(Australian Associated Press)
It’s warm, sunny, and peaceful.
What else could you ask for?
Oh, yes, the food? Sumptuous.
And, the people are warm, welcoming, and always smiling – and, it seems, all of them sing beautifully.
It isn’t New York, or London, or Paris.
It’s the perfect getaway: Fiji.
Many call Fiji the chill-out destination. The Fiji Tourism website calls it the home of happiness.
It’s easy to see why. Children smile at everything, and Fijians welcome you warmly.
Even if you want to, it’s hard to hold on to the tension collected living in the city or busy workplace. Hard not to let the smiles and warmth of this Pacific Island nation and its people melt your cares away.
Fiji has more than 300 tropical islands – and a lot to offer. Beautiful undulating countryside, scattered villages; lagoons, coral reefs and renowned dive sites; bustling, colourful markets teeming with fresh produce; locals with smiling eyes and warm welcomes and children with beaming, happy faces.
And singing. It seems everyone sings.
Everywhere, you’re greeted by a sweet melodic welcome and farewelled with a sweet tuneful goodbye – whether boarding or alighting from an inter-island ferry, coming ashore at an island resort, or enjoying dinner in the restaurant the night before you leave for home.
Fijians seem to burst into song at every opportunity. Indeed, you’re likely to hear your waitress start softly signing as she returns to the kitchen after having taken your order. Singing just seems to be in their DNA.
If you can, join the congregation at one of the many local churches for a Sunday service. You’ll be wowed by the harmonies as the members sing the hymns.
And Fiji now has an annual international golf tournament with its own PGA in its second year in 2015.
So, why not say Bula Vinaka! To Fiji.
But before you book, a tip. On your flight in, get a window seat. Then, as you make the slow descent toward the airport, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the islands dotting the ocean. Many are uninhabited, some are nothing more than a sandy beach in the middle of a cluster of coral, others again are a mere circle of bush surrounded by a ring of golden sand, itself surrounded by a ring of coral. It’s a beautiful sight.
WHEN TO GO?
Whenever you go to Fiji, it’s going to be warm, if not hot – depending on your personal calibration – and have a varying degree of humidity. It is tropical, after all.
But, no matter how hot you like the weather, you’ll probably want to avoid the rainy period. That typically runs from November through April, meaning, allowing for a cusp period, the best time to visit is between late March and early December.
As regards temperatures, well Fiji rarely falls lower than 26C or gets hotter than 31C. And, a cooling trade wind blows from the east southeast for most of the year, making the temperature quite comfortable no matter when you go.
* The writer was a guest of Outrigger Resorts Fji