Tuvalu Almost Entirely of Coral

By: Douglas Scott

If youre prepared to bring your own gear and travel long distances by unreliable transport methods, Tuvalu hosts many of the same activities popular on islands right across the Pacific.

Tuvalu is made almost entirely of coral, so diving and snorkelling will be rewarding experiences, though with coral reefs, there are always the dual dangers of cutting yourself if you get too close and being caught in strong ocean currents if you stray too far. Always ask locals about hazards particular to each area.

Walking is also possible, however the size of the islands will often relegate a hike to mere stroll status.

Although there is one combined tennis, basketball, volleyball court, the most popular activity for visitors to Tuvalu is inactivity. With nothing in the way of organised tourist traps, this is about as far from Club Med as you will find in the Pacific. Walk around. Sit under a palm tree

A tourist to Tuvalu is about busy as a hermit crab, and, like said creature, spends most of his or her time wandering the beach slowly, albeit without a shell on their back. With 26 sq kilometres at its disposal, Tuvalu's main attractions are offshore, where undisturbed coral reefs lazily grow through the new millennium. The snorkelling is truly superb, so if you're in for a quiet holiday spent sun baking, snorkelling and sleeping, Tuvalu is about as good as it gets.

For a country with its size, isolation and development, Tuvalu has done remarkably well with the arrival of the internet, its domain name tv earning the nation a 50 million leasing contract. Which should raise the bar of the 11000 Tuvaluan lives considerably, though it may have little effect in fighting the problem of global warming. There are widespread fears that the islands may be submerged in years to come.

The best time to enjoy the islands of Tuvalu is between May and September, when the easterly trade winds and with them the chances of fine weather spring up. The risk of tropical cyclones is reduced at this time, too.

The biggest celebrations of the year, however, are reserved for October 1 and 2. Tuvalu Day or days commemorates the attainment of independence from the colonising British on 1 October 1978. Traditional celebrations with music and dance occur in all villages. In keeping with Polynesian tradition, Tuvalu also celebrates a National Childrens Day on 3 August. On this day, children lead the village in celebrations and are treated to a traditional meal.

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