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Tonga Travel Guide

Local Band
a local Tongan band at Neiafu, Vava'u

Cultural Shows for Visitors

Several "feasts" are organized weekly for both land-based and water-bound visitors. For a set fee (half price for children under 10) you get a buffet-style meal of island foods such as roast suckling pig, octopus, fish, clams, lobster, crayfish, and taro, all baked in an umu (earth oven). Cooked papaya with coconut cream in the middle is served in half-coconut shells, and lots of watermelon is eaten while sitting on mats on the ground. Have a swim as soon as you arrive, then enjoy a drink (extra charge) to the strains of guitar music. Traditional dancing is performed later, and handicrafts are available for sale.

All of the feasts take place on outlying beaches. For example, there's a "gigantic roast" with a kava ceremony and dancing by children at Hinakauea Beach adjacent to Ano Beach on Thursday evenings. On Saturdays a barbecue lunch is served for the same price. They sometimes pack a lot of people in and the seating on wooden planks can become uncomfortable after a while. Ask other visitors for their recommendations, as conditions do vary.

You can book these feasts at Cafe Tropicana, the Aquarium Cafe, or your hotel or guest house. Free minibus transfers are provided for visitors staying in Neiafu, though yacht charter clients and other yachties are the biggest customers.

Often the feasts are canceled if not enough people sign up.

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