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Travel to Fiji is Safe and Fascinating

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/26/2007 | Travel

Some people may be reluctant to travel to Fiji because of what they perceive may be political instability in this South Pacific island nation. True, the Fiji Islands seem to have a history of frequent government takeovers by the military. But these army takeovers are far less dramatic than the words suggest, and violence is rare.

A journalist who visited Fiji in the autumn of 2000, about a month after a military takeover had occurred, reported that life on the tropical island paradise appeared not only safe and calm but peaceful and idyllic. Much more recently, another military takeover happened in the winter of 2006, during which time the CBS television series "Survivor" was being filmed in Fiji. There were no interruptions in production of the TV show, which was completed on schedule and without incident.

Fiji is not just one island, but a group of more than 300 islands, and one of the primary industries that supports the economy of Fiji is tourism. All Fiji islanders realize that, without a constant supply of visiting tourists, from Europe and Australia as well as the USA, their economy would be in trouble. That is why, even when the government is toppled by the army, everything seems to be done in a polite, civilized manner so as not to disturb the tourists.

In addition to being a spectacular destination for adventure sports such as SCUBA and snorkel diving, fishing, mountain biking and boating, Fiji is also known as a popular place to have a romantic vacation. Many resorts go out of their way to hold spectacular wedding ceremonies, while most accommodations have facilities to accommodate honeymooners.

Lovers of nature can enjoy bird watching in Fiji's several national parks and wildlife preserves. Many colorful species of parrots can be observed, as well as varieties of hawk, falcon, a rare dove, and the flying fox fruit bat.

Another less well known but equally fascinating aspect of visiting Fiji is the native culture. The people are some of the friendliest on earth, and are eager to share their colorful ceremonies as well as myths and legends with visitors who show an interest.

Fiji's offshore islands are particularly rich with lore and legends. On one island a story is told about the sacred prawns that may be observed by the hundreds when the tide is high. It is said that anyone who eats one of these sacred prawns will become the victim of a shipwreck when they sail away from the island.

Such colorful native legends, along with exceedingly friendly people, immaculate sandy beaches and miles of clear blue ocean combine to make Fiji a highly recommended vacation destination.