The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has everything you need for an idyllic island getaway – crystal clear seas, activities for the whole family, and all the hospitality of our sunny staff. However, for those with an intrepid spirit and desire to see a little bit more of Fiji, look no further. Check out our quick guide on how to experience Fiji like a local.
Look beyond the islands
Many travellers never see more of the mainland than what's visible from the shuttle bus window on their way to one of Fiji's 300+ islands. However, the nation's metropolitan centres – Nadi and Suva – have a lot to offer for tourists looking for a taste of day-to-day Fijian life.
Nadi's Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is a sight to behold, and the main place of worship for the island's many Hindus. The city is also home to a number of markets selling everything from fresh produce to local artworks and carvings. Nadi is a short 10-minute drive from the international airport, and is also reachable by bus or taxi from the nearby resorts.
Suva, meanwhile, has an array of green spaces that put paid to the notion that the city has nothing to offer. The Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve is a wildlife haven, while the Thurston Gardens offer visitors an escape to a tropical garden paradise right in the heart of the city.
Respect Fijian village traditions
Seeing a real Fijian village should be high on your To-Do list when in Fiji. However, did you know that most communities require visitors to participate in a gift-giving ceremony before they can enter? Known as a sevusevu, these welcomings are part of historic Fijian traditions.
Kava is the most common form of gift, and should be presented to the head of the village on arrival. When presenting your sevusevu, dress conservatively and avoid wearing anything on your head, like sunglasses or a hat. The head of the village will meet you, share a smile and a few sips of kava, and then welcome you in to explore.
Those who don't bring a sevusevu may not be welcomed into the village. As such, it's best to use a guide who can organise your sevusevu and guide you through the local customs.
There are particular customs you need to follow when entering a Fijian village.
Say 'bula'' to everyone you meet
The Fijian greeting may wear thin after a while, but it is genuinely used so widely on the island by locals and tourists alike that it's almost second nature. Fijians are also naturally friendly, so many will greet you with a loud 'bula' to ask how you are enjoying your time on the islands and what you plan to do. Respond with a smile and a bula of your own – it's that easy!
For more information on how you can live like a local during your stay at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, contact our friendly team today.