaches, superb dining, and some of the nicest people you’ll encounter.
We’re planning a return in about 5 years. Takes about that long to save for the FC airfare and pool villa
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