Vanuatu, Fiji and the exotic islands of the Cook Islands?

Today, norm Goldman, editor of sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com, is honored to be a guest, Ian Heydon, writer, travel writer, award-winning comedy writer, artist and expert in Vanuatu, Fiji and Cook Islands.

Ian is here today to talk to us about his expertise on these exotic islands.

I wish you peace and happiness, I am very glad that you accept our invitation to participate in this interview!

Specification:

Can you tell our readers some information about yourself and your expertise in Vanuatu, Fiji and Cook Islands?

IAN:

The first time I went to Fiji was in 1993, when I fell in love with the tropics, warm postcard postcard water and a relaxed pace of life. The following year, I went back and got the PADI Open Water Diving Certification. After two trips, I realized that I was working hard to achieve more travel goals.

Since my writing career was quite successful, I decided to see if I could write a trip and kill two birds with a pen. In 1999, we spent a family holiday in Vanuatu, and my wife, Annie, gave each other a vow to renew their contract. The ceremony is a gift for the anniversary.

I feel very comfortable in Vanuatu, and I am very fortunate that Anne teaches at Port Vila International School. We think this will be an adventure, especially for the children [then 7 and 3 years old]. Our 12-month contract was extended for three years, during which time I wrote a lot of things, including my travel book in Australia, The Big Country Guide.

After leaving Vanuatu, I purchased a travel agency license that specializes in bringing people, especially honeymooners, into this fascinating and rich world. The hobby I thought was quickly turned into a business. In early 2004, I visited the Cook Islands and fell in love with another Pacific destination.

In 2004, he also visited New Caledonia, Fiji, and traveled three times in Vanuatu. I am very excited about my first trip to Samoa this year. Although I don't have any actual publications on the Pacific Islands, I have three comprehensive information sites, Vanuatu A to Z, Fiji A to Zand Cook Islands A to Z.

Specification:

Can you tell our readers where these islands are located, and what is the difference between an island and another island from the perspective of terrain, climate and what you think is different?

IAN:

For me, living in Australia, Vanuatu and Fiji are very convenient and only a few hours away from the hotel. Visiting the Cook Islands means stopping in New Zealand, but still only two meals and two movies. For Americans, the Cook Islands and Fiji are more accessible than Vanuatu [need to stay in Fiji to connect or travel by car from Australia or New Zealand]. Among all destinations, the climate is similar, it is a tropical climate, the temperature does not change much, but it becomes very humid in summer. These months have traditionally been wet, but the El Niño phenomenon seems to have changed this. In the Cook Islands, when it rains, they call it liquid sunlight. Warm water temperatures mean swimming all year round.

· If it is correct, Vanuatu is the most primitive. Port Vila is a modern town with good infrastructure, first-class resorts and great restaurants, while on many outer islands, ni-Vanuatu people live in traditional country life [ni-Vanuatu is Vanuatu] meaning].

The fratricidal part of history is the last recorded case in 1969, that is, Armstrong and Aldrin took a small step toward humanity. Vanuatu also has many active volcanoes, including Mt Yasur. Therefore, small earthquakes are very common. Until Vanuatu became an independent country in 1980, the country was known as the New Hebrides, a condominium managed jointly by the United Kingdom and France. There are both French schools, English schools, hospitals, police forces, and for a while, they even drive on both sides of the road!

Fiji has similar terrain but no active volcanoes. For me, this is a holiday resort. Although there are of course many places to explore, most visitors usually choose one or two resorts.

Fijians are passionate and outgoing [you will not be greeted by a bright smile and Bula anywhere], and they are more like living on the island than Indians. However, this is a happy combination for tourists, because the Indians almost make the business development of things go smoothly.

The Cook Islands also has mountains in the mountains, dense vegetation and pristine blue waters, but the feelings are quite different. The locals are Polynesians, not Melanesians, who easily combine Polynesian sensuality with a Christian lifestyle. It was here that the Maori migrated with the birds on the canoe and found New Zealand. Today, among the Cooks, English is pronounced in singular birds and the currency is New Zealand dollars [this is very valuable for American travelers]. In contrast, about 50% of Fijians are Fijians and 50% are Indians. The ni-Vanuatu people are much shy, but friendly and welcoming. And, as their travel slogan says, once again, again.

[Interviewer's comment: If you want to know more about the Cook Islands, click here]

Specification:

How safe is it to travel to these islands?

IAN:

I found these destinations to be the safest destination on the planet. Yes, you may find minor crimes like anywhere else, but overall people's thinking ability is greatly reduced, perhaps more family-oriented. We have reminded us in Vanuatu for three years that when the world becomes simpler and safer, the children will play in the lagoon and be left unattended. We know they are safe, or the father will put more than a dozen children into it. His back. The truck went to the beach for a picnic, no seat belts, and no worries. It was a place where children were allowed to be children.

Specification:

Why do you think these islands are ideal for romantic vacations, weddings and honeymoon trips? If you have to choose the island you like, which one would it be? why?

IAN:

First of all, for the scenery, the swaying palm trees, the pleasant weather and the warm blue waters of the green blue are indeed somewhat romantic [I have not seen any artists able to reproduce these colors]. But not only that, I think I also mentioned the rhythm of the island time. You will slow down without having to deal with computers, traffic and deadlines. Choosing a place is difficult for me, but I will go to the island of Aitutaki on the island of Cox [about 50 minutes drive from the main island of Rarotonga]. This huge lagoon [crater] is amazing, the locals are very welcoming, and there are some great places to stay and restaurants.

Specification:

What is the best time to visit these islands from the perspective of weather, cost and crowd?

IAN:

Whenever and wherever, regardless of the weather, I will easily say it and use local sayings. In December 2004, I went to Fiji and Vanuatu. Traditionally, this is a hot, humid and humid season. It was raining for seven weeks in Fiji, and I did not use air conditioning in both countries. Some people may avoid traveling in February and March because of the hurricane, but this is rare. I bet there will be no whirlwind in 2005, the water temperature will not rise too much, and there are many mangoes. For some reason, the mango trees seem to match the weather conditions, and if the whirlwind is coming, their fruit will be too much. For cost and crowd considerations, I avoided school holidays in Australia and New Zealand, but nonetheless, all three destinations only allow adults to stay.

Specification:

Are people traveling to these three islands as a package? Still not recommended to do so?

IAN:

In Australia and New Zealand, the fare is usually the most economical and effective, but in the US and Canada, it is best to purchase the ticket and land content separately. I don't want to put pressure on American travel agencies, but some people don't know enough about Pacific destinations to provide the right advice [although Vanuatu's location as a survivor has raised the image of this small country]. I recommend contacting someone in the area and/or contacting the hotel directly. Most of them will still offer special packages, such as "7 nights stay" and "5 nights for direct bookings".

Specification:

If you have to choose an unparalleled, exotic and unique area in each island, such as a park, beach, etc., to celebrate a wedding, which one do you choose from a popular and aesthetic point of view?

IAN:

• Once again, because, for example, some brides like to arrive by canoe, which requires a lagoon location, but to choose a canoe in Vanuatu, Vanuatu is a small resort called Tamana on the beach. It takes only 25 minutes from Port Vila. The bride and groom can drink a glass of champagne or a punch of fruit wine. The soldiers perform traditional dances and guards. The ceremony is held under a simple canopy on the beach, and then the champagne celebrates the toast with a toast and a small snack. Lunch or dinner [on the beach or a great little restaurant] and then spend the night in a romantic French colonial cottage.

· In Fiji, I will choose the Tokoriki Island wedding. They built a delightful wedding chapel [and there are plenty of beaches to choose from]. There are also traditional Fijian warriors escorting the bride and the Fiji choir [these will sing!], and the fine wedding dinner is part of it. However, the main reason I chose Tokoriki was the new honeymoon package with a private waterfall pool.

Although I have said before that Aitutaki is the most romantic choice for my honeymoon, I will actually hold a wedding in the beautiful Muri Lagoon in Rarotonga, accompanied by soldiers and virgins. When a canoe crosses the lagoon and reaches the motu [uninhabited island] named Koromiri, some of the ceremonies are beautiful, where the union is sealed by planting small coconuts [uto]. As the tree grows, this relationship will also develop. Obviously, many couples came back on the anniversary to see how long their trees grew and once again tasted the romance of the tropics.

Specification:

How long should a couple prepare for a honeymoon or romantic trip to these islands?

IAN:

According to our experience, this depends to a large extent on the situation. If the couple intends to invite guests, it is best to give them a lot of warnings so that they are financially prepared [for example, 9 to 12 months]. Six months seems to be close to average, but we quickly decided to make a lot of decisions. The record was a couple travelling to Vanuatu, who were swept away by the romance of the place, decided to get married, and became a couple in less than 48 hours [the registry is very panicked and appreciated for this!]

Specification:

What advice do you have for a destination bride who wants to bring a wedding party to these islands? Now, the trend to hold a destination wedding is to hold a fairly large wedding party, sometimes about 50 games, which is a good trend, so getting a group ticket discount, the hotel block tips will be great.

IAN:

The island wedding with the guests is really great. In some cases, when guests come from different parts of the globe, they can also be used as family gatherings. Group discounts for airline tickets and accommodation can be arranged, sometimes due to budget or requirements [for example, kids clubs or well-equipped facilities], which make guests suitable for staying with other brides and grooms at other resorts. The biggest wedding we organized in 2004 was 67 guests from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom to Vanuatu. We are currently planning to accommodate 150 to 180 guests in Fiji, which will be fun! Fortunately, there is a resort with a small chapel that can accommodate so many people. Tropical weddings are very cheap compared to traditional weddings with a variety of decorations, and many guests combine this occasion with their annual holiday.

Specification:

How to check the reliability of hotels or resorts on these islands in terms of services, food, etc?

IAN

Similarly, you can't beat local experts. For me, resorts and restaurants reflect the personality of the owners/managers and they can change overnight. Professional agencies like ours should regularly travel to their destinations and keep in touch with local people for updates.

Specification:

How do people plan weddings on these islands in terms of legal requirements?

IAN:

In a nutshell, please consider three days and three days. In Vanuatu and Fiji, documents should be submitted at least three weeks prior to travel, and couples should be in the country three days before the ceremony. In some cases, this is flexible. In Fiji, couples must be interviewed at the registration desk with the original documents. In Vanuatu, a fax copy is sufficient, no interviews. The Cook Islands requires original documents and interviews [here, the three-day fee can be shortened]. The required documents include passport, birth certificate, marriage letter of intent and divorce documents or death of the spouse certificate [if applicable]. One thing to check frequently is that the passport is valid for six months from the date of travel.

Specification:

Do you still want to add other content because it is related to the romance and wedding destination of these islands?

IAN:

Two things: First, let the bride [and the groom] list the wish list. Whether the wedding is in a church, garden or on the beach, most tropical wedding wedding packages can be tailored to the couple's wishes and include small things such as the color of the bride's clothes [so flowers and table settings can be added] and whether they are CD compilation of music you like [you don't have to look for CD players at the last minute, etc.] Finally, no matter where the couple marry [traditional or tropical], the couple should want the wedding. Later, when they have to decide who is going to Christmas or Thanksgiving, there will be plenty of time to make concessions.

To learn more about holiday weddings on these islands, click here, for information on tropical honeymoons, click here. To learn more about Ian Heydon – click here.

Thanks again to Ian -tank yu tumas, vinaka, meitaki ma&ata