Fiji Highlights and Lowlights: Beautiful Lagoons and Bumpy Skin

Our stay in Fiji was short and sweet. It was actually an extended transit stop flying from Sydney, Australia, to Los Angeles, USA. Transiting in Fiji for 2 hours? Why not make it a few days for the same price?

So, here are our Fiji highlights:

1. Viewing an atoll from the sky on our approach to Fiji.

Fiji - Atoll view from airplane

2. Enjoying the perfect reflection of nature on the calm lagoon water.

Perfect reflection by a Fijian lagoon

3. Relaxing under coconut trees, overlooking the blue lagoon.

Relaxing under coconut tree overlooking a Fijian lagoon

4. Taking a stroll along the lagoon beach and inspecting the long sea worm, or… I’m not sure the name of this 1 meter long creature.

Sea worm in shallow lagoon water (Fiji)

5. Watching Fijian men fishing by hand in the morning.

Fijian man in a Fijian lagoon, catching fish

6. Eating the savory local meal “fish in lolo” and the sweet dessert “banana in lolo”. Lolo means coconut milk, and these warm dishes are so in tune with the relaxing mood of the island. I ate them every day.

7. Joining a yaqona/kava ceremony to enjoy this mildly sedating root drink. Sensation we got? Mouth and tongue felt a little bit tingling and numbing. Did we feel relaxed? Ryan did, not sure about me though. Maybe I needed to drink more than 1 cup. The taste? Grab a handful of soil in the backyard, mix it in a bowl of water, drink it. It tasted like that!

Yaqona/kava ceremony (Fiji)

Drinking yaqona/kava at a kava ceremony (Fiji)

8. Shouting “Bula”, Fijian for “hello”, to anybody around us. Sure we received hundreds of bula shout-outs from random people during our short stay there, even from the people on the back of a pick-up truck passing by.

9. Checking out Sigatoka, a Fijian town. The town has a charming Hindu temple on the hill, but the broken train track bridge remains to be the scene I remembered the most. A couple of hears ago, a massive flood wiped out one part of this bridge.

Falling train track bridge in Sigatoka, Fiji

10. Waking up at 2:00 AM to enjoy the Geminids meteor shower

that coincided with out stay in Fiji. We saw 26 meteors during 25 minutes of watching! And being out on the island was great for stargazing, with very little light pollution.

11. Showering using a “bucket” shower. So, you fill in the bucket with water yourself, hang that bucket on the ceiling, then open the shower knob on the bottom!

Bucket shower in Fiji

12. Watching our first fire dance performance. Seeing two beginner guys practicing fire spinning was already fun enough, but watching the full show with many performers like this was amazing.

Fire dance lady (Fiji)

Fire dance men (Fiji)

13. Trying to enjoy the sunset on a cloudy and drizzly day. Not a great sunset, but still romantic enough for us.

Sunset in a cloudy day in Fiji

14. Our worst snorkeling experience ever: Snorkeling in a bowl of “sea lice” soup. The snorkeling on the coral reefs was okay in the beginning, until we passed this concentration “sea lice” (as the guide called it). Thousands of burning hot stinging needles attacked all over our body. The boat had to rescue use from the water. The stinging and itching bumps didn’t go until several weeks, but hey, that was not the first time I suffered from an everlasting itch!

So, should we call this a “lowlight” or a highlight? Of all those supposedly great snorkeling sites in Fiji, this happened to be the one that we jumped in!

Fiji - Snorkeling in sea lice soup

So, those are the 14 highlights of our Fiji experience. Which do you think you want to try in your Fiji visit? If you’ve been there, what’s your highlight?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

36 Responses to “Fiji Highlights and Lowlights: Beautiful Lagoons and Bumpy Skin”

  1. Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World
    17 February 2011 at 11:18 am #

    It all sounded good and I was like — ‘Yeah, we should check out Fiji’ until I get to the sea lice part. The name freaks me out. The fact that it stings ensures that I’ll probably won’t dip a toe in any suspicious body of water around Fiji :)
    Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World´s last post…25 Strangers- 1 Cabin- and A New Reality Show not really

    • Dina
      17 February 2011 at 4:39 pm #

      Haha, you’ve got to be very unfortunate like us to encounter them, I think. That sea lice, I’m not sure what was it actually. Too small to be seen, and wikipedia article about sea lice doesn’t feel like describing the same thing. We think it’s a kind of tiny stingers/jellyfish.

  2. Deb
    17 February 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Oh no! Did the sea lice last pain last for long? We absolutely loved Fiji and need to go back. I loved yelling Bula wherever we went and I think you are like us, you need to drink more than one kava:) We always asked for high tide and seconds:) We’ve seen firespinning in Thailand and found it to be an incredible show, missed it in Fiji though. The meteor shower must have been incredible to see. I hope you loved Fiji as much as we did. I couldn’t get enough of the goodbye song. We even heard it on the plane as we flew away. Some places that we went, the staff sang it so beautifully it brought tears to my eyes.
    Deb´s last post…Sea Caves- Canoes and Culture in the Isles of Thailand

    • Dina
      17 February 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      Yeah, the stinging pain lasted for a while, maybe like a week or two. But the bumps didn’t go away until a week or two after that. Different sensation and look from the sand flies bites that we got in NZ.
      Glad that you guys love Fiji, I remember seeing Fiji in your 2010 highlight post if I’m not mistaken. Definitely the sunset picture that you posted the other day was a much better sunset that we had up there.
      I’m not sure which one is the good bye song, but the staff in our place also sang so beautifully, felt like “islandy”, if that makes sense for you. Soft and calming. I think I know what you mean!
      Btw, I enjoyed reading your Fiji articles!

  3. Yvonne @JustTravelous
    17 February 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I always wanted to visit Fiji and now I even want it more! Great post and awesome pictures!!
    Yvonne @JustTravelous´s last post…Made in Germany Ja genau- in DEUTSCHLAND

    • Dina
      17 February 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      Thank you! It’s very picturesque and relaxing there :)

  4. Gray
    17 February 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    OMG, Fiji is beautiful! That sea worm thing, though? Yuck. Creepy. And sea lice…you poor things! Good example of how travel has its ups and downs. Great photos, btw.
    Gray´s last post…Need Time to Travel A Career Break Might Help

    • Dina
      17 February 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      Haha, it does look kinda creepy, now that you say it! But it stays on the bottom of the water, not crawling around the house, which will make it really creepy. The sea lice thing…. I’m just grateful that the bumps has finally gone without mark! It really took a long time…
      (Thanks!)

  5. Michael Hodson
    17 February 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    great post — a place that I definitely want to hit sometime soon.

    • Dina
      19 February 2011 at 4:33 pm #

      Hey, are you planning to go to Fiji?

  6. Brooke, WhyGo Australia
    17 February 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Sea lice sounds awful! But the rest of Fiji looks nice. Thanks for sharing :)
    Brooke, WhyGo Australia´s last post…Favorite Australian Slang- Chook

    • Dina
      19 February 2011 at 4:33 pm #

      Certainly hope you won’t meet the sea lice if you go there!

  7. Kieron
    17 February 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    We chose to start our adventure Hawaii over Fiji so we won’t be able to experience any of these any time soon but one day!

    We experienced sea lice in Thailand – fortunately we were able to get out of the water pretty quickly and didn’t have to endure the weeks of ongoing pain like you guys!

    • Dina
      19 February 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      Hawaii sounds wonderful! How long you guys are going to be there?

      Wow, you have encounter with sea lice too! Unfortunately for us, we were quite far from the boat. And since we were going in circle, the space between us and the boat had higher concentration than where we started feeling them, bah!

  8. Ruth
    18 February 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    I just discovered this post thru Twitter. The photos and info are really good. How long you guys stayed in Fiji? Look like you guys were able to do a lot of things. The long worm picture is amazing.

    • Dina
      19 February 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      Hi Ruth! It’s great to know you :) Just checking our your blog the other day, looks great! The long worm was definitely fascinating :)
      We were there for 3-4 nights. That length will be too short for visiting the more remote island (long journey, apparently from the airport), so we stayed in the main island, but we did a little tour that went to one of the tiny island nearby.

  9. Sabina
    19 February 2011 at 7:29 am #

    I love the photo of the water that’s so still you can perfectly see the reflection of the clouds in it. But sea LICE?!? What?! How horrifying! They should call them something else, because now I don’t really see myself ever snorkeling in Fiji. And they should tell you before you get in the water what you’re going to encounter. Ouch!

    • Dina
      19 February 2011 at 4:41 pm #

      Hahaha, I think you will be fine if you are snorkeling there! I never heard of this sea lice from other person that has been in Fiji, I guess we were just unfortunate! I think if the guide know the sea lice will be there, they won’t even let people jump to the water, because those little creatures were really mean.

  10. Andrea
    20 February 2011 at 4:54 am #

    Sounds like you guys had a better time than we did! A meteor shower? Sounds incredible =) My favourite part about Fiji was the people…everyone saying bula all the time with big smiles…just made for a great travel vibe.
    Andrea´s last post…Inspiring Travellers Turns One!

    • Dina
      21 February 2011 at 2:02 am #

      Yes, we love that bula too! Just from everybody, it’s amazing!

  11. Suzy
    20 February 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    I would love to go to Fiji. I have always heard how friendly people are and it sounds like you guys heard a few “bulas” to prove it. However, I would do everything in my power to avoid sea lice. Sounds disgusting and painful!
    Suzy´s last post…Leon- Nicaragua Wishes You Were Here

    • Dina
      21 February 2011 at 2:03 am #

      :) I hope you will not be as unfortunate as us about the sea lice!

  12. Cheryl Howard
    20 February 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Amazing shots! Really like the shots from the fire dance performance. Seems like you had an amazing time (less the snorkelling experience). ;)

    • Dina
      21 February 2011 at 2:05 am #

      Thanks! The fire dance was amazing indeed. The snorkeling experience at least ended up making a fun story :) Even though the weird bumps concerned my because taking too long time to disappear!

  13. Jennifer Barry
    20 February 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Wow, you seem to find all kinds of nasty critters! :( I don’t want to go anywhere near lice of any kind. I’m glad you’re all better now.

    Even with the sea lice, Fiji sounds awesome, and the pictures are beautiful. Sounds like I must stop there when I visit my friend in Perth, Australia.
    Jennifer Barry´s last post…Stranger in His Own Land- Part 11

    • Dina
      21 February 2011 at 2:07 am #

      It seems like I’m a magnet for them :(
      Hey, if you can have a stopover there in the way to Perth, I bet you will love it!

    • Dina
      21 February 2011 at 2:08 am #

      Btw, I’m glad I don’t see your msg stuck in the filter this time :)

  14. Zablon
    22 February 2011 at 8:17 am #

    Great photos

  15. Erica
    27 February 2011 at 1:26 am #

    I want to go to Fiji one day (we’ll make it at some point!)!!!

    That picture of the sunset was awesome. Sure it may not be the stereotypical one but I think the uniqueness of it alone should be worth something. <3

  16. karen ho fatt
    6 March 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    I think item number 2 would be high on my list for sure. Contemplation and serenity are two reasons I would go there. My husbands friends make a yearly trip to Fiji to enjoy the – isolation, lack of crowds and of course, the beauty of it all. Never been but on my list of trips to go on one day I hope!!!

  17. Emily
    7 March 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    What a wonderful trip (other than the sea lice!). Fiji looks so beautiful–I’ve always wanted to go there. Love the picture of flying over the atoll! And the fire dancing looks amazing.

  18. Jen Laceda
    30 March 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    I’m still dreaming about getting to Fiji one day. When I get there, I’ll tell you! LOL!
    Jen Laceda´s last post…My Most Memorable Restaurant Dishes of 2010

  19. Federico
    16 June 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Fiji… I really want to make it there someday, and emplore some of the atolls, hopefully Tavarua? Bad luck with the sea lice- I know what it feels like and it is not good…. fantastic stayoever despite the last event right?
    Federico´s last post…A Weekend in Carcassonne- France

  20. Saquina Akanni
    4 September 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Thanks for your beautiful pictures of Fiji. I am Fiji dreaming today and found your site. Post your link on FB where I share a few of your beautiful pictures. Love, Saquina

  21. Barbz
    6 December 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    I’m in Fiji at the moment and staying at the Hideaway Resort in the Coral Coast. I was snorkelling earlier and saw a few of those sea worms and was just googling to see what they were when I came across your post. I freaked out a little bit at first coz I thought they were snakes! Apparently the sea worms don’t hurt you! I don’t think the sea snakes do either but that doesn’t make me feel any better about them and thank goodness I haven’t seen any so far. I didn’t encounter any sea lice but came across heaps of fish I hadn’t seen before. It was awesome! I love Fiji so much that my husband and I have decided to buy property here. Will get back to you if I ever encounter any sea lice. I am sorry you had that experience!

  22. Rhonda Lesmis
    27 January 2014 at 5:16 am #

    I go to a Fiji every other year, normally stay at a The Warwick, there is a lot of those sea worms there but they cannot surface. The cannot swim, they only sit on the bottom of the ocean, they soldo have no teeth so they cannot bite you. As for the banded seasnakes they are highly. Venomous and if bitten you only have about 5 minsto luve. But they have very tiny mouths and can only bite humans on there war lives or between there fingers. So it is very unlikely you will be bitten by a banded sea snake.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge