We're headed to Fiji for two months on the first leg of a 2 year RTW trip - September to November. Which islands should we visit, and any recommendations for accommodations that won't break the bank? We'll be staying several weeks with friends in Sigatoka, but have a couple more weeks free.
Fiji has two larger islands surrounded by many little island chains. Sigatokais on the larger island of Viti Levu, so I would head out of Nadi on Viti Levu to the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Island. The cultural difference between the island of Viti Levu and the outlying islands is extraordinary. Viti Levu was covered with sugar cane plantations in the late 1800's and was a hub of sugar production. In need of labor, the then British Crown Colony imported many indentured laborers from India, whose ancestors are settled on Viti Levu and have established a cross cultural environment. It is in the outlying island chains, where the native Fijians live in villages that are organized under an ancient hierarchy that passes from father to son, where you will see the true Fijian culture, including the Sevu Sevu Ceremony and island dancing ceremonies. Experiencing the native Fijian culture is a must, which means you must travel to the outlying islands. The island chains of Mamanuca and Yasawa are the easiest to reach from Nadi and are beautiful. There are a number of resorts in these islands from basic hostels with several huts and a community kitchen to luxury resorts, including staying within a village, called a Village Homestay and moderate level resorts, that will not "break the bank". And don't worry about getting to the resort, the resort will tell you how to get there. Travel to the resort can range from the resort sending a boat to get you to picking you up at a nearby village serviced by a ferry. I have even seen boats meet the ferry at a ferry stop in the ocean, much like a bus stop to collect their guests. If you make the reservation in the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands the resort will make sure you get there, which will most likely be somehow out of Nadi, 61 kilometers from Sigatoka. I love Fiji, and especially the out islands out of Viti Levu where the real local age old culture is alive and well.
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Here are the accommodations I would recommend in Fiji at a reasonable price:
1. Nadi Bay Resort Hotel (good hotel and at a fair price)
2. Mantaray Island Resort (This was my favourite, right next to the beach)
3. Uprising Beach Resort Hotel(Great price for the stay)
If you are looking for crystal blue waters, white sandy beaches and a warm, glowing sun. You are picturing Fiji and that’s where I decided to spent one month of my life scuba diving, surveying coral reefs and giving back to the local communities...
You can check out my blog about my experience while staying in the Fiji island. http://blog.farmscape.co/my-fiji-experience/
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