Fiji: Bula, bula!

In my mind, I thought Fiji would look exactly like Hawaii — with bluer oceans, cleaner beaches, a little more essence of “paradise”. After all, that’s how they market all the luxury island resorts, which in actuality, only make up a tiny portion of Fiji.Back in July, Ryan and I visited Fiji, since his mom was born in Suva. We flew into Nadi (pronounced Nandi) on the west side of Viti Levu (the main island) and took a four-hour bus ride to Suva, the capital on the east. There, we met up with his parents and relatives at the Holiday Inn and then took a 12-seater van into the countryside to visit where the grandparents grew up, in the outskirts of Nausori.

The thing that surprised me the most is how Chinese and Indian people are everywhere…even at the edge of the world (timeline-wise). Fiji actually has a 40% Indian population, brought over as indentured plantation workers during British colonial rule. They eventually, of course, took over all the businesses.

The next day, we checked out the Fiji museum situated in the botanical gardens and then wandered around the market:

Before we move on to the next location, I’ll leave you with the back view from the Suva Holiday Inn:

After a few days in Suva (where I can literally name all the restaurants from memory — because that’s how small this capital is), we took a bus to the Shangri-la Fijian resort on the Yunuca island in Sigatoka (in the southern tip of Viti Levu).

One day during low tide, we waded deep into the ocean and saw a lot of fish!

Downtown Sigatoka (pronounced Singatoka) looks way different than the surrounding resorts though:

A few days later, we went to Denarau, the main island resort Fiji is known for. The waters seemed a bit more polluted but the quality of service was held to much higher international standards.

Views from the Sheraton and the Marina:

Glimpses of the Sofitel:

Nearly all (if not all) of the seven resorts are connect via one giant stretch of scenic beach:

One day after a long walk along the beach, we wandered onto the golf course (in flip flops) and decided to give it a shot at the driving range. Then we watched Ryan play miniature golf against himself, haha:

A few times, we ventured out to downtown Nadi (only a 10-minute drive away) to buy some groceries and eat more Indian food (which seems to be much more prevalent than Fijian cuisine):

To wrap up, I’ll leave you with a flower growing out of a parking lot!