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My short Visit

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Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
posts: 16,743
reviews: 142
My short Visit

In all fairness i believe that you should report back on what you saw did etc and whilst my trip this time was a bit cocoon like perhaps it will help to encourage others to at least try Vanuatu.

Air Vanuatu.

Excellent experience going over, especially as we had a special needs passenger. Wow, will definitely rebook. Airport, yeah well it is a zoo and slow to process immigration, but no one was harassing and it all happened eventually.

Accomm:

We stayed at Villa 25 and I promise to do a full review soon. It was an ideal location for us, we wanted peace, quiet and a great outlook. The snorkelling at the doorstep is satisfactory, plenty of fish life, and the kayaks etc were put to good use. Loved the communal area and the availability of a chef to cook for you in house.

Transport:

We used the driver from Villa 25 (yes I know i could have picked up cheaper in town and spread the love) but the ease of knowing he would turn up on time was worth it for us. I would certainly have had no hesitation using the cheaper bus options had I had the chance.

Food:

I tried to be as local as possible, shopping at the Mamas market on Saturday for fresh supplies. Most shopping was done at Numbatu other than the markets. It was easy and convenient and the local beef OK. There is a bit of sticker shock for some things (like juice). FWIW I would in future bypass the orange juice and stick to coconut, pamplemouse (sp) and fresh raspberry (if in season as a huge bargain at 200vatu a tub).

Eggs seem to be like hens teeth.

I had no trouble bringing in the muesli, but hardly used it as the fresh fruit made for great breakfasts.

Lunches were Jambon and baguettes (avocado not in season) consumed overlooking the channel.

Left overs given to a "good cause'

Dining out:

Elan x2 - Guru really enjoyed his Paella and the Chowder. My beef parcel was good but the pork was amazing. Service very good.

Wahoo Bar- lunch. Not fantastic or cheap but a beautiful quiet view and the sashimi tatami was top quality (and I am very fussy on my sashimi)

Didn't even contemplate the crab...I had already been told it tasted ordinary. (this might protect it more than saying don't eat it....a bit of education as well that it isn't a crab that is flavoured with coconut might help)

Dining In: Used a local expat chef, health issues meant going out was not as enjoyable as it should be, so having a meal cooked onsite was a godsend. Did our BBQ and had a few delivery Pizzas.

Tripping:

We did it the lazy way. Used the driver to tailor a round island tour just for us. Left town early and enjoyed Blue lagoon. The wind was blowing fiercely so skipped Eton Beach. Cascades given a miss as well as I decided I would enjoy it more by myself on the next visit!

Hideaway: Hmmm, mixed feelings. Snorkelling was good, standard fringing reef style. Not a lot of shade available so if shade is important get there early for your spot. Guru enjoyed sitting on the edge watching the fish swim around. A few hours was enough for us, but the visit was worthwhile.

Shopping- didn't have a chance.

Ok..... so here comes the OH! anyone looking for a "pure" tropical destination, this isn't it. It isn't a place to go if you want a 5* cookie cutter experience. There is poverty, there are locals wandering along the road with machetes and massacred pigs on their backs, it is real!!! It is a beautiful tropical destination where the local people are friendly and happy (well they seemed to be to me).

So if Vanuatu will have me back, planning on it (along with the kids).

It was a close to home, not too expensive, ideal short trip away that next time deserves longer.

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 4,060
reviews: 67
1. Re: My short Visit

So glad you enjoyed it GW.

We also loved our brief visit to Villa 25 and thought Vanuatu was a wonderful spot - couldnt work out why we hadnt been before ! I thought the people were lovely, the food great and the sunsets amazing and we cant wait for a whole 10 days there in January to really do it justice.

Thanks so much for your recap and hope you are feeling rejuventated and somewhat repaired, if thats possible ;-)

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 2,469
2. Re: My short Visit

Your comment about juice prices reminded me of a conversation I overheard about wine prices at ABM2.

Lady 1: 2200vt, that can't be right. A bottle only costs $8 at home.

Lady 2: Well that must be the price for a carton, surely it's not for one bottle.

So off they both went to ask staff what the 2200vt price was for, while I walked away thinking "welcome to Vanuatu, a beautiful place but it isn't cheap".

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 4,060
reviews: 67
3. Re: My short Visit

well I cant recall seeing any Vineyards whilst there so of course its all gotta be flown in and cost more. In saying that I thought the price of their French wine and Champers is not bad depending on what you pick - compared to other places in Asia/Pacific its positively cheap !

I think GW had the right idea buying at the market and supplementing where necessary. And staying in season is obviously key - remember the good old days before they gassed all our fruit !

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
posts: 16,743
reviews: 142
4. Re: My short Visit

yeah black spots on the skins of an otherwise perfect banana...bonus

i had 2 fantatsic sancerre that cost in excess of 40 here for less than 2600vatu

BUT.... a very ordinary NZ sav blanc was about $5 more...

OK, going price for the place (and cheaper than Thailand or Sing)

LOL, try LHI..where you really pay through the nose and have far more ordinary snorkelling and accom for 3x the price

5. Re: My short Visit

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Removed on: 3:35 am, August 25, 2012
6. Re: My short Visit

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7. Re: My short Visit

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Removed on: 11:29 am, August 26, 2012
Edited: 11:29 am, August 26, 2012
nz
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island
posts: 4,186
reviews: 160
8. Re: My short Visit

My first (and so far only) trip to Vanuatu was two years ago. At that time this forum was very friendly and helpful, both before and after my trip.

But sadly, recently things have changed on this forum and I have to agree with the comments by Guruswife.

Unfortunately I have seen exactly the same happen on the Cook Islands forum. That used to be a very friendly forum also where discussions used to take place and people came up with varying opinions. Now opinions that are opposed to those of the DE are contradicted and, very often, removed.

The same thing seems to be happening here. I think it's a great shame. And it is likely, again as Guruswife says, to drive people away from the forum and, potentially, from Vanuatu.

nz
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island
posts: 4,186
reviews: 160
9. Re: My short Visit

Forgot to add, of course, that we thoroughly enjoyed our first trip and hopefully our reviews reflected this.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 1,417
reviews: 32
10. Re: My short Visit

Many people regard their first trip to Vanuatu, especially if it is a short one, as essentially a reconnoitre trip :-)

If the place is generally to their liking they often come back with a list already developing of what will happen on the "next trip".

It seems you might be planning the next trip already which is great. A lot of the regular posters here have a lot of good info to share.

Thanks for posting you trip report, better than me, still procrastinating about my not so recent May trip report.

I look forward to your planning for trip two and sharing the love of Vanuatu and its wonderful people,

Cheerz Wabster.

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