But the Pacific’s only remaining monarchy is also “the Land Where Time Stands Still." The only one never brought under foreign rule.Accordingly much of its rich cultural heritage remains intact from kava drinking to carvings and other crafts that are still made using methods passed down for centuries. Welcome to “the Friendly Isles.” Papeete will be your gateway to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul.Then there's Lahaina on Maui, "The Valley Isle", and some say the most beautiful.Except, perhaps, for the Big Island of Hawaii, where snow-capped Mauna Kea can be seen from the town of Hilo, tropical growth is rampant, and rain feeds waterfalls and enough flowers to fill a rainbow.The island itself can be explored in a few hours; there are sweeping beaches in the south and ancient Polynesian temples hidden in the jungle.TONGA Located just east of the international dateline, the “Land Where Time Begins” is the first country to see the dawn of each new day.The hillsides were covered in citrus orchards and dairy farms, and agriculture was a major industry. With a growing interest in farm-to-fork, the city's farmers' market scene has exploded, becoming popular at big-name restaurants and small eateries alike.
It stretches from the banks of the Wailuku River to Hilo Bay, where a few hotels line stately Banyan Drive.
Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind.