In general the water in Fiji is safe to drink but in some of the islands or isolated areas it's advisable not to use the water to drink or brush your teeth. We stayed on an island where you weren't supposed to drink the tap water, but after getting a little nausea we discovered that the kava we'd been drinking each night was made from the tap water! This was no problem for the locals but made our unacustomed stomachs a little unhappy!! If you get sick you can ask the locals for some 'Fiji medicine', which involved chewing some rather nasty tasting leaves. This did the trick for us!
Just a small warning for people needing to use the bank while in Fiji - friday afternoons in the main cities like Suva are an absolute nightmare. We found the ATM's all out of order and the lines the longest I've seen in my life. So don't leave it to the last minute!
Fiji was a Britsh colony, gaining independence in the late 20th Century. Disease isn't too rampant and we weren't required to get any shots before departure.
That said, you just have to look out for the average CON MAN. (Or woman or child, as the case may be.) One that we encountered, first hand, a little boy who was present as we ate at his parent's restaurant. Once we left he followed us, acting as an unofficial tour guide of Nadi. We went into stores and when we came out, he was still there. We knew what he was doing because he had warned us of this local behavior barely an hour before: Someone will take you around and show you the sites, where to find bank, toilets, pharmacies, etc. then at the end of the day, hold out a hand for payment. I guess many people pay out of obligation; Or, they may fear that the local will call the cops and say you had a deal and were now refusing to pay.
I've also heard a strange warning: Beware of sword sellers. Evidentally, you'll browse a stand at the market and the friendly attendant will ask you your name, all in converstion. While you look at other items he/she will engrave your name on a wooden sword and when you turn around, present it to you. Again, many people pay out of obligation.
I travelled on a fijian fisherboat, that was fantastic, talking with the Fijians and fishing but when I asked the captain about lifejackets he said 'I never heared such a good joke for weeks !!! and everybody was laughing (me too)...
When I was on WAYA, they told me not to walk to the village without T-shirt, it's insulting and they just don't like it. I think in the cities too, wear a T-shirt, this way you mind missunderstandings with locals. On the other beaches (not in front of the village) you can do what ever you want.
take care of the taxi / minibusses driving around on the island..it is the same cab..for tourist standing infront of hotel's reception its working as taxi and you pay 25 USD or simular ..go 100-200 meters away from hotel-reception and try to stand with local people and you see you pay for same travel a minibus-fare for around 5 FIjan dollar.
I met a Japanese businessman at the hotel in Suva and he visited Fiji regularly. He told he had travelled between Suva and Nadi many times and he reckoned it is safer to take taxi than to catch the plane. Well,I flew once between Suva and Nadi and I survived.
While staying on the main island another solo female traveller was attacked by a taxi driver so I would be try to always take taxi's when you're with other people.
Also, it's quite common for local Fijian men to hook up with the single woman visitors in hopes of going home with them. It actually happened to a friend of mine. She brought him home to Canada, married him and he was 'bad news'. He ended up going back to Fiji alone.
If you stay at any Fijian owned resorts, make sure to stay away from the chicken!
Since they don't keep their electricity on at most Fijian owned resorts it is hard for them to keep their food fresh, unless it's something they can get on the island.
Your best bet is to just say you're vegetarian. You don't want to end up like my travel buddy and many others I met on the islands... sick in bed for 2/3 days!!!
This applies to every tourist place in the world - but no harm to mention it again. I haven't noticed any taxi driver using meter, so ALWAYS agree on the price BEFORE the trip.
Make sure the driver understands you - both amount and currency.
I had experience with this Indian driver in Nadi, who agreed on 15 Fijian Dollars for the trip to Garden of the Sleeping Giant. It was actually him who offered the price and we accepted. First mistake, never accept the offered price :)
He was very friendly, telling us (me and Gabi, my partner) about the places we crossed, offering to take us all the way to Lautoka, guide us there, take us to the lunch... We were very aware of the fact that if he waits for us in the Gardens, and than takes us further, it won't be cheap.
Anyway, in the end he really took us to Lautoka where we asked the price - he said 80FJD. I was surprised while Gabi got angry, which saved us nice couple of bucks. After a while of fighting and when 2 local guys approached to help us, the driver left with 35FJD. They told us that usual price for this trip is 25-50FJD, so we ended up pretty good.
The local guys advised that there's some sort of tourist police - in case of troubles insist on going there. That might scare the taxi drivers off.
Do not take a horseback ride at the beach on the main island. I definately caution any female looking to do this. After taking the horseback ride with my friend, a staff member of the hostel that we were staying at, said that girls had been raped on horseback rides in the past back on the trails in the forest. If you do end up taking a horseback ride insist they stay on the beach where you are in the view of other travellers. However, I must warn the tour guide was very pushy and insisted that we go back into the trails. Nothing happened to us but the entire ride was very scary and the fact that the man was sitting on the horse with me and would not get off did not make for a very comfortable or enjoyable experience.
If you are going out into the Yasawas, shoot the folks back home an email that you wont be in contact for a while. There is no way to communicate until you reach Beachcomber!
Beware of falling Coconuts.
Don't sit under any palm tree's that have coconuts on the ground as the next one to fall might land on your head.
What a wonderful place to go on holidays with young children. The staff are so happy and love...more
Toberua Island Tailevu, P.O. Box 3332, Toberua Island, Fiji
Good for: Business
P.O. Box 244, Savusavu, Fiji
Good for: Solo
More Regions in Fiji