We were recently visited by our partners in Fiji, from the luxury eco lodge Matava. Located on the remote island of Kadavu, Matava offers privacy, comfort, incredible views, and a wide range of activities for guests. The hotel was designed to blend in with the natural environment of Kadavu and consists of traditional thatched Fijian bures set among the lush tropical rainforest surroundings. Matava Resort is ideal for those looking for a unique insight into the traditional practices and Fijian customs that still play a part in everyday life.
Accommodation and Meals
The traditional thatched Fijian bures have timber floors, louvre windows, timber four post beds, and private decks with superb ocean views. Oceanview bures are located across a stream and offer beautiful panoramas of the Great Astrolabe Reef and surrounding islands. The honeymoon bures are located on the hill behind Matava, ensuring complete privacy and stunning views from the full length windows. Solar power provides the lighting in all of the bures, and hot water is supplied to all the bures by an eco-friendly solar hot water system.
All packages include meals, which is comprised of breakfast, lunch, and a three course dinner. On the menu you'll find local delicacies, fresh produce, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Matava Resort has an extensive organic garden with fresh vegetables and fruits such as coconut, pineapple, guava, banana, mangos, eggplant, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Delicious lovo feasts, an authentic Fijian meal steamed in an oven pit over hot stones, are held once a week at Matava. The resort offers vegetarian options and can cater to those with special dietary requirements. Dining takes place on the balcony of the bure levu, one of Fiji’s largest traditional structures where guests can gather to enjoy meals such as papaya salad, mango chicken, coconut curries, and fresh fish.
When preparing for your next ecotourism vacation it’s good to consider the country’s cultural norms and social etiquette. This is important so we can maintain a good, positive and sustainable tourist-host relationship. As we have mentioned in our previous Know Before You Go blogs, a great way to do this is by taking just a little time before your travels to read up on your host country’s culture, social norms, and codes of conduct. A little effort goes a long way! Locals will recognize your efforts, because that shows them respect and tells them that you care to learn about their country and culture.
The cultural norms of Colombia are bits of info and social tips for visitors from all over the world that will help you further enjoy the vacation.
Language in Colombia
The official language is Spanish, spoken by around 43 million people. In addition there are approximately 500,000 speakers of different American Indian languages. Colombians are very polite and are proud to speak in proper Castilian (Spanish). Even though Spanish is spoken all over South America, each country has its own set of local Spanish slang terms.
“A LA ORDEN” : This is probably the single most heard and used phrase in Colombia. It literally means “at your order”. You will encounter numerous different situations where they use the phrase.
You can use it to substitute “thank you” (gracias)
Our mission is to inspire, empower and simplify independent travel to the world's most beautiful and important destinations. Our unique collection of hand-picked boutique hotels and eco lodges features locally owned sustainable properties from across the globe. We have highlighted a few of our favorites in the slideshow below.
We are excited to have a guest blog post from one of our travelers, Vaychan. Vaychan just returned from an amazing trip with her husband to Vietnam and Cambodia. Thanks Vaychan for sharing your travel experience with us!
When we were deciding on the countries for our next international trip, I figured it was time for me to make it to Asia. Other than work trips to the Philippines & Japan, Asia was an unexplored continent to me. It wouldn’t be that odd other than the fact that I’ve spent a great part of the last decade backpacking through other parts of the world and second, I was born in Thailand to Chinese parents. We left when I was three- many stories passed on and a few pictures but no memories. Probably, the biggest hesitation with going to Asia was that I prided myself in being a traveler who plans her own itinerary and finding her own way around. But with Asia, I knew I was going to need some help planning and executing, if we were going to spend more time doing things rather than being in transit to somewhere.
Two weeks, two countries - we picked Vietnam as our first country since my friend was born there (our husbands were game for whatever we decided on). For our second country, it was a toss up between Thailand and Cambodia, since China was too vast. My birth country or my parents’ birth country-Thailand seemed more fun with its beautiful beaches, but I was curious of how much of my upbringing was influenced by the Cambodian culture. My parents had been one of lucky ones who had escaped Cambodia to Thailand when Khmer Rouge took over in 1975 and made it to the States in 1979. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure I was ready to face that history since this was supposed to be a vacation, but curiosity won this one...
After an awesome week of hiking, kayaking, learning how to cook and sightseeing in Vietnam, we flew to Siem Reap, the city where Angkor Wat is located. Siem Reap has one of the quaintest airports in the world, with its slanted temple roofs visible from the tarmac.
Japan is ready to once again extend its famous hospitality to travelers! In the wake of the tragic March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Japan's tourism industry has seen a significant decline, though most of the country was not directly affected by the disaster. One direct way you can support Japan's economy and morale is by visiting the country.
US Lifts Japan Travel Warning
The U.S. and other governments are no longer advising against travel to Japan. The U.S. State Department published an updated Travel Alert for Japan on April 14, lifting the voluntary authorized departure status instituted on March 16. Experts from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, and scientists on the ground in Japan assessed the situation and concluded that the health and safety risks to those in areas outside of the 50-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are very low and don’t pose a significant risk. Read more about the Japan updated travel alert in our recent blog.