South Pacific Crash Course
With more than ten thousand islands ranging from tiny coral atolls and islets to New Guinea, the size of Texas, and mountains reaching nearly three miles high, the South Pacific, also known as Oceania, offers a variety of get-away paradises. To receive the most out of your South Pacific vacation, we have included a brief description of both the physical South Pacific; how the islands and archipeligos were formed, it's seas and weather; its mythology, as well as the history of the South Pacific. Because much of the South Pacific history overlaps Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii, they are included, however for vacation purposes, we will concentrate in the latter part of this website on three main areas; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.
For the Hawaiian Islands and their qualified hotels, click on Hawaiian Islands
The physical South Pacific
Underlying the South Pacific Ocean are three vast tectonic plates of rock, perhaps sixty miles deep floating on magma. Through the forces of continental drift, they push, pull and grind each other forming mountainous ridges, deep trenches, volcanos, earthquakes, and where the magma is squeezed up along fault lines, archipelagoes are being created. The process is still ongoing.
Another rock forming element that shaped the tropical South Pacific is coral, a hard calcareous substance made of skeletons of marine animals and plants that attach themselves to the rocks or dead predecessors, building various shaped structures. Requiring warm, clear, sunlit waters, as the sea levels rise and fall in relation to the coral shorelines, and landforms are shifted around by tectonic action, dead coral reefs can be found today as much as four thousand feet both above and below present sea level.
In the South Pacific a giant counter-clockwise flowing ocean current brings warm water westward from South America paralleling the equator and reaching as far as Australia before the majority is deflected south around New Zealand. It then heads eastward cooling at the more southern latitude and the cycle starts over. This current has influenced the islands in two ways. First, certain ocean-borne plants and animals have spread from one island to the next following the currents, and second, the currents helped or inhibited boat travel, and thus the systematic spread of humans, with their crops and animals, and ways of life throughout the islands.
Temperatures in the South Pacific islands remain surprisingly moderate inspite of the close proximity of the equator, as they are influenced by the cooling effect of winds swooping over the ocean. Unavoidable typhoons (hurricanes) of high winds and torrential rains occur throughout much of the tropical Pacific, and have at times wiped out whole island populations. The closer to the equator, the more rain that falls year-round, upwards of two to four meters per year.
The discussions of mythology on this website and links are mainly derived from the extensive works borrowed from Jane Resture who spent a lifetime learning and analysing the material. Jane is a predominant decendant of a French trader in the South Pacific in the mid-1800s. She hopes that her work stimulates the interest in an area of Oceania that is in danger of being lost completely.
Oceania is full of myths that developed over the millenia, often starting from a single source, but moving to separate islands and evolving independently.
The World of the Gods
We'll use Polynesians to refer to all of the first settlers in the South Pacific. They were very religious in their outlook, and it affected their daily lives a tremendous amount. Being so isolated allowed these myths and beliefs to grow unhindered from outside influences. Amazing explanations for the existence and meaning of everything were produced within the imagination of great story tellers, stories that would be told in complete seriousness, to become realities to those listening, then passed down to their offspring.
Their world began existing from total Nothingness, total darkness, which slowly started to shift and transform into different types of nothingness, then into the night, then light slowly filled the sky, and there was day, and space they called the Cloudless Heavens. Cloudless Heavens had a child that floated around in space in an egg, until after eons, it moved and broke the shell, emerging as Tangaroa, the supreme god. He found himself alone, and used the broken shell to create the world, then the lesser gods, and finally men and women.
The Sky God and Earth Goddess were in love and always together, to the point where normal people bumped their heads on the Sky, and it was hot and uncomfortable and nothing could grow very well. The younger gods decided to make more room and pushed Sky God upwards. So when you hear thunder, it is really Sky God complaining he lost his love, and when it rains, it is his tears of sorrow.
Gods all lived on Pulotu or Hawaiki, mysterious islands in the west, but some were said to live in the sky, and others under the islands. In Hawaii, they lived in the great volcano, Kirauea, and when you heard the noise and saw splashing of lava, it was the gods surfing and dancing.
The gods varied in ranks, the Atua type being the supreme gods involved in creation. Tupua were actually people who were transformed into gods at death. But the gods that were the most important were the gods designated for every day life, gods of fertility, the god of canoe making, the god of fishing, the god of carpentry, etc. and often there were more than one god for each category. Individual families often had their own god, gods of certain districts, gods of mischief, even ghost gods at the bottom of the heirarchy.
The gods were worshipped in pyramid temples with a wooden image of the god on top, on scenic pieces of land or deep in the woods, often used as meeting places. Small huts around it housed sacred equipment and images of the god, and one hut had the sacred canoe built by the king himself for the god to travel with.
Priests handled public ceremonies, and needed to chant long prayers perfectly. They used a few devices to help remember, notched wooden rods and sticks put down after each chant. On Easter Island they discovered slabs of wood carved with rows of signs, possibly used by chanters when they held them in their hands and read the next chant. Investigations concluded that these were actual writing of myths, each picture was a word.
Some priests had the god enter their body, and the priest would roll around screaming and shreiking, and trembling on the ground, answering questions from people as if they were talking to the god himself. It would last about half an hour, then the priest would fall asleep exhausted. Priests were also required to answer the meaning of dreams, and other natural wonders.
The gods required sacrifices, be it a pig, or turtle or fish, being consumed by all in a big feast. Often people were sacrificed, or whole families when an important event occurred, like the launching of a new canoe, or a great chief falls ill, or his daughter has her ear pierced. Some islands were more humane and faked sacrifices for the gods (who weren't always that intelligent).
Gods like Tangaroa were too powerful to be bothered with the daily events of man. But others gods were always nearby, and got angry when displeased, taking revenge.
There is a story of two fishermen who were in sacred waters, and accidentally pulled up Rua-Latu, the God of the Sea. Disturbed from his sleep, he flooded out the fishermen's villages, and all but a few who took refuge, died.
But the punishment went two ways, and if a person did his duties and sacrificed for a certain god, and was not rewarded, the god would be despised, and abandoned.
Before every fishing trip or planting, gods were routinely worshipped with prayers and offerings, for if fish were not caught, nor vegetables did not grow, surely they would not survive.
Superstitutions were also an integral part of living, the colour of your fish hook, or saying a chant when placing seeds in the ground. Black magic was used as magicians, both men and women, who could cast spells on someone, needing only a piece of hair, or a fingernail clipping, or something that they touched. Soon the spirit would work his magic and the victim would be dead in a few days.
Some magicians were also detectives, trying to find out who a thief weas, but the thief too, had his god to counteract. Everyone believed in the gods, and the gods themselves were very human in character, they argued, and faught, and had weaknesses, fell in love, were generous and even vindictive. The god could be as right or wrong as his people subjects.
The gods being in different classes, made it easier for people to understand classes of themselves, noblemen and commoners.
The Hawaiians awaited the day the god Lono would arrive, and in 1778, Captain Cook arrived on an 'island' and was welcomed as a god, was worshipped and fed, made sacrifices for and they sang him hymns. Perhaps he wanted to be treated as a god, so he could get his way later on. But when one of his crew died, doubts were cast. Cook took the king hostage, and as a struggle went on, a chief grasped Cook, who winced with pain. Seeing Cook was, in fact, mortal, the chief stabbed him to death. However, not all the islanders were convinced Cook was mortal, and several kept asking when Lono will come back.
For more detailed info on Oceania mythology, click on Jane Resture's excellent website.
Before contact with Western civilization, there was an estimated population in the South Pacific of 3.25 million persons whose ancestors started migrating from Southeast Asia between forty and fifty thousand years ago. The most recent Ice Age lowered sea levels, as ice piled up at the poles, making land bridges between the more western islands. For example, Australia was at times connected to New Guinea. As the Ice Age ended ten thousand years ago, sea levels rose and cultures diverged.
Sundanoids, with dark skin and curly or frizzy hair, were the earliest people to inhabit the South Pacific islands, descendents of earlier streams of New Guinea settlers that worked their way to the Bismarck and Solomon Islands, existing on subsistence hunting and gathering. Around nine thousand years ago, horticultural techniques spread to them from Asia, so that food growing of pigs, chickens, dogs and plants replaced their traditional survival mode.
Around five thousand years ago, Austronesians of Mongoloid ethnicity from Japan, China, Formosa and the Philippines, with lighter skin and straight black hair entered the South Pacific arena. They came by two separate routes. One was to the north ending in the Marianas and Yap Islands, the Carolinas, Marshall and Gilbert Islands. This region today is called Micronesia, Greek for 'Small islands',
The other route went south mixing cultures, languages and genes with the Sundanoids. From here, some Austronesians dared the unknown and ventured further east in progesssively larger and more stable outrigger canoes and floating vessels. Without a doubt, several were lost however enough survived that they started to occupy Fiji around 1500 BC. This whole region today is called Melanesia, Greek for 'Black islands' (probably because of the skin colour) and extends from New Guinea, including New Caledonia, the Solomons and east to Fiji.
Then over the next two thousand years, starting in Fiji, they explored and settled a vast triangular region of the eastern South Pacific from the Marianas to Easter Island and Hawaii, and in the late stages, New Zealand far to the south. This whole region is now called Polynesia, from Greek meaning 'Many islands'.
Considering the largest Viking boats carried no more than 200 persons, and could only go on non-stop voyages for up to 500 miles, at the height of development for the Polynesians, their double-hulled boats carried 500 - 600 persons, and could travel non-stop distances of nearly 2000 miles. They used their smaller boats to fish, visit other parts of the island, to trade with other islands or even to wage war. Reasons for the long voyages could have been for conquest, escaping from enemies, starvation, just being adventurous, or certainly in many cases, just getting lost.
Their ability to navigate over huge expanses of ocean has amazed scholars for generations. They used directional markers such as wind and wind-generated waves, sea swells of known shape, currents of known speed, plus the sun and especially the stars. This must be judged to be one of the highest intellectual achievements of mankind, far ahead of their European counterparts who explored the world hugging the shores of Europe and Africa into the middle of the last millenium.
The Spanish and Portugese arrived from opposite ends of the earth, the Spanish from the east, the Portugese from the west, in the sixteenth century mainly in search of Terra Australis Incognita, the great Unknown Southern Continent but also to search out and control the spice trade. Their reception from the natives often resulted in several being slaughtered on both sides.
The Dutch arrived in the seventeenth century on a completely different mission. Where the Spaniards and Portugese were visionaries seeking new lands and souls for king and Church, the Dutch were businessmen searching for new trade routes, resources and markets, and the government sponsored Dutch East India Company took the lead in searching out spices and gold.
In the eighteenth century, the English and French made their mark in the South Pacific. Much of the work was done in academies in Europe, pouring over scantily informative maps that slowly were pieced together. While some still insisted there was a great southern continent to balance the northern hemisphere, or the world would wobble, others were intent on finding a northwest passage to the Orient. So much debate was fed on ignorance that Jonathan Swift was not challenged when he located his Lilliput and Brobdingnag there.
In the fifteen and sixteen hundreds, much of the British exploration was tangentially done by buccaneers such as Sir Francis Drake who concluded the real loot was from Spanish ships and settlements, rather than the theoretical southern continent. By 1780, several explorers underwent tremendous feats of endurance culminating in James Cook's massive and well documented explorations leaving little to be discovered thereafter.
Whalers and traders
By the end of the eighteenth century, the Pacific Islands were pawns in the great chess games of international rivalries; the main moves were made in Europe and America and, to a lesser degree, in Australia and New Zealand.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain blockaded France from entering the South Pacific from the Falklands, India and the Cape of Good Hope. The War of 1812 unwittingly drove American whalers from the Atlantic to the Pacific. However, Britain did not exploit her opportunities in the region and only expanded her empire at Botany Bay, Australia as a penal settlement. In 1840, Britain reluctantly agreed to establish sovereignty over New Zealand by the colonists not wanting France to annex them.
After her humiliating defeat at Waterloo, France sought to bring about a revival as an enlightened nation through scientific expeditions and Catholicizing the heathen, especially where the Protestants were gaining a foothold.At the same time, Spain was preoccupied with its American affairs, Holland concentrated its economic activities around Java, Germany was broken into several states and had no unified policy towards the South Pacific. However, private enterprises such as the Hanseatic League expanded their waterborne trade to the South Pacific.
New Zealand started the first whale oil rendering business in the South Pacific, and was therefore often visited by whalers. The Americans dominated whaling throughout the South Pacific. When the whalers put ashore during the off-season to replentish supplies, health and moral, they usually headed for Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and the Marquesas because of the beauty and hospitality of the women. Imagine a thousand salts on shore leave after months to poor rations, hard discipline, back-breaking work and tedium, without women and rum. The science of genetics cannot even attempt to appraise its more lasting consequences.
The Americans pursued their 'Manifest Destiny' by religating the Russians north to trade furs, the British were pushed back to Vancouver Island, and Spain was cleared out of California during the Mexican War. San Francisco became the home base for their opulent trade with Canton, China resulting in competition for the whalers as financiers realized bigger profits in a triangular trade exchanging calico, mouth organs, trinkets, glass beads, dogs, knives, muskets, and rum to the Islanders for sweet-smelling sandalwood, furs from the north Pacific, trepang (as sea slug used in gourmet Chinese soups), pearls and pearl shell, tortoise shell, and oil from arrowroot. In China in exchange they picked up silks, teas and porcelains popular in London, Paris and New York, making a handsome profit at each turn. But the one-sidedness of trade gave in as competition took over, and some chiefs demanded fully rigged ships in exchange for the diminishing supplies of sandalwood.
The Maori of New Zealand preserved human heads in a painstaking smoking and drying process, and valued even more if the deceased face was finely tatooed. Western visitors paid high prices for these specimens, thereby increasing the practice. It was rumoured that some Maori chiefs would permit specially favoured Western visitors to pick out heads from among the living, and these would be ready, tatooed and cured, for the customer upon their return.
Armchair financiers were not always well rewarded, as many ships returned with little or no profit, some ended in total loss due for example to shipwreck, hostile natives, or market vagaries. Crews that survived these voyages also tended to receive small compensation for hard and hazardous employment.
Beachcombers, Westerners who landed and stayed on the islands came in all varieties. Some escaped from the penal colonies, others were shipwrecked, others escaped the servitude of harsh sea life, or were left after mutanies, still others chose to remain in the islands, seeking their fortunes and exotic women. Some hapless beachcombers were killed and sometimes eaten by hostile natives, others established themselves in the business community, often reaching levels of political influence with the local chief. Many became the bane of missionaries undermining their teachings, others formed mixed-blood dynasties that took control of everything.
The missionaries came in all forms, however the Protestants had the jump on the Catholics. In 1797, the British ship Duff arrived at Tahiti carrying a band of evangelists and craftsmen. After thirty years, and catering to the upper echilon, they made a success of converting the locals to Christianity, then branched out to the Leeward, Cook and Solomon Islands. One leader, John Williams, got as far as the New Hebrides, where he promptly acquired martyrdom.
With little financial help from home, many Protestant missionaries were forced to etch their own living as farmers and traders. Some gained substantial political power, and went as far as to consider all other Westerners inimical to their status. For fifty years the Protestants ruled the South Pacific, all with the common goal of converting everyone to be Protestant and "civilized". Immorality such as polygamy, infanticide, sexual promiscuity, nakedness and dancing were discouraged. The Westerners also perceived laziness and hedonism among the Islanders. Thus to save their souls, it was also necessary to instill a proper work ethic.
The French arrived in the early nineteenth century with the financial backing of the French government, in an attempt to restore the credibility of France. They were unsuccessful in Hawaii as the Protestants had laid an unbreakable foundation warning the locals of the perils of popery. But in Tahiti they invaded in 1836, and seized the control of the government, with French government backing, establishing a protectorate of Catholicism in southeast Polynesia. They skipped there way westward across the South Pacific, successful on a few islands, not so on most.
The rivalry between the Protestants and Catholics during that era continued for more than a century, ending on Bougainville Island where native converts were burning down each other's chapels as late as 1930. The British aim was to encourage the independence of South Pacific Islands, particularly from other powers, and in general they succeeded.
The United States, with no navy to spare, restricted their concerns basically to Hawaii consolidating their spiritual, commercial and political interests. One exception was the US governments sponsorship of Charles Wilkes, which among other accomplishments reached the shores of Antarctica, proving the existence of a huge Terra Australis, but one sharply and disappointingly different from what they had envisioned.
New KingdomsMost island societies were small, separate, community-sized political entities, far different and less manageable from afar, so certain amicable chiefs were encouraged and assisted to become "kings", often religated into a position far beyond their potential and experience to control. As a result, the colonizing country would be asked to assist, and thus strengthened its stronghold over that particular island or archipeligo.
By mid-nineteenth century, the era of missionary "kingdoms' and warship diplomacy was nearly over, and a new era of pervasive colonialism was taking root. The haphazard plunder of whalers and traders was replaced by a more systematic exploitation in the forms of planters, resident merchants and labour recruiters.
From 1850 to 1914, perhaps the greatest influence in the South Pacific came from Australia and New Zealand, where thousands of adventurers, missionaries, traders and planters, all under British authority spread out across the South Pacific. Steam navigation led to strategically located coal stations. The interest in completing the Panama Canal swayed investment, and the laying of telegraph cables across the Pacific necessitated the establishment of cable stations on route.
Whaling peaked mid-century with petroleum from Pennsylvania replacing the supply, while the copra industry, dried meat from coconuts, a source of oil for soaps, margarine and nitroglycerine expanded to affect the lives of more islanders than all other island products put together, including cotton, guano, phosphate mining, coffee, cocoa, sugarcane, citrus fruits and bananas.
To the labour intensive agricultural enterprizes, using local and Asian labour was essential. In eastern Polynesia, where the plantations first began, the concensus among colonists was that the natives were lazy and impossible to condition to relentless organized work producing things they couldn't comprehend, let alone use. Their subsistence technologies satisfied all their needs, other than those introduced by colonists. The other concensus was that "white men do no manual labour in the tropics".
By 1847, Australia ceased to be a penal colony, and could no longer count on convict labour for herding and plantation work. They turned to 'blackbirding' (ie. most of the iniquitous forms of labour recruiting) throughout the islands for cheap labour and compounded the problem of labour shortages for the plantations in the islands. A sort of indentured slave trade ensued. The illiterate Islanders were coerced into signing long-term contracts with the verbal promises of returning one day with the wealth and knowledge of the Western world, and the ensuing power for them within their community that it would produce. Some Islanders insisted in being paid by firearms and ammunition, easing their ability to kill other Islanders.
While recruiters were handsomely rewarded, conditions of plantation life in a foreign land for the Islanders was dependent upon their the type of 'masters' they had. Statistically, things were generally reasonable, but some Islanders were completely taken advantage of, abandoning their work but unable to afford the return trip to their island homes.
By 1904, the situation was so bad with 60,819 Islanders in Queensland, that the rest of Australia opposed the practice, and forced Queensland to abolish the trade in human cargo. Though seeming benevolent, part of this was inspired by their desire for an all-white Australia.
France also made a few inroads and expanded from eastern Polynesia to New Caledonia, causing fears in Australia. The US concentrated their efforts in Hawaii, and to a much lesser extent, eastern Samoa.
During this period, German planters imported labourers from Micronesia and Melanesia for their Samoan enterprises, and the French went outside their own island dependencies to recruit. Even the Hawaiian kingdom imported a few Gilbertese to work their sugar plantations. Germany started to control much of the South Pacific commercial enterprises and trade with their fast steamers, and hands-off religious endevours. They tried to annex as much as they could, as Britain was preoccupied in other parts of the world. Australia and New Zealand urged and encouraged Britain to halt the German expansion plans but little was done. However during World War One, all of the German gains in the South Pacific were taken away by the Allies, and Japan acquired the Marianas, the Carolines and the Marshalls.
All the while, the Islanders throughout the South Pacific were being drawn into the Western world of consumption, using credit and debit techniques, and gradually losing much of their valuable lands over time. With so much foreign supervision over their internal and external affairs (except in Tonga) even the symbols of their traditional governments were no longer preserved. They did acquire salvation for their souls, calico for their loins, and canned salmon for their bellies, along with diversions such as cricket, soccer and baseball, but they were forced to labour in unfamiliar jobs to support their newly acquired appetites.
Winds of permanent change
In general, the islanders themselves lost more than they gained with the invasion and colonization by the white man, but the most fateful factor became the loss of land. Land speculators bought up this already scarce resource, and on paper it looked unassuming compared to events like kidnapping and murder of even a few natives, but the long term affects of land transfer were devastating to the Islanders.
Between the two great World Wars, the Pacific islands became divided into four distinct zones: Japanese Micronesia, American Hawaii, Dutch New Guinea, and the Franco-British South Pacific.
The Great Depression negatively affected the sugar, pearl shell and other island industries, wiping out most of the small-holders. Many Islanders needed to digress to their earlier primative lifestyles, needing to relearn how to beat cloth out of bark or light their homes with coconut-oil lamps. The depression would have been worse if not for the discovery of immense deposits of gold in Melanesia and Fiji. The largest find was in the mountainous region of eastern New Guinea, participating a gold rush never seen in recent times. Air transport made it possible to build modern towns next to active headhunters. Gold replaced copra as the regions most revenue-producing industry.
Rich phosphate deposits on Nauru, Ocean Island and Makatea also offset the global depression, as Australia and New Zealand could continue their Pacific expansion using these convenient and relatively cheap resources to finance these endevours.
The airplane was instrumental in completing the appropriation of South Pacific real estate, with both Japan and the United States (Pan American Airways) using islands like stepping stones to go virtually anywhere.
All the while, the Western world was maturing, and for the first time in human history, was actually concerned for the welfare of dependent peoples, and concrete results were produced, particularly in the fields of health care, a wide-ranging campaign against endemic diseases, and general health principles were taught. The attack against other kinds of ignorance was left to the missionaries.
Anthropological studies of primative peoples allowed a moderation of Western influences, well timed as some Islanders were starting to express objections to Western dominaton. However, the enterpreneurs who made profitable use of the existing caste system objected vehemently, government officials trying to find middle ground between them and the missionaries.
Elsewhile, the independence movement in India stimulated Indian workers in Fiji to request more political and economic rights, Nazi Germany clamouring to return her colonies in New Guinea and Samoa had an upsetting affect.
But perhaps the most foreboding inference drawn by Western officials before World War Two was from the Sino-Japanese conflict and Japan's little known, and hence mysterious activities in her Micronesian outposts. In hind site, military and naval bases were established, and a sort of wall of official obstructionism kept the rest of the world away. Japan used their own protectorate islands as a source of sugar, phosphate, fish and copra, but also moved into the waters of New Guinea and the Dutch East Indies, poaching on shell reserves and poking into strategic harbours and channels. They owned and operated plantations along the northern coast of Dutch New Guinea, they operated an iron ore mine in New Caledonia, and generaly trod on everyone's toes. Whether it was strictly for business or calculated preparation for aggression his still debated by historians.
During the four centuries between Magellan and World War II, a few rare non-islanders traveled to the islands with the objective of giving without taking, but the far greater number went to exploit, extract and transform. Some took territory or empire outposts; others used the soils and climate to produce things wanted in the world's markets; others ripped up ground for minerals or harversted seas for marine wealth; still others converted the Islander's bodies into profitable labour, or their minds in Christian god-fearers. Invariably, the colonist's zeal and vigor overpowered the traditional South Pacific island's layed-back way of life.
The native languages of the various Micronesian indigenous peoples are classified under the Austronesian language family. Almost all of these languages belong to the Oceanic subgroup of this family; however, three exceptions are noted in Western Micronesia, which belong to the Western Malayo-Polynesian subgroup:
- Chamorro and Tanapag in the Mariana Islands,
- Yapese in the Federated States of Micronesia
- Palauan in Palau.
This latter subgroup also includes most languages spoken today in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia (Kirch, 2000: pp. 166-167).
On the eastern edge of the Federated States of Micronesia, the languages Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi represent an extreme westward extension of Polynesian.
The native people of the Island of Yap used large, circular limestones, sometimes as large as a car, as money. There was a limited supply of these stones and when a dowry had to be paid or a transaction made, the locals would get together and roll the father's or the buyer's stone to the person receiving it. The stones are still used, but only ceremonially. There is one stone in the Money Museum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
The South Pacific is generally a safe place to travel, but as always, leave nothing to chance. Though these people live in a sort of apparent paradise, eating bananas and fish, and looking for a shelter when it rains, there are a lot who consider themselves financially strapped, and would welcome an opportunity to take advantage of your trust, and relieve you of your possessions. Violence is very rare, fortunately.
If you are new to travelling, or even if you have travelled the globe for years, I strongly recommend you check out the following link for some very interesting and informative reading about safe travelling in the South Pacific, and the Third World in general. It is an accumulation of original thoughts and experiences of several worldly travellers, just go to Safely Travel. It was written with the Third World in mind, where travelling disasters are around every corner, and a pre-emptor to what we may all expect someday in the First World as populations increase and desperate people become more brave and sophisticated in their survival techniques. It will make you aware of all sorts of scams, how to check into a hotel, advice for single lady travellers, advice for single men travellers, rip tides, credit card scams, driving in a foreign land, kidnapping, street people, you name it. It is an essential read for anyone travelling, and the most comprehensive discussion I know of!
Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia hotels
We will now zero in on the three major anthropological regions of the South Pacific islands; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. We will give a brief introduction of each region, then break it down into subregions, island groups or individual islands.
Go ahead, make your choice!
Choose which region you are the most interested in and click on it. Each region is broken down into island groups and individual islands, with a brief description, things to do and see, and accommodations. Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.