Sunday, November 15, 2009
These are some of the aspects of Fijian mythology:
Bulu is a name for the "world of spirits", assumingly the underworld, or afterlife. During a month called "Vula-i-Ratumaibulu" in Fiji, the god, Ratumaibulu, who is in charge of agriculture, comes to the Earth from Bulu to grow the fruits from breadfruit and other fruit trees.
Of the recognized gods in Fiji, Degei was the most important. According to mythology, he lived on the slopes of the Kauvadra Mountains near the Ra Coast, which is also said to be around the location where the Fijian people originated. Besides being considered the origin of the Fijians, he was also said to be a giant snake that resided within a cave at the highest peak of the mountain range. However, he took no interest in his people's affairs, and thunder and earth tremors were said to be his uneasy turning and movement inside the cave. Traditionally in Fiji, snakes have also been highly regarded because of Degei.
Burotu is the name of the paradise-underworld (equivilent to "Heaven" in Christianity). This is the place where the "good" newly-dead souls, who are judged by Degei, will go.
Murimuria is the "darker" part of the underworld (similar to "Hell" in Christianity). The souls who do not go to Burotu will be thrown into a lake and will eventually sink to the bottom where Murimuria is located. There, they will be rewarded or punished accordingly.
Nabangatai is the name of a village in the underworld that is inhabited by dead souls. It is said to be found on the road to Bulu.
According to mythology, Ravuyalo was the "soul-slayer", probably found in or around Murimuria, whose purpose was to club departed spirits. Different methods had been thought up to outwit him.
Dakuwaqa was the god of fishing communities and seafaring, though he was also considered to be the god of adultery. He was said to manifest himself as a large shark that resided in a cave on Benau Island. To gain his favor, all sharks were saluted when they were seen, and people in canoes would throw pieces of food and cups of Yaqona, the traditional Fijian drink, into the water when they passed by areas of sea that Dakuwaqa was said to frequent. It was also considered taboo in Fiji to eat shark flesh.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The national parks and hilly terrain in Fiji offer trails that are excellent for hiking. As you make your way, you can also take in various sights, including lush tropical rainforests, awesome mountains, clear blue waters, and lovely waterfalls. The Koroyanitu and Sigatoka Sandunes national parks on Viti Levu offer scenic hiking trails, as well as a number of day and overnight walks, camping, and lodge accomodation. Bouma National Park on Taveuni is home to three gorgeous hiking areas: Vidawa Rainforest Hike, Tavoro Waterfalls, and Lavena Coastal Walk. On the Lomaiviti Islands, there are also some wonderful rainforest-surrounded trails on the mountains behind the historic town of Levuka on Ovalau where you can experience beautiful Fijian nature up close.
The Koro Sun Resort on Vanua Levu, Qamea Island Resort on Qamea, Matangi Island Resort on Taveuni, and the Wellesley Resort on Viti Levu are a few of the island resorts that offer hiking trips, and on many of these you can even visit traditional Fijian villages.
Because Fiji is made up of mostly dormant volancoes, it has a hilly and mountainous terrain that is excellent for mountain biking. Many of the hiking areas are also great for cycling, though you should make sure you are permitted to bike on a trail, especially those in national parks, as they may be for walkers only. If you are up for some real adventure, you can try biking Mt. Tomanivi, Fiji's highest peak, on Viti Levu.
A few resorts that offer great quality mountain bikes and trips are the Wellesley Resort on Viti Levu, Maravu Plantation Resort on Taveuni, and the Namale Resort on Vanua Levu
Horseback is a unique way to explore the beauty of these islands. No matter what your level of experience, you will be paired up with a horse right for you, and if needed you will be taught the basics of communicating and controlling your mount.
4-hour trips are offered into the scenic Nadi hills, and you can also go horse-riding everywhere from tropical rainforests to the beautiful white sandy beaches.
The Turtle Island Resort in the Yasawas offers free horseback riding, and the Maravu Plantation Resort on Taveuni and the Namale Resort on Vanua Levu are a few of the other island resorts that offer this great activity.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
According to ratings on TripAdvisor, the following are the top-rated four hotels located on the Fijian island of Kadavu:
Matava- Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
This lovely resort blends in with its natural tropical rainforest environment. It consists of traditional thatched Fijian bures, which can accomodate up to 22 guests and offer comfort and privacy, as well as a gorgeous ocean view. It is also near the Great Astrolabe Reef, which is an excellent spot for scuba diving and kayaking, as well as many other activities.
Papageno Resort Fiji
At the Papageno, you can choose to stay in a traditional oceanside bure, which offers a wonderful view of the Malawai Bay, or you can choose to stay in a garden room only 30 seconds away from the ocean where you can enjoy the serene beauty of orchards and gardens. The area offers a variety of water and land activities, as well as day and overnight trips for activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and sightseeing. Delicious food and entertainment from local bands playing traditional Fijian songs are other highlights of staying at this resort.
At this eco resort, you stay in a bure that is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and has a secluded beachfront with a beautiful view across the bay to Ono Island. All fruits and vegetables are organically grown in the kitchen garden and from gardens in the village, and guests are able to watch and even help cook their meals in the traditional lovo. You can also enjoy a variety of activities 10 minutes away at Astrolabe Reef and Waismo Reserve.
Nagigia Island Surf Resort
Renowned as a Fiji surfing and diving destination, this resort offers accomodation at oceanside bures, each of which has a private sun deck that overlooks the ocean. Each bure also offers stunning mountain views, and at some you can even see the nearby breaks. The area is excellent for surfing, with five nearby ocean breaks that are great for beginners and offshore reefs that curve around 270 degrees for the more experienced. The remote location also ensures uncrowded surf. Besides surfing, the area is great for diving and fishing, and you can also snorkel and kayak at the private sand beach across the bay available for guest use.
Friday, October 30, 2009
There are many great activities to do in Fiji, and with its clear aquamarine water, wide variety of marine life, and year-round tropical climate, the island nation is excellent for water sports and activities. Based on your interest level and physical fitness, you can choose which one(s) you would like to participate in during your Fiji getaway.
Diving and Snorkeling
Fiji is excellent for diving and snorkeling, as the water is always warm and has great visibility so you can see the large array of marine life, such as eels, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, colorful tropical fish, and different types of hard and soft corals (Fiji is known as the "soft coral capital of the world, after all).
The world-renowned Rainbow Reef, beautiful Rainbows End, and the magnificent coral-covered Great White Wall are some fantastic snorkeling and diving spots. Many resorts, including the Koro Sun Resort, Mumu's Resort, and Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort also have great diving and snorkeling sites.
Whether you want to kayak the sea or river, Fiji is a great spot for both. Kayaking in the ocean allows you to enjoy the beautiful sights of the pristine aquamarine waters and untouched rainforests, as well as various native wildlife, marine life, and even traditional Fijian villages. River kayaking is excellent for both those who want a peaceful ride down the river and those who want to battle Class V rapids! The Upper Navua and 'luva are a few rivers in Fiji that are perfect for kayaking.
Kayaking trips are also available on the islands of Vanua Levu, Kadavu, Taveuni, and the Yasawas.
Fiji's great surf spots include beach breaks for beginners and amazing offshore reef breaks for the more experienced. The world-renowned Cloudbreak and Namotu Left in the Mamanucas are recognized as the most challenging reef breaks in the South Pacific. You can also find excellent surfing at the Nagigia Island Resort, which offers uncrowded breaks because of its remote location. Plus, the scenery there is lovely.
Fiji's beautiful waters and natural scenery make the Islands a prime location for sailing. There are also several charter companies operating in Fiji, and some marinas even have private sailing schools. Each yacht includes a local skipper who has lifetime knowledge of sailing the Islands. Destinations include the Yasawas, Lomaivitis, Mamanucas, and the Northern Islands. Regattas take place in Fiji a few times during the year as well.
There are some excellent spots for game fishing in Fiji where you can catch fish of all types, sizes, and tastes, such as Spanish Mackerel, Trevally, Marlin, and Tuna to name a few. The rich reefs along the islands of Kadavu and Beqa, as well as the areas along the southern Mamanucas and off the northern coast of Taveuni, particularly the reef alongside Matangi Island and Laucala, are some great fishing areas. Denarau Marina in Nadi town and Pacific Harbour along the southern coast of Viti Levu are home to terrific fishing charters. The Matangi Island Resort also offers game fishing trips to its guests, and the Tokoriki Island Resort has its own fishing boats that are available for game fishing.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The basic unit of currency in Fiji is the Fijian dollar, which is available in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, and $50. Coins are available in 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, and $1. Approximately 2 Fijian dollars equals one US dollar.
There is no limit to the amount of money you can bring into the country. You can only take out of the country up to the amount that you imported.
Major credit cards are welcomed by most hotels, restaurants, shops, travel agents, and other places and services in Fiji. Visa, American Express, Mastercard, JCB International, and Diners Club are represented in the Fijian capital city of Suva. VISA and American Express can also replace lost credit cards and travelers cheques.
You must have a passport valid at least three months beyond your intended stay in Fiji, though it is recommended that it should be valid at least six months. You also must have a valid ongoing or return airline ticket.
For stays not exceeding 30 days, visas are not required for visitors who are nationals of the US, Japan, and EU and Commonwealth countries.
Unlike many tropical countries, Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever, and other major tropical diseases. It has an effective medical system in place, though locals still will use age-old herbal remedies. Fresh water reticulated in Suva, Lautoka, and other major towns, along with water in hotels and resorts, has been treated and is safe to drink, though some resorts will use artesian water for bathing but will provide separate drinking water. Guests will be advised if this is the case.
However in Fiji you could still be at risk of contracting diseases through insect bites, so bring light long-sleeved shirts and long pants to cover yourself, along with insect repellant, to prevent this. You should also bring sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.
Yellow Fever and Cholera vaccinations are only required for those coming from an infected area that is designated by the World Health Organization, and a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for those coming from an infected area who are at least 1 year of age.
Keep in mind that driving is on the LEFT-hand side of the road. Fiji has two international airports located in Nadi and Nausori, which provide air connections to all of the world's major cities and provide direct flights to the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Korea. Fiji also has a national airline, Air Pacific, so you can easily and quickly travel to different areas in Fiji.
Tipping is not encouraged in Fiji, so it is completely the individual's decision. However, some resorts will host a staff Christmas fund where tips are shared among employees.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Fiji is located in the South Pacific and is made up of over 300 islands. Its ideal location results in a year-round warm, tropical climate, so whether you plan on visiting these islands to hit the many pristine beaches, to snorkel, or even to visit quaint Fijian villages, it does not matter which season you go.
Cruises, delicious multi-ethnic cuisine, and a wide variety of tours are other highlights to a vacation in Fiji, plus the locals are very friendly as well. So make the reservations, pack the sunscreen and swimsuit, and get ready for a trip that you will never forget!