Vanu-wow-tu

Vanuatu

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As I mentioned in my last post, I had a lovely time in Vanuatu. Some of my favourite things were —

  • The stunningly beautiful natural environment
  • People were very friendly and welcoming
  • It felt very safe and was fairly easy to get around (a bit trickier on Santo as I was staying 20 mins out of Luganville town, but very easy around Port Vila)
  • The lack of a language barrier makes it very easy to have interesting chats with people and to learn about the place
  • It was relaxing, which was the kind of holiday I really needed. This meant it was also quite fatigue-friendly. On some days I did heaps, on other days not so much.

As someone who has spent a lot of time in SE Asia, the prices were a little harder to swallow as it is comparatively expensive to other popular destinations, but it really wasn’t too extravagant — similar prices to Australia for restaurant food, and slightly less for hotels. Car hire was slightly cheaper, and local buses were very easy and affordable. Some of the more adventure-type activities could add up though. For food, there were cheaper options like buying at the markets or supermarkets, or restaurants and takeaways targeted more at locals, and trying local cooked food in the markets. 

The Pacific is not really regarded as a ‘foodie’ destination like SE Asia either, but there is very good seafood, that local market food I mentioned above which is interesting to try, Tanna coffee and other small-scale producers of jams and chocolates, little snacks in the markets like banana chips and peanuts, and surprisingly, absolutely delicious steak on Santo. While some meals were a bit meh and there were A LOT of frozen chips and burgers and pizzas on the menus of tourist spots, I did also eat some really delicious meals and tried some new things. Also, tropical fruit for breakfast every day, so…

The humidity and heat was also a little bit of a challenge for me especially during the first few days, but I am told March is the hottest month. But once I got used to it, it was fine. 

So I really enjoyed it.

I spent a large part of the holiday swimming in beautiful places — Matevalu Blue Hole and Port Olry beach on Santo being favourites, along with Rarru Cascades and the Blue Lagoon on Efate. So I was active and a bit adventurous, but it was all quite do-able and accessible. Some people were complaining about the entry costs to some of these sights, which were in the vicinity of $10-15 AUD, but there were amenities and the sites were well-maintained, so I think it was fair. And everything was worth it.

Here’s some photos from my trip that I shared on the ‘gram, because that’s how I roll nowadays.

 

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