Tonga (Kingdom of Tonga)


Tonga (Kingdom of Tonga) (10/27-11/5/2015)

Wayne Pat Dunlap Sand Island Vana'u Vanau Islands Kingdom of Tonga
Sand Island in Vana'u -
 Kingdom of Tonga
Looking for remote places in the world still ‘untouched’ but with nice tourism comforts? With 176 idyllic islands, the Kingdom of Tonga offers a unique off-the-beaten-path South Pacific experience.

We liked many things about the Kingdom of Tonga. When you arrive in Tonga, you notice everyone is relaxed and it is a real sense of relaxation. Most Tongans speak English making it easier to get to know these friendly people.

Map Kingdom of Tonga Island Groups
Map of Kingdom of Tonga's 
Island Groups
The Kingdom of Tonga has four island groups (see photo). In the south, the main island of Nuku’Alofa in the Tongatapu Island group is where 70% of Tonga’s 103,000 people live. The other main island groups are the Ha’apai group in the center and Vava’u group in the north. Further north you will find Niua Fo’ou and Niuatoputapu, two islands that make up the Niuas island group.

Fafa Resort Kingdom of Tonga Beach Island
Fafa Resort
Kingdom of Tonga
All around the Kingdom of Tonga there are remote beaches and stunning islands with private deserted beaches or beaches full of life. There are also family-friendly beaches with activities for everyone to enjoy. 

Swimming with the Whales Kingdom of Tonga
Swimming with the Whales -
Kingdom of Tonga
Being one of the few places in the world you can swim with whales, Tonga has become popular with its Swim with the Whales tours (see photos). After their long journey north from the icy Antarctica, the southern humpback whales find safe harbor in the calm reef-protected Tonga lagoons where they give birth to their young. 

Swimming with the Whales Kingdom of Tonga
Swimming with the Whales -
Kingdom of Tonga
The whales’ arrival from July to October (some seen in late June and early November) yields high numbers of whales offering plenty of opportunities to see and swim with them. Because a majority of the whales are mothers with calves, tour operators take great care not to overly disturb them.

Ariel Flight Over Vava'u Vavau Islands Kinddom of Tonga
Our Flight Over Vava'u Islands -
Kingdom of Tonga
We choose to visit Tonga’s Vava’u Islands and are glad we did. The Vava’u Islands are considered the adventure hub of the Kingdom of Tonga. It is a tropical paradise of 61 islands with deserted beaches, coral gardens, beautiful lagoons, and lots to do (see photo). The snorkeling is wonderful and there is kayaking, jet kayaking, and kite boarding available. 

Neiafu Harbor Vava'u Vavau Islands Kingdom of Tonga Yachts
Neiafu Harbor - 
Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga
The Kingdom of Tonga has the largest game fishing fleet in the South Pacific and includes blue marlin and other exciting fishing. Yachties take advantage of Vava’u’s worldwide reputation as a sheltered yachting playground. 

Neiafu is the Vava’u Island’s capital and second largest city in the Kingdom of Tonga. It is home of a harbor full of yachts from around the world (see photo) with restaurants, cafes, and bars.

View from Our Room Mandala Resort Kingdom of Tonga Ocean
View from Our Room -
Mandala Resort, Tonga
Staying in Tonga’s Vana’u Islands, we had one of the most exceptional experiences we have had at the one-of-a-kind Mandala Resort on the beautiful Fetoko Island (see photos). We can best describe it as sophisticated remoteness! – a unique South Pacific paradise experience not to be missed.

Our Bungalow Overlooking the Ocean Mandala Resort Vana'u Vanau Kingdom of Tonga
Our Bungalow Overlooking the Ocean -
 Mandala Resort - Vana'u, Tonga
The warm hospitality of Lisa and Ben will overwhelm you making your stay extremely enjoyable including daily gourmet meals. Ben offers several interesting day excursions of the area. Ask for Ben’s favorite – one he did for us of the best features. It was really fun.

Beachfront Beach Mandala Resort Fetoko Island Vana’u Kingdom of Tonga
Mandala Resort
Fetoko Island, Vana’u, Tonga
You will truly be impressed with the very special en suite bungalows that offer privacy overlooking stunning ocean views that you will enjoy for hours (see photo). Spending time in the beautifully designed beachfront with comfortable chairs, lazy hammocks, and elegant dining area is not to be missed (see photo). For the adventurous, Ben and Lisa will also arrange whale watching (and diving with the whales), Scuba diving, day sails, fishing trips, and other activities.

Private Bungalow Fafa Resort Island Kingdom of Tonga Beach Ocean
Private Villa - Fafa Island Resort
Kingdom of Tonga
We also stayed at Fafá Island Resort close to Tonga’s capital, Nuku‘alofa, on Tonga’s main island. Its warm turquoise lagoon and beautiful coral reef with tropical fish makes for great snorkeling. Fafá Island Resort has only 13 very private villas built in traditional Tongan style with high ceilings and natural materials (see photo). The bathroom with the shower in a private flower garden is really cool. We enjoyed staying at the Fafa Island Resort because it is upscale eco tourism in a largely unspoiled place with high quality facilities.

Map Flights to Kingdom of Tonga
Map of Flights 
to Kingdom of Tonga
Some Kingdom of Tonga travel tips: Tonga’s main airport, the Fua’amotu International Airport (TBU), is a 45-minute drive from Tonga’s capital, Nukua’lofa, that is located on the southern side of the main island of Nuku’Alofa. If you arrive late afternoon or during the night or leaving early morning, you can stay at the Scenic Hotel Tonga, located near the airport before flying to the other islands or coming or going from the Kingdom of Tonga (even for a few hours between flights).

Children Kingdom of Tonga
Beautiful Children 
of the Kingdom of Tonga
Sundays are sacred to Tongans and most businesses are closed, including restaurants, cafes, and bars. This also includes domestic flights so plan your visit to be somewhere on Sunday with an operating restaurant. Tongans are conservative and dress modestly. Casual wear is acceptable but beachwear should be restricted to the beach. Although appreciated, tipping is not expected in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Wayne Dunlap Fafa Resort Kingdom of Tonga Beach Ocean
Wayne at Fafa Resort
Kingdom of Tonga
When to visit the Kingdom of Tonga: Tonga enjoys a tropical climate that is warm and pleasant all year round with an average annual daytime temperature of 75ºF (24ºC). Summer (December to April) has warmer temperatures with more humidity, never exceeding 95ºF (35ºC) and winter (May to November) are cooler and dryer, never below 64ºF (18ºC). Cyclone season is from early November to late April.

South Pacific Map Oceania
South Pacific Map
Some history of the Kingdom of Tonga: Tonga’s history goes back over 3,000 years with traditions continuing today. South Pacific’s only remaining Kingdom, Tonga has a royal family and nobles, similar to many European monarchies, that dates back over 1,000 years. The Kingdom of Tonga became known as the “Friendly Islands” because of the hospitable reception Captain Cook had on his visit in 1773 – a well-deserved description even today.

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4 comments:

  1. TAKE ME TO TONGA NOW!!!! it just looks so amazing. I didn't realize you could swim with the humpback whales, but I'd love to do that. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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  3. The south pacific region of this island is a real place of relaxation.Meet and greet Luton

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