Things to do in Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, Part 1 of 2

View Around Tongatapu in a larger map So, you’ve landed on the main isle of Tonga: Tongatapu, taken the 40-minute taxi from the airport through coconut and taro fields, serenaded by the dulcet CD strains of ukulele and Pacific song, peering wide-eyed through the window as signs of a town approach and then … probably…

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Sea Eagle Sunday Voyage to Manima Island

Tongatapu is Tonga’s main island, and the town of Nuku’alofa its political and economic seat. That said, it can be a rather depressing place, and if you don’t want to take my word for it, then the forlorn expressions upon many unwitting cruise-goers’ faces when they are deposited here for a day or so will…

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Kilisimasi Fiefia! (Or a Very Merry Tongan Christmas)

Christmas in Tonga is refreshingly un-materialistic   Sure, there are the simultaneously bizarre, yet amusing store fronts dotting the dusty strip of downtown Nuku’alofa, and families often shop for a gift or two for the children, but otherwise, Christmas is all about family, church and community (and a little Christmas Eve bingo, natch).   An interesting addition to…

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Two Days (and a little history) in Ha’apai

Often overlooked, Tonga’s mid-island group, Ha’apai, comprises 62 islands (only 20 are inhabited), hides some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, and cradles famous tales of nautical misadventures in its unassuming waters. Ha’apai, a History For instance, the mutiny, as in the Mutiny on the Bounty, occurred  in 1789, just between the…

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How to Climb a Coconut Tree

  This is Toni: holder of (almost!) two Masters degrees, Tongan civil servant, husband to one excessively fit and pregnant young lady otherwise known as Amy (featured here, dutifully warming him up) and … coconut-tree-climber extraordinaire! Today, Toni will show us Palangis how to make fresh coconut cream, an ingredient staple of the South Pacific…

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Shell Diggers at Low Tide

This is the view Sam and I encounter every day, after walking or riding up a side road from our house for about one third of a mile. Our road ends here, at Vuna, which is the main road going along the coast of Nuku’alofa, Tonga’s capital city.  Not too shabby! The island you see…

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Whale Watching from Tongatapu

Ahem (cue the tune of Gilligan’s Island, please)…. Just sit right back and you’ll see a tail, A tail from a fateful trip That started from this tropic port Aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin’ man, The Captain brave and sure, Eight passengers set sail that day For a six hour…

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