I LIVE HERE …
Melbourne chef Lance Seeto swapped remote Australian resorts for a temporary assignment in Fiji in 2009. Now a regular TV and newspaper contributor in Fiji, he is a Fijian culinary ambassador, and oversees the luxury Malamala Beach Club, malamalabeachclub.com
It’s said Fiji is the way the world should be, and there are plenty of things to see and experience to teach you to be a better human being. A visit to a local family home or village for a meal will teach you about respect and protocol. Visiting a multi-generation Indian family on a farm to pick and cook fresh vegetables and then eat them with your bare hands will teach you humbleness. Bring some clothes, colouring books and school gear to a children’s orphanage and, in return, the kids will smother you in untainted love.
For gourmet foodies who want to shop and cook, the Flavours of Fiji cooking school operates tours of Nadi market and then returns to cook delicious Fijian curries, cured fish kokoda and fish in coconut milk. Otherwise, get dirty on a quad bike tour of Nadi’s popular sights with Go Dirty Tours, flavoursoffiji.com and godirtytoursfiji.com
Exotic and rare, coconut crabs feed mainly on fresh coconut on the outer islands. Pan World Chinese restaurant flies live crabs in weekly. They are best eaten steamed and make sure you ask for the external stomach to be steamed too, as this is where the very rich, coconut-oil tomalley is hidden: use it as a dipping sauce. This unforgettable experience will set you back a few hundred Fijian dollars, but it’s worth it for seafood lovers, facebook.com/panworldrestaurant/
It’s pretty hard to go past favourites such as Ed’s Bar and Ice Bar in Martintar, where the tunes are modern, drinks are priced for locals, security is stringent and there’s lots of eye candy for all tastes, facebook.com/EdsBarFijiIslands/, facebook.com/icebar.fj/ For a more luxurious island bar experience close to Nadi, book a day trip out to Malamala Beach Club for a Drunken Coconut cocktail or the floating pontoon bar, Cloud 9: my drink is an ice-cold, fresh young coconut, see cloud9.com.fj
Fiji is generally a very conservative country, so be respectful of how you dress in public as scantily dressed visitors may offend, especially in villages and public streets. So keep your body parts covered unless you are at a resort.