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Like Pulau Tioman, Fiji is part of an island group, an archipelago. And like Tioman, Fiji came about by volcanic activity thousands of years ago. The two share their violent geological forgings.
But fast forward to today and the contrast to their beginnings couldn't be greater; both Tioman Island and Fiji are currently renowned the world over for being absolute epitomes of paradise tranquillity. Both are nothing short of idyllic beach holiday destinations, invariably with top bucket list rankings.
The reason for their boundless popularity? Both locations, Tioman and Fiji, feature a wealth of natural beauty in the form of crystal-clear turquoise-blue seas, picturesque beaches and large swatches of verdant forests.
But that's not all. Another trait Tioman has in common with Fiji is the way each is seriously blessed with being a scuba heaven. Coral gardens, marine flora and fauna, including the macro variety, both Tioman and Fiji offer plenty.
Best of all, the cost of living in both Tioman and Fiji is quite feasible. This doesn't only apply to daily life requirements like food, drink and accommodation, but to activities, such as scuba diving and jungle-trekking, as well. Backpackers and shoestring travellers will find both destinations quite appealing.
That being said, clearly, those with high-end budgets will more than have a blast too, given the variety of swanky accommodations in Tioman and Fiji.
Where Pulau Tioman and Fiji differ considerably, however, is in the way Fiji is much more out of the way than Tioman. In fact, as paradise archipelagos go, Fiji is probably one of the world's most remote bounty beach destinations, beating even places like Hawaii or Azores.
After all, at least those island clusters, no less breathtaking than Tioman or Fiji, are on the way to other countries. Fiji, on the other hand, is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Let's face it, when the nearest landmass, at a 3 hour flight to your west, is Australia, you know you're secluded.
But, considerable flight-time notwithstanding, if ever there was a tropical paradise worth traveling to, it surely is Fiji, especially when you fly Fiji Airways.
Frankly, the moment you step aboard your Fiji Airways plane, you're instantly enthralled by the unique Fijian Bula ambiance. It's like you're already there. The cabin service, the comfort, the relaxed atmosphere, it's all Fiji personified.
Bottom line, the people of Fiji are possibly the most affable you're going to ever have the pleasure of meeting. Men and women, the way they utter their genuine "Bula", it instantly melts your heart.
Fijians are for real and it shows. No matter where you are, but especially in the hospitality industry, Fijians are always willing to assist. More often than not, service staff go beyond the call of duty. And there's always that generous smile.
In fact, Fiji is a rugby nation and I'm not sure if there's a causal relation one way or the other, but a lot of the menfolk look like they could play for their country. Square jaws, fit hulking physiques, with legs like oak tree trunks, they look like they just stepped off the pitch. But the moment one of these lovable Herculean specimens lays a booming ear-to-ear "Bula!" on you, you can't help but be enamoured.
Keen to venture out once you're in Fiji? Try some of the awesome attractions that the islands have on offer. With Sleeping Giant Ziplines, Kula Eco Park and Cloud break, just to name a few, chances are you won't be running out of action soon. Not to mention Pacific Harbour, Sigatoka Sand Dunes and the Fiji Museum, if you prefer your recreation a bit more sedate.
Or sample some of the delicious local cuisine, which by the way, Fiji also has in common with Tioman: endless fusion dishes, from simply scrumptious street food to delicate gourmet artistry to be had at any of the numerous 5-star establishments in both Fiji and Tioman.
Whatever it is you choose to do in Fiji, it's bound to be Bulaaaaa!!
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