Sunday, February 23, 2014

First Impressions of Fiji and Fijians

We arrived Nadi Airport of Viti Levu Island, Fiji, on Saturday morning. The International airport is small and hassle free. Following the advice of other travelers, we picked up some items at the Duty Free Shop.

The Palms Fiji Resort, where we are staying, is on the other side of the island and a resort van picked us up and took us on a lovely coastal ride toward Suva city.

How can I let you know my first impressions of Fiji and Fijians?

First, it's hot and muggy, a tropical island indeed. But the sky is a startling blue and the sugar cane fields and tropical forests lush and green. The sea is sparkling blue and as pristine as could be. It's a cliche, but it looks like a tropical paradise. The place feels like some coastal Philippine places in the 1950s, before the places got crowded and polluted.

Fiji, with its 330 islands has a small population of 800, 000. It is not crowded with cars nor people, and has a laid-back feeling. The locals talk of "Fijian time" to refer to their no-rush attitude.

Aside from the blue, blue sea and tropical plants, I loved the small villages that were strung along the coast. Each village consists of a cluster of perhaps 50 houses surrounding a church and a community hall.  I caught site of some Hindu temples and also some Muslim mosques. There was one village that had quite a number of native traditional thatch houses. I get the feeling that people are not rich, but neither are they impoverished. (Note: I did not see barbed wire on walls and fences at all.)

We stopped in a bigger village with a Western Union and some shops. We changed some dollars to Fijian dollars (1 dollar equals 1.8 Fijian dollar), and we also did some shopping.

Among their tourist items are weapons used by their ancient warriors who were cannibals. It amazes me to think Fijians had been cannibals because I find them gentle and straightforward. I even considered that perhaps the English who had colonized Fiji had given them the bad press to dehumanize the people.

I'm not saying that cannibalism did not exist, because many cultures practiced this; it was a form of domination. But it's possible that the colonizers focused on this aspect to justify their own barbarism.

I'll blog more about our stay, dear Readers, so stay tuned.

The pictures show us on the beach; the cat in the coffee table is one of many resident cats who roam the gardens.  Two of them "own" the apartment we're living in.

For now, Bula (hello) from Fiji.

(to be continued)


 Read also
Coming Up - the Fiji Islands
En Route to Fiji - First Stop, Honolulu
First Impressions of Fiji and Fijians
Cultural Night at the Fiji Palms Resort
It's Raining in Fiji Paradise
Tropical Storm in Fiji Continues
Sunshine Break in Fiji - Hurrah!
Vinaka, Fiji, for a Wonderful Time!

 tags:: travel, tourism, Fiji Islands, holiday, vacation, Melanesia, South Pacific

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