Fiji has much to offer outside the tourist resorts and is a fantastic location for medical volunteers and students. Here are some fun things to do:
1. Get down and dirty in a mud bath and swim in a natural hot spring. Known to be great for the skin and a real cleansing experience. Afterwards stroll through the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and explore the Fijian jungle. There are over 2000 varieties of stunning Asian Orchards and other lush tropical flowers. Lunch at the Roti Corner (close to Nadi).
2 Jump aboard one of the local cruises. Sail around the islands for a day, snorkel in the crystal blue water and admire an amazing array of sea life. Step aboard a high-speed catamaran that will whisk you across to neighbouring islands such as Castaway Island or the Yasawa Islands. Spend the day participating in water-sports including snorkeling and wind surfing or just relaxing on the white sand while sipping a cocktail.
3. Explore the highlights of Suva. Visit the National Museum to view Fijian artifacts including kava bowls, weapons, necklaces and tools. Stroll through Thurston Garden, the Spice Gardens and the Colo-I-Suva Forest Park for forest walks with native plants and bird life. Admire the colonial architecture, the marina and rusting shipwrecks on the reef. Take a diving trip to the beautiful Beqa Lagoon.
4. Jump on a local bus to anywhere. This is a fabulous way to travel like a local. The bus may not have any glass in the windows and the gear shift may be grating however this is a cheap and fun way to get around. Buy a bus card in advance so you can just tap the reader when boarding. The experience is priceless.
5. Shop with the locals. The markets are located in the centre of every town and sell tropical fruit, vegetables, flowers and fish.
6 Join the locals. Visit a school and church in a village. Take some supplies for the school, such as writing books, pens, pencils and reading books for young kids. If there is a church nearby, join in their Sunday morning mass and listen to the fantastic hymns and beautiful voices. Don’t miss a Fijian dance show featuring an exciting fire dance.
7. Sip Kava with the locals. Visit a typical local village for a glimpse of Fijian life and a Kava ceremony. Kava is a traditional drink made from the root of the pepper plant and is mildly narcotic.
8. Swim in a waterfall. Take a motorised long boat ride up the Navua River to the Magic Waterfalls for a swim in the rain-forest. Followed by a leisurely ride on a bamboo raft.
9. Explore the Sigatoka Sand Dunes. Not boring. Pottery and human remains from 3000 years ago are still being discovered and the ever-shifting sands frequently uncover burial sites that had long been forgotten. Another fun day out is the Sigatoka River Safari.
10. Sip a Fiji Gold Beer or a delicious cocktail while sitting on a beach at sunset.
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