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About French Polynesia
The capital of French Polynesia is Papeete and is located on Tahiti. The best time for a visit to French Polynesia is between June and August,during this period the climate is usually at its driest.
Normally the climate of French Polynesia is usually a warm, tropical climate all year round, and because it is located around the southern hemisphere summer days lasts from November - February coinciding with the tropical rain season from December - February, the winter is usually from April - September, and it experiences a lot of rainfall during the rain season and even experiences typhoons.
French Polynesia is home to the rich, expressive culture that was inherited from their ancestors the ma'ohi.
Their religion is based on a philosophy known as aita pea pea, which means to relax, live freely and not to worry.
Catholicism was introduced in 1797 when the London Missionary School sent evangelical Protestants to visit the country, and is presently the main religion practised in French Polynesia.
French polynesia traditional meals are a variety of wonderful and tasty treats basic food and also some exotic meals, they offer an array of fresh seafood like tuna, mahimahi, grouper, and some exotic deep sea meals like the sea urchins, barracuda, octopus and also parrotfish, also there national dish called Poisson Cru in French and ia ota in Tahitian. They also enjoy a lot of fruits like pineapple, coconuts, banana, vanilla, breadfruit, yams, and taro.
There are 9 languages spoken in French Polynesia but the predominant languages are French and Tahitian.
For a tourist finding your way around French polynesia is usually easy, there are about 46 Airports in French polynesia making air transportation good means of getting around the country, moving by road is more cheaper than air transport and also offers a wonderful view at the beautiful scenery of the country from Papeete its capital which is located in Tahiti to the west reaching Moorea, ferries are available with snack bars and TV lounges, or you can rent a car to take you around; driving is on the right side, sea travels to other Islands are available and Cruise ship travels for transportation by water; there are also public transportation which is also a really cheap way to get around. It is relatively safe to visit French Polynesia but there are some risk factors to be observed when visiting, exploring or swimming around the beautiful beaches, and also the climatic factors that may occur as heavy tropical storms.
A lot of festivals and events are known to take place in French Polynesia, including; The chinese New Year which is usually celebrated by the chinese population in mid-February in the city capital Papeete; FIFO Tahiti which is the Tahiti Pacific International Documentary Film Festival, it lasts for 6 February days every year at Papeete's Te Fare Tauhiti Nui cultural center; The Billabong Pro held very April and May, it is a surfing competition held by the Tahiti Iti community of Teahupoo; The Tahiti international tourism day held every September and entails traditional sporting events, food tasting, craft and arts demonstration among others; and also the Tahiti Carnival are examples of events that occur in the country. When in French Polynesia the most popular and advised place to stay is the capital city of Papeete that resides within the biggest Island in the country (Tahiti).
The French Polynesia has attracted a lot of tourists and visitors over the years since its discovery, here are some of the top destinations to visit when in French Polynesia:
- Bora Bora - The home to the over-the-water bungalow resorts, the Bora Bora is one of the most respected and recognised island of French Polynesia and is often known as the pearl of the Pacific Ocean, Bora Bora is known for its beautiful landscapes, its shimmering blue lagoon, Fancy seafood restaurants, sightings of military bunkers from the WWII, and also its excellent art galleries.
- Marquesas Island - This is a distinct group of Islands, to the north is the big island Nuku Hiva, the sugarloaf mountains of Ua Pou, and Ua Huka the Island of horses.
- Moorea - The biggest attractions in Morea are the beaches with some as glimmering white sand and some with volcanic dark deep black sand, and also offers beautiful landscapes and scenery from the top of the shark-toothed Mount Rotui and towering Mount Tohivea to the laid-back atmosphere, glorious beaches, and coral seas rich with underwater life.
- Tahiti - This is the biggest Island in French Polynesia and is also houses the capital Papeete. It is usually known to be the place of transition and the doorway into French Polynesia, You’ll find markets selling everything from fruit and vegetables pearls and necklaces. Tahiti is also known for its fabulous bars and restaurants, also within Tahiti entails an arcadia of waterfalls, fern gullies, deep valleys, grottos, mountains and wild, untrammelled jungle.
- Huahine - This is actually split into two ISlands by a narrow channel and linked by a bridge. It is perhaps one of the most speculated amongst the Society Islands. Traditionally known to be the rebel Island with the famously fierce warriors that had living there, and it offers a unique chance to discover a remote, untouched region of Excellence and beauty.
There are over 500 hotels and accommodations in French Polynesia. French Polynesia is divided into five part including; the Society Islands archipelago, composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands ; the Tuamotu Archipelago ; the Gambier Islands ; the Marquesas Islands ; and the Austral Islands. French Polynesia has no poisonous insects or snake, and is the known origin of recent tattoo art and beautification.
French Polynesia key facts
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How do I travel out of French Polynesia?Get Visa from French Polynesia
For French Polynesians looking to travel out of the country. You can check out the list of destinations, how to Get Visa to those countries, Embassies in French Polynesia and Visa Free Countries for French Polynesian passport holders
Common Questions Travellers Ask About French Polynesia
Do I Need a Passport or Visa?
There are no visa requirements for citizens of the U.S. or Canada carrying a U.S. or Canadian Passport for stays of up to 90 days.
Is there internet access?
Yes, internet connection is readily available in French Polynesia, but it is important to be reminded that you are on an Island so reception may not be at its best.
Do I Bargain When Shopping?
Bargaining on prices in Tahiti markets are not normal and are seen as acting rude.
Can I Rent a Car?
You would find that rentable cars are available at most airports for drivers of 21 years and above with a valid driver's license. But due to the uniqueness and circles of the road it may be unnecessary.
Is it safe to travel to French Polynesia?
Tahiti and French Polynesia pose no major health problem for most travelers, although it's a good idea to have your tetanus, hepatitis-A, and hepatitis-B vaccinations up-to-date. If you have a chronic condition, you should consult your doctor before visiting the islands.