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Thursday 01st December 2016 Kingdom of Tonga Holiday Page 10

TONGA ISLANDS

Don’t waste more time on overcrowded beaches and visit Tonga instead By Christina

http://www.birdwinks.net/2016/11/04/visit-tonga/ christina@birdwinks.net realising the overly kind attitude of the locals was actually a concealed plan to rob the boats and kill the whole crew. However, the conspiracy failed when nobody was able to agree on the best strategy, and Cook sailed away unaware of his intended fate. Ironically, his positive nickname for the Kingdom of Tonga re“Tonga? Is that … in Af- mains in common use. rica? And you were there?” It is four years ago that Haha. Yeah. No. Tonga – a I visited Tonga. I can now little paradise in the South with a clear conscience Seas, between Fiji and the announce that we’re still Cook islands. A kingdom unharmed, nobody robbed with around 105.000 in- us, and Tonga is a perfectly habitants (noone knows for safe and heavenly peacesure) – and not ful place to visit. So let’s “Tonga? Is that … in Af- stick to the friendly part rica? And you were there?” and keep exploring. Cause Haha. Yeah. No. honestly, this place will Tonga – a little paradise blow your mind. in the South Seas, between Fiji and the Cook islands. A kingdom with around 105.000 inhabitants (noone knows for sure) – and not one McDonald’s. First thing that deeply impressed me. The second was, that 176 islands (of which for a couple of bugs, I only around 40 are inhabbought my own Tongan ited) are sprinkled over driver’s license. Which is 700.000 km² of ocean, still displayed prominently while the total land makes on my wall next to post- only 740 km² of the kingcards from exotic places dom’s area. That’s smaller and jumping pictures in than New York City. front of waterfalls. Tonga is only accessible This one month geta- from New Zealand, Ausway was the destination of tralia and Fiji. If you’re choice after having cruised then surprised by the small all over New Zealand dur- plane taking you all across ing my 8 months as an au a the ocean, look forward pair and subsequently for 3 to the regional planes, with constant months and 10.000 barely 30 seats and still opkm in my newly acquired erated with propellers. campervan. That, btw, we Fun Fact: Because Tonga luckily were able to sell and Samoa are east of the on the very day we left the 180th meridian, they should country. Three hours before be in the same day. Should. our flight. Tschakka. But Tonga wanted to keep So. Here a brief introduc- up with Australia and New tion into what was long ago Zealand for economical named the friendly islands: purposes, leading to the Yeah alright, that looks arbitrary result of draw the awesome. But why actually line east of Tonga, putting name it friendly islands? it 1 day ahead of Samoa. When Captain James Cook When, eventually, also first visited Tonga in 1773, Samoatravelled back to he was so impressed by the future and erased one the hospitality he was day in their calenders to welcomed with that he be west of the international couldn’t help dubbing the date line again. country “friendly”. Not con’t on page 11

Malo e lelei to the Kingdom of Tonga


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