Crossing Fiji’s Viti Levu

Stepping off the plane at Nandi Airport in Fiji was like a homecoming; a ukulele band was plunking away in the distance, there were lavalavas and bright island prints, there was  ululating Pacific language and a warm breeze blew through the arrivals hall.

A roadside stall in Fiji
A roadside stall in Fiji

The two hour drive from Nandi to the Uprising Beach Resort took us from one side of Viti Levu to the other and then around the coral coast to the island’s southern side. We slowed for road works, police and military roadblocks, flooded fords, washed out bridges and lumbering trucks laden with long sticks of freshly harvested sugar cane.

The long ride was worth it for the close and slow insights into Fijian life. When we first set out in the late afternoon, the countryside was busy with workers cutting and ploughing, some with machines, but more than a few with bullocks, and the roads were blocked by trucks. We passed roadside stores with thatched rooves and groups of women with selling fruit and vegetables from baskets spread out on mats while their children played in the shade of the trees.

Then, as the sun began to sink, the roadsides were lined with workers filing home and kids running back from school. Later still, in the twilight, we passed villages where people sat in clusters under trees. We took an enforced detour through the town of Sigatoka, with street markets, crowded shops and crawling traffic.

At sunset we reached the coast and followed lines of palms, stands of dense bush, the high fences of luxury resorts and a long stretch of sea, to Pacific Harbour and the welcoming lights of the Uprising Beach Resort.

Siam Nirimit

Don’t miss Bangkok’s Siam Nirimit!

Demonstration of floral art at Siam Nirimit
Demonstration of floral art at Siam Nirimit

If you’re visiting Bangkok and you don’t have the days, the weeks, the months, the years or even the lifetime that it would take to explore Thailand’s rich culture, spend an evening at Bangkok’s Siam Nirimit.

Siam Nirimit shopping offers a wonderful range of souvenirs, from the ubiquitous elephants to rare, Thai silks.

The restaurant caters to all requirements, from Halal to vegetarian, while the Thai buffet covers all the popular dishes and introduces many to tempt the more discerning palates too.

In the model village, the visitor can walk through traditional rural Thai houses, see displays of traditional fishing gear, including boats and watch demonstrations of floral art and silk processing.

The highlight at Siam Nirimit, though, is the spectacular show which in three parts, showcases Thai history, culture and religion.

Part One,  A journey back in History, takes the audience back in time to life as it was in the beginning, in Thailand’s North, South Seas, North-East and Central Plains regions.

Part Two, A Journey Beyond Imagination, explores the three worlds, which according to common Thai belief, which await us all after death. In the Fiery Hall condemned souls are punished for their sins. In Mystical Himapaan  magical creatures and demi-gods reside. In Blissful heaven the god Indra reigns and angels dance

Part Three, A Journey Through Joyous Festivals, explores the festivals, like Songkran, Phitakhon and Loy Krathong, which combine religious observance with celebration.

Involving over 500 actors singers and dancers, thousands of stunning costumes and extraordinary props, sets and special effects including flowing water, growing rice and rain showers, this show is extraordinary and unforgettable.

To book, or to find more information on Siam Nirimit, visit

www.siamnirimit.com