Tension, riots? What tension, what riots? The capital of the Solomon Islands was at the epicentre of civil unrest and ethnic tension from 1999 to 2003. But how things have changed since the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) personnel in 2003, who helped quell internal violence, despite a short-lived election-related uprising in 2006. The city is now looking optimistically towards the future.
Considering it’s the first port of call for most visitors, due to its position as the hub within the archipelago, it’s hard not to spend some time in Honiara. It’s rarely love at first sight – the architecture wins no prizes and sights are sparse. Don’t despair! Lift the city’s skin and the place might start to grown on you. Hang around the atmospheric wharf, wade through the shambolic market, grab a few gifts in the well-stocked souvenir shops and get your first taste of Melanesian culture by visiting the museum.
Those who’ve just arrived from several weeks in the Solomon Islands’ wilds, characterised by rough village life, now feel like they’ve stepped into Manhattan, with a spattering of epicurean indulgences (hmmm, thick banana smoothies…), shops heaving with consumer goods, the odd traffic snarls and a modicum of nightlife (yes, nightlife).
It’s also the optimal launching pad for exploring Guadalcanal’s outdoors and the various WWII battlefields around the city. For those who come from Port Moresby, Honiara might just seem like heaven on earth.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
(4 star Hotel)
From US$325.00 per night
Going to Solomon Islands? Make sure you're covered.Get a quote