The “New York City” of the South, stepping into the busy streets of Suva was a shock to the system after the small island of Futuna, and nearly a week of sailing. Even just arriving into the harbour we were all struck by the mass of buildings jutting up across the landscape and the numerous boats zipping by.
I remember finding Apia busy and diverse, but Suva took this to another level. From one street to the next the city would completely transform. From main streets with large air conditioned malls, to shops selling beautiful saris or delicious roti, to streets with unique handicraft markets, this city kept me guessing.
Suva had grungy bars, dank roads, and a whole lot of cockroaches, but they also had unbelievably delicious mini pineapples on a stick, the very cool Fiji Museum, and some gorgeous parks. It is definitely a city that can overwhelm, and it certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re looking for that Big City vibe mixed in with some South Pacific flair, Suva is your place.
When you first exit near the docks of Suva, the site that greets you is almost something out of 1960s Los Angeles. Palm trees blow in the wind next to large white administrative buildings with old style convertibles parked out front. Things quickly change as you walk down the street and find yourself in the centre of the busy food market. The smell of food washes over you, everything from sweet candies, fried meats, and sliced fruits.
While the markets were a great deal of fun to explore, we were in Suva for the Indian festival of Diwali and as a result a lot of things were closed. We took advantage of the 10.00 fee to hang out at the Grand Pacific Hotel’s swimming pool, and unabashedly used their WiFi and frequented the bar. We convinced ourselves this was necessary R&R, as the next two weeks would be non stop sailing, which meant very little down time.
A recurring theme for the trip, we once again took advantage of some time off to head out to a swim hole! The Colo-i-Suva Forest Park had some gorgeous sites, and a killer rope swing. Our cab driver was super friendly, and even stayed to hang out at the park with us before driving us back!
While Suva was an adventure, I would love to return to Fiji one day and explore more of the vast network of islands.