Dipped in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, between Australia and Polynesia, as well as the Equator, Fiji straddles the International Date Line Change. This means it is the first country in the world to see the new day and the local newspaper, the Fiji Times, which under the title shows the proud inscription: The First Newspaper Published In The World Today.
Fiji is crumbled in the 322 islands, of which only 105 are inhabited, with the population of about 800,000 inhabitants mainly concentrated on the main island of Viti Levu, where is located the Nadi International Airport in the archipelago. Needless to say, in this tropical paradise, the main industry is tourism.
Thanks to the many islands that make up the archipelago, Fiji offers lovers of the sea with beautiful tropical islands, some of which are home to resorts of the highest standards, with impeccable service in a true paradise, like in Vatulele and Yasawa or even Beqa Island, where is located the exclusive Royal Davui.
The sea surrounding the island is spectacular in terms of lagoons and seabed, which are known reserves of marine biosphere and is home to manta rays and turtles and spectacular shells. For those who want a less exclusive beach lounge, there are small tropical gems like Treasure, Tokoriki, Castaway or Matamanoa. Whatever your choice, Fiji will not disappoint you, for the beauty of its depths and for the hospitality of its people.
The main island of Viti Levu is not very big. The 460 km road which follow the coast can be covered theoretically in about 10 hours non-stop. The cost to cover this distance in local buses is around 40 Fijian $ (less than 1500 Rupees). Of course, you can decide where and when to get off the road, going up on one of the many vehicles, that serve the only major road on the island. Think about that for the same route, a simple hop-on, hop-off ticket, which is valid only in certain locations and valid for 4 days can cost up to $ 479 on certain internet sites.
It's clear that after arriving in Fiji, without having booked in advance, such things is expensive. There are dozens of companies of local buses, some more and some a little less comfortable, that can take you almost anywhere, besides being one of the most fun and adventurous things you can do!
If you plan to move between the islands, the only solution is to rely on specialized companies, at prices not too cheap, for example, Mamanuca, Yasawa or Bequa. Alternatively, hostels and resorts may include in the price, the transfer by sea, as in the case of the Mana island Ratu Kini Hostel.
Larger ferries are used by local people for transport of goods. However, they are much more affordable. From Suva in Savusavu (off Vanua Levu island) the cost is about $ 50 and another $ 20 more to reach the island of Taveuni. Currently, the only ship in operation to cover these routes is the Lomaiviti Princess.
The ferry to reach the island of Levuka, starts from Suva every day at a cost of $ 30 each way. Hitchhiking in Fiji is quite practiced, so do not be offended if they ask for an offer for the ride. There's no reason not to pay a few bucks extra for the service! You can very frequently meet with other tourists in tow hired cars that do not have problems to give you a tear-off, if you go in the same direction!
Eating in Fiji
Continuing to reason with a view from low budget, you will see that the food items will be one of those easier to manage. Without giving too much attention to the menu, you can always eat at very reasonable prices even in restaurants with legs under the table. An excellent solution, with a food budget that is not too tight is the local canteen style buffet, which is often oriental. You just have to pay $ 6 for a meat stew with vegetables and steamed rice.
If you prefer to eat on the way, perhaps quickly between a bus and the other, the best places are always open-air markets. With a handful of dollars, you can fill your bag with fresh fruits ($ 2 for a large papaya or equal number to an endless basket of bananas) and have Roti Roll for lunch with $ 1. The roti roll is the typical worker's meal, which is practical and nutritious. It is often a roll stuffed with chicken curry and potatoes rolled in a corn tortilla, which is delicious, but do not overdo it!
If you have a kitchen service available, it is as cheap to cook healthy and tasty meals. The point is that, the foodstuff is one of the best ways to spend too much here! So dig in with vegetables, fruits and rice.
Hotels in Fiji
Once inside the friendly and hospitable atmosphere of the place, maybe after a couple of days, you will see that the accommodation perhaps is the only item of expenditure in line with our spending standards, which is not very high. For an accommodation in the huts, the cheapest possible is the private rooms, where you will spend about $ 30 per night on average although a viable option may be the Bamboo huts that offers dormitory beds at about $ 10 a night, the cheapest of Nadi.
The islands, the ones that you all imagine and which are identified with Fiji, equipped with a maximum of two resorts of course, make your stay a little more expensive than the main island. But for those on a low budget, the alternative and worthy of note is the island of Mana in which three huts on the beach offer basic rooms at great prices, which is my preference and do not regret it because I think it is the best of the three, offering a stay of 5 nights and paying only for 4.
The true and timeless trick to really spend little (or not spend your own money), however, is always the same. Drift along, talk to people and make a note of contacts. I personally have traveled nearly a month in Fiji, and I paid the accommodation only for 4 nights. The rest of the time I spent here without planning anything, while being hosted at the home of local families.
The real reason that they make Fiji a paradise for me is this. It's so easy to be hosted by strangers, that at some point, I just forgot what it meant to book a room! Do not be skeptical or fearful as there is no way that anything wrong will happen, even if you are a solo traveler. You will notice how much more dangerous is our own places are, once you are back!
Then do not forget to take the local bus, eat traditional food, avoid hotels and tourist activities on brochures and leave yourself completely to the slow flow and happy life in this earthly paradise.
The main language is English. They also speak Fijian and Hindi.
The Fiji islands have a tropical weather, one of the pleasant Pacific one. Since the islands are south of the Equator, the dry season runs from May to November, when it blows the south-east trade wind with temperatures range between 20 and 28 degrees, with cool evenings. The wet season starts from November to April when temperatures range between 24 and 30 degrees, with more frequent overnight rains. The western side of the islands are generally more dry.
We recommend a light clothing, preferably cotton, and for the evenings, a sweater or sporty vests, with a rain jacket handy during the wet season. Do not forget hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent and rubber sandals.
Passports, visas and vaccinations
For entry here, the passport should be valid for at least three months from the date of entry for stays of less than 30 days and the return ticket should already be there. No vaccinations are required. There are strict bans on the import and export of plants and animals.
The currency is the Fijian Dollar (FID)