Fafa Island, Tonga
|Fafa Island did have some things going for it:
- a tiny island that you could walk around in 18 minutes
- nice sand beaches with an abundance of pretty shells
- clear, blue, warm ocean water
- tropical birds wandering around
- beautifully looking traditional bungalows
(bungalows are called fales in Tongan)
- spectacularly colored sunsets
- a good view of the stars at night
- interesting crabs living on the beach at night
|However, for us the negatives far outweighed the positives:
- the viciously aggressive mosquitos could not be kept at bay by mosquito netting or repellent
- the resort didn't make an effort to ward off the mosquitos
- the resort had run out of suntan lotion in their store and did not make an effort to ever buy more
- we felt dirty the whole time were were there due to wearing mosquito repellent and (the first day) suntan lotion
- the outside shower was swarming with mosquitos
- the resort staff (with the exception of one bartender) was less than friendly
- we were scared in our fale since we were not "within screaming distance of anyone else"
- we had no electricity the first night and could hear some big animal munching on our coconut leaf walls
- Seth had seen men with machete knives wandering around during the day and heard a boat passing by our beach multiple times that night
- we had to walk back from dinner either on a creepy deserted beach of through a similarly creepy forest
When the mosquito netting was put down around the bed, it stopped the breeze as well as the mosquitos:
|Eighty percent DEET
Neosporin stops the itch
Slimy all over
Lotion saves our hides from bugs
Eats through plastic pen
Mosquitos ants and others
Nighttime not for sleep
of our most enjoyable memories involve being on the beach and nowhere near
our room. Unfortunately, the "superior beach bungalow...facing the ocean...a
few steps away from your beach" that was advertised on their internet site
was NOT on the beach. Our Sunset bungalow was situated in a heavily vegetated
area set back from the beach. The description of "traditional Tongan building
style...walls made from coconut leaves, the roof is covered with wooden
shingles" also sounds nice until you actually realize that you are given
no lock for your door and do not feel secure that you or your belongings
It was amazing to think though that our walls were once coconut palm leaves. It is not hard to realize why the Tongan people today choose not to live in traditional houses!
is a good thing that neither one of us is scared of animals or bugs. We
actually liked many mutant geckos in our hut. We called them "mutant geckos"
because they were significantly larger than the geckos we'd seen other
places. We figure this is due to their huge diet of mosquitos here on Fafa
Island. There were many other animals on Fafa besides the geckos that we
liked. Periodically, a small hen-colored bird would come wandering through
our yard. Also at breakfast, a brightly colored blue bird would come up
to our table - probably in the hope of getting a snack! Our favorite animals
on the island were probably the sand crabs that we spied on the beach at
night. In hindsight, it's a good thing that we were familiar with what
sand crabs looked like - otherwise one of us might have screamed the morning
that we woke up and had a sand crab hanging from the mosquito netting above
After the sunset, we would head for dinner - spotting crabs along the way. Sitting at the only table that was open to the sky was a treat at dinner. We could look up at the sky while eating dinner and see the stars well enough to clearly see the Milky Way and various constellations. However, star watching on Fafa was not nearly as nice as star watching in Hana, Maui, Hawaii since we'd be eaten alive and scared to death if we would have taken a blanket outside and settled in to watch the stars. While at dinner, we did see both satellites and shooting stars. That was fun! Dinner itself was OK. There was only one night where the only choice was fish, so we opted to have curry and rice with no meat.
The walk back to our bungalow each night after dinner was terrifying - even with flashlights. We could never decide if the beach route or the bush route was less terrifying. The creepy walk home set the mood for returning to our unsecured hut. We were never offered a key to our hut, even though there was a lock on the door. Thus, when we got home, we had to check around the hut and make sure no one was lurking in it. This was especially hard the first night when we returned home and figured out that the electricity was not working. At least that was fixed after only one night!
Tara was able to sleep on Fafa Island, but she can sleep through anything. Seth had a rougher time. Read his Locomotion posts for the whole story!
Overall, Fafa was an idyllic looking paradise, where reality did not
meet up to the initial visual image:
An excellent example is that we had a hammock in our yard. One day Tara
settled into the hammock and read for about 30 minutes before getting up
and asking Seth "Do I have any bites on my back? My back itches.". Seth
took one look at Tara's back, counted no less than nine big mosquito bites
and immediately went to get the antibiotic, pain relieving Neo Sporin cream.
|Laying in the hammock LOOKED like it would be enjoyable.
||Unfortunately, the reality was very painful for Tara:
|Ease of Journey|
|Accommodation||3||FaFa Island Resort - The Sunset fale was more like a campsite than a resort|
We DO NOT recommend Fafa Island at http://www.kalianet.to/fafa/resort.htm
17 March: Nadi to Tonga on Air Pacific 211 at 7am - economy seats 36A and 36B.
24 March: Tonga to Nadi on Air Pacific 210 at 9pm - economy seats 29E nd 29F.
American Airlines reward ticket. Paid USD 95 total in processing fees
for a return tickets since we did not book 21 days in