A Cup of Suva

Last week on my unplanned visit back home, it rained endlessly. The place was wet and humid as always bringing back horrifying memories of my battle with  frizzy hair !

When people talk about visiting Fiji they usually mean the west or the north of the island as that’s where the beautiful beaches and islands are but good to visit this place for a couple of days to get a dose of the “real” Fiji, as we say.

Suva,countries capital is  a melting pot of cultures, housing and infrastructure.It’s not uncommon to see yet another shopping center sprouting somewhere or land being cleared for housing plots and squatters next to fancy houses, given that the place is becoming denser by the day.Population is  330 000 – mostly Fijian or Indian with rising number of Asians and Europeans . The retail shops are usually owned by Indians, restaurants by the Chinese.

Maniac driving  and jaywalking ( strolling)continues on roads riddled with potholes and unbelievable traffic at times!

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Closely Knit society with pretty much everyone in a circle intersecting with a hundred other circles and therefore hard not to be known.I find the place brings out a restless, hell-raiser vibe in me, which is always lost the moment I am on the plane back to Auckland .

If visiting a great place to stay is the Grand Pacific Hotel – recently brought back from the dead..

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Check out the University of the South Pacific  – you can always book a lodge at their marine campus for a smaller budget. The university hosts a number of events on during the year such as the poetry slam and theater. I would suggest to watch anything performed by the Oceania Dance Theater, my favorite from those days.

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University community is usually found at this shopping center which includes a cinema and appropriately a few bars).I got a lovely Shellac manicure for $25,  a steal!!!!

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Visit the Government House .

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Stroll in town, the waterfront and the harbor.20160810_15174820160810_15174020160810_161013

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Watching rugby and soccer is a common pass-time and so something is on all the time at the National Stadium next to University and opposite that in an indoor gymnasium next to which are two big public pools, hosting quite a few events as well.

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Check out the Museum situated at a well maintained Thurston Garden and take a clay pottery making lesson.

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Visit the handicraft market which are popular for beautifully carved woods and ornaments made of shells. Be sure to get your customs stickers.

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Check out the local market! El Cheapo and mostly organic.

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Try some local cuisine!Featured below is Kokoda (raw fish in coconut milk with boiled tapioca on the side). Most local food-courts will have an authentic Fijian place.

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Fiji Indian cuisine is very very different from Indian cuisine! The spices are of much lesser variety and the same for meats or veggies with water or sometimes coconut milk as base. Try Singh’s Curry House but featured below is my mum’s kitchen 😉

Chinese is popular and again very localized. Great places to try is the Golden Palace and the Shanghai or Joji’s and Daikoku for Japanese.

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A little further out of town are other activities that can be done such as a 3 day hike up Mount Korobaba( including lodgings & meals at Fijian villages), zip lining and white water rafting.

And if you are driving up to Nadi a great stopover would be the Warwick Hotel, proudly in front of a little marine reserve where schools of beautiful fishes are all too visible  if you sit in the morning on the floating deck on the lagoon.Another beautiful stopover further up is the Outrigger Hotel. Coral coast has quite a few options though.

The Outrigger.

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