Some of the spectacular scenery in Fiji

Fiji Part One—The Tourist: Travel Photography—It is very easy to, uh, “focus” exclusively on the “made for tourist” spots when traveling to different countries—or even different parts of your own country. I certainly do enjoy the touristy spots, but I also make a point to see and learn about the “off-the-beaten-track” aspects of my destination. One example was a trip I took to Fiji 8 years ago (wow!). It was my first trip a South Sea Island and I was excited to see how Hawai’i compared. I had no way of knowing that I would become very deeply involved with another Southeast Asian country 3 years later (I met and married my beautiful Filipina asawa in 2012-2013)—funny how fate works! You will see plenty of our images and discussions about the Philippines in the weeks to come, but for now, back to Fiji! Fiji has some spectacularly beautiful islands that are used for Island Hopping tours for tourists and they are most certainly worth seeing as well as a lot of fun.

More of the beauty of Fiji

A good tour can introduce you to some of the cultural aspects of your location as well.

Making Kava

Entertainers on one of the island hopping tours

Cultural activities during one of the island stops

However, I booked two days of “private” tours to the interior of Viti Levu, the “main” island of Fiji and home to Nadi, the place I stayed. I never made it to Suva, the capital city, but did get to drive through several local villages and the small cities of Lautoka and Sigatoka.

Farm in Nadi

The Beauty of Fiji is not limited to the beaches!

Fijian Village

Village Church

The villages were fascinating, each with a larger bure home for the chief and many smaller homes made from cinder or tin. The largest building in each village is the village church. Fiji is primarily made up of Native Fijians (who are believed to have come from Tanzania, not Asia and are considered Melanesian rather than Polynesian), Hindu Indians and Muslims. Muslim homes are painted blue and Hindu homes have a large pole with a red “flag” hanging. Next time we will take a look at the Fiji most tourists do not see.Camera: Nikon D70; various exposures.