Malo e lelei - Welcome to Tonga! This ancient kingdom, which boasts traditional Polynesian tropical beauty, is located in the heart of the South Pacific, east of Fiji and south of Samoa. It is the only country in the pacific that has not been colonized by Europeans. There are four island groups, which include the Niuas, Vava’u, Ha’apai and Tongatapu. The islands lie on a volcanic ridge known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Towering volcanoes once dominated the landscape, but as they sank into the sea coral polyps gradually built the islands existing today.
Tongatapu, which is the main island and is home to the capital of Nuku'alofa, thirves with traditional Tongan customs and culture. Tongans are known to be welcoming, relaxed and generally happy people. Food is an important aspect of the culture, and the islands have an impressive array of restaurants serving Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Polynesian foods as well as traditional Tongan dishes such as cajun seared tuna, mahi-mahi drizzled with lime and coconut, smoked marlin pate, and wahoo steak with fresh tropical salsa. Religion is also important to native Tongans, and Sundays are regarded as the day of the Sabbath which is declared forever sacred in the Tongan Constitution. Therefore, many restaurants and shops are closed on Sundays, yet this makes it a perfect day to relax on the beach.
The average temperature on Tonga is 80 degrees, and the island receives quite less rain than other islands in the South Pacific. Tonga, which means “south,” is farther south from the equator than other surrounding islands. There are many fun activities to do on the island, including diving, fishing, kayaking, sailing, surfing, trekking and whale watching. There are also sea-taxis on the island which interest me, which are available for fishing, sightseeing, deserted island trips, as well as general transportation within the islands.
Tonga, which is known to be “home to the friendly islanders” is easily accessible by Air New Zealand, Air Pacific, and Polynesian Airlines. I would suggest traveling to Tonga as an extension to another trip in the South Pacific (since it is relatively far from here). If you are already in the vacinity, Tonga sounds like a fantastic place for a romantic, relaxing or enjoyable holiday. For more information, please consult Tonga’s very informative official website.