Tonga Journals

Tonga-Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tonagatapu in 2 weeks

An August 2005 trip to Tonga by rockpaperscissors

Fale, Exterior Photo, Tonga, South Pacific More Photos
Quote: I had a really hard time tracking down info about Tonga before my trip, so hopefully this journal will help someone out there...
Fale, Exterior Photo, Tonga, South Pacific
Quote:
Very basic, but Taiana and Kolafi, the couple who run the "resort" are such lovely people. There are only two places to stay on Uoleva, and apparantly several solo female travelers have run into some trouble with the owner of the neighboring resort. Uoleva is gorgeous, but yeah, no electricity (bring a torch/flashlight) or running water (but Kolafa--aka. "pump man" sees to it that the toilets keep flushing and the cold water keeps trickling out of the showers). Taiana prepares breakfast and dinner for guests (bring snacks for lunch), vegetarians can be catered for. For a single fale (bungalow), it costs $18T/night. Breakfast is $5, and dinner somewhere between $8-10. I seriously c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 10, 2005

Quote:
Clean and easy. I was tempted to stay at a smaller place run by native Tongans, but after my first night in a room that faced the window of a Chinese restaurant kitchen and where the only tourist literature was a 2-year-old brochure on some whale-watching trip, I decided to treat myself to some Western-style accommodation. The best thing about Adventure Backpackers is their info board. Even if you're not staying at the backpackers, go there to research your options in Vava'u--way more information than you'll find at the official Visitor's Bureau in Vava'u. And the women who work in the hostel are really friendly and helpful as well--especially Losa. If you see her, tell her Elana (from the USA/Ne...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 10, 2005

Hinakaeua Feast

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Attraction

Gathering Shells Photo, Tonga, South Pacific
Quote:
This was sooooo nice. Run by a local (in a place where most tourist activities seem to be run by foreigners), this was a great cultural experience. Yes, it was obviously a show for the tourists, but it was so sincere and sweet. Children from the local villages perform songs and dances on the beach as the sunset, and they really seemed to be enjoying themselves. I had a great time dancing with the kids. Dinner consists of a countless number of shells filled with small portions of local specialties. i don't eat meat or chicken, but there were plenty of seafood dishes for me to eat. strict vegetarians will be stuck with taro and fruit though. there's plenty of food and you just eat whatever and a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 10, 2005

Whale Swim and Scuba Diving

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Attraction

Quote:
There are two operators in Vava'u--Dolphin Pacific and Beluga. I would definitely recommend Dolphin Pacific over Beluga. If you really want to know the details, send me a message. If you're particularly energetic, you can do a 2tank dive plus a half day whale swim with full equipment with Dolphin Pacific for T$180. A two-tank dive alone with equipment costs $140-$150 with Dolphin, and I think $160 with Beluga, so it's a good deal. That being said, I wasn't that impressed with the diving in Vava'u. Granted, I'm a bit spoiled in this department, but the coral wasn't too vibrant and not so many fish. The dive I did in Swallow's Cave was really great though. You swim into the cave, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2005