Thursday, October 1, 2009

Malolo Island

This post contains some memorable photograph from a recent vacation to Malolo Island in the Mamanuca archipelagos, west of the Fijian main island of Viti Levu

Like most tourist we arrived in Fiji at Nadi International Airport.  From the airport we made our way to Port Denarau on the west coast of Viti Levu to board a SeaFiji speed boat to Malolo Island.

We arrived at the Malolo Island Resort (one of several resorts on the island) early in the evening.  We were surprised to be greeted by the resort staff on the jetty (pictured below).  The staff were singing a welcome song and presented us with decorative shell necklace.

We stayed in a cute little bungalow (or “bure”) located less than 30 meters from the crystal clear water.

The beach area consisted of a relatively narrow stretch of golden coarse grained sand.  The island’s coral reef was conveniently located less than 30 meters offshore, excellent for casual snorkeling.  Alternatively, one could relax in one of the resort provided deck chairs or hammocks.

Adjacent the resort’s dining area was this beautifully landscaped, but rarely used, split-level pool.

One afternoon as we were dining for lunch, this chap fell from the heavens onto our table.  We were just a tad freaked out.

A few fellow guests kayaking in calm waters of the early morning.

Enjoying a Piña colada in the resort’s bar and watching the sunset.

Every evening, shortly after sunset one of the resort’s staff performs a somewhat tacky but spectacular torch lighting ceremony.

View from the dinning area overlooking the pool and musicians playing Fijian and contemporary western music.

On the final night of our stay, the resort prepared traditional Fijian fare and invited a local group to perform.  The performance was concluded with a touching farewell to departing guests.

Due to the late arrival in Fiji we had to charter a speed boat to the island.  For the return trip to the main island we boarded the South Sea Cruises catamaran.

That concludes my brief review of our short but enjoyable stay in Fiji at the Malolo Island Resort.  The food was much better than I expected for an isolated resort and there were plenty of scheduled and unscheduled activities.  Many activities like kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and offshore snorkeling were free.  Lastly, I was very impressed with the kind and generous nature of the Fijian people.  Definitely worth a revisit!

Note: This post is not endorsed by the Malolo Island Resort.  There are probably dozens of comparable resorts all along the Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos.  Please consult with a travel review site (such as Trip Advisor) to find the best resort that fits your needs, financial or otherwise.  Happy Travels.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


These are some picture from my vacation to Vietnam in January of 2008.

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New Year’s Eve 2007 downtown Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon)

20080125a 032Xôi (or glutinous rice) vendor catering to New Year celebrants

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Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City

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A Huey helicopter parked on the roof of the Reunification Palace.

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Balloon vendor

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Roasting suckling pig.  Before…

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…and after.

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Durian vendor

20080125a 164Rượu thuốc (liquor with preserved scorpion and cobra)

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Goldfish vendor

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Fruit and produce market

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Sunset, Đà Nẵng

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Cham ruins in Mỹ Sơn

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Fertility monument in Mỹ Sơn

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Mỹ Sơn

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Mausoleum of Emperor Khải Định in Huế

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Musicians in Huế

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The car that transported Thích Quảng Đức shortly his self-immolation.

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School girl wearing traditional Áo dài

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Household goods merchant in open market

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Vĩ tuyến 17 (or The Seventeenth parallel)

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Entrance to Phong Nha cave

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Inside the Phong Nha cave

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View from our hotel in Đồng Hới

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Unusual “natural” formation inside Hang Sung Sot cave in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

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Phong Nha cave

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Phong Nha cave

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Hạ Long Bay

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Woman selling seafood in Hạ Long Bay

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Thien Cung Grotto in Hạ Long Bay

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Boats waiting for tourist at Hạ Long Bay

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Variety of Vietnamese tropical fruit (Rambutan, Pitaya, Papaya, Custard Apple and the infamous Durian)

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Xich Lo (or rickshaw) driver waiting for customers

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Nha Trang skyline at night

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View from our hotel in the 11th district of Southern Vietnam

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Yummy seafood noodle soup

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A young man selling lottery tickets

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Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica (or Nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn)