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Tonga Travel Guide

Nukualofa Accommodations

The accommodations listings on this site are organized by price beginning with those closest to Queen Salote Wharf, then southwest through town. For accommodations around Tongatapu or on nearby islands, turn to those sections. Not all places in Nuku'alofa provide satisfactory communal cooking facilities, so ask check beforehand if this matters to you.

The information board at the Tonga Visitors Bureau lists furnished apartments and houses for rent by the month. Unless otherwise stated, add the 15 percent consumption tax to all accommodation rates.

Nukualofa Hotels | Low Budget | Budget | Moderate | Medium Priced |

Cemeteries

Tongan Cemetery
Tongan cemetery

Tongan cemeteries are unique. Usually set in a grove of frangipani trees, the graves are strange, sandy mounds marked with flags and banners, surrounded by inverted beer bottles, artificial flowers, seashells, and black volcanic rocks. Recent innovations are the miniature houses and concrete tombs, painted in the national colors red and white or decorated with art.

Prior to emancipation in 1862 the graves of commoners were unmarked, and when popular cemeteries began to materialize, the Tongans adopted a scaled-down langi form that had been used for centuries by nobility. To honor the dead, valuable gifts such as tapa cloth, fine mats, quilts, and family heirlooms are placed on the graves, and these are tapu.

Family members, great mats tied about their waists, spend several weeks after the funeral sitting next to the burial, leaving the area at night for fear of ghosts. They continue to visit with declining frequency for about a year, but after that the grave is abandoned as it's believed that the spirit of the deceased remains and can cause sickness among the living and even another death. On public holidays such as All Saint's Day and Christmas people return to the cemeteries to clean up the family plots.