Travelers are a funny lot. Whether your home is in the UK or elsewhere, you probably have the itch to spread your wings, check out new travel hotspots, and figure out exactly where you want to go. Now, there’s nothing wrong with visiting a classic at all. You might find that some people are a little skeptical as to how much fun you can honestly have, but you’re not living your life for them. You’re living your life for you, and where you go has to have an effect on your overall sense of happiness and wonder. That’s just the way that it is.
We often look at places in different ways here on this blog, and many people wanted us to check out Tahiti. It’s something that isn’t “new” per se — tourists have been flocking to Tahiti for a while. If you’re out of the loop, we’ll bring you up to speed.
Tahiti is the biggest island of the Society Islands. This is an island chain that includes Bora Bora and Huahine, two other destinations that you’ve probably heard of. This is an incredibly place, where peace, tranquility, relaxation, and friendship are big themes. The Tahitians understand tourism is about service, and they’re a naturally generous people anyway. Don’t be surprised to find that you’ll be welcome with open arms. Aside from the monetary aspect, this is just a culture that’s all about being laid back rather than wound up. Now that’s something that we can all get behind, right?
If you want to know Tahiti, you have to start with the geography. This is an island nation that is dominated by volcanic mountain ranges. It’s in the shape of a turtle, which makes for an interesting landscape. Did we mention the black beaches, amazingly clear water and rich fertile soil? Yeah, it’s all here.
You have two cities on Tahiti that are of major importance. Both of them are pretty hectic. Papeete is the capital, where you will find a lot of your transportation and shopping needs, while Faa’a is where you have the airport. You’ll probably check into Faa’a and then travel elsewhere on the island. This is an island with a population of 127,000 people so things can definitely be busy!
The weather is amazing — a strong tropical climate where it definitely gets hot. The hotels have gotten wise and installed plenty of air conditioning, because it’s hot year round. If you go in the “winter”, that’s May to October. Summer is actually November through April. Either way, you’ll find plenty of adventure and relaxation waiting for you.
You could even start with Tahiti and island hop to where you want to go next. Bora Bora is right around the corner.
Speaking of transportation, you’ll find that the transportation options are pretty wide. You can get around by bus, which is pretty cheap. You can also go by ferry or catamaran. You can even do it up “big” by looking at the luxury liners. They do week long trips around the Society Island chain as a whole. This is an amazing and incredibly way to see the islands.
English is spoken all over the island where tourism is concerned, but it might not less common in far flung spaces. Most of the signs are in French, but you can always ask someone to translate for you.
There is a lot of stuff to see while you’re on the island. You have to start with the market place in Papeete known as Le Marche. You can get “monoi” at the market, which is an amazing oil that will leave your skin feeling smooth and very soft. You also need to get shell necklaces. These are made directly by the locals, and it’s amazing stuff. You also need a “pareu”, which can be used to lay out on the beach. These are cheap souvenirs that can be taken off the island.
You get to see the Tomb of King Pomare the Fifth, who was the one king Tahiti has ever had. There’s a botanical garden that’s absolutely perfect, and even a gold course that used to be a sugarcane farm.
Plenty of museums and old pieces of architecture.
Scuba diving is a real treat, and the resort will give you the requirement you need to make it happen. You will not be able to do deep sea fishing, but you can go surfing and snorkeling. There’s a chance to feed the sharks…if you dare. Water sports are all over the place, and many people dig kitesurfing.
There is a GREAT chance for UK tourists to get a lot mileage out of their GBP’s here. Currency fluctuates, but the GBP has always been fairly strong against the Pacific Franc.
The island food fare is naturally focused around the water and the fresh fish from within. You can also get a lot of fresh fruit that’s absolutely delicious. Baguette sandwiches are popular and very cheap — just about everything is stuffed into a sandwich.
Fruit juice is an insanely delicious treat, but you can find plenty of wine if you want. Dancing is very much part of the culture, so you don’t want to skip that either.
You have plenty of hotel chains to choose from. There’s a lot of small family operations that can provide cheap accommodations. They also help keep local residents afloat. However, if you want to go with an all out luxury experience, you can find that in Tahiti as well.
Don’t skip over this amazing, amazing, island — you really won’t regret the experience!