The “Bula” experience in the island of Fiji

The island nation of Fiji is situated in shimmering South Pacific, between Hawaii and Australia. This island country in the South Pacific, is an archipelago of more than 300 islands and two thirds of the island is uninhabited, makes it one of the unspoilt places on the planet. Its famed for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture.

In looking at a photo, it is easy to see that holidays in Fiji will be spent in paradise. An archipelago of more than 300 tropical islands of all shapes and sizes, Fiji is all white sandy beaches, palm trees and turquoise lagoons. Fiji’s stunning natural beauty, luxurious spas and all-inclusive resorts make it an ideal wedding or honeymoon destination. Taking a trip to Fiji is equally loved by families, divers and relaxation-seekers.

Why Go?

Fiji, with diverse natural attractions, rich local culture and secluded and extraordinarily scenic archipelago truly offers something for every kind of traveller. This has enticed me to visit this island destination and adventure through some of the untouched islands. My impression of this island was not looking for a family-friendly getaway nor a romantic escape but rather an intrepid adventure. I was sure that Fiji wasn’t going to disappoint. Scuba diving in coral reefs, discovering lush inland landscapes fill with wildlife or simply relaxing on pristine beaches are the country’s natural attractions which are sure to amaze me but its the warm, welcoming locals that set Fiji apart from other tropical destinations. This leaves a lasting impression on any visitors to this island. Many first-time holiday-makers head to the Mamanucas, one of Fijis most popular destinations where they enjoy fantastic water-sports ranging from scuba diving to surfing and see some of the archipelagos renowned beaches. For me, it was my “own-time” leisure vacation in this tropical paradise, visiting Suva, capital of Fiji, Nadi, Lautoka and beach relaxation at Dream Island of Beachcomber.

It is time to discover the gorgeous beaches, wilderness landscapes and distinctive culture that make Fiji an unforgettable destination.

Getting there?

It was about mid-morning when I arrived in Nadi International airport, the gateway to the islands of Fiji. Not having to plan any of my travel arrangements, I found myself drifting about in Nadi before stopping in a motel for a peaceful night, which was few kilometres away from the Nadi airport.

Public Bus Transport

The next day, I intimately associated myself with the life of Fijian style and took a public bus to country’s buzzing capital, Suva, which is located on the island of Viti Levu. I was hoping to learn about Fiji’s fascinating history at the Fiji Museum, featuring an impressive collection of Indo-Fijian artefacts. Also, taking time to browse through busy stalls selling local produce, clothing and handicrafts at Suva Municipal Market.

There are four ways to get from Nadi to Suva. You either go on a public bus, self-drive on a hire car, go on a taxi or by plane. The buses in Fiji are efficient and inexpensive and I choose to take a 4-hour journey from Nadi to Suva on the main island by public bus – Coral Sun Express. Coral Sun, also known as the ‘Tourist Bus’, connects to all resorts and hotels along Queens Road to Suva. This way, it gives me the chance to see what Fiji has to offer on the west coast. Buses also stop at all towns in between and making quite an interesting bus journey and inexpensive.

Suva

Arriving in Suva around mid-afternoon, I made myself comfortable in my hotel located right in the heart of the city before exploring the area. Based right in the heart of the city for the next 7 days was the ideal introduction to the area and Suva life. Having to stay in the city have the advantage of been closer to most places, within walking distance.

The city of Suva is the heart of Fiji, home to half of country’s urban population and claims to be the largest and perhaps the most liveable city in the South Pacific outside New Zealand or Australia. It is a lush green city on a hilly peninsula, that gets more than its fair share of rain and has a vibrant cultural scene. The capital of Fiji is set on 15 square kilometre of peninsula adjacent to one of the finest naturally protected harbours in the South Seas.

Exploring Suva

Suva, the capital city, has colonial architecture, plenty of nightspots and restaurants as well as beautiful temples and mosques. Here in Suva, I found all the activities, I could possibly want and the list is endless – from culture, art, recreation, shopping, museums, galleries, markets to nightlife and continues to evolve with new complexes. Suva is a walker’s town and a great place to walk. Most of the places can be seen within one day. Municipal Market

I began my Suva stay, with a visit to the Municipal Market for a taste of Fijian life. This was a great place to pick up souvenirs and inexpensive food.

At this market, the Polynesian, Chinese, Indian and Fijian vendors hawk fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, coconut oil and nearly everything else that a Fiji household might need. I noticed that some sections (upstairs) virtually sell kava roots. It certainly makes it a fascinating glimpse into the trade of one of the most important commodities in the country.

Fiji Museum

One of Suva’s best attraction is the Fiji Museum. This museum is a “must-visit” place when your visiting Suva. I found the museum fascinating myself as the museum details South Pacific culture and discusses the country’s own history.

It has various displays including Indian art exhibits, HMS Bounty relics and artefacts that showcase traditional Fijian life, such as cannibal forks, shell jewellery and tribal weaponry

Government Building

This massive Government Building site is one of the most prominent in Suva. These impressive, orange-coloured government buildings were modelled after traditional Fijian thatched huts, and the complex is open to visitors or may be of more than passing interest to the visitor.

Some of the places visited includes Albert Park, The Grand Pacific hotel, Thurston park, Victoria Parade, Cumming Street, The Triangle, Old Town Hall, Suva City Library and more to fill your stay in Suva.

Though Suva is located on the coast, there is no pristine and sandy beach in town but it doesn’t amount to much. The best bet for a decent beach is to head down to Pacific Harbour, which is about 20 minutes by car or bus out of town.

Nadi

After 7-days of Suva experience, it was time to head to Lautoka to enjoy sun, sand and sea. From Suva to Lautoka, I did a self-drive on a rental car to explore some of the places of interest along the way. This was a great way to divert off the main road and enjoy the views and sceneries where it was not accessible by big buses. Along the way, I spent few hours in Sigatoka before arriving in Nadi for a short day tour before arriving in Lautoka by noon.

Nadi, located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu was once a small community of farmers and shopkeepers but today it is the third-largest conurbation in Fiji after Lautoka. Nadi is multiracial with many of its inhabitants Indian or Fijian, along with a large transient population of foreign tourists. Along with sugar cane production, this city has become Fiji’s tourism capital and the mainstay of the local economy. The town of Nadi called by the locals both frenetic hub of sugar growing and tourism, surrounded by rolling, bucolic countryside.

Nadi: Half-Day Tour

In doing a quick half-day tour of Nadi, was to give me a chance to see and experience what this place has to offer. This tour gave me the opportunity to explore the Garden of Sleeping Giant, famous for its collection of orchids and tropical plants. This tranquil garden was founded by Raymond Burr in 1977. From there, we visited the chiefly village of Viseisei, the legendary landing site of the first Fijians. We had time to wander around this seaside village before continuing into Nadi, to the site of the largest Hindu Temple in the South Pacific. Finally, the tour took us in the colourful sights and friendly faces at the Nadi market. What a thrill and experience that was and I highly recommend this tour for any travellers to the area. After the tour, I took an easy self-drive to Lautoka for relaxation

Lautoka

Lautoka, the second-largest city and port in Fiji and an important business centre, is just located about 20 minutes north of Nadi. It is more ‘industrial’ in flavour, with fewer tourist attractions and more of a ‘local’ feel. Not only most of the vessels here sail to foreign ports but to the outer islands and the resort areas. Also, this city is a quintessential sugar town, with reputedly one of the largest sugar mills in the southern hemisphere. I have seen that, although tourism is an important to the region but sugar industry is still king here and the largest single employer in the district.

Beachcomber

After couple of days in Lautoka, it was time to indulge in sun, sand and sea – my island relaxation destination- Beachcomber. This tiny island is situated on a picturesque marine sanctuary in the heart of the Mamanuca Islands. Beachcomber Island Resort is almost 20 kilometres from Nadi International, Fiji’s National airport. This island resort is unique, spectacular and fun, that is for both the young and young at heart.

I came here to have a great time in the sun and enjoy the sand and sea. It is a place to have casual, relaxed atmosphere and this is what I wanted. I thought, I just came to experience the magic of Beachcomber Island just once but feels like, I like to come back year after year. Yes, this island is that easy to get there, yet so hard to leave. Definitely, this dream island and the memories will stay with me forever. It is an experience of a lifetime and ‘must-do’ island to visit.

Where to stay?

There are various types of accommodations in both Nadi and Suva to suit all budget ranging from resorts, backpacker, holiday houses, apartments, B&Bs and camping nearby. Also, these places offers a range of properties throughout the region to fit most holiday styles and budgets.

Many budget travellers and backpackers make their journey to Yasawa Islands. This place is known for its affordable accommodation and great nightlife.

Popular Attractions

Fiji is home to many iconic Island Resorts. Driving around in this area is possible if you have the time and want to see more of the area on your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s attractions, I’d recommend staying right in the main centre of the Suva or Nadi. This way, you don’t have to fight the traffic from locals on their daily commute and you get to sample the local areas within walking distances. Unfortunately, this is where the true heart of the area shines.

Fiji is filled with endless list of activities and attractions. Travellers looking to get active can enjoy an exhilarating kayaking or rafting excursion along the Navua River, which runs through the island’s mountainous interior. You can check out the dramatic 60-foot high sand dunes found at Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. For hikers and birdwatchers, visit Taveuni, the “Garden Island”, a thrilling destination for hiking and birdwatching. Here, you will find rainforest and towering volcanic peaks.

Exploring the area

Throughout the island of Fiji, it is entirely possible to get around and visit many attractions and places in this area with the help of public transport. However, my recommendation would be to hire a car or do a self-drive tour and explore the area on your own time. Driving in this area is straightforward as long as you keep your wits about you and don’t mind the locals who drive much faster than wary tourists. When visiting new areas, be aware of no-drive zones and one-way streets. Sometimes, you will save yourself a few headaches when it comes to parking or driving around places to locate the area, it is best to go on a tour and get away with less stress.

 

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Port Moresby: The Land of Unexpected’s Capital

EXPERIENCE

___________________________________

Port Moresby

Port Moresby’s charm lies in the diversity of its cultures and the distinct features of the people. From the highlands up in the mountains to islands of pristine beaches to coastal areas of the country, brings diversity and uniqueness

Posted by

akamau

Port Moresby in Brief

Known as the Land of Unexpected, Papua New Guinea is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Port Moresby also known as Pom City is the capital and the largest city of Papua New Guinea. The city is situated on the eastern shore of Port Moresby of the Gulf of Papua, on the south-west coast of the Papuan Peninsula of the island of New Guinea. It is located about 100 miles on the northern tip of Australia. Port Moresby, has been growing rapidly since gaining independence in 1975 and it has been the fastest growing city in the Pacific.

With over 800 different languages, it makes this country one of the most unique, yet diverse place on earth to visit. Though English is commonly spoken throughout the country, the two main languages – tok Pidgin and Motu is widely spoken daily among the people. 

Aerial view of Port Moresby as we descend onto Jacksons International Airport

The city of Port Moresby is not a destination that families and travellers expect to come to enjoy or have a good time. It is a city with minimal attraction and tourism is non-existence in the city. The only main beach in the city, called Ela beach is deserted with no activities, except street vendors and locals prowling the promenade with minimal entertainment.With the rapid growth, there is a dark side. The gritty Port Moresby is not most travellers idea of an enchanting capital. The city has a spread-out collection of neighbourhoods – from modern office buildings in downtown and Waigani and a glitty marina full of yachts, to squatter shantytowns with no electricity or running water that cling to the hillsides. The scruffy market places are where barefoot settlers and villagers from surrounding areas come to sell their goods. The city illustrates the stark divide between expats, rich locals and the struggling locals. According to “Lonely Planet” travel guide, it rates Port Moresby has one of the worst places and most unsafe cities in the world to live. 

Street Vendors

I returned to the country where I grew up to visit families and to re-visit some of the familiar places around Port Moresby that were once safe. As soon as I stepped out of the Jackson’s International terminal, I went straight onto my waiting vehicle. From there, I took an opportunity to ventured through some of the city’s main roads and suburban streets. Driving along the city’s main road and streets, every street corners were packed with street vendors. It was the common scene, once we drove out of the airport. Whether it was in front of their residence, public bus-stops, front of the major shopping centres and along the busy streets, they were visibly seeing everywhere, selling virtually anything to make a living. It was quite a scene and it can be over-whelming if your visiting for the first time in the area.

#gallery-7 {
margin: auto;
}
#gallery-7 .gallery-item {
float: left;
margin-top: 10px;
text-align: center;
width: 50%;
}
#gallery-7 img {
border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;
}
#gallery-7 .gallery-caption {
margin-left: 0;
}
/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */





Betel nut, one of the major thing that is virtually sold everywhere by street vendors is a nut which many locals chew. It is a drug and can become very addictive. Being aware of the risks, chewing betel nut was not on my bucket-list. I was warned by families that visiting public betel nut markets alone was highly unsafe and tourists or expatriate are most vulnerable. I was recommended to go with family members as public markets, especially in Port Moresby were quite dangerous. The local betel nut chewers tends to be careless when spitting betel nut juice. Despite Parliament passing the amended Summary Offences Acts which prohibits selling, buying and chewing of betel nut, it has not solved the underlying problem. As I ventured further into the streets of Port Moresby, the streets and footpaths are stained by the blood red spittle that chewing produces and discarded husks clog the gutters. It was quite an eye sore and a very unpleasant introduction to the city. 

#gallery-8 {
margin: auto;
}
#gallery-8 .gallery-item {
float: left;
margin-top: 10px;
text-align: center;
width: 50%;
}
#gallery-8 img {
border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;
}
#gallery-8 .gallery-caption {
margin-left: 0;
}
/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */


City’s Image

The city of Port Moresby is one of the most populous places in the country and in the Pacific Islands. Within few hours of exploring the area, I began to find that the city has an image problem, with a firmly entrenched reputation as a violent and dangerous place. I found the streets to be unsafe to walk on and venturing out alone was basically taking my life in my hands. It is full of contradiction and pain. It is a place of wonder, fear, sorrow and neglect, considering hope. The country’s capital bursts with humanity on every street or corner I passed. I could virtually see it all there – poverty, wealth, good, bad, happy, sad, beauty and tragedies.

The more I began to explore, I noticed that behind the beautiful, lavish parts of Port Moresby lies the most abject poverty imaginable. Nothing could prepare me for the stark reality of desperation, misery and despair of walking through a real live slum in the heart of country’s capital. Sometimes the most severe poverty was hidden behind the walls and within the confines of a slum. Other times, it was just starring right back at me like a hard slap across my face. I tried to look away, and ignore the creeping, uncomfortable nagging guilt. But I couldn’t.

#gallery-9 {
margin: auto;
}
#gallery-9 .gallery-item {
float: left;
margin-top: 10px;
text-align: center;
width: 50%;
}
#gallery-9 img {
border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;
}
#gallery-9 .gallery-caption {
margin-left: 0;
}
/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */


These scenes may be a tourist delight but taking time to explore and talking with the locals on the street, I have found that it was expensive, dangerous ( or so many expats will tell you) and not easily walkable. It was easy for me to see why many visitors are tempted to spend as little time here as possible, unless they have a friend or family connection in the city. I found the local people in Port Moresby probably through out the whole country tend to sit on the ground and watch the world go by when they have nothing to do. It was quite intimidating for me as I was already semi-paranoid about rascals pounding on me any minute. 

#gallery-10 {
margin: auto;
}
#gallery-10 .gallery-item {
float: left;
margin-top: 10px;
text-align: center;
width: 50%;
}
#gallery-10 img {
border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;
}
#gallery-10 .gallery-caption {
margin-left: 0;
}
/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */


Beneath this heart-breaking struggle and despair, local people are charming and kind-hearted people. I found that, once you get to know them, they immediately consider you like a brother and are willing to help you at any time. 

#gallery-11 {
margin: auto;
}
#gallery-11 .gallery-item {
float: left;
margin-top: 10px;
text-align: center;
width: 50%;
}
#gallery-11 img {
border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;
}
#gallery-11 .gallery-caption {
margin-left: 0;
}
/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */



Getting there?

Port Moresby is the major entry point to another destinations in the country. It has a major international airport (Jacksons International Airport) and there are direct flights from Cairns, Brisbane and many other Asian countries.

Where to stay?

There are various types of accommodations in the area ranging from resorts, hotels and private accommodations. However, it is highly expensive to stay in all accommodations. Safety is a major issue but staying in resorts or hotels are safe as they are guarded by securities constantly.

Popular Attractions

With the unattractive side to the city, there is Port Moresby’s charms that reveal themselves:

* Parliament Haus (National Parliament): It is modelled in the style of a Sepik spirit house – “haus tambaran”. It is set in some beautiful and very carefully landscaped gardens. 

* A superb National Museum and Art Gallery: This superb museum, beautifully remodelled for the country’s 40th anniversary of independence is the best introduction you can get to Papua New Guinea’s rich indigenous culture.

* Port Moresby’s Nature Park: This is an island of calm. Located not far from the University of Papua New Guinea is this 2km of walkways thread under and through the jungle canopy, with well-maintained gardens displaying both local and exotic plants species, including native and hybrid orchids and many more birds, including the iconic bird of paradise of the country.

* The Adventure Park: This park is located outside the city within few minutes of driving. It is one of the major attractions of the city which includes water slides and ferries wheels, paddle-boats and wildlife encounters 

* Colourful Markets: Here you get to wander around and check out some of the locally made crafts, such as the hand-made string bags called bilums. 

Many other attractions includes – Bomana War Cemetery, Variarata National Park, Hanubada and Koki villages built over the sea on stilts, National Orchid Gardens, McDonald’s Corner and many more. 

All these are well worth a visit and they offer a pleasant way to get away for few hours when visiting the area but it is highly recommended to go with local guides in a convoy.

Exploring the area and Transportation

It is entirely possible to get around and visit many attractions and places in this area with the help of public transport but public buses are not reliable, unsafe and dirty. However, my recommendation would be to hire a car and guides and travel in a convoy. To do a self-drive tour and exploring the area in your own time is very dangerous. Driving in the area is straightforward but the locals drive much faster and careless and not wary of others. 

#gallery-12 {
margin: auto;
}
#gallery-12 .gallery-item {
float: left;
margin-top: 10px;
text-align: center;
width: 50%;
}
#gallery-12 img {
border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;
}
#gallery-12 .gallery-caption {
margin-left: 0;
}
/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */


While it is true that country’s capital Port Moresby can be dangerous but my experience overall is that it is far from being the hell-hole that the tabloid media love to paint it. With common sense, it will keep you safe and sound. Visiting Port Moresby was not the near-death experience it might appear to be but my visit to the city that I grew up was such an amazing trip. I had the chance to visit some of the places that I was familiar with and other unique places. The experience was a completely different culture and lifestyle that I am familiar with back home. 

When you have families or friends living in Port Moresby will definitely give you an unforgettable experience. In sharing my memories in this country, it can give others a different perspective.

Join Us

ABOUT ME


ic.golina

Papua New Guinean living in Cairns, Australia. Weekend getaway adventurer and Free-Independent-Traveller (FIT). Lover of unique and exotic travel experiences with a touch of luxury. Follow me to my travel world, brining you closer to your destination.

I would love, if you share it

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Join other akamau subscribers for Free

Enter your email below and receive new post notification via your email

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In Pictures: My Village Life

EXPERIENCE

___________________________________

VILLAGE LIFESTYLE

A snapshot of what life is like in the village. A simple way of life that wanna keeps me going back home

Posted by

akamau

What I love about going back home

Who wouldn’t love to go home? There is no place like home and home is where our heart is truly defines how each person or individual belongs to. Being happy, comfortable and relax is a place where you feel like at home and that is something above and beyond. 

For the last few decades, going back home to the village had long been a much-loved holiday destination when I could relax and enjoy a break from the 9-to-5 grind back home. The dream of getting off the hamster wheel of working life and take a short break from home away from home, the village life in Papua New Guinea. It was time to go back home and that was exactly what I did. I know it was going to be a culture shock for me going back but mainly for me, I miss the proximity with my families back home, especially after living overseas for almost 30 years, now families at home have grown up children and engaging in so many things. It was the greatest moment for me, seeing them for the first time.

During the few years of my absence from the village and when I went back home to the village, my camera has never been so busy. The village life there has been definitely an eye-opener; the delightful people, the breathtaking scenery, the vibrant village community gatherings, simple and relaxed way of life… Every day there was so many photo worthy moments. Sometimes, it is true that a picture can paint a thousand words. Each picture tells a story of a certain place and time. In my opinion, there is no place on earth that a simple photo can tell so much about a place than Inuma Village. Here are just a few of my favourites. 

Home

The life here in this tiny remote village of Inuma is much simpler than Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea and a lot more easier and relaxed way of life. You can go to the rivers, swim, gardens, bush walking and hunting. You can simply indulge in a stress and trouble free atmosphere.

The village isn’t big and I love it. I enjoyed traditional home-cooked meals on the fire and went for night swims in the river just within two minutes walk from the backyard of the house. I am so lucky enough to have this village located near the river, the main highway and accessible to many simple way of living without spending a cent. It is simply a beautiful area.

Village way of Life

For me, by far the most amazing thing about going back to the village is the way the local people live and how I have blended within the village lifestyle. Having grown up in this village, I still now feel that I am much more a part of their lives. I was lucky enough to witness a village community work progress during my visit in the village. Depending on the work but usually they complete the task within the day when the whole village community coming out to help the whole time but usually they all have their own individual or family gardens that they survive on. They’re bright, noisy affairs and a whole lot of fun too. I must say, the whole atmosphere was electrifying.

Faces

The faces of families back home tells a story. Despite modernisation and the threat to their way of life, especially their way of doing things to survive is gradually changing but their beautiful smiles are always cancerous and unforgetable. They still continue to live the way they have for centuries and they are happy. Here are some of my favourites. 

Family Fun Experience

Telling my friends that I was going home was a huge wake-up call for me as most of my friends in Australia know very little about village way of life. However, sharing some of experiences like this opens up a whole new world to many. I hope to go back again and spent more time in the village. The highlight of my entire trip was spending time with my families and at the river as kids go about diving above waste-deep waters for prawns for my lunch as we made fires at each site near the river while enjoying my prawns with dry coconut on the menu. Most of the children were happy to get fresh coconut for my refreshment and the entire experience was far better than I first thought. I simply fell in love with the beauty, pristine and untouched environment. It was absolutely extraordinary and like no place on earth to experience this unique way of life.

Road to Port Moresby: Maggi Highway

The trip back from the village to Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea was an experience that won’t be forgotten easily and without a doubt, it was an experience I want to repeat again – that was jumping on any public motor vehicle (PMV) passing along the highway. It was a rough journey but will do it again whenever I go back for a visit.

The road to Port Moresby from the village is probably the least treacherous, however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the most dangerous roads in the world. I found that, when it comes to driving the Maggi Highway, it is the journey, not the destination, that is the main attraction on travelling on public motor vehicles. There are few words that I can describe the beauty of this drive – rough and dusty road, windy, ever-changing green and lush valleys and passing through many tiny villages. There is only one town along the highway which is less attractive compared to tiny outback towns in Australia which are well-maintained with clean facilities and respected shops. To me this was the experience I wanted to discover – a highway to heaven itself. To others, experiencing and exploring this highway is certainly not for everyone. If you rather sit back, relax and simply enjoy the comfort – travel on your own vehicle.

The trip back home can be describe in one simple word – Incredible. I loved my trip and what truly made the difference was my sister, nephew, brother-in-law and my families back home in the village. Without them, this would have made the trip un-extraordinary. I have seen and experience the lifestyle in just few days and that was just only one small part of it. It was incredibly amazing experience.

ABOUT ME


ic.golina

Papua New Guinean living in Cairns, Australia. Weekend getaway adventurer and Free-Independent-Traveller (FIT). Lover of unique and exotic travel experiences with a touch of luxury. Follow me to my travel world, brining you closer to your destination.

I would love, if you share it

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Join other akamau subscribers for Free

Enter your email below and receive new post notification via your email

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Enjoying the Ultimate Theme Parks in Orlando, Florida.

EXPERIENCE

___________________________________

oRLANDO

Exploring the heart of Orlando city that is installed with theme park glory and filled with excitement for all

Posted by

Posted by

Orlando in Brief

The city of Orlando is centrally located in the U.S. state of Florida, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Orlando is the states third largest metropolis. With 233 sunny days a year and thrilling theme parks, makes Orlando the theme park capital of the world. For thrill seekers, millions of visitors come to Orlando for just one thing – Action. It is the place where imagination run wild. Millions of visitors escape to this sunny state, just to experience and visit these fun-pack incredible theme parks and attractions. Whether it is a white-knuckled thrill ride, exhilarating skydive encounter, soothing massage, exciting round of gold, mega shopping junket or a moving theatre performance, Orlando and the surrounding Central Florida region is a perennial favourite destination among holiday-makers around the world. Orlando is the place where they want visitors to stay all day and come back the next day. This is why visitors come to explore unique things to do in Orlando. There are many more reasons why and there are plenty of it? 

Variety of pictures of scenery below

Why Go?

When you may think, you know all you need to about Orlando is theme parks, but there is much more to do and so many things to enjoy in Orlando. However, there is more to this Central Florida city than Disney’s Epcot and Universal’s Wizard World of Harry Potter. In reality, Orlando has a little of this and little of that to appeal to all ages, and there is more to do here than visit theme parks. The subtropical climate makes this city great for golfing and the downtown city landscape is too attractive not to explore.

I wanted to treat myself to an eclectic food scene to venturing over gator-infested waters via zip line and many other plenty of activities in Orlando that weren’t on my radar. I wanted to step-away from the rollercoasters and flashy amusements and slip into the great outdoors which this city have plenty of natural beauty.

My Highlights

It was in early May, I set off for my annual overseas trip and chose to spend two weeks exploring Orlando. I have been to Orlando and other parts of Florida state and I loved it. I have found that Orlando is one of those places, once you visit the place, you will want to come back and stay. This time, I thought, I’ll enjoy exploring the theme parks and other major attractions outside Orlando. Though, I find theme parks to be family oriented but at times, I wanted to amuse myself, with no exception, Orlando is the place where it happens. 

As soon as I set foot in Orlando, I knew what I wanted to see and do, it wasn’t hard filling up my time and was able to do a wide variety of things that pleased me as a free-independent-traveller (FIT). From taking the adrenaline theme park rides to getting lost within the towering giant buildings and being mesmerised in Orlandos nightlife. There was plenty of nature, culture and entertainment.

In Orlando, there are botanical gardens, world-class museums and art galleries and inner city attractions. Over the course of two weeks, I began my Orlando experience with a trip to theme parks, moving next down to Kennedy Space Centre and finishing up my trip in Daytona Beach for 3 days, winding down before continuing to my next destination. It was a wonderful holiday filled with beauty and adventure.   

With so much to do and see int he area, it can be a bit overwhelming to make the most of my stay, here are some tips on that to do and see in Orlando area before heading to the coast – Daytona for relaxation by the beach.

Animal Kingdom Park

My ten day trip began with a visit toDisney’s Animal Kingdom Park, which is one of the 4 largest theme parks that are perfectly located at Walt Disney Resort. This park is filled with endless attractions, adventures and entertainment that reflect Walt Disney’s dedication to nature and conservation. The park is home to more than 1700 animals from over 200 species and sprawling across acres of lush landscape. This is the park’s biggest animal-themed park in the world and here you can see some of the region’s most interesting animals along with others brought in from different countries and learn more about them.

Here you’re able to encounter rare and majestic animals and even get close enough to pet some of them. This park in Orlando was an action-packed day out for me and sure, I went the next day to see and spent more time in the park. What a thrill and magical  experience it was. I felt like, I was seeing the spectacular scenery from the African savannah to exotic animals of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Whether you’re an animal lover or not, this is the right place to create that imagination of “All creatures, great and small” are gathered in one location for children, family and lone travellers come to enjoy. 

Enjoying the views of Pink Flamingos

Sea World

There is no one place on earth more than seeing the underworld creatures, bigger than human beings that is so magical that will linger-on for the rest of my life. I spent a full day at this park exploring the awe-inspiring world of marine life where every encounter was a new adventure. I just loved coming face-to-face with playful dolphins. I just immersed myself in wonder at this park and could see this aquatic world coming alive in from of me as I wandered around. Apart from seeing the world through the eyes of a penguin in the thrilling, chilling adventure of Antartica and laughing to the all-new Clyde and Seamore’s Sea Lion High show, I then climbed aboard and ride the might manta where I experience the power and grace of killer whales in the awe-inspiring Shamu show. It is pure delight and incredible to experience all this in one location.

The park itself is mainly to entertain visitors of marine creatures but there are few other wildlife section where you can enjoy them including dangerous sea-creatures like the sharks and other marine live – fish etc which can be viewed through the glass like in the aquarium.

Kennedy Space Centre

One of the places, I was looking forward to visit which was on my priority list was taking a trip out to Kennedy Space Centre. Growing up as a child, one of my childhood ambition was to see how rockets were built and launched. It was a childhood fairytale, actually turning out to be a reality was beyond. I spend the ultimate day exploring the fascinating Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral. Here you learn about the history of the US space program and watch stunning IMAX films and I had the chance to walk under a Saturn V rocket and got a close-up view of the Space Shuttle launch pad. It was just mind-boggling.

If you have the time, you are able to join in a lunch with an astronaut and will take you behind the scenes of the centres launch facility. It is an experience that every traveller need to see

Daytona Beach

After spending six wonderful days in the city of Orlando, it was time to get back on track for leisure and relaxation. I ventured slightly off route to see some of the small places along the way to Daytona beach. After arriving in Daytona, it was time to rewind after an “action-packed” lifestyle of Orlando. My plan was to do nothing but spent more time at the beach strolling along in the mornings to see the sunrise and in the evenings to see the sunset.

In the middle of the day, my day was spent at the resort’s pool-side reading my favourite scientific thriller book by Lee Child to let the day go by. I continue on my own tour fo the beach for few days before it was time to leave. 

All in all, it was a wonderful ten days in Orlando and I would highly recommend it if you are visiting Orlando and Daytona area.

Daytona beach that goes for miles and miles away

ABOUT ME


ic.golina

Papua New Guinean living in Cairns, Australia. Weekend getaway adventurer and Free-Independent-Traveller (FIT). Lover of unique and exotic travel experiences with a touch of luxury. Follow me to my travel world, brining you closer to your destination.

I would love, if you share it

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on google
Google+
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on tumblr
Tumblr

Join other akamau subscribers for Free

Enter your email below and receive new post notification via your email

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I would like you to share

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

My Ultimate Visit to Washington DC’s Landmarks and Museums

EXPERIENCE

___________________________________

washington dc

Once you land in D.C you feel the sense of history and power but there is more than just Federal Government. It is vibrant and charming in this nation’s capital.

Posted by

akamau

Washington D.C in Brief

Washington DC, situated on the east of USA along the banks of the Potomac River is the United States capital. Washington was founded as the nation’s capital in 1971. The states capital is more than the Federal government and politics but the district’s National Mall’s monuments and memorials, eclectic neighbourhoods filled with character and charm brings true local flavour. Washington DC is a place unlike any other. It is a world-class destination featuring breathtaking views and hundreds of free things to do. You get to experience outstanding performing arts at acclaimed theatres, shop in historic Georgetown and be dazzled by a flourishing dining scenes. 

Washington D.C

Why Go?

In my prime time of travelling, I planned a trip to the nation’s capital, Washing DC. Nothing particular in mind but decided go a self-educational journey. America’s capital is rich with history and incredible sights to see. It is one of the most visited cities in the USA and it has been always a great place to visit. This great city offers a variety of interesting experiences from learning about American history and government to seeing many of the most iconic sights in the country. With such a unique place with so much history attached to it, a trip to this destination was going to entertain and educate me. This vibrant city will welcome me to some of the great food, art, cultural attractions and much more. All I need was to pay attention and it will open its beauty to me. 

Exploring the area

Washington DC is a place where as soon as you land there, you get the sense of power, history as the metropolis represent. I feel the vibe around me. I found this city entirely possible to get around and visited many attractions and places by foot. DC as known is home to some of the most significant buildings, monuments and memorials. It has some of the best museums in the world and most of them are also free to the public. When it comes to American history, this is where it all comes together. 

As I decided to get around the town easily than on foot, I got on the Capital Bikeshare program which allowed me to cruise freely around the city without wasting petrol or getting stuck in traffic. I began my Washington DC tour at the National Mall, where I found monuments, memorials and government buildings instead of tons of shopping. I then checked out the Watergate Hotel and Kennedy Centre where I stopped at Foggy Bottom, then I moved on to Georgetown, the oldest district in D.C. This place is filled with 18th-century buildings and the university itself. After I had a stop at the National Cathedral, I made my way to the Smithsonian Zoo. I must say, this is the perfect stop for families with young children and the people young at heart, like I was.

I was so amazed to learn that Washington D.C is home to almost 20 of the Smithsonian Museums and most of the notable museums are free to the public. These museums offer most adults and children of all ages can have an unforgettable experience. From the Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History to the Natural History Museum and the American Indian Museum. I spent hours and hours at each and still did not have time to see it all during my entire vacation. A visit to this great district isn’t complete without a stop into these renowned institutions. 

As I explored these museums, by than I was quite curious and I felt the need to channel my inner 007, I went to the International Spy Museum and it was a total complete mind-boggling. Here I learn about the covert operations and intelligence agencies that have shaped the world we live in. It was absolutely surreal. When anyone is visiting Washington D.C, you can’t enjoy any D.C. tourism attractions without admiring the White House. I made sure that it was on my “must-see” priority list.

Some of the highlights of my visit to America’s capital include:

White House

One of the highlight of my stay in D.C was visiting the White House. Taking a tour of the White House in D.C is one of the most popular things to do when visiting the area. It was totally worth it to see the White House up close, even just seeing it from the outside, viewing the grounds and stopping in at the White House Visitor Centre is an experience you won’t forget. Here I learn about the history of the White House, the first families who lived there, the furnishings, the architecture and much more.

Arlington National Cemetery

Experiencing Arlington National Cemetery was perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring sights I had ever witness in DC, besides the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Here, is where more than 250,000 men and women who served in the USA Military have been laid to rest. I wondered along the endless rows of tombstones dedicated to those who made their ultimate sacrifice to the country. This is also home to the Tomb of the Unknowns. This area is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I also made sure to view the Eternal Flame, which marks the grave of President John F. Kennedy’s final resting place and the Arlington House, a tribute to Robert E. Lee. 

U.S Capitol

A grand symbol of the U.S.A Government and American democracy. The Capitol Building is both a monument and working office building is recognised across the world as one of the country’s most prominent icons of Democracy. It sits atop Capital Hill. The setting provides dramatic vistas of the Washington Monument as well as the other memorials, monuments and buildings that line the Mall. This striking white dome acts as a focal point to the building which welcomes thousands of visitors every year. The guided tours are offered all day long and it certainly gave me an inside look into how United States government works.

#gallery-4 {
margin: auto;
}
#gallery-4 .gallery-item {
float: left;
margin-top: 10px;
text-align: center;
width: 50%;
}
#gallery-4 img {
border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;
}
#gallery-4 .gallery-caption {
margin-left: 0;
}
/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */





Popular Attractions

Washington D.C has lot more attractions than political buildings, iconic monuments, memorials and museums. There is an abundance of interesting sights to see and visit which are outside the district and the list is endless. To fully enjoy and explore more of America’s capital, you need to stay more than a week to two. Nothing beats the real feel of the place then seeing it on movies, television and magazines.

Where to stay?

There are various types of accommodations in the area to suit all budget ranging from resorts, hotels, holiday houses, apartments and B&Bs. Also, the town offers a range of properties throughout the district to fit most holiday styles and budgets.

What a thrill to be visiting this great place. It is a vibrant and charming city, yet so much history attached to it. It is a reminder, how great this powerful nation is.

ABOUT ME


ic.golina

Papua New Guinean living in Cairns, Australia. Weekend getaway adventurer and Free-Independent-Traveller (FIT). Lover of unique and exotic travel experiences with a touch of luxury. Follow me to my travel world, brining you closer to your destination.

Click below to share

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Join other akamau subscribers for Free

Enter your email below and receive new post notification via your email

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.