Visitors Guide L
Labasa (pron lam-basa) is the main town on the north side of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island. It’s a predominately Indo-Fijian town with a large sugar mill and is seldom visited by tourists. A tiny island off the coast of Vanua Levu is home to the exclusive Nukubati (Nukum-ba-tee) Island Resort. The diving on the Great Sea Reef is superb (commercial diving has only been available since 1996).
Lailai in Fijian means “little” – so, Malolo Lailai for example is the smaller of the Malolo islands.
LALATI RESORT & SPA
Lalati Resort & Spa is a very, very nice resort on Beqa Lagoon and not super-expensive for what you get. Lovely location, very laid back and very romantic. Also a lovely spot for a wedding.
Everyone speaks English in Fiji but it’s always fun to try and use the local language (yes, every visitor learns “bula”, but there is more!).
A few pronunciation pointers – words with a ‘d’ have an unwritten ‘n’ in front – For example, Nadi is ‘Nandi’ and the marinated seafood dish kokoda, is ‘kokonda’.
You put an ‘m’ before ‘b’ in words like Toberua (“Tom-berua”) and “Lam-basa” for Labasa.
The unwritten “n” also goes before a “g”, so Sigatoka is ‘Singatoka’ and Naigani is Ninegani’.
And a ‘c’ is pronounced ‘th’, as in the Mamanuca Islands and moce is “mothay” (goodbye).
|Hello/hi||ni sa bula (bula)||nee sar bula – usually just ‘bula’|
|Good morning||ni sa yadra||nee sar yarndra – or just ‘yadra’|
|Goodbye||sa moce||sa more there – or shorten to ‘moce’|
|Please||yalo vinaka||yarlo veenarka – or shorten to ‘vinaka’|
|Excuse me||tulou||too low|
Lautoka is 24km up the coast from Nadi Airport (hop a bus or a taxi will only cost about F$25 each way). Many tourists only get there because it’s the departure point for Blue Lagoon Cruises and some of the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands. It’s a nice enough harbour front town with duty free shopping and colourful markets but not exactly a holiday destination. Having said that, the Lautoka Hotel, the Waterfront Hotel and Cathay Hotel all seem to be clean, comfortable and have swimming pools. Lautoka is known as the “Sugar City” because of its mill and wharf access. The annual Sugar Festival is in September. Incidentally, the name “Lautoka” comes from a legend that two local chiefs were fighting on Farquar’s Point – one chief found himself on the receiving end of a spear and screamed “Lau-toka”, which means literally, “spear-hit”.
LIKULIKU LAGOON RESORT & SPA
Simply stunning! This is Malolo’s ‘sister’ resort and one of Fiji’s most romantic retreats for wedding/honeymoon couples travelling on a reasonably healthy budget. The wedding part is inexpensive (and sometimes even ‘free’ as part of an accommodation package) – what you pay for is the breathtaking turquoise lagoon and the standard of accommodation from the Deluxe Beachfront Bures with private plunge pools to the only true ‘overwater’ bures in Fiji.
If it is your honeymoon and your want to splurge on somewhere special that is still relaxed and casual, this one is certainly worth considering.
Contact us regarding Likuliku Resort
The Lomaiviti group of islands are off the east coast (short flight or a ferry ride from Suva). The diving here is also very good with some wreck dives dating back to the late 1800’s. If you are at all interested in colonial history you will be rewarded with a visit to the old colonial capital, Levuka (on the main island of Ovalau). Levuka was a 19th century whaling town and where Britain gained control of the islands in 1874. It’s now home to around 1500 locals and you can feel as well see the history with the narrow streets and the weather-worn timber buildings. There’s budget accommodation, the Royal Hotel has lots of old colonial charm and the only mid-range accommodation is the Levuka Homestay.
This is the Fijian name for a feast cooked in the earth (in New Zealand, a “hangi”). The taste is like a barbeque, only a little more smoked, and it’s a very efficient way to cook large quantities of food at the same time (so resort lovos, apart from being a novel attraction, are actually easier than whipping up a la carte in the restaurant kitchen). To make your own you’ll need to dig a pit a couple of feet deep. Put firewood in the hole – under some smooth surfaced stones. Light the fire and wait for the stones to get red hot. You then move the stones about to make a platform for the food, which can be anything you would normally put in an oven – beef, pork, lamb, fish, and vegetables. Wrap the food in foil and place on the stones, with the things that require more cooking on the bottom. Cover the feast with banana leaves (and/or damp sacks) and cover the lot with soil. Leave for a couple of hours before serving. The photo is a lovo at Lalati.