ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

7 Tips For Travel in Fiji

Updated on January 17, 2016

Have you ever felt culturally out of your depth in a foreign country?

See results

It's important to know a little bit about the cultural and social norms of any country that you plan to visit. When on holiday in a foreign country, by the very nature of the experience you are likely to encounter situations that are new to you. Doing a little research and preparing beforehand can make a world of difference to how positive an experience you have.

Fiji is a beautiful and friendly tropical destination, but like anywhere else it has its share of dangers and unusual cultural practices that you need to be up to speed with if you want have an incident-free trip.

Dress Appropriately

Fijian society is still quite conservative and dressing appropriately is a must. In Fiji dress is closely related to ideas of respectability so following these guidelines is important so as to avoid giving offense, coming across as immodest, or attracting negative attention. When travelling around Fiji, wearing loose shorts and a top is fine for men and women.

However, there are some places where this is unacceptable. If you are invited to a church service, men will be expected to wear either long pants or the traditional formal sarong made from suit material. This is known as a 'sulu'. Women on the other hand will need to wear a skirt or dress that comes at least down to the knees.

Women from Naviyago Village in Fiji - Women tend to wear long dresses and sarongs
Women from Naviyago Village in Fiji - Women tend to wear long dresses and sarongs | Source

Another place where dressing is important is in Fijian villages. While men may wear shorts, women absolutely must not. They must wear either a skirt, dress or sarong that comes down to the knees. The best way to satisfy this dress requirement is for women travelers to always carry a sarong in their bags where ever they go. They are light and useful for many things and can ensure you are properly dressed if your itinerary suddenly changes. Men must also be sure not to go topless in villages.

In resorts the dress code is much freer and bikinis and revealing resort wear is the go. However, outside of resorts it is best to dress more conservatively. Stick to outfits that come down to the knees and don't reveal much of your body, especially bust and midriff.

You will be viewed far more favourably by the local people if you follow their lead when it comes to clothing and maintain a 'casual-modest' dress code.

Respect The Traditional Drink

As the traditional drink of Fiji kava is intricately interwoven into the historical and modern day culture of these islands. It is important as a visitor to be respectful of the kava drinking traditions, in particular during the rituals and the formal kava drinking ceremonies. if you take part in one of these ceremonies - which you likely will - it is important to drink the beverage that will be offered to you in a small bowl.

Any refusal, or shows of displeasure after drinking it can be regarded as disrespectful. It is true that the kava drink - known locally as 'yaqona' - is an acquired taste, but having a serving of kava as part of the ceremony is important so you don't offense to your host.

if offered kava, it is a good idea to accept it graciously
if offered kava, it is a good idea to accept it graciously | Source

Don't Enter Villages without a Guide

Fijian villages are located throughout Fiji and although they may only look like groups of houses, they are often designated villages. In the Fijian culture, it is offensive for a stranger to enter a village and wander within it's boundaries. If you want to visit a village you need to be invited in by someone or formally be introduced to the village in a formal ceremony. If you don't know if an area is a village or not, it is best to ask someone who is familiar with the area.

Don't Reveal Your Name

Well, let me explain. A bane of some of the larger towns in Fiji are the dreaded 'sword sellers'. They seem to be able to sniff out tourists from a mile off and they take advantage of their trusting attitude - and the fact that they are caught off guard.

They will approach you on the street and begin polite and interested conversation, sharing a little something about their family, perhaps, and asking about yours. They usually ask your name after offering their name and once you have politely reciprocated they will reveal some cheap handicraft they have on their person. In a moment they will carve your name upon it, and then pressure you into buying this 'personalised gift' they have made, for a ridiculously high price.

The heart of Suva city is an interesting walk - if you know how to side-step the sword sellers
The heart of Suva city is an interesting walk - if you know how to side-step the sword sellers | Source

The best advice is not to give out your name too easily when approached in the street. You don't want to brush off every local that speaks to you because some are genuine. Generally engage in conversation if you like, but if you have any suspicion that the person is too friendly or overly inquisitive, cut the conversation short. If they persist, simply make your way into the closest large store like a bank or supermarket. Usually they will leave you alone as the local shop owners don't allow them to ply their trade within their stores as it annoys shoppers.

Remember, unless you have made an arrangement with the person, you are under no pressure to buy anything from these sellers.

Moon Fiji
Moon Fiji

This guide has received rave reviews on Amazon for it's practical and informative approach to revealing the islands of Fiji to visitors. A well-laid out travelers aid with lots of valuable advice.


Avoid Nudity

Nudity in public is not acceptable in Fiji. There are no designated nude beaches and topless sunbathing for women is also not permitted. Even at resorts in Fiji there is no precedent for this, although at some secluded exclusive island resorts you may find that you have privacy enough. However you will need to exercise caution - discretion is key. To be on the safe side, it is best to check with the hotel where you are staying.

Drink Bottled Water

While many people find that they can drink the tap water in the major towns in Fiji, if you are travelling into the interior or to the outer islands you need to use bottled water. It can get confusing, so it is a good idea to simply use bottled water throughout your trip. if you have cooking facilities at your accommodation you can also rely on cooled boiled water.

Opt for bottled water
Opt for bottled water | Source

Beware of Pubs and Clubs

Most pubs in Fiji are not suitable for tourists and are rarely visited by locals as many of them are rough spots. This doesn't give much option for having a drink during the day. However, some restaurants do have alcohol that you can order with your meal. Some night clubs, which are more upmarket locations, are safe to visit - however, always exercise caution and it is better to go with someone, rather than alone, especially for women.

The best place to drink is within your own hotel or at other hotels in the vicinity. It is commonplace for people to go to resorts in Fiji just to visit the bar or restaurant. Note that you will not be able to use the other resort facilities while you are there though.

A Few More Things To Keep in Mind

Lonely Planet Fiji (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Fiji (Travel Guide)

One of the most popular publications for finding your way around the world!


Fiji is overall a friendly and safe holiday destination. Follow the above tips and you will be well on your way to having an enjoyable and incident-free time in Fiji.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Rota profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Hi Katie Wirth, your very welcome. Travelling is so much more rewarding when you can fit in with the expectations of the local culture. Enjoy :-)

    • Katie Wirth profile image

      Katie Wirth 

      4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      Thank you for this hub! It was very informative. I had no idea that the dress culture in Fiji was conservative!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)