Tonga is probably my favourite place in the world! A gorgeous chain of South Pacific islands with crystal clear turquoise water, white sand beaches, and sweet people. It’s the place that dreams are made of.
The second island we stayed on was in the Vava’u Group of islands, at Talihau Beach, at Lucky’s Beach Cabins. In Vava’u it was unusually hot, but we had a lovely fale (small house) at the end of a peninsula where there was the perfect cool breeze blowing off that point, and a gorgeous blue lagoon.
It was near a traditional Tongan village, Talihau (tallyhow), where we went to one of the churches on Sunday to hear the most amazing male choir you’ve ever heard – a capella and harmony that sent shivers down your spine as it echoed in the rafters of the open air church.
After church, the men invited us to participate in their Kava Ceremony. Even me – a woman. They all sit cross-legged, talking and drinking, often well into the night. It doesn’t make them drunk, just sleepy, but it is an important cultural tradition. We said how much we liked their music and singing, so they invited us to another Kava ceremony to make a tape of their choir. Sitting cross-legged on the ceremonial tapa mats for several hours was not quite as delightful as it might sound, but respect is of the ultimate importance here, so we dare not get up. T could barely walk after – his legs were asleep. After much discussion and running around, they finally got batteries for the tape player, only to end up getting an extension cord and plugging it in. Only in Tonga!
Pigs running around everywhere in the village, and get this, the pigs, just like dogs, go swimming in the ocean with the families on Saturday afternoons – family day.
Check the Kingdom of Tonga Website for more information: http://www.thekingdomoftonga.com/
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