the yacht club is great value, fantastic prices, great food and service, kanpai the japanese resturant is a hidden gem. Its hidden in a back street and the price and quality is great (these are in port villa).Food is similar to aus prices because that is their only source of tax for the gov. Most meals are $20-$30 and the servings are huge (im pregnant and couldnt finish anything!)
WATCH OUT FOR TAXIS, they rip you off. Buses are like taxis and much cheaper. They pick you up from anywhere you are, basically walk onto any street and you will wait max 30 secs to a min for a bus and it will take you anywhere within 6km for 100vt each ($1.20). Taxis will try and charge you 2000- 3000 vt for the same trip ($25-39). We were staying at Le Lagon and there were 3 taxi drivers hiding in the bushes and yelling out to the buses not to pick us up so we go with them, we walked 5 min up the road and they followed and continued! so be careful, buses will do exactly the same as a taxi and are safer.
Le Lagon is a great place to stay, sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing are all free and there is plently for kids. Very family friendly resort.
Overall iti is a great place for a holiday, I was bitten by a few mozzies and didnt take medication but Im not sick. Prob good too to be safe as there are a few mozzies around.
Impromptu Kava Bar Tour
During our Meridian Charters Sunset Cruise, the resident musician, Ishmael, offered to take us and a few of the other guests to a local kava bar. We thought it sounded good so we went along. After the cruise, we gathered at the dock and proceeded to follow Ishmael as we walked to the bar. There were six of us. Once we got to the bar, before going in Ishmael gathered us in a group and explained the procedure, which was basically to give him 500VT each and then he would buy all the drinks.
As tourist traps go, this was OK. For what was in reality a relatively low price, we go to try something we probably otherwise would not have done, so we weren't too badly ripped off.
And Ishmael was a rather lovable rogue. Rather than dumping us at the bar, he accompanied us back into town and offered for us to join him at Shooters. Not sure if that was a scam either or not, but it does seem to be the local "colonial-style" pub hangout.
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy it! Have a couple of shells, you're paying about twice as much as the locals!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Siesta means- nothing's open!
Vanuatu follows the Euopean tradition of the French siesta- even though its' a republic now, this tradition is still in place.From 11 until about 1.30 all the shops are closed..even some cafe's! So don't go shopping at lunchtime, and if you're passing by and see something you like at a shop grab it! chances are you'll be so busy you'll forget about it and you won't find it somewhere else
Unique Suggestions: You can have lunch at the markets or sit by the water until shops open again if you've gone out during the siesta time, or catch the free ferry accross to Iririki :)
Fun Alternatives: Go shopping in the afternoon- most shops are open until 6 or 7pm so its the best time as there's less people and it's not so hot.
Mystery Island Tours Office.
Mystery island, an uninhabited sandy islet all surrounded by coral reefs, lies to the very south of the Vanuatuan island chain. It is less than 1 square kilometer in area and is somewhat boomerang shaped and surrounded by coral reefs. These coral reefs make it safe for swimming and snorkelling. It will only take you about thirty seconds to walk across the Island and approx 25 minutes to walk the entire way around the Island.
The Island has a Tour Office! Tours of what...I don't know. They charge AUS$10 for a 30 minute tour! My guess....They walk you around the Island and show you the ocean, beaches and coral reefs before allowing you free time to swim or snorkel!
Unique Suggestions: Do it yourself!!Related to:
- Budget Travel
Kava is the local drink made from the root of the kava plant. It can really knock you around so be cafeful when you drink it and don't drink too much too quickly... One of our group learnt the hard way... ;)
I actually didn't mind the taste of the kava at all...it wasn't nearly as bad as people made out and the after effect was more funny than anything else. The first time I drank it I had a numb tongue and throat but the second night I had it I didn't get numb at all...yet I could hardly stand up straight...hehe...
Unique Suggestions: You have to taste it but don't have too much (eg 5+ kavas in one night) unless you want to be very sick...
Fun Alternatives: Nope, no alternative...you've got to give it a go...it's fun! :)Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
- Adventure Travel
Cruise Ship Days...
On the days that the cruise ships are docked the prices go up...especially at the markets... If you can, find out when the cruise ship will arrive and buy on a different day...
Also the Mamu Bar (a pub in town) goes OFF on cruise ship days...the visitors take over and really enjoy themselves... ;)
The taxis are quite fine, though they do cost more, 400 vatu per trip. its safe to catch them, but beware of their pressure. they are very good at convincing you to do extra tours that may be more expensive than you like. just be happy to say no and you'll be fine.
oh, and be aware that some of the lil kids selling the newspaper can be deciving. in the hotel a cute kid tried to charge us 200 vatu each for what we thought was thursdays paper. instead we got saturday's and paper's are only worth 100 vatu each. be aware of the price of things and its ok to buy it from kids or at the markets.
Port Vila is the international...
Port Vila is the international gateway for Vanuatu and is the more developed of the islands. There is a wide range of accommodation from the overwater bungalows at the Meridien, to the convenient Kaiviti Village Motel, to the offshore resorts of Iriki Island, or Hideaway. There are great restaurants, nightlife, shopping and activities such as sailing or snorkeling cruises and even golf.
Hmmm Tourist Traps, well let...
Hmmm Tourist Traps, well let me think about this for a momment, while I was there i realy carn't remmeber if there where any. Every where we went people where very helpfull and no one tried to rip us off.
Well the beer was under rated, its was one of the best beers I have had the plesure to drink.
Justgo with the flow and enjoy your self, remmeber its there country not yours.
When taking a trip to Cascade...
When taking a trip to Cascade Waterfalls make sure you shop around for prices first. It is cheaper to take a taxi or bus than a tour. I payed a taxi driver 2000VT return trip from Vila to the falls. You must also pay 1000VT per adult to enter the falls. You can choose whether a guide accompanies you up to the falls or not. The guides at the entrance told us it was easy to get to by ourselves but I believe this was so they could avoid work. We got a little lost as their are many tracks around the falls.
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