Fiji is the picture of paradise. After travelling from Singapore to Fiji last month, I am filled with love for the Fiji islands and the warm and jovial Fijian people. Yes, it feels like paradise too. The waters are as clear and blue as you see in the pictures, the people are genuinely friendly and the resorts are as amazing as they look.
The Fiji islands are often likened to the Maldives, Seychelles and Bora Bora. The cool thing is it’s far less crowded, drawing mostly neighbouring Australians and New Zealanders. Lucky for us, there are now new direct flights from Singapore to Fiji, making it far easier for Singaporeans to transport themselves to one of the few places in the world that offer such natural beauty of the kind. Yay we’re invited to join the island family!
Here are some useful tips for Singaporeans going for a holiday in Fiji for the first time.
Where is Fiji?
Where is Fiji?
Fiji is a slice of a paradise in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. But where is that ah? It’s northeast of New Zealand – that other place I am obsessed with.
I expected the Fijian culture to be very close to that of the Maoris, Samoans and Tongans that I met frequently in Nuu Zealand but there is actually quite a bit of difference. So let’s say… it’s similar-ish.
Singapore to Fiji
Flights from Singapore to Fiji
Fiji International Airport: Nadi International Airport (NAN)
Singapore to Fiji Average Flight Prices: s$1500
Average flight time: 10 – 15 Hours including 1 stopover
Singapore to Fiji Direct Flight – Fiji Airways SALE:
Round trip fares for economy class start at around *SGD832 at the moment. That’s about half the price, for a SHORTER flight (10 hrs direct) to paradise. Amazing deal. Limited period only.
I’ve taken Fiji Airways myself and it’s comfortable with good movies on your personal screen. Cute blankets too :) Note that Fiji Airways has a strict policy on the 7kg weight and size limit for cabin luggage. They WILL check.
(*accurate as of 18 March 2016. Prices subject to change)
Currency: Fiji Dollars. Change currency into Australian Dollars in Singapore, and change into Fiji Dollars at Nadi International Airport.
Cash or Credit: Most shops and hotels accept credit cards but it’s advisable to carry some cash with you for souvenirs from markets and makeshift stalls. Only some resorts have an ATM on-site.
Power: Australian sockets
Weather: Hot, strong sun, windy. Less humid than Singapore. Chance of rain. Bring breezy summer clothing, nice swimwear, and sun protection.
Getting Around: You can take the Bula Bus to get around Denarau. Beyond that, it’s advisable to book transfers with the tour desk.
1) Choose a Good Resort
A holiday in Fiji is all about your resort. Unlike a city break where you’re going to wander about to different attractions all day, on an island holiday in Fiji you’ll be enjoying most of your time right there on the beautiful resort grounds – swimming, eating, getting massages. Many resorts provide snorkel gear and kayaks to explore the waters right off the resort beach.
So pick a great Fiji resort that you can truly enjoy. One with an amazing pool, restaurants, rooms, view and activities. Lucky for you, Fiji resorts are a dream.
On-site activities can include cultural performances, a dive centre, Fijian basket-weaving and a bunch of fun for kids. Keep in mind that you’ll likely have most meals at the hotel too so it’s worth booking meals-inclusive deals.
2) Lingo: Bula & Vinaka
Those are the two words you need to get by.
Bula is the friendly greeting – ‘hello’, ‘wishing you happiness and health’, ‘goodbye’.
Vinaka Vakalevu means ‘thank you‘.
3) Makan: Eat Lots of Seafood, Try Kokoda
It’s always good to try local flavours when you travel. In Fiji, seafood is the specialty. Fish, lobster, prawns… all fresh. Often caught the same day! I recommend trying Kokoda, the local signature dish. You can read more about that here on my list of top moments in Fiji.
Coconuts are also a centrepiece of Fijian cuisine.
All the food I had across various Fiji resorts were spectacular. If you need a little comfort from home, Indian and Chinese food are also popular in Fiji so you’ll often find familiar dishes available. Some hotels serve congee at breakfast.
Ask at your hotel about theme nights. Several resorts in Fiji have special themes each night with different entertainment and dining. For example curry night or firewalking night.
4) Must-do: Ocean Time
A far cry from the murky waters of East Coast Park, in Fiji you will be blown away by how clear the water is. Wide expanses of blue.
You HAVE to get out into the ocean and enjoy the turquoise waters. Snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving are easily available along the coast and islands of Fiji. Paddleboards, fishing and jet skiing are also popular.
If you don’t want to get wet, take an island-hopping cruise or a glass bottom boat tour.
5) Where: Get out of Denarau
There are plenty of luxury resorts in Denarau, which is a short drive away from Nadi International Airport. These are amazing 5 star Fiji beach resorts like Sofitel, The Westin and Hilton. I suggest staying here the first couple of nights, then move on. There are far more beautiful beaches along the Coral Coast and Fiji’s many islands.
Fiji Airways flies from Singapore to Fiji twice a week so your minimum stay is 6 nights. For this duration I recommend no more than 2-3 nights at Denarau or Sigatoka (Coral Coast), and the rest exploring the Mamanuca islands and Yasawa islands. These two tourist-friendly group of islands are accessible via Port Denarau.
Vanua Levu and the islands up north are more an effort to get to and therefore more suitable for adventurers really keen to go off the beaten track.
6) Bring Australian Dollars
It’s advisable to change your Singapore Dollars into Australian Dollars before you go. Change AUD into Fiji Dollars when you get to Nadi International Airport.
Credit cards are widely accepted. Only some resorts have ATMs on-site.
7) Coconut Wireless
Wi-Fi is free at some resorts and chargeable at others. The force is not always strong. I highly recommend disconnecting and enjoying life on Fiji time! But if you must, you can buy a local SIM from Vodafone with prepaid data. Prepaid cards are available at the airport and convenience stores, but it’s best to buy one from a Vodafone store so they can help you with activation.
8) Stay: Hurray Bure
A bure (boo-ray) is the Fijian bungalow-style huts made of wood and straw. If your budget allows, book a beachfront oceanview bure for the best views and authentic feel for your stay in Fiji.
9) Souvenirs: Buy Local Fijian Handicrafts and Jewelry
Hand-carved wooden souvenirs make good gifts and souvenirs. Bring cash with you on your day tours so you can buy handicrafts and decorative jewellery at the villages and attractions. If your hotel has a ‘Jack’s of Fiji’ store, you can also shop there for a wide range of handicrafts. Alternatively, Port Denarau has a big branch.
Mako masks, turtle shaped trinket bowls, ‘Lali’ drums, tapa paintings and cannibal forks are popular. I went for the turtles as they Fijians believe they bring good luck (and they’re totally cute!). Buying from the little old ladies at Viseisei village made it a little extra special, to be contributing to the community.
For jewellery, you can buy precious pearls, shells and red corals in Fiji. The red corals are something special and different.
10) Spa: Pure Fiji Pampering
Among the top things to do in Fiji, besides a whole lot of nothing of course, is to enjoy amazing spa treatments. And oh boy do they have nice spa rooms! And amazing Fiji-made spa products.
I was blown away by the view from the private spa rooms at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort. Every Fiji hotel has its own way of doing it in style, whether it’s an authentic massage-in-a-hut or sharing a romantic tub with a lush view. Intercontinental’s spa is so popular, guests book before they arrive and it’s common to have it fully booked. Fiji is the place to pamper yourself and live the tropical life after all. Especially perfect for couples and retirees. The staff tell me, some people have a massage everyday :)
+ Pure Fiji
Pure Fiji is a locally-produced range of bath and bodycare products using natural Fijian plant extracts. If you’re lucky, you might have some included in your resort room. I LOVE Pure Fiji products. So does all of Fiji apparently.
Not only do Pure Fiji products smell like tropical heaven, my skin genuinely feels great after lathering on some lotion. I was totally unconvinced when someone was raving about Pure Fiji to me before. But after using the White Gingerlily and Coconut body lotion a few times though? I’m at the Pure Fiji counter with a basketful of products to bring home. Made some salesgirls very happy.
Save space in your luggage for this!
11) Lomantic Couples Time on a Family Vacation
Most Fiji beach resorts have great facilities for a family-friendly vacation. Kids stay well-entertained in supervised play rooms and playgrounds with daily activities. Plus there are nannies to look after kids in the evening if Mama and Papa want some romantic time alone. Pretty impressive kids facilities I must say, including kids pools.
12) Pack: Light and Breezy
Pack lots of breezy summer clothes suitable for the heat. It’s almost as hot as Singapore out there. A little less humid and a lot more windy, so it’s more comfortable in that sense. Just keep in mind you’ll spend lots of time outside in the strong sun.I recommend sleeveless tops and shorts. Sunblock, sun hats and sunglasses are a must.
It’s the perfect place to show off your fancy beach kaftans and designer swimwear.
13) Do: Float on Cloud 9
Love. Read about my experience here.
14) Tours: Rosie Holidays
If you’re looking to get out and see more of Fiji, Rosie Holidays is your local answer for tours, activities and fun things to do in Fiji. They have a tour desk at many major resorts so you can easily book your day tours during your trip.
15) Pre-Flight/Post-Flight: Rejuvenation Centre
Fiji Airways flights depart at 2300 hrs, which means many hours between hotel check-out and airport check-in. One great option is to buy a transit pass for the Essence of Fiji Rejuvenation Centre. Here you can chill out in comfort just 5 minutes from the airport.
The cheapest pass, the Transit Pass gives you 6 hours access for only FJ$38 per person.
The other passes include credit for spa services like massage, hair salon, manicures, waxing etc. There’s an open rooftop to stretch your legs and enjoy a couple of drinks. Or if you prefer to shake up the muscles before a 10hr flight, it has a decent gym with a view. Not a bad way to spend your time eh?
It’s not a grand spa, but it does keep you cool and comfortable. My favourite bit is the movie room with comfy bean bags.
16) Do: Hop on the Bula Bus
“Travelling between major international hotels, Denarau Golf and Racquet club and Port Denarau Marina could not be easier with Bula Buses operating on a continuous loop departing approximately every 15 minutes from 7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days a week.”
Tickets for unlimited travel all day FJ$8.50(adults) FJ$2(child). 4-day passes also available.
More info here.
17) Bring Your Best Camera
Breathtaking sunsets, sunrise, marine life and the most amazing ocean views.You’ll want to capture this moment for a lifetime of memories of your time in paradise.
But don’t forget to disconnect and just enjoy your surroundings. #nohashtag
18) I’m on Fiji Time
As they say… “No Hurry, No Worry, I’m on Fiji Time.”
So relax. Don’t pack your itinerary full of things to do. Just take it easy and go with the flow. Bula!
From Singapore to Fiji, With Love
Click to see airfare deals on Fiji Airways new direct flights from Singapore to Fiji.