Best visited during the cooler dryer season from May to October, Fiji offers the visitor a wide range of memorable experiences that remain forever and which will always beckon the visitor to forever long to return to these beautiful islands.
The welcoming smile of an attractive Fijian girl
There are plenty of reminders of the colonial era in Suva including the former Garrick Hotel, the Fiji Visitors Bureau, the old Town Hall and the FINTEL building. Once elegant, the waterfront Grand Pacific Hotel remains boarded up awaiting restoration.
Travelling south along Victoria Parade, visitors can view the Thurston Gardens, founded by a pioneer botanist. Within these gardens is the Fiji Museum whose treasures include the solitary boot belonging to the reckless Reverend Baker who once ended up as someone's dinner. There is also a hall full of the bark cloth (tapa) in which Fijian chiefs used to be swathed.
Traditional Fijian bures in a village setting
Traditional Fijian kava ceremony
Suva is a shopper's paradise where one can find rows of dusty little storefronts crammed with electronics, drapery and stationery. Popular souvenirs includes beach wear as Fiji has a substantial garment industry. Other popular souvenirs are coconut-based soaps and lotions, woven raffia bags, kava bowls and statuettes.
Along Victoria Parade, the main street in Suva, one can find the brightly painted Victorian facades of the remnants of the grand old trading empires such as Morris Hedstrom, Carpenters or Burns Philp. The more adventurous can also find the ingredient for the traditional kava drink in piles of yaqona, the roots and stems of the kava plant. Also available are sackfuls of rich earthy Indian spices: orange saffron, cumin, panch phora and garam masala.
To sample typical Fijian cuisine, it is worth visiting the upstairs food court at the Harbour Centre, opposite the gigantic Village Cinema. For those who prefer Indian food, try the Ashiyana in the old Town Hall building in Victoria Parade.
A wide range of accommodation is available in Suva from the budget priced Raintree Lodge to the medium priced Raffles Tradewinds to the upmarket Peninsula International Hotel.
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