While there's been some political unrest in recent years, it's done little to deter travelers who are keen to soak up the island lifestyle, and maybe sip a little kava while they're at it.
Here are a five things to know to make your Fijian adventure unforgetable.
"Kava (also known as yaqona, or grog) is a non-alcoholic, non-narcotic beverage made from the ground root of the pepper plant.
Far from being spicy, the drink actually numbs the lips and tongue slightly for a few moments. Not to worry though – this effect is short-lived and subtle.
It takes a lot to have any effect on the average person, but after several cups, you may begin to feel slightly more relaxed than you were (if that's possible in a tropical paradise like Fiji).
Kava contains massive amounts of vitamin B, a natural muscle relaxant and anti-depressant. Drink enough, and you'll start to feel aggressions and tensions melt away (again, assuming you had any to start with). Too much, and you'll find yourself too, well, groggy to do much of anything. If this happens, relax (you won't have a choice). It won't last long."
- Nicole Clausing, Travelocity.com
"If you‘re a flower lover, then a tour of the Garden of the Sleeping Giants is a must. Located in the Gorgeous Sabeto Valley, the Garden of the Sleeping Giants is where you‘ll find the largest collection of orchids in all of Fiji."
"Many of the shops in Nadi are run by villagers from the mountains who will invite you in for kava. We had a welcome ceremony especially for us and spent an hour joking and drinking kava on a mat in a Nadi store.
But of course, after much hospitality, you SHOULD buy something from the store to help support the village. Just realize that some of the prices and items are much more expensive than the souvenirs you can get at "Jack's" down the street."
- Pporto, Virtual Tourist
"The agents can be of a great help, but take everything they say with a pinch of salt!
Our agent Fili promised us that our room at Mereani's shared a bathroom with only one other room, and that the rate was 60 Fiji dollars for the two of us. What we paid was 70 plus tax, and we shared two showers and two toilets with 20 other people...
Make sure to have all agreements written down and signed, with all prices including taxes. But be prepared for surprises anyway!"
- Rusket, Virtual Tourist
"If you're getting a taxi, be prepared to heckle everyone walking past to get in the taxi too... because no one is setting off until it‘s full."
Have you been to Fiji? What do you wish you had known before you went?
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