Tonga Journals

Tonga, the Pristine

A September 2002 trip to Tonga by beebesette

Quote: After visting Fiji, an overdeveloped former paradise, Tonga was a breath of fresh air. Pristine Tonga, relatively untouched by development or tourism, was spectacular.

Tonga, the Pristine

Overview

Quote:
Although we had originally planned to head to Va'vau, the northern island group, to swim with the humpback whales, late planning restricted us to the southernmost island group (which is where the international airport is located). We stayed at FaFa Island, a small island off of the main island that has been leased by a German couple for 100 years (the kingdom of Tonga does not allow land ownership by foreigners). We arrived in Tonga from Fiji after dark. The airport was little more than an airline hangar, which just added to the charm of the place. Greeted by a representative of FaFa Island, a boy not more than 18 years of age, we loaded into his pickup and headed toward the port. It was pit...Read More

FaFa Island

Hotel

Quote:
The island is tiny--perhaps 20 fales occuping most of the island. A German couple has a 100-year lease on the island, and it is a true eco-resort, solar power-generated. Each fale (cottage) is built in traditional Tongan style, complete with outdoor shower and toilet. One day, we went out snorkeling immediately off the beach with one of the chefs, who speared the fish and octopus that we then had for dinner. One night a week, the staff put on a floor show, complete with kava, the local substitute for alcohol. The food was both German and Tongan, a somewhat bizarre combination, but definitely up to snuff (even compared to the overpriced five-star Fiji resort that we had just l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 20, 2005

Snorkeling

Attraction

Quote:
A guide from FaFa Island would take us, on a daily basis, to a different island to snorkel. On three different days, we went to three completely different sites. NO ONE else was at these places--our guide would just anchor the boat, fall asleep, and let us snorkel as long as we wanted. We'd bring lunch and make a day of it. Rays and their progeny, remora trying to attach themselves to my thigh, puffer fish, spectacularly colored sea slugs, octopus, turtles, etc.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 20, 2005