I had the pleasure of travelling to The Kingdom of Tonga in 2015. I was unprepared for the beauty and general happiness that greeted me. Tongans are a friendly welcoming happy people that are excited to show you their culture, share their food and sing for hours around a Kava bowl. Beware Kava is strong and will creep up on the unsuspecting but rest assured that there will always one or two large Tongans to assist you back to your bure if your legs no longer take notice of your commands.
The Kingdom is small with many Islands that dot the pacific. I had the great fortune to stay on two of the closer Islands to the main port of Nuku’alofa. These were The Royal Sunset Island Resort and Fafa Island Resort; Fafa being one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. The 30 minute boat ride from the port to the island took us through what could only be described as a tropical lagoon to rival Tahiti or the Maldives. ‘Wow’ and ‘Ooohh’ are the main words uttered on this transfer as we gently crossed the channel into the warm azure waters on the Fafa lagoon.
There are 13 Bures on the Island and these are accessed by sandy paths that wind through the lush tropical gardens. Each bure is separated by thick vegetation and is set back from the beach so that the island has a feeling of remoteness when walking along the pure white beaches.
The restaurant/bar and reception are set on one point of the island and are a focal point of the activities you can access on the resort like snorkelling and kayaking or my fave, a fruity drink with some sort of umbrella and swizzle stick combination.While this all seems very nice please be aware that spending your days lying in a hammock between snorkels and working out the best time to have lunch or dinner (the food is amazing, by the way) can take its toll on the uninitiated. You may find that time becomes blurred and you may even forget your own name. You may in fact forget you have to leave at all till one day you find there are more people in your bure than when you arrived. At this time you will be escorted from your hammock and back to the boat while the staff wave from the sandy shores imploring you to return. You will check your passport to relearn your name and make a solemn vow to return. ‘I (…state your name…) do solemnly swear to return to Fafa Island and forget my name again’.