07 January 2008

Tropical island paradise for you

Have you ever imagined staying on a tropical island? Well, it is cheaper than you may think. In the tiny south Pacific island nation of Tonga lies a small island called Pangaimotu (pronounced: pong-eye-mow-to). The island has no residents other than the owners and their family/staff. There are five thatched beach houses (fales) for rent. Four are doubles, and the fifth a dorm. Prices for an entire fale are only T$85 per night (C$43), and dinners from local ingredients and fresh seafood cost about T$24 each. The island is less than 2km from Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, and a ferry runs for your convenience throughout the day. But with your own island to explore and reefs to swim and snorkel, why leave? The real beauty of Tonga is the lack of tourists. Tonga remains relatively untouched by tourists, and there are no western chain restaurants or hotels. The kingdom is directly north of Auckland, NZ, and easily accessible by air. I am still seriously considering buying an island in Tonga!