On my trip home from Australia, I purposefully booked a flight with a long layover in Fiji so I could explore it a little bit. I had to convince myself to do it because I was nervous about the “what ifs” since I was going to be doing it alone. Once I reminded myself…”hello, you flew to Bangladesh alone with no idea who you were going to meet at the airport and no idea where you were going to live”, then I knew it was fine.
I had checked with two Fiji Airways people in Sydney about whether I needed to re-check my baggage once in Fiji and they both assured me it would transfer automatically. My paranoia sent me to the baggage claim “just to check” and one of the first bags I saw…mine, haha. The airport is on Nadi and it’s quite small so customs was a breeze. They have a luggage locker room where you can store your bags for like 5-10 bucks a day. I dropped my bags off and then went towards the tour companies desks and a woman approached me to help me set up a tour. They had a few options but I already had a tour in mind, and there were no groups set up for that day so she organized a private tour for me. It was $100 for 4-5 hours with a taxi/tour guide. The guy was super friendly and was giving me so much information as we drove around which was great. I love learning about other cultures & their history.
The first stop was a traditional Fijian village. I didn’t get out of the car here because I wasn’t dressed properly. Women have to have their legs and shoulders covered out of respect and I was in shorts & a tank top.
After that we went to the Garden of The Sleeping Giant. I jumped into the end of a tour with 3 other women who were being shown all different kinds of orchids, and then we were set free to explore as we wanted. It was beautiful! It’s a proper jungle; and it was quiet, peaceful, and wonderful.
The trails looked like they went every which way and probably went farther into the jungle. I didn’t go too far since I still wanted to see more of the island.
They had places for people to rest/relax all over. There were hammocks that popped out of nowhere, a pair of swings, benches, etc.
On my way back to the entrance I got to pet a Fijian kitty.
On the way out, I was given a fruit juice and the guestbook to sign while I sat and relaxed a little bit more. To my surprise, the entry before mine the people were from Anaheim! Small world. I’m not sure, but I think it was the group of women I was tagging along with earlier.
Back on the main road you can see the sleeping giant. The face is on the right hand side…see it?
We drove through town and went to the Sri Siva Subramaniya temple next. It’s the largest Hindu temple on the Southern Hemisphere. You have to be covered up here as well, so I paid a couple bucks to borrow two scarves to cover my shoulders and legs. You can’t take photos of the inside of the temple, but there were beautiful brightly colored paintings on the ceiling.
Afterward, he took me to one of the biggest souvenir shops and once I was finished there we drove by the beach, through one of the resort areas, and also by a blow up waterpark. Then back to the airport! It was a great tour, especially since it was catered to me alone so I only had to worry about my time table and what I wanted to see. I hope to go back to Fiji one day to stay and explore more of the islands. If you’re ever flying through Fiji, I recommend getting that long layover and seeing the sights!!
Bula! By the time I left I was so used to saying Bula, and I really liked it! That’s the greeting they use there & it was nice to be able to greet them in their language and to learn at least one word. 🙂