Thursday 01st December 2016 Kingdom of Tonga Holiday Page 17
Know us and what you can access here NUKU’ALOFA (Tonga Holiday): Malo e lelei and welcome to Tonga. Remember Sunday is “taboo” on the island Kingdom – so plan your Sunday well before you get here. There is no flight into or out of Tonga, nor to any of the outer islands. At the same time there is also no boat service into Tonga on Sundays – except for the island resort tours that are still allowable despite the ban. So what can you do on Sunday while you are here in Tonga. Remember to visit the Tonga Tourism Authority Office on Vuna Road – next to the Emerald Hotel – for
1. Church Service Do not miss the Sunday service in any of the Tongan churches, where you can hear some inspiring singing. Although majority of the service are held in Tongan, there are some English speaking services also. The St Paul’s Anglican Church in Kolofo’ou on Fatafehi Road – opposite the New Zealand Immigration Office at Royco Building – hold a 8am English service every Sunday morning – except for the first Sunday of every new month when the service starts at 9am. The Catholic Church in Sopu also holds a 8am English service also. You can ask your hotel or motel reception or staff about directions and how to get there. One experience not to be missed is attending the 10am Sunday Service with His Majesty King Tupou VI and members of the Royal Family at the Centenary Church or Saione – next to the military headquarters in Kolomotu’a. That is about 100 meters away from the Royal Palace.
more information. Or ask your hotel staff for information and advise!
2. Island Tours
There are island trips that happen on Sundays to the three island resorts out in the Tonga waters close to the capital city of Nuku’alofa. All the boat trips take off from the Faua Wharf, next to the Ngutulei Bar and the fish market. These trips go out to Pangaimotu Island Resort, Fafa Island Resort and the Sunset Island Resort on ‘Atata Island. Make sure you ask your hotel or motel staff about details, especially for the departure times so you do not miss out.
a. Bank & Finance
b. Taxi Service
There are four main banks in Nuku’alofa. That includes MBf Bank, ANZ Bank, Bank of the South Pacific (BSP) and Tonga Development Bank (TDB). There are ATM Machines situated around the capital city while there are also bank services on the three islands of ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u as well. The banks open for daily service from 9am to 4pm every Monday to Friday but they all close on Saturdays and Sundays. At the same time there are foreign exchange services located around Tongatapu and the islands. Western Union has branches throughout Tongatapu and also on the outer islands.
You can easily get a taxi on the main island of Tongatapu. But remember to ask your hotel/resort/motel staff for advise. It is advisable that you deal with one taxi company that you can track down easily. Taxi drivers now also offer tour service around Tongatapu. Remember that you would need to negotiate the rate and always ask for advise first from either the Tonga Tourism Authority or your hotel/resort/motel staff before agreeing to go on any of the offered tours.
d. Bars and Nightclubs
e. Shops and supermarkets
If you want to have some local beer or get your own brand of liquor there are bars on Tongatapu. The list includes Talieva Bar, Reload and TimeOut on the main Taufa’ahau Road in Nuku’alofa while down on the waterfront in Ma’ufanga you can drop in at Ngutulei Bar, Nauti Ruby, Billfish and the 19th Hole Bar and Grill. There is also the Davina House, Friends and Escape Café where you can stop by to have some meals and drinks – although Escape café only offers your choice of coffee or juice. The hotels and resorts on the three outer islands of ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u also offer bar service to their clients and guests.
There is no shortage of shops and supermarkets in Tonga. Chinese shops open almost 24 hours every day, except for Sunday. There are some big supermarkets as well, including MCC, opposite the Talamahu Market in Nuku’alofa, and the FoodWorld Supermarket in Fanga, which is next to the roundabout, opposite the Lord’s Mobile shop. Lunaeva Supermarket, opposite the 7th Day Adventist Primary School – just 5 minutes out of Nuku’alofa – also offer a wide variety of food and groceries for sale. For your fresh vegetables and fruits you can either visit the main Talamahu Market in Nuku’alofa or the roadside vendors. On the outer islands you can also visit their local markets for your fresh supply.
3. Restaurants There are restaurants that are allowed to open on Sundays, so you do not miss out on your Sunday meals. At the same time you can also drive down to one of the mainland resorts where you can also have lunch. That includes the Oholei Beach Resort in the Eastern Division, close to Fua’amotu International Airport, or down to Hihifo (Western Side) where you can visit the Liku’alofa Beach Resort or the Vakaloa Resort. There is also the Keleti Beach Resort close to Veitongo, where you can go and enjoy your day sunbathing and to also have your meal. While you are in Tonga, you can either travel to ‘Eua, Ha’apai or Vava’u.Real Tonga offers daily flights to all the islands while there are also inter-island ferry services to the three islands as well.
Other services that you might need while you are in the Kingdom, include:
c. Medical Service
Vaiola Hospital is the main health service provider for members of the public in Tongatapu while there are other hospitals also on ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u. At the same time there are private doctors and clinics that also offer health service to members of the public on the different islands.