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10 Best Places to Visit in Kiribati

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Kiribati islands - tourist attractions of a tropical paradise

Republic of Kiribati is a sovereign state in the central Pacific Ocean. Kiribati consists of 33 atolls and one solitary island. The groups of islands are: Banaba, Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands and Line Islands.

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Visit Kiribati

On our trip around the world we wanted to go a little off the tourist trail and found our way to Tarawa, Kiribati. You can find Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands quite North from New Zealand above the Equator.



We had two weeks in Kiribati, and it was an experience. The islands are not ready for tourists but still make an effort welcoming travellers in. The last two nights we spent at Tepon Te Keekee Ecolodge. It was gorgeous. After crossing the channel with the ferry man we walk to a totally deserted resort with no one home. We continued snooping until we found an overwater bungalo with 2 chairs, a bed and a mosquito net and I assumed that it was our new home. Later in the day we found someone in the kitchen and decided to have lunch. They made battered fish, and fish curry served with fresh vegetables which are hard to come by in these islands! Continueing into the evening someone eventually asks us if we are staying there... we say yes... and then i assumed that was our 'Checking in'.

When in Tarawa we stayed at a place called Dreamers with Richard and Beta. They definitely became our home and really make you feel like you are part of their family while staying there.
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Top 10 Largest Cities or Towns of Kiribati

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1) Tarawa
2) Betio
3) Teaoraereke
4) Butaritari
5) Bairiki
6) Temaiku
7) Bonriki
8) Eita
9) Bikenibeu
10) Tabwakea

Kiribati, officially the Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000 (2011) on 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi). The nation is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, Banaba, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Line at its easternmost point.

The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of Gilberts, which derives from the main island chain, named the Gilbert Islands after the British explorer Thomas Gilbert, who sailed through the islands in 1788. The capital, South Tarawa, consists of a number of islets connected through a series of causeways, located in the Tarawa archipelago. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.

Kiribati was named in French by captains Krusenstern and Louis Isidore Duperrey îles Gilbert, Gilbert Islands, after the British Captain Thomas Gilbert, who sighted the islands in 1788. The current name, Kiribati, is an adaptation of Gilberts, from the former European name the Gilbert Islands. Although the indigenous name for the Gilbert Islands proper is Tungaru in Gilbertese language, the new state chose the name Kiribati, the Gilbertese rendition of Gilberts, as an equivalent of the former colony to acknowledge the inclusion of islands never considered part of the Gilberts chain.

The area now called Kiribati has been inhabited by Micronesians speaking the same Oceanic language since sometime between 3000 BC and AD 1300. The area was not isolated; invaders from Tonga and Samoa, and from Fiji, later introduced Polynesian and Melanesian cultural aspects, respectively. Intermarriage tended to blur cultural differences and resulted in a significant degree of cultural homogenisation.

Contact with Europeans began in the 16th century when Magellan, Saavedra and Quirós discovered and conquered the islands of Pope Clement VIII in 1520, the islands of the Queen Catalina in 1528 and the Island (La) Carolina in 1606 (Spanish rule lasted from 1528-1885), at that time the islands of Santa Catalina, were named in honor of queen Catherine of Aragon.[citation needed] Whalers, slave traders and merchant ships arrived in large numbers during the 19th century, and the resulting agitation fomented internal conflicts between tribes and introduced European epidemics.

The main island chain was named the Gilbert Islands in 1820 by a Russian admiral, Adam von Krusenstern, and French captain Louis Duperrey, after a British captain named Thomas Gilbert, who crossed the archipelago in 1788 when sailing from Australia to China.

From the early 19th century, Western whalers, merchant vessels and slave traders visited the islands, introducing diseases and firearms. The first British settlers arrived in 1837. In 1892 the Gilbert Islands consented to become a British protectorate together with the nearby Ellice Islands. They were administered by the Western Pacific High Commission based in Fiji. Together they became the crown colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1916. Christmas Island (or Kiritimati) became part of the colony in 1919 and the Phoenix Islands were added in 1937. Sir Arthur Grimble was a cadet administrative officer based at Tarawa (1913--1919) and became Resident Commissioner of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1926.

Tarawa Atoll and others of the Gilbert group were occupied by Japan during World War II. Tarawa was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in US Marine Corps history. Marines landed in November 1943; the Battle of Tarawa was fought at Kiribati's former capital Betio on Tarawa Atoll.

Some of the islands of Kiribati, especially in the remote Line Islands, were formerly used by the United States and United Kingdom for nuclear weapons testing including hydrogen bombs in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

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Lagoon Breeze Lodge & Eita, Kiribati

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Solomon Islands Tourist Attractions: 10 Top Places to Visit

Planning to visit Solomon Islands? Check out our Solomon Islands Travel Guide video and see top most Tourist Attractions in Solomon Islands.

Top Places to visit in Solomon Islands:
Bonegi I and II, Marovo Lagoon, Honiara Central Market, Russell Islands, Shark Point, Tenaru Falls, Honiara Botanical Gardens, Skull Island, Ghizo Island, Lake Tegano

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Kiribati Abemama Tradition

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Lagoon Breeze Lodge, Kiribati

A quick look at the Lagoon Breeze Lodge in Kiribati. for bookings or more info see their site at

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I love Kiribati! by Matkakuume.net | ParisRio Travel Channel

After a few rough first days in Christmas Islands, we actually fell in love with Kiribati! Music, culture, beaches and the best of all, great diving and dolphins! Check it out!

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10 Amazing Countries You Have Never Heard Of

Here are 10 incredible unknown places you should know about! These are the facts about the richest country and smallest nation!

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6. Kiribati
When under British rule the Republic of Kiribati was known as the Gilbert Islands. The nation contains Gilbert, Phoenix and Line Islands and 33 atolls which are scattered across 1.3 million square miles of the Pacific. The country is the only nation to fall within all four hemispheres. Over half of the country’s one hundred thousand permanent residents live in the capital city of Tarawa. Though western influence is steadily establishing itself in Kiribati, most locals live in traditional huts and eat coconuts, breadfruit, and fish as they have done for hundreds of years. The LGBT community faces social disadvantages in the nation. Male homosexuality is illegal with a punishment of 5 years in prison. Female sexuality is legal but heavily frowned upon.

5. Djibouti
Almost all of the nearly 850,000 people who live in the Republic of Djibouti adhere to Islam and have done so for the last thousand years. Before voting for independence in 1977, the area was a French territory. The region is a desert that is located in eastern Africa and is a place where you may find large groups of people caravaning on a single vehicle, a site that may be odd in the United States but one that is much more common in many parts of Africa. One major landmark of the region is Lake Assal, the third lowest point on earth and one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. Outside of Djibouti City, the country is free of large-scale development and is a great place to go on an outdoor adventure.

4. Niue
Being a 100 square mile island located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and having a population of around 1,200 makes Niue one of the most isolated nations on the planet. While not a member of the U.N. the organization does recognize Niue as a freely associated state with New Zealand, with whom they maintain strong ties. New Zealand produces Niue’s coin’s and, in 2014 created Disney coins to be used as currency on the island. With help from the E.U. Niue has been in the process of converting to renewable energy since 2009, when a solar power system was installed, providing 6% of the country's electricity.

3. Bhutan
The country only started letting outsiders in starting in the 1970’s and has an interesting approach to tourism. Foreign visitors have to pay a $250 tariff per day. While this may seem pricey, it is an all-inclusive fee that covers accommodation, food, transport and even a guide. Bhutan is located in South Asia between India and China and is a place that takes great pride in their ancient, Buddhist traditions. Radio broadcasting didn’t begin in the country until 1973, a year which also saw the nation institute a policy to measure the country's Gross National Happiness. The internet and television didn’t arrive until 1999. Bhutan is also very environmentally conscious. Law states that at least 60% of the country must remain forested and it absorbs more carbon than it emits.

2. Palau
An island country that is southeast of the Philippines, Palau has only been around for 22 years having become independent on October 1, 1994. The country contains roughly 250 Island, the most populous of which is Koror and has a total population of nearly 18,000 people. Palau maintains an association with the United States, who provides defense and funding to the Republic. One of the country’s most famous places is Blue Corner which is a body of water that is world renowned for its scuba diving and is known for its sharks. Palau created the world’s first shark sanctuary beginning in 2009 and is a global leader in protecting marine ecosystems.

1. Suriname
A former colony of the Netherlands, today Suriname is the smallest country in South America and has a population of 540,000. The country’s president, Desi Bouterse, claimed the position after staging a military coup in 1980. The dictator has been ruling the nation with an iron fist ever since. He was responsible for and according to an eyewitness, took place in the December Murders in 1982. On December 7, 1982, Bouterse rounded up 15 dissidents, mostly respected journalists, and professors, and brought them to Fort Zeelandia, which is located in the capital city of Paramaribo and is the city's oldest building. There Bouterse ordered the group to be tortured and murdered, with Bouterse himself reportedly killing two of the victims. The Netherlands convicted the ruler of smuggling over 1,000 pounds of cocaine into the country, and Europol issued a warrant for his arrest in 1999. None of this matters as Bouterse position as president gives him legal immunity and Suriname has no extradition treaty with the Dutch.
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The George Hotel Kiribati (Betio, Kiribati)

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The George Hotel Kiribati (PowerHouse Road, Between SDA & KPC Church Compound, Betio, Kiribati)
Offering a restaurant, a 24/7 front desk and a bar, The George Hotel Kiribati is located in Betio. Each air-conditioned room offers a TV and a DVD player. Free parking is available on site.
All rooms include a wardrobe, a refrigerator and tea/coffee making facilities. Each room includes a private bathroom with a shower and guest toiletries.
Kiribati George Hotel is 15 minutes' walk from Betio Wharf. It is 5 minutes' drive from Bairiki. Bonriki International Airport is 30 minutes' drive away.
The on-site restaurant offers local and international cuisine. There are shops and other dining options within 10 minutes' walk.
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The George Hotel Kiribati - Betio - Kiribati

The George Hotel Kiribati hotel city: Betio - Country: Kiribati
Address: PowerHouse Road, Between SDA & KPC Church Compound; zip code:

Offering a restaurant, a 24/7 front desk and a bar, The George Hotel Kiribati is located in Betio. Each air-conditioned room offers a TV and a DVD player. Free parking is available on site.
-- Doté d'un restaurant, d'une réception ouverte 24h/24 et 7j/7 ainsi que d'un bar, le George Hotel Kiribati est situé à Betio. Tous ses hébergements climatisés disposent d'une télévision et d'un lecteur DVD.
-- The George Hotel Kiribati está situado en la localidad de Betio y ofrece habitaciones con aire acondicionado, TV y reproductor de DVD, además de servicio de recepción todos los días, las 24 horas. El hotel también alberga un bar y un restaurante.
-- Das George Hotel Kiribati bietet ein Restaurant, eine rund um die Uhr besetzte Rezeption und eine Bar und befindet sich in Betio. Jedes der klimatisierten Zimmer verfügt über einen TV und einen DVD-Player.
-- The George Hotel Kiribati biedt een restaurant, een 24-uursreceptie die 7 dagen per week is geopend en een bar. De accommodatie ligt in Betio. Elke kamer is voorzien van airconditioning, een tv en een dvd-speler.
-- Dotato di un ristorante, di una reception aperta tutti i giorni 24 su 24 e di un bar, il George Hotel Kiribati sorge a Betio e vanta camere climatizzate con TV, lettore DVD e parcheggio gratuito in loco.
-- Com um restaurante, uma recepção aberta 24 horas por dia, 7 dias por semana, assim como um bar, o The George Hotel Kiribati está localizado em Betio. Cada quarto está equipado com ar condicionado, uma televisão e um leitor de DVD.
-- ベティオ島に位置するThe George Hotel Kiribatiは、レストラン、24時間対応のフロントデスク、バーを併設しています。すべての客室にエアコン、テレビ、DVDプレーヤーが備わり、敷地内の無料駐車場を利用できます。 全室にワードローブ、冷蔵庫、紅茶/コーヒーメーカー、専用バスルーム(シャワー、バスアメニティ付)が備わっています。 Kiribati George Hotelからベティオワーフまで徒歩15分、バイリキまで車で5分、ボンリキ国際空港まで車で30分です。 ...
-- The George Hotel Kiribati酒店位于比休岛(Betio),设有一间餐厅、24小时前台和一间酒吧,每间空调客房均设有一台电视和一台DVD播放机。酒店设有免费内部停车场。 所有客房均设有一个衣柜、一台冰箱和沏茶/泡咖啡设施,以及一间设有带淋浴和洗浴用品的私人浴室。 Kiribati George Hotel酒店距离比休岛码头(Betio Wharf)有15分钟步行路程,距离Bairiki有5分钟的车程,距离邦里基国际机场(Bonriki International...
-- Obiekt The George Hotel Kiribati jest położony w mieście Betio. Oferuje on restaurację, bar oraz recepcję czynną przez całą dobę, 7 dni w tygodniu. Każdy pokój jest klimatyzowany i dysponuje telewizorem oraz odtwarzaczem DVD.
-- В отеле George Kiribati, расположенном на острове Бетио, к услугам гостей ресторан, круглосуточная стойка регистрации и бар. Каждый номер оборудован кондиционером, телевизором и DVD-плеером. На территории обустроена бесплатная парковка.
-- The George Hotel Kiribati ligger i Betio, och detta hotell erbjuder en restaurang, en 24-timmarsöppen reception och en bar. Alla rum är luftkonditionerade och de har en TV och en DVD-spelare. Du kan parkera utan kostnad på plats.
-- يضم The George Hotel Kiribati مطعمًا ومكتب استقبال يعمل على مدار الساعة وبارً، ويقع في مدينة بتيو. وتحتوي جميع الغرف المكيفة على تلفزيون مشغل دي في دي. كما تتوفر مواقف مجانية للسيارات في الموقع.
-- Το George Hotel Κιριμπάτι βρίσκεται στο Betio και προσφέρει εστιατόριο, 24ωρη ρεσεψιόν και μπαρ, . Κάθε κλιματιζόμενο δωμάτιο διαθέτει τηλεόραση και DVD player. Στις εγκαταστάσεις λειτουργεί δωρεάν χώρος στάθμευσης.
--
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VANUATU - SOUTH PACIFIC - BEST ACTIVITIES & PLACES

This short video shows some of the best spots on Efate and Tana in Vanuatu. It will give you a good idea what is really worth seeing in one of the best places in the Pacific!

Wilds of the South Pacific

Take an ambient journey through Melanesia and Polynesia in this immersive video experience from Galaxiid.

Destinations include Western Papua, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago and Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia.

Cinematography:
Richard Sidey |
Aliscia Young |

Full list of destinations:
Asmat Region, West Papua
Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
Tufi, Papua New Guinea
Baining Mountains, Papua New Guinea
Loh Island, Vanuatu
Tanna, Vanuatu
Manra Atoll, Kiribati
Suwarrow, Cook Islands
Manihiki, Cook Islands
Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Motutunga, Tuamotus, French Polynesia
Ua Pou, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

From the 'Wild' series by Galaxiid. See our other videos in this series:


© 2016 Galaxiid Limited | All Rights Reserved
Immersive Experiences through Visual Media
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Top 10 Best Attractions in the South Pacific

Top 10 Best Attractions in the South Pacific according to Lonely Planet.

10. Vanuatu's Volcanoes
Vanuatu is not on the average traveller's destination wish list. Head to the island of Tanna to see Mount Yasur, the world's most accessible active volcano. A tourist favourite, Tanna is also home to waterfalls and men in penis sheaths and grass skirts. If you get the chance, stay to witness one of their ancient festivals or rituals.

9. New Caledonian Coasts
New Caledonia is a collectivity of France with a particular status, it has its own laws and its own government. New Caledonia offers beaches, mountaintop fondue in chalets, camping, amazing snorkeling and diving, and fabulous French food.

8. Indo-Fijian Culture
Fabulous festivals and food provide visitors with a peek into Indo-Fijian culture. Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated nationwide in October or November. It's ushered in with nightly displays, from multicoloured spotlit extravaganzas to delicate candlelit driveways and households.

7. Tahitian Dance & Tattoos
Tahitians love to dance. The best dance performances in the country take place at the annual Heiva Festival, which is held in Pape'ete in July. During the rest of the year, professional groups offer performances at the big resorts. Tattooing, another strong cultural trait, has enjoyed a revival since the early 1980s. For many people, it's a symbol of identity.

6. Diving
The South Pacific offers world-class diving, with an irresistible menu of underwater treasures: luscious reefs festooned with huge sea fans, warm waters teeming with rainbow-coloured species and bizarre critters, eerie drop-offs that tumble into the abyss, and lots of pelagics, including sharks and manta rays -- not to mention the thrill of diving uncrowded sites.

5. Easter Island's Moai
Easter Island is one of the most isolated islands on Earth. Officially a territory of Chile, it lies far off in the Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway to Tahiti. Known as one of the world's sacred sites, it is most famous for its enigmatic giant stone statues or Moai whose oversized heads, carved centuries ago, reflect the history of the dramatic rise and fall of the most isolated Polynesian culture.

4. Inland Treks
Most people travel to the South Pacific for the beaches but no one should go this far without heading inland. Imagine arriving to the tip of a knife-edged peak to watch seabirds fly by at eye level, plunging into massive waterfall pools, or finding petroglyphs hidden by hibiscus next to a rushing river. And these are everyday examples.

3. Whales in Tonga
Tonga is an important breeding ground for humpback whales, which migrate to its warm waters between June and October; it's one of the few places in the world where you can swim with these magnificent creatures. They can be seen raising their young in the calm reef-protected waters and engaging in elaborate mating rituals.

2. Island Welcomes
A garland of flowers is one of the most simple yet beautiful offerings on the planet and no one gives out more of these than the people of the Pacific. Loudness and brashness are out, subtle hospitality and genuine goodwill are in. If they could give you the moon they would, so please don't ask for it.

1. Diverse Paradise
Any of these countries could be that place on a 'Travel to Paradise' poster that makes you want to leave your job and live in flip flops forever. But the South Pacific isn't just a homogenised string of palm trees and blue water. The cultures and landscapes that spread across the Pacific Ocean's vastness hold an incredible diversity, from rugged atolls to mangrove-encircled high islands and from Euro-chic capitals to traditional tribes in jungles. Each island group is home to its own sort of wonderful.

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Top 10 Best Places To Visit in Zimbabwe - You Should Know Before Visit Zimbabwe

Top 10 Best Places You Should Check Before Visit.
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Tourist Visa Information :
Nationals of the following countries do not need visas to enter Zimbabwe.
Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Cayman, Congo (DRC), Cyprus, Fiji, Grenada, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Leeward Island, Lesotho, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, Samoa (West), Singapore, Solomon Island, South Africa, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turk & Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia Zambia.

Nationals of the following countries can granted visas at the port of entry upon payment of the visa fee. You can also obtain this visa in advance at an embassy. Visas cost US$30 single entry, US$45 double entry, and US$55 multi-entry.
Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Cook Islands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau Island, Palestine (State of), Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Vatican and Virgin Islands.

Nationals of the following countries are required to apply for and obtain visas prior to traveling.

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazzaville, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros Islands, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Conakry, Cote d’Voire, Croatia, Cuba, Djibouti Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Byrom, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French West Indies, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (DPRK), Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macau, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norfolk Islands, Northern Mariana Island, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Principe, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Samoa (America), San Marino, Sao Tome, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen Republic, Yugoslavia
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10 Amazing Atolls In The World

Planning to visit Atolls? Check out our Atolls Travel Guide video and see top most Tourist Attractions.

10 Amazing Atolls in the World
Funafuti, Tuvalu Island, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, Tubbataha Reef, Philippines, Lighthouse Reef, Belize, Tikehau, Tuamotu Archipelago, Caroline Island, Republic of Kiribati, Aitutaki Atoll, Cook Islands, Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles, Rangiroa, Tuamotus, Atolls of the Maldives

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KIRIBATI, crossing the LAST BRIDGE between REMOTE ISLANDS (Tarawa Atoll, Central Pacific)

SUBSCRIBE: - Let's cross Friendship Bridge which connects two remote islands i the Tarawa Atoll of the Republic of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean. Absolutely incredible views of this very fascinating place of our planet.. Vic Stefanu, vstefanu@yahoo.com. Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati (Gilbertese: Ribaberiki Kiribati), is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The nation comprises 33 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island; Banaba.

Top 10 Largest Cities or Towns of Fiji

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1) Suva
2) Lautoka
3) Nadi
4) Labasa
5) Ba
6) Levuka
7) Sigatoka
8) Rakiraki
9) Savusavu
10) Tavarua

Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north.

The country comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The farthest island is Onu-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 860,000. The capital and largest city, Suva, is on Viti Levu. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres like Nadi (tourism) or Lautoka (sugar cane industry). Viti Levu's interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain.

The majority of Fiji's islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch and the British explored Fiji, which was a Crown Colony until 1970, this administration lasting almost a century. During World War II, thousands of Fijians volunteered to aid in Allied efforts via their attachment to the New Zealand and Australian army units. The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) consist of land and naval units.

Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific island realm due to an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. The country's currency is the Fijian dollar.

Following a coup in 2006, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau became Fiji's president after a high court ruled that the military leadership was unlawfully appointed. Fiji's local government, in the form of city and town councils, is supervised by the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development.

Pottery art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled before or around 3500 to 1000 BC, although the question of Pacific migration still lingers. It is believed that the Lapita people or the ancestors of the Polynesians settled the islands first but not much is known of what became of them after the Melanesians arrived; they may have had some influence on the new culture, and archaeological evidence shows that they would have then moved on to Samoa, Tonga and even Hawai'i.

The first settlements in Fiji were started by voyaging traders and settlers from the west about 5000 years ago. Lapita pottery shards have been found at numerous excavations around the country. Aspects of Fijian culture are similar to the Melanesian culture of the western Pacific but have a stronger connection to the older Polynesian cultures. Trade between these three nations[clarification needed] long before European contact is quite obvious with canoes made from native Fijian trees found in Tonga and Tongan words being part of the language of the Lau group of islands. Pots made in Fiji have been found in Samoa and even the Marquesas Islands.

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Kiritimati (Kiribati) - Christmas Island Documentary - Between Sky and Ocean

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Directed and Edited by Wojciech Hupert
Music: Flowers of Kava

for any questions and enquiries, please contact me via twitter: @wojciechhupert

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Kiritimati or Christmas Island is a Pacific Ocean raised coral atoll in the northern Line Islands, and part of the Republic of Kiribati.

The island has the greatest land area of any coral atoll in the world: about 322 square kilometres (124 sq mi); its lagoon is about the same size. The atoll is about 150 km (93 mi) in perimeter, while the lagoon shoreline extends for over 48 km (30 mi). Christmas Island comprises over 70% of the total land area of Kiribati, a country encompassing 33 Pacific atolls and islands.

Kiritimati Island (Christmas) is well known for its world class bone fishing.[4] It also has excellent birdwatching and surfing opportunities.[5]

It lies 232 km (144 mi) north of the Equator, 6,700 km (4,200 mi) from Sydney, and 5,360 km (3,330 mi) from San Francisco. Christmas Island is in the world's farthest forward time zone, UTC+14, and Christmas Island is one of the first inhabited places on Earth to experience the New Year each year (see also Caroline Atoll, Kiribati). Despite being 2,460 km (1,530 mi) east of the 180 meridian, a 1995 realignment of the International Dateline by the Republic of Kiribati moved Christmas Island to west of the dateline.

Nuclear tests were conducted in the region around Christmas Island by the United Kingdom in the late 1950s, and by the United States in 1962. During these tests islanders were not evacuated. Subsequently British, New Zealand, and Fijian servicemen as well as local islanders have claimed to have suffered from exposure to the radiation from these blasts.

The entire island is a Wildlife Sanctuary; access to five particularly sensitive areas (see below) is restricted.

The name Kiritimati is a rather straightforward respelling of the English word Christmas in Gilbertese, in which the combination ti is pronounced s, and the name is thus pronounced [kəˈrɪsməs].

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Directed and Edited by Wojciech Hupert
Music: Flowers of Kava

for any questions and enquiries, please contact me via twitter: @wojciechhupert

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