I recently came back from a trip to Fiji. I read several articles which said that the Fijian people are extremely friendly. I have to say, I found that to be the case.
When I arrived at the international airport in Nani, Fiji, I met a taxi cab driver named Tony. He recommended a hotel for me that fit my budget. Then he took me around to some of the major sites on the island of Vitu Levu such as the Hindu temple which is supposed to be the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere (called Diva Subramaniya Swamy Temple- if you want the long intimidating name), the Garden of the Sleeping Giant with its many orchids and overlook of a mountain that has the overall silhouette of a sleeping giant, and First Landing, the site where the first settlers arrived, which contains a man-made island in the shape of a human footprint.
Since he knew I was traveling alone, he welcomed me into his house to meet his children and grandchildren and to have a traditional dinner. Then, he picked me up at my hotel the next day to show me even more sites of the island. He made me feel not so alone while traveling alone.
The remainder of my trip I spent aboard a catamaran visiting some of the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands. The views were spectacular! Fiji is a combination of islands covered in mountains with palm trees, mango trees, tropical plants, and the waters are a combination of turquoise and deep blue with amazing reefs and spectacular marine life.
The Fijian people are very happy, welcoming people. Everyone I passed along the way greeted me with a huge smile and “Bula!”, which means “Welcome!” in the Fijian language. The people are friendly but modest. I was amazed at how often women would come up to me and give me a hug and a little peck on the cheek. However, the Fijian people are modest and believe in dressing with their knees covered. Therefore, when visiting their villages, they will often times wrap a Sulu wrap around your waist in order to cover up your knees. But, they do that very subtly without making you feel uncomfortable in the least. Then, when you are leaving, they take their stylish, batik sulus back, unless you would prefer to purchase the beautiful, vibrantly-colored garment.
I would highly recommend a visit to Fiji for anyone who loves hiking, sailing, snorkeling, diving, cultural experiences, seafood and other fine dining, and whi enjoys visiting countries full of natural beauty and genuinely friendly people. Fiji’s claims to fame are being the site for the filming of Survivor Fiji and for being the location where Tom Hanks filmed the movie Castaway. Therefore, you have to take the obligatory photo with Wilson, the volleyball friend.