If you’re one of those people who fantasize about rocking the pacific and enjoying a fine tan, then we have just the thing for you as we are going to explore the Republic of Kiribati today. Harbouring just over 110,000 inhabitants, the island nation stretches upon 33 atolls and reef islands (with one raised coral island as an addition). Of course, more than 50% of them live on the Tarawa Atoll – the most popular one for tourists as well. So, without further spoiling the juice, let us hop right into that nice tropical water!
1. Language barriers:
The Pacific Ocean is generally a language-barrier-free place (and we know that we are encompassing a massive area with that statement but it is true) and Kiribati is by no means an exception. While the I-Kiribati language is considered the official one, English is widely spoken and understood. The local youth is even more adept than the older generation but you will probably never have to use your arms and legs to convey meaning.
Yet another Pacific standard: cash is king. Since crime is almost non-existent in Kiribati, you should always have some money on you – but not too much as nothing is too expensive. Outside the hotels, credit cards are not accepted at all, so be prepared. The local currency is the Kiribati dollar but the Australian dollar is just as accepted. The safest thing to do when you travel to this fine island country is to have a bit of both, just to be sure (wink)!
3. Tropical heat:
Alright, alright, we just had to add that subtitle as a reference to the 90’s TV show of the same name. However, we have not strayed far from the truth as the climate of Kiribati is tropical and enjoyable all year long. Riding the Equator and the 180th meridian majestically, it has only warmth and palm trees to offer to those who long for unforgettable experiences. Prepare those sunscreens and get ready for those tans!
4. Sink with history:
Did you know that the southern shores of Tarawa have once witnessed hectic battles – namely some sea-skirmishes during World War II? So what does this mean to the average traveller? Why, shipwrecks, of course! If you have considered snorkelling and/or diving there, know that your underwater sights shall not end with the splendid marine wildlife but also with the remnants of the machinery of death once forged by man. Sounded poetic? Well, that’s because the images that you’ll see will be spectacular and haunting at the same time.
5. Do not sink with the future:
If you manage to live 200 years (which we are sure you’ll be able to accomplish in your awesomeness), you’ll notice one interesting thing on the world map: that Kiribati, with all its splendour, has mostly disappeared. Why? Because it is slowly sinking due to the effects of the rising sea levels! So, again, what does this mean to you? Well, visit until you can, fair trailblazer (wink)!
What you see there in the subtitle is actually the Sanskrit name of the “crown chakra” sitting upon one’s head-crown. But what does it have to do with Kiribati? Well, for the locals, the top of the head is considered sacred and should under no circumstances be touched. It would be as rude as touching someone’s genitals without them agreeing to it beforehand. The locals also greatly value personal space, so do the same and give them some!
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had when visiting Kiribati? Would you go there again if you had the chance? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and be sure to check back for some exciting new updates and articles when you have time. Safe travels and see you on our next adventure (triple wink)!