Friday, 14 June 2013

Tonga The friendly islands

Malo e lelei all, we went a week to
Tonga the friendly islands

...and friendly it was. We arrived on Saturday late night. It is in the constitution that the Tongans are not allowed to do anything on a Sunday which is based on Christianity.There are no buses, no airplanes etc. Therefore we took a bike provided by our resort and it was fun. Everyone waved and smiled so I felt like a queen. The Tongans are also very helpful. One day we went with the local bus to the city to go from there to the island of Pangimoto. We asked the bus driver if he was going to the wharf and he nodded. He stopped at the central bus stop and a man hesitated to step on the bus as it headed in the wrong direction. The bus driver said" Come in I just drop of some papalangi (Europeans) at the wharf. He drove there especially for us :)
A photo book I made. As you see Heilala holiday lodge with its fales is gorgeous. At the start of the holiday I was a little stressed. I asked William "What if I end up in hospital. Because existing conditions are not covered by the travel insurance that would cost us a fortune". "Oh no worries" said William "I would just hide your passport, tell them I don't know you and run off" I laughed and
that was the end of it. I went to the beach, which was right on our backdoor, and enjoyed looking at the tropical fish in the coral reef as the water was crystal clear. Followed by reading my book in the hammock provided. No stress left.
To walk between the coral you have to wear water shoes as the coral can cut your feet. The water shoes were afterwards attacked by a thousand ants. It turned out that they love the jelly like soles of the shoes. We had to hang the shoes in a bag on the line so the ants couldn't get to them. The shoes fell apart however at the end of the week. Eaten I think. lol
One of the highlights were the blowholes and the magical blue waves, as you see on the pictures. Also on a day trip we went to a small cave where we dived in a fresh water pool at the bottom of the cave. Wonderful! It was also great to experience the culture of Tonga. To see the men sitting in a circle in their houses to share kava. To see the national clothing;  many men and women wearing a Ta'ovala which is the traditional woven mat on top of a wrap cloth skirt. If a close relative has died than the Tongans have to wear black clothing for up to a year.
People and food are important in Tonga. Time isn't. Therefore they speak of Tongan time. So life is slow paced. We tasted traditional delicious food at the cultural evening with food and dance which was fantastic. It was our lucky night as the queen was there as well. She sat only a few meters away from us.

The people are very religious. In every small town are a couple of churches. We heard the church bells a few times at 5.00 am in the morning. A couple had run out on the street, not expecting the bells, they thought it was a Tsunami warning. lol
We only stayed at the main island and visited a pretty tiny island. Tonga has however 174 islands of which 40 are inhabited. What we saw was beautiful but there is still so much more to discover. I hope you too can one day see this paradise for yourself.
Ofa (love) marja


  1. Beautiful pictures! You really captured the magic of those islands.

  2. Marja, this looks wonderful. What a beautiful place, and it must have been very relaxing. I love the slide show.

  3. Dat ziet er prachtig uit, echt paradijselijk, goed dat jullie gegaan zijn en je kon relaxen.

  4. This looks like a beautiful trip. The slide show is fabulous and the photography superb. Your photo book is great as well. Which program/company do you use?

  5. Wonderful photos of this interesting place, really fantastic, interesting experience!

  6. I love how you displayed all your pictures. This part of the world looks so healing … like paradise! The sky is so blue and the people seem joyful, at peace and removed from the troubles of the world.

    In answer to your question, Marja … this was his second exploratory CT scan due to a nerve/muscle disorder that popped up months ago and has been difficult to resolve.

  7. WOW Marja, what a wonderful place you have captured on your photo slide show... Such a beautiful place and wonderful people.. I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful holiday...
    It was a lovely journey you took us on with you.. xoxox

  8. I've never been to Tonga, but you make it sound wonderful.

  9. Just read the last post as well - important througts.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  10. Looks like a beautiful place. Great pics! And thanks for the visit:)

  11. Hi Marja .. loved this and the photos .. what a great place to visit - this might have gone to the top of my list .. except for the ants - but you've warned me ..

    Gorgeous .. makes me really want to pop on out! Fantastic ..

    Very interesting that they abide by the Sunday laws - I have to say I thought it rather nice that we had one day to do things with the family, other than another day like most others ..

    Queen of Tonga and the Coronation in 1953: Queen Salote of Tonga, alone among the carriage-riding classes, ignored the weather and travelled with the top down so she could smile and wave to the crowds. Our Queen apart, she was the star of the day. An enormous woman accompanied by a man half her size, she inspired the Coronation's most quote quote, "Who's that with Queen Salote?" Noel Coward was asked ... "Her lunch," he replied!

    She made the day .. over and above the ceremony and seriousness of crowing our new Queen .. and she's made history!

    Hope you don't mind me adding this here ..

    Tonga is forever remembered in my mind .. I was a small child, yet through stamp collecting and no doubt memories of the time and reports afterwards .. Queen Salote is there to stay!

    Cheers .. Hilary

  12. Looks like paradise to me!
    Must have been wonderful!

    So nice to be visiting you again. x

  13. Simple fantastic !!!I think you was in the paradise,Marja!I am sure it´s great to relax there!

  14. beautiful pics...wat a paradise and your description makes me ant to go to this friendly place!!

  15. What an lovely holiday. Tonga sounds wonderful


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