The Kingdom of Tonga, an archipelago of islands in the South Pacific, was visited by Captain James Cook in 1773 and due to the warm welcome that he received he named these islands “The Friendly Islands“; little did he know that they treated him kindly because they wanted to kill him. His life was spared on that day and he later returned; gifting Chief Tu’i Tonga a turtle from the Galapagos Islands. In the Ha’apai island group is where the Mutiny on the Bounty occurred, in 1789, and Captain Bligh was set adrift.
Fale ngatu, or tapa cloth, is still commonly made in Tonga and the continuous rhythmic beats of the women beating the tapa mallet is a sound heard from morning to night while the men share in a mild narcotic drink, kava.
Tonga’s islands are a treasure to explore. Experience adventures at Mariners Cave, Swallows Cave, Ano Beach for the colorful starfish and traditional Tongan feast or bath in the lagoon with the reef sharks and rays.
Tonga has long faced natural disasters from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and cyclones yet in the season from May to October it is a tropical paradise with calm seas, sunshine, tropical breezes and the perfect place to walk the white sand beaches.