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Old 08-31-2017, 03:04 PM
 
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Has anyone here traveled to French Polynesia? If so, what kind of experiences did you have there?
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:49 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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a local paper did a special edition on where retired teachers choose to live (where the checks are sent), and a lot lived in French Polynesia.

I have a few friends who liked the area as long as they stayed away from tourist meccas and stayed a month or so.

I would choose The Cook Islands (south of FP) which can be had for 'free' (stopover) on your Air New Zealand flight from LA. My son did a 2 week stopover in Cook Islands and had a great time (Trekking and beach, not partying with crowds of tourists)

the warm and clear waters are magical,

What are your desires / expectations / time frame / length of stay? relocation? or visit?
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:37 AM
 
32,149 posts, read 33,059,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
a local paper did a special edition on where retired teachers choose to live (where the checks are sent), and a lot lived in French Polynesia.

I have a few friends who liked the area as long as they stayed away from tourist meccas and stayed a month or so.

I would choose The Cook Islands (south of FP) which can be had for 'free' (stopover) on your Air New Zealand flight from LA. My son did a 2 week stopover in Cook Islands and had a great time (Trekking and beach, not partying with crowds of tourists)

the warm and clear waters are magical,

What are your desires / expectations / time frame / length of stay? relocation? or visit?
I saw on the Smithsonian Channel a program about MS Paul Gauguin and it looks like a fabulous experience. So I was wanted to hear from people who have actually been to the area and what their impressions/experiences were.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:02 PM
Status: "Send HIM back- to Queens!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
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FWIW when I worked at Pearl Harbor, a bunch of guys got a cheap deal to Fiji. When they came back, all they talked about was the FLIES. But that was twenty years ago.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:33 PM
 
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I've always wanted to do the Paul Gauguin trip to the Marquesas. As for flies, it's the tropics, there are all sorts of bugs around. I've also heard that even though you can get great air/hotel prices to Tahiti and the Society islands, the prices once you get there are very high.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:11 PM
 
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The lagoon color of Bora bora is magical. I have never seenough colors that are so beautiful.
If you have money, definitely visit it once in your lifetime.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
FWIW when I worked at Pearl Harbor, a bunch of guys got a cheap deal to Fiji. When they came back, all they talked about was the FLIES. But that was twenty years ago.
In 1989 I flew from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles, CA. The flight made 2 stops - Fiji and Tahiti where all the passengers got off the plane. I remember Fiji the airport was very modern and I think I even purchased something at the duty-free shop. But the airport in Tahiti (where we landed around midnight local time) was very old fashioned. We walked down stairs to the terminal and the electricity was off (power outage I assumed at the time) and there was only emergency lighting. The terminal was small, dark and hot and I think toilet paper was running low. I hope by now this airport has been upgraded. Anyone know?
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:00 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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I last flew into Tahiti four years ago. The airport was fine. You do walk down steps to get off the plane, but that's the case in many airports around the world. Otherwise, it was a fully modern facility.

I have been on the Paul Gauguin twice, so obviously I enjoyed the experience. Both times, the ship stopped for a couple of days in both Bora Bora and Moorea, as well as day visits to several other islands in French Polynesia and the Cooks. We stayed for a few days in Moorea beforehand as well on the last round.

The PG is a nice ship--only a couple hundred passengers at most. It is all-inclusive, which means that tips, beverages (including alcohol) and of course meals are included. The ship always included "Motu day," where passengers go to a private island to swim, snorkel, kayak, and relax. There's a big cook-out, and a floating bar. They also offer a private motu (small island) at Bora Bora. It's beautiful, but no amenities there.

It's a long plane ride from the U.S., but well worth it.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:30 AM
 
32,149 posts, read 33,059,143 times
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Originally Posted by trying harder View Post
I last flew into Tahiti four years ago. The airport was fine. You do walk down steps to get off the plane, but that's the case in many airports around the world. Otherwise, it was a fully modern facility.

I have been on the Paul Gauguin twice, so obviously I enjoyed the experience. Both times, the ship stopped for a couple of days in both Bora Bora and Moorea, as well as day visits to several other islands in French Polynesia and the Cooks. We stayed for a few days in Moorea beforehand as well on the last round.

The PG is a nice ship--only a couple hundred passengers at most. It is all-inclusive, which means that tips, beverages (including alcohol) and of course meals are included. The ship always included "Motu day," where passengers go to a private island to swim, snorkel, kayak, and relax. There's a big cook-out, and a floating bar. They also offer a private motu (small island) at Bora Bora. It's beautiful, but no amenities there.

It's a long plane ride from the U.S., but well worth it.
I am not big on cruises but I think I will add a MS Paul Gauguin cruise to my bucket list!
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:04 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
Has anyone here traveled to French Polynesia? If so, what kind of experiences did you have there?
My favorite island in the world is Moorea: The vibe of that small island with the lovely lagoon, hike-able mountain interior, simple architecture, nice basic French cuisine, and pleasant Tahitian people really strikes a chord with me. FP in general is what I presume life was like in Hawaii perhaps 100 years ago. The infrastructure, amenities, entertainment options, etc. will disappoint anyone who is expecting a close facsimile of Hawaii. What it will offer, however, is a fraction of the crowds, water play in perhaps the finest natural lagoons on Earth, a leisurely vibe in the air outside of Papeete, great hiking in very undisturbed mountain/jungle settings and generally warm and friendly natives.

Tahiti is the largest island. Papeete will make you feel like you have been transported to an old Humphrey Bogart movie set with the old airport, port-of-call and older European architecture. I actually enjoy hanging out in Papeete a bit because it makes me feel like a time traveler. Outside of that city, the rest of the island is very simple and rural with pockets of areas that are well groomed by the large international hotels. The lagoons are literally breathtaking for someone who has never experienced them...imagine an entire ocean that is one giant infinity pool with amazing sea life within it - and warm. There are awesome surfing spots with the world-famous Teahupo'o in the southern part of the island in the vicinity of Gaugin's old house. The interior of the island is one dense jungle...physically reminiscent of the mountains of norther Kauai.

Moorea is a small island that is approx 30mi in circumference. The feel on this island is rural island living that makes you feel privacy at all times while knowing there are other people still around. The island has a small port that ferries to Papeete often but beyond that area there is peace and quiet in abundance. The lagoon has very nice and shallow sections especially near the Cook's Bay part. Hiking is limited due to the size of Moorea but the trail to Mt Belvedere at the center is a nice secluded one. The food is simple, good and accessible - mostly French fare.

Who knows if Bora Bora may not be the most beautiful place on Earth...but it might as well be. I stayed there a week in one of those overwater bungalows on one of the trip's and life doesn't suck during that time. The island is very small - about 10 miles circumference - and the focus on the island is to play in the water, chillax, eat good food, chillax and chillax. Bora Bora is basically a series of hotels that serve as neighboring small villages that don't mix and mingle: People go to that island as couples to play and explore as couples. As someone mentioned, the color of the water in Bora Bora is unreal because it literally is...but also because it better be for the price that it generally costs to go and stay there. Looking at the Southern Cross at night with only the sound of the Pacific Ocean to fill the senses is a surreal moment.

My plan is to move to Hawaii in a few yrs once my daughter is off to college. Hawaii is awesome: physical beauty, great infrastructure, US state, English speaking, etc...but for me FP is a magical place.
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