3 weeks in July - Samoa OR Tonga?
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Aug 30, 2012 6:16 AM Last Post By: egibey
Apr 28, 2012 9:41 PM
15"We met a few travellers who were caught unawares by this and had no food to eat on Sunday and no way of getting food."
Those people must have been terminally dumb since there are a number of restaurants open Sundays in Nuku'lofa-ask any cab driver they can tell you.
FWIW-I don't like Sela's at all-the neighbourhood stinks like garbage fires-well so does all of Tongatapu.
May 7, 2012 12:35 PM
16Just a few additions re transportation etc.
I think it is a good idea you had about travelling to the "outer islands" first since 'Eua is much easier to reach (ferries go more often) and close to the main island.
The two bigger ferries (MV Otu Anga Ofa and MV Pulupaki) go to Ha'apai and Vava'u once a week, usually departing Tongatapu on a Monday and Tuesday, arriving in Ha'apai the following day, then continuing to Vava'u. However, there are no really fixed schedules and the times and days can change at short notice. If you talk to the locals though they will mostly be able to tell you when the boats depart. The price is about T$60-T$80 one way compared to flights between T$170-T$200.
Public transport is indeed not so great here, but on many islands you can get a taxi or rent a bike or scooter to explore the islands on your own terms. Depending on where you stay, you may have to travel a bit to get to a beach on Tongatapu and Vava'u. Ha'apai's beaches are very accessible from pretty much anywhere and there is good snorkelling off the beaches. It's very relaxed, too, and does not see a huge amount of tourists.
If you do come to Ha'apai, feel welcome to come and see us at the old Niua Kalo Beach Hotel on Lifuka, just North of Pangai . Would be nice to catch up for a beer :-)
Jun 4, 2012 11:17 PM
17Samoa is well set up for cycling with the coastal road around each of the two big islands being about 200kms. We prefer Savai'i because it has a network of Fale style accommodation set on great beaches with excellent snorkelling. It is also much less developed than Upolu and has a very laid-back atmosphere.
We are a bit prejudiced about this as we have a fleet of hire bikes set up for touring and offer both bare hires and full tours. See www.bikesamoa.com.
The distances imply that 8 days would be ample for 400kms around both, but numerous trips and heaps of feedback argue for allowing 10 days for Savaii and at least 7 for Upolu. There is so much to explore and see.
Do take your own mask and snorkel as the fale resorts don't always have them.
Do ask and explore to find the best snorkelling places - the resort owners don't always point them out.
Aug 30, 2012 6:16 AM
Well, I just read your post and now I'd like to ask for your advice since I can see by the dates you've already travelled to Tonga fairly recently. My gf and I are Canadian and it sounds like we travel very similarly to you. We're just finishing our year working holiday in Australia and are wanting to hit Tonga before flying back to Canada. I'd say we're more into things like culture, food, hiking and diving. We're trying to budget our trip at the moment, both with regards to time and money. I'd like to go for at least 2 weeks but maybe longer if we can stretch the dollars. If you can give me some rough estimates and places you recommend it would be greatly appreciated!
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