Safety in Fiji
January 17, 2007 10:09 PM   Subscribe

Fiji - what's the situation like for tourists?

I can read the news and travel advice for myself but I'm looking for first-hand opinions from people who are actually in Fiji at the moment, preferably those who have some experience with the Fijian national pastime of changing governments.

What's the political and safety situation like? How's the crime level? Are foreigners harassed? Are hotels & resorts open at all? Is life functioning as normal or has the place been entirely deserted by travellers?

I was planning a holiday there in June but obviously that's not panning out so well with the coup. On the upside, flights are a bargain!
posted by polyglot to Travel & Transportation around Fiji (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I was working there during the 2000 coup and was back to visit friends over new years. The politics is very much that, local politics. You could probably pass a trip to one of the island resorts and not even know anything was happening. As a tourist with some knowledge of the country the only thing I noticed was that the taxi drivers had something new to talk about. As far as I know all the resorts are open, booking are of course down but there were plenty of tourists there a few weeks ago. The Australians and Kiwis who regularly holiday there are well used to coups and weren't put off.

The government and capital is in Suva on the east side of Viti Levu. The intertnational airport is in Nadi (pron. Nandi) on the West side. There's really not much to see in Suva, so your going to be miles away from any politics.

Nadi is fairly grim, I wouldn't stick around there for long. You'd be harassed by street vendors on the main street and maybe get mugged if you were out after dark....Normal city rules apply, it's safer than London for sure.

Get yourself out to one of the islands, it's a different world from the "mainland". My vote would be for Kadavu.

Hope you have a great time, I might have to get some of those cheap flights too.
posted by 54840 at 2:35 AM on January 18, 2007

My wife and I were there around the same time as 54840 and I'd have to echo everything he/she said, particularly about Nadi (pronounced Nan-di). We even spent one ill advised night in a $10 motel in Suva itself (don't ask...we're an odd couple) and, thanks to all the touts and prostitutes and drug dealers in that neighborhood, never even thought about the coup.

Kadavu (pronounced Kan-dah-vu) is a beautiful island, although I think we had more fun in a village on Enandala in the Yasawas chain, near the famous and completely out of our price range Turtle Island. The seaplane flight up there and the catamaran trip back were two of the highlights of the trip.
posted by JaredSeth at 2:58 AM on January 18, 2007

Friends just came back (3 days ago) - they had a great time, no troubles, less tourism, they cancelled their initial bookings then remade them with substantial discounts on one of the islands (can't remember which one). They took their kids (3 and 1).

Sounds OK.
posted by strawberryviagra at 4:58 AM on January 18, 2007

My sister and her family are living in Fiji, and although things were a bit tense in the capital, Suva, for a while, everything is business as usual now. The tourists were never bothered. She was at a resort on the tourist side of the main island over Christmas, and things were perfectly normal there, except there were a few less people than usual.
posted by teg at 6:59 AM on January 18, 2007

Not currently in Fiji, but spent about 6 months in Suva last year. Other posters are correct that if you're not in Suva, the only thing you are likely to notice is that there are less turists. I would guess that most things are business as usual. Of course, in Fiji, government instability is business as usual.
posted by dipolemoment at 11:50 AM on January 18, 2007

Reports from friends point to business as usual on the islands.
(Yep, we're those Kiwis who aren't daunted.)

If you were going to Fiji for pleasure purposes, I wouldn't suggest spending more time than is necessary to fly out of there on the mainland. Especially Nadi... If you're looking for places to go, the Yasawa chain of islands are lovely.
posted by teststrip at 1:25 PM on January 18, 2007

Response by poster: thanks for the great answers, everyone... time to get some quotes :)
posted by polyglot at 7:59 PM on January 18, 2007

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