Thursday, April 27, 2023

Get a warm, spirited bula bula welcome in fabulous, fun Fiji

Fiji's "Bula Bus" takes its name from the language. "Bula bula" means hello and is a widely used
greeting in friendly Fiji. Here, the bus runs around Denarau Island with tourists enjoying the day.

This handsome Fijian boy posed for us.



FIJI IS BEAUTIFUL. It offers sheer fun and relaxation with friendly people, beaches, fruit and flowers galore.

From your first greeting -- a hearty "bula bula" -- until your departure (we were both misty eyed), you'll be  happy to have found this peaceful place.
Pronounced ''buu-laa'', this common Fiji phrase translates to ''hello" or "welcome" and you'll hear it everywhere.  "Bula, bula," the bus driver welcomes you. His transport is called the "Bula Bus."
"Bula, bula" shopkeepers echo. Passersby share a happy "bula bula." The bartenders say it with a grin.
Fiji's famous spider
lily abounds here.

Bruce Keller stops to admire abundant Fiji flowers.

Even cranky looking people soften and smile when they say "bula bula" -- it's a fun phrase and trips off the tongue with delight!

WE CAN'T CLAIM to know all of Fiji, just a small, happy corner many times visited. We base our stay at the lovely Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, where we have friends and can use our Hilton Diamond Honors points for upgrades. The staff is amiable and efficient and there are flowers everywhere -- including your bed!

Flowers are part of the Hilton's
welcome and the culture in Fiji
-- hibiscus on your bed each day.

archipelago of more than 300 islands, famed for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Divers and snorkelers love it. Whale watchers, too.

Fiji Islands: Big bottom island
 is where Denarau is, on the far
 left side, only a small segment. 
Viti Levu and Vanua Levu contain most of the population. Denarau, where we spend time, is a small private resort development on the western side of Viti Levu.  It's known for its "Republic of Fiji Shuttles" affectionately called "Bula Bus." Ten drivers man these charming open air buses with views of picturesque Denarau Island. The Bula Bus travels between  major international hotels, including our favorite Hilton Fiji Resort, Denarau Golf and Racquet Club and the bustling Port Denarau Marina. The buses operate on a continuous loop departing approximately every 15 minutes 
This poster previews a Fiji
dance performance held
at several resorts.

from 7:30 a.m. to
Fine dining at Fiji's Hilton Resort which offers
several top restaurant choices with gourmet fare.

11:30pm, 7 days a week. Tickets for all day unlimited travel are $8 per adult and a four-day pass unlimited for $24 per adult. Children under 12 travel free with paying adults.
New friends are easy to make
in Fiji, where smiles and
welcomes are common.

Lovely flowers are everywhere.

WE ALSO enjoyed traditional dance shows, boat rides, and a day tour. We passed on the zip line and snorkeling excursions, taking walks instead. There's the Kula Wild Adventure Park, originally a bird park, but now a "Family Fun Park" and an ecological preserve right in Viti Levu. We saw families coming and going, all smiling and looking pleasantly tired from the activities.

OUR LITTLE corner of Fiji was just right for combining relaxation and reading with easy-going sight seeing. We hopped on and off the Bula Bus, strolled around the harbor, took a couple Uber rides to attractions and mainly read and rested. If you wish to do more you can. Snorkeling is world class, there's plenty of shopping and ice cream stands abound.

A light afternoon rain didn't dampen spirits at
Hilton's Fiji Resort, with world class comforts.

What stands out about Fiji, though, is its people.
Whether serving a meal, showing how to properly cut a coconut, or working a loom, Fijians offers a smile, a chance to learn, grow, relax and rewind.
Actor and writer Omri Schein, center, is a dapper, witty
Hercule Poirot, backed by a letter-perfect ensemble in a world
premier drama based on an Agatha Christie classic.;

BEST ON THE BOARDS: "Murder on the Links" at San Diego's Northcoast Repertory Theatre is sheer delight. In a lively interpretation of Agatha Christie's most popular whodunits, Omri Schein shines as Hercule Poirot, backed by a fabulous, point-perfect ensemble. Clever playwright Steven Dietz brings the famed and ever-so-suave Belgian detective to life to solve one of Christie's most intricate whodunits. Our fellow playgoers laughed and clapped at the lovely set, and the antics and gestures of the well-tuned cast. Fun, frivolous, Stylish shtick, classy camp, nuances galore -- a fast-paced whodunnit guaranteed to amuse. On through May 21.

These four hungry diners prepare to tuck into Spam burgers, 
Spam tacos,  Spam eggrolls and a decadent frozen dessert.
 Let's hear it for Spam. That sometimes disparaged staple of many diets was developed by Hormel in 1937 and rose to popularity with the troops in World War II. Children grow up with spam and it is an important part of millions of diets -- from Hawaii to South Korea.  Spam is celebrated in Honolulu all year, especially during the city's annual "Spam Jam" held each year. We happened to be in Honolulu this week and took in the lively festival where a major street is blocked off for two dozen food and art booths to celebrate all manner of Spam delights. Thousands rock out to live  Hawaiian music, not minding the long lines. It's a truly fun time. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on food, family, travel, performance, nature and more:  


  1. Fun place indeed! Bula Bula & nice story!

  2. It's a long trip for us, but such a lovely place. No where like it.

  3. Thanks for going with us to fun places

  4. From Fiji to Spam fest. Wow you two cover the territory! Love it.