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Fiji

The Island of Coconut Trees

By Helee Bhavsar

Last Updated: 21 Jul 2021

Bula! I am so excited to tell you about myself and of course the theme behind my story “THE ISLAND MADE OF COCONUT TREES”. Any guesses on which place I am talking about? Well, not too difficult to guess...Yes it’s Fiji. It is surrounded by the biggest ocean in the world, the “South Pacific Ocean”. You must be wondering how this can be the most beautiful island in the world. Well, that’s because it is surrounded by the most amazing beaches, mountains, resorts and of course coconut palm trees. Fiji is famous for its friendly people and heavenly tropical islands. It’s a quintessential south pacific paradise with more than 300 islands.

This is my debut in writing and what better way to start than by writing about my homeland, Fiji, the most beautiful island that I know! I was born here and live here as well. Being a teenager, I love to travel and explore places and Fiji is the perfect place for a vivacious kid like me. Living on this exotic island I have had many chances to explore Fiji. Every time we have guests visiting, we do day trips or weekend trips to different parts of the islands. Although I have gone to many parts of the islands, each time a trip is planned I am super excited and ready for an adventure.

Helee Bhavsar in Fiji island

Me, in my natural habitat! Fiji Islands


Fiji has put itself on the world map as being one of the most famous island paradises. It provides relaxing and exquisite holiday destinations with a touch of bliss. The friendly islanders and serenity that the tropical islands offer away from home is awesome. And there's not only one to pick from, but over three hundred islands to explore and go on an adventure of a lifetime with your loved ones.

Anyways, let's talk about its history. Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century. After a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji was a crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence as the Dominion of Fiji. The two major islands are Viti Levu & Vanua Levu along with other islands. Fiji's first capital was Levuka but currently its capital is Suva. Yes! Where I live, where I belong.

Suva City in Fiji boasts of stunning quintessentially tropical landscapes

Suva City boasts of stunning quintessentially tropical landscapes


Religiously, Fiji is a multicultural society. The descendants of this nation are called Fijians. Indians were first introduced to Fiji in the 1880s and between 1879 and 1916 over 60,000 indentured laborers came from various parts of India to work in the cane plantations. By the 1940s, Indo-Fijians made up the majority of the population, outnumbering indigenous Fijians.

While every trip on this island is a fabulous experience, let me share some of the highlights of this beautiful land. Firstly, the absolutely amazing and most popular city, which is also the capital! ! Yes, Suva, an exciting place where I live. There are very exclusive and beautiful places to visit here.


The Fiji Museum

It is located in the heart of Suva's Thurston Gardens on Cakobau Road. It is a storied history museum with archaeological artefacts and Fijian cultural exhibits. The Fiji museum holds a remarkable collection, which includes materials dating back 3,700 years ago. The museum was founded in 1904 and has evolved to the current museum, which was opened in 1955. It is a great way to learn about Fijian history and culture.

A Fijian Drua (large traditional boat) on display inside Fiji Museum

A Fijian Drua (large traditional boat) on display inside Fiji Museum


Colo-I-Suva Forest Park

Oh, what can I tell you about this place! It offers hiking trails, swimming and even bird watching. It is located at Kings Road, Nasinu. I have been to this place many times but the last time I went was with my 3 aunties who visited from India, my parents, and my grandpa. This visit was so randomly planned, but I think places, which are planned randomly, are the best moments of your life.

Strolling in Colo-I-Suva Forest Park

Strolling in Colo-I-Suva Forest Park few years ago


When we reached there, the first thing we did was to have our lunch! We sat in a traditional hut of Fijians called "bure" and enjoyed our homemade lunch that we carried with us. Fuelled up, we started our bush walk in the forest. Having lunch before our walk was a great idea because we walked for hours in the forest. Imagine if we had not eaten...we would have been hungry and tired and unable to enjoy our walk. The walk was peaceful and adventurous at the same time. While we were strolling around and enjoying the beautiful natural sounds of the birds chirping, suddenly it started raining. The forest came alive and the walk was more fun as we walked in the rain. We came across this cool place where you can sit on the uniquely-shaped rocks and enjoy the waterfalls cascading down. We chilled there and then swam in the very icy cool water while freezing and shivering!

An alluring entrance to the Colo-I-Suva Forest Park in Fiji

An alluring entrance to the Colo-I-Suva Forest Park


I am so happy for those people who really want to visit Fiji, because Fiji has no snakes. There is a myth behind this, which I would love to tell you about. There is a hindu God named Shri Krishna who fought with a snake to save his village named Vrindavan. He warned the leader of the snakes that he would spare them on one condition that they do not return to his village and go away really far. So the snake named Kaliya came to Fiji all the way from Pacific Ocean, and because of Kaliya, other snakes did not dare to enter and live in Fiji. This is what I believe.

Another reason I like to visit this place is because there is a restaurant named "Raintree" which is a very adorable place. Their staff allowed us to feed their beautiful gold fish that live in a very big pond. I always make sure to feed them whenever I visit Colo-i-Suva.

Raintree Restaurant in Colo-i-Suva

My favorite place in Colo-i-Suva; Raintree Restaurant, delicious food, friendly staff and beautiful ambience!


Port Denarau

This is a very famous and top-rated place to visit if you are really interested in adventures, entertainment and basically just fun! Port Denarau is located in Nadi. This is the place from where all the boats, cruises, and ships are sent to major islands to explore exclusive beaches, resorts, and also mini islands to stay! Now let me tell you about some of the resorts and wonderful islands that I have personally been to! We stayed at the Radisson Blu Resort, which is one of the most beautiful resorts on Denarau Island. We indulged in many fun activities here from lagoon pools to beachside games. The tremendous waterslides were a huge hit with us, kids.

Radisson Blu Resort in Suva Fiji

Radisson Blu Resort, one of the best places to stay in


Big Bula Waterpark

My experience of visiting this exciting waterpark was possibly the happiest moment in my life and I am sure it will be for you as well. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. For some time, I was hesitant to go on the scariest ride in the park, which was the snake tube. It is so lengthy and big that the sight of it makes a person's legs shiver, and I was not different. But I decided to take the plunge.. The moment I sat on the huge slide, trust me, it didn't even take me 2 seconds to fall from the top and into the pool. I was trembling with fear and my heartbeat was racing. All in all, it is an exciting experience.

Waterslides in Big Bula Waterpark

Waterslides in Big Bula Waterpark, both exciting and intimidating


Castaway

This island that I will be talking about is one of the most friendly islands I have visited. Castaway Island offers an award-winning private island retreat surrounded by white sandy beaches, coral reefs and crystal clear seawaters. When we landed on the safe sand, the locals welcomed us with a beautiful Fijian song. We were then served a welcome drink and offered a cool towel. We then went to our bure (Fijian house), freshened up and headed to the pool. We were excited to find a hot bubbles pool, that was the best feeling ever, so relaxing and peaceful.

The warmest traditional welcome in Castaway by the islanders


After swimming, we went to the sea and did some kayaking with my friends. The wind was so strong that the boat that my friend and I were in went far in the deep, it was so scary. Thankfully, one of the islanders came to our rescue. I also enjoyed some fantastic rides and adventures like snorkelling, scuba diving etc. Then at night after having dinner, we danced with the visitors living on the island. I was rather shy to dance with the African ladies, the island staff and also the chef of the restaurant, but it was fun. After an adventurous day, exhausted, I went to my bure (Fijian house) and crashed. Sadly, the next day was our last day on that island. What a fabulous farewell we received, truly heart-warming!

The pristine shoreline of Castaway Island in Fiji

The pristine shoreline of Castaway Island is untouched and tranquil


Levuka

This is a small & sweet island. So for this trip, we woke up early in the morning (4.00 am) and headed off to the bus stand, carrying our bags. We boarded the bus for a 2-hour ride to reach Natovi Landing from where the boats leave for the island. (Natovi Landing is a ferry jetty in Tailevu, Province, Fiji). Levuka is a small island and also the old capital of Fiji. During the ferry ride, we played so many games. It was nice and sunny weather over there. I was amazed when I saw Fiji's first school and police station. Soon, it was time for lunch so we walked up the hill and found a lovely spot to have our lunch. After enjoying a yummy meal, we also clicked some pictures and made some reels of the old monuments of the schools and fishponds. This place is a good spot for a day trip, perfect for tourists who want to visit places in a day.

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church with a Clock tower in Levuka, the former colonial capital of Fiji

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church with a Clock tower in Levuka, the former colonial capital of Fiji


Navua River Tubing

This is the best place I have ever been to, a place in one of the cities called Navua, which is just an hour drive. Omg! I want to tell you my most beautiful experience about this place. If I were to rate this place, I would rate it as 100 stars because it's the best place for scenic beauty. I went to this lovely place with my father's colleagues. We woke up at 6 am that morning and boarded the bus. When we reached there, we were welcomed with warm beautiful smiles and of course yummy food. After our delicious snack, we were told about the rules and regulations of the activity. We were all excited and after changing into suitable clothes, we headed to the river by boat. While cruising on the boat, the waves were bumping the boat up and down which was a crazy experience.

Tubing in Navua River of Fiji

Tubing in Navua River, an experience of a lifetime!


They took us to a beautiful waterfall and we took a break for an hour there. The breeze created a gentle water spray, which was so refreshing. We had our lunch and then we headed for the river tubing activity. During the tubing, the guide showed us the waterfall where a Hollywood movie was shot named "ANACONDA". My baby sister was also with us, as beautiful as the sunshine. When we were halfway across the river, I noticed that my grandfather was stuck among the rocks. My father's colleague got him out while making a joke in Hindi which sounded so funny, "areh mamaji, kidhar ja rahe ho!" which means where are you going?. We went tubing for a distance in the river and then returned back to the boat. It was a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

The Iconic Nakavika Falls featured in the Hollywood movie " Anaconda" Beware!


Ok! So these were the top places in Fiji Islands that are really fun to visit and beautiful. Do comment if I have aroused your curiosity about these beautiful islands and I will share part 2 with more amazing places and history of Fiji. You can let your imagination run free, sitting on your sofa travelling to my beautiful country Fiji "THE ISLAND MADE OF COCONUT TREES".


Gallery

Photo Gallery


Things To Consider

Fiji weather falls into two categories hot and humid, however, late October to November is the best. During this time the weather is settled. Beaches and resorts are far less crowded.
Fiji has genuinely friendly vibe and limitless options for relaxation…The Island makes the best spontaneous village life. Culture of Fiji is a tapestry of native Fijians, Indo-Fijians, Europeans, Chinese, and other nationalities.
Fiji has some of the best seafood dishes. However, there are ample varieties of vegetarian food as well. Fijian cuisine includes Lovo (chicken), Kokoda and Grilled mahi mahi (fish) Mitti, and Rourou (vegetarian).
Fiji is generally a safe place to travel. However, visitors should take precautions in a foreign land. Try to avoid walking alone at night, and lock your car and keep valuable items out of sight.
If you want to get off the beaten track, probably just go to Vanua Levu. Visit Suva, and meet the friendly locals, dance, sing, eat, and enjoy your time here.
There are many hotels and luxurious villas available in Fiji depending on budget and the type of facilities. Therefore hotel booking details are mandatory before entering Fiji if you are on a tourist visa.

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