A friend is going to Fiji on a guided tour soon and she asked me for tips. The schedule for ten days is very full, most meals paid for, and extremely busy for a group of over 60s. Anyway I decided to just give her some tips about manners, health, and customs that may be useful. Not that I have ever been a tourist! Just a know-all that doesn't know when to say when!
1. If you are invited into a home and a group of Fijians are sitting on a mat, don't stand about but sit on the floor - if you can!
2. Ask before taking photographs of people.
3 Dress modestly in a village - ie. a skirt rather than shorts for women.
4. Most people are friendly so say 'Bula' and don't spend all your time with other tourists.
5. If you have to walk in front of someone, the word for 'Excuse me' is 'Tilou'.
6. HOWEVER if you meet someone - probably a guy - who seems to be asking personal questions and you are suspicious of his motives, tell your tour guide. There are guys who take advantage of female tourists - so tell 'em you're married and unavailable.
1. Use bottled water, though most water is fine in Fiji. The weather is likely to be hot and humid and you need to drink a lot.
2. Have a first aid kit for tummy aches, constipation and the opposite, mosquito bites and scratches.
3. Eat lots of tropical fruits rather than heavy meals.
4. Don't sit under a coconut tree - the nuts might fall!
1. Treat the children as you would your own, rather than as novelties. Don't give lollies to children - bad for their teeth.
2. Gifts in a village may include second-hand clothes - light-weight dresses, skirts and tops, shirts, children's clothes (neat, clean op-shop clothes are fine) or children's books for the local school. You are allowed 20k in luggage so allow for a few parcels of clothes to give away.
3. When there is a dance presentation it is the Fijian custom to give gifts to one or more of the dancers - a scarf, something like that. Ask someone to explain the custom of 'fakawela' and you will surprise the dancers with your knowledge!
5. When you attend church, join in the singing. It isn't difficult. Share a hymn book with a local person.
HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY!