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Harry & Meghan Are Visiting Tonga – Here’s 8 Things About The Country And Why You Should Visit


I didn’t think I’d get to watch the royal wedding but somehow I managed to watch the highlights in a Nepalese bar in Hong Kong, the country I’m currently living in.
 
Harry looked nervous, didn’t he? Meghan on the other hand knows how to handle (and love) the attention. All in all it was a great thing for the UK and everything went smoothly.
 
As Will & Kate, Charles & Diana – newlywed royals tend to take a trip or two now and again, especially visiting countries in the commonwealth. I noticed how they are planning visits to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and TONGA – and this surprised me.
 
I visited Tonga last year and had a fantastic time. Tonga is a little unknown to many people in the world, so I thought I’d keep you in the know and also throw in some travel stuff too.

A Natural Paradise

To paint a picture in your head, Tonga is an island nation, home to stunning beaches, lush jungles, bright-blue waters, exotic wildlife and one of the most laidback cultures on the planet. If you really want to get away and all you want is serenity, you can definitely find it in Tonga.
  Small village in Tonga

Tonga Has Never Been Colonized

Although Tonga was under British protection from the turn of the 20th century until 1970, Tonga has never given up its power to a foreign state. Technically, this mean Tonga has never been colonized, unlike other South Pacific nations that have been under the British rule.

Part of the South Pacific

Around 2 hours flight from Auckland, New Zealand, Tonga is part of Oceania and one of the South Pacific Islands. To travel from the UK it would take around 24 hours of flight time – not including the stopovers required. It’s pretty far away!

13 Hours Ahead Of The UK

If you were to fly any further East from Tonga, the timezone would go back to a zone before GMT Greenwich.
 
Basically, you can’t get much further away from the UK when you visit Tonga; it’s literally at the other side of the world for us.

Famous for Whale Watching

A little island called Eua is home to a small community of Tongans but during Whale Season the island attracts tourists. These aren’t your everyday take a photo and leave tourists, but more ocean enthusiasts or intrepid travellers. It’s here, through only a couple of resorts you can go out to sea and spot Humpback Whales. The National Geographic have visited here, as well as many other most notable travel organisations. This is the thing to do in Tonga!
Humpback whale in Tonga

Nuka’lofa Airport Is An Event In Itself

For any major airline flying into Nuka’lofa airport, say Air New Zealand’s 777-200, locals see this as entertainment. Whether it’s returning Tongans or just the sheer size of aircrafts parking into little old Tonga, there tends to be quite a greeting for all those who arrive.
 
Think about the cheers when Harry & Meghan arrive!

The World’s 2nd Shortest Flight

Flying from Eua Island back to the mainland city of Nuka’lofa there are two options. You can take a steel passenger boat that takes a couple of hours or you can embark on what is believed to be the world’s 2nd shortest flight.
 
Around 7.5 minutes is the journey time flying with REAL Tonga airlines 8 seater aircraft at an altitude of only 1,200ft. If you like flying or aviation this is a cool experience to have.

Tongans Love Corned Beef

There are not many other nations who are fans of corned beef yet in Tonga they use it as a major ingredient in their cuisine. Lu Pulu, which is taro leaves and stuffed corned beef, is a popular dish here in Tonga and from experience it was delicious!

This article was posted on 12-07-2018