Tips for Fiji Travel

Fiji is a wonderful place to go on holiday, with a variety of hotels and resorts willing to put you up, feed you, and entertain you. Bula is the word for welcome, and it drips off everyone's smile quite readily! Fiji is a welcoming place with a beautiful climate and friendly people.

To get to Fiji you will fly into Nadi International Airport on the west side of Viti Levu, the main island. There is another international airport near Suva, the capital, but it serves fewer flyers, mainly inter-island hopping flights.

The temperature averages 25 degrees Centigrade year-round, with two distinct seasons per year as is common throughout the tropics; a wet and a dry season. The water remains between 25 and 29 degrees and is wonderful for swimming and all watersports. It is drier from May thru November, and the wet season is from December thru April.

Of course everyone wants to have access to cash and ATM machines in this modern age, so there are a number of banks in Fiji to serve you. Cash machines are common in resort areas, and ANZ, Bank of Baroda and Westpac have branches island-wide. Call ANZ at 321 3000 for help. Westpac can also help customers at 132 032 or 321 7333. Normal banking hours are from 9:30 to 3 pm Monday thru Thrusday, and on Friday from 9:30 to 4 pm. Fiji uses the Fiji Dollar as its official currency, and there is no limit on the amount of currency you can bring into or out of Fiji.

Business hours and shopping is normally conducted from 8 am to 5 pm. Some shops stay open until 6 on Fridays, and everything closes at 1 pm on Saturdays. Sundays most things are closed, except in tourist resort areas. Shopping costs 12.5% more than you think, as there is VAT to pay. Most places include the VAT in the stated price, but be careful! Bargaining is expected in most places, but tipping is not.

In emergency dial "0" if you are in a resort. If outside a resort dial 911 for all emergencies. Fiji also uses the 919 number for emergencies. There are medical services available in Fiji, with a number of hospitals throughout the island chain. Stateside medical insurance will do you no good here however, so get travel insurance or be prepared to pay for your costs. Pharmacies are well stocked and modern, most drugs are available over the counter, such as blood pressure meds, asthma sprays and antibiotics, etc. Prescriptions are required for narcotics, opiates and painkillers so don't even try it.

Internet cafes are found in the larger towns, and most resorts offer access for their guests. Dial-up is slow and painful in some areas of the islands, but available.

The Fijians are comprised of three religious groups, Christians, Hindus and Muslims. Sundays are the day off for all of them seemingly, as the country grinds to a halt then.

Upon arrival you will be granted up to four months stay as a visitor, and longer stays can be arranged BEFORE arriving through the Fijian embassies worldwide.

Bula Vinaka!
~Martin Trip




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