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Travel Adventures - Fiji – villages on stilts

Fiji is most commonly known for its pristine waters that rival that of the Maldives. Many tourists will flock to the ferry terminal the moment they land to head towards the private islands with 5 star facilities. However, the main island of Fiji is still populated by locals and is charmed by villages on wooden stilts and straw roods.

What is the most exciting part of the trip?

I drove around the island of Fiji. Did you know that Fiji has one main road that connects that whole island and you can probably complete the whole island by driving in half a day. Along the route you will also encounter small villages where houses are built on wooden stilts and straw roofs.

What is your largest takeaway from this trip – life advice, values?

Appreciate the simplicity of life. Many locals were living in simply built homes using primitive materials but they took time to appreciate what was around them and seemed happy.

Is there a “hidden gem” that you will recommend?

The Fiji water factory. When visiting the villages in Fiji, you forget that Fiji is home to one of the biggest water brands in the world – Fiji water. When you contrast the charming simplicity of the country against the big commercial tankers found in the factory, you will be impressed.

What is the most interesting part of the trip?

I remember chancing upon a local dame who was busking under the sun on the grass.  I wanted to sneak up to take a photo of her, but instead she gave me her best pose and waited for me to take her picture.

What are some gears you find most important for such trips?

Spare tires and remembering landmarks. There are some paths that will bring you on dry land. If you are adventurous enough, take a good four-wheel drive with you or bring spare tires. Forget about GPS and remember route the good ole fashion way. Technology fails, so sometimes going back to basics work.

Did you face any challenges? How did you overcome such challenges?

I was looking for a village in the middle of dry land in Fiji. After a while, I lost the GPS as there were no land marks and the car almost got stuck in sand and gravel. In addition, as the roads were bumpy, it drained on petrol and I ran the risk of a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Eventually I had to abandon my plan for the sake of safety and headed back to the main road. Whatever you do, make sure that common sense prevails to put your own safety first. Do not put yourself in a situation to get lost.

What would you have wanted in a watch?

Something that would go back to basic. Forget a watch that is supposed to have GPS. I just wanted a watch that can tell time accurately and I don’t have to depend on technology for it to work.