Travelling to the Lau Islands

 

The Lau Islands make up the Eastern Archipelago of Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. The group spans a land area of 487 square km and is home to more than ten thousand people as per the 2007 census. However, only thirty of the one hundred islands under the archipelago are inhabited. Lau is one of the provinces that make up Fiji. Its capital is Tubou on the southern tip of Lakeba.

Culture

The archipelago is located between the Polynesian Tonga and the Melanesian Fiji so Lau brings together the two cultures. Villages in the region are traditional and the natives are popular for producing magnificent masi paintings and great wood carvings. The island of Lakeba, in particular, was known as a traditional meeting point between the Fijians and the Tongans. Over the centuries, the culture on the island has started leaning towards being Fijian instead of Polynesian but the influence of the Tongan culture is still evident in names, food, language and architecture. One would notice that the houses in Lau are more rounded according to the practice of the Tongans instead of square shaped as is typical with all other communities in Fiji.

Vanua Balavu is part of this archipelago and is being developed as a tourism center. With the creation of the Yanuyanu Island Resort, the island has become an upcoming travel destination for adventure seekers and those looking for an off the beaten track holiday.

In order to make the islands more accessible ports and air strips have been constructed around the island particularly in Lomaloma. Cricket is a popular sport in the Lau archipelago. The islands are now the center of cricket games in the country. The other parts of Fiji, on the other hand, are more interested with football and rugby. This explains why the national cricket team of Fiji is mostly composed of Lauans.

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