I'm surprise to read so terrible reviews about that place. We spent 3 nights in this accommodation, spending days in a series of amazing experiences and nice relationships with friendly and interesting people.
But for a first travel in Tanna Island maybe an "information note" is needed for "rigid mind tourists".
In Tanna Island, you need to do a compromise solution :
1) Stay west coast, nearly the airport; Good international standard accommodations, very clean, nice food, wine, happy hour, service, electricity, credit cards payments ( + high commission),... and all you'll need ( e.g. Tanna Evergreen Bungalows - White Grass Ocean Resort w/ swpool - for both rooms around us$ 100 with bathroom attached ). Those places provide a large range of activities and charge substantial prices for them ( e.g. volcano excursion, about us$100-120/p.head ). Note : it takes about 2 hours driving (1 way only) to reach Mt Yasur volcano from west coast.
You'll get polite and professional relationships with all the hotel's staff as well as with drivers and guides but don't expect genuine exchange of views;
2) Try to touch the everyday reality of Tanna Island and book an accommodation INLAND where ALL accommodations provided are basics, with "local standards" maintenance ( = very poor for international tourism standards ), just like
food standards (variety/quality), only few hours of electricity evening time and no internet/roaming coverage .... AND GET IN RETURN as follows :
If you choose to book an accommodation at JUNGLE OASIS, you'll be at only 10 Mn walking till the volcano's entrance (where you have to pay government fees = us$36/p.head and 1/2 price for the day after if you decide to come back ). From the entrance, about 1 hour easy walk to Mt Yasur's top . Then you don't need to spend any money for a car ride to the top. If you want to go back night time to the volcano ( huge volcano's show !!! ) and don't want to walk into the dark, you can arrange a ride with JUNGLE for less than us $50 for the car ( not per head ). Driver and guide (one guide is compulsory, I think - charges us$5 only ).Driver and guide will wait for you all the time you decide to spend on the top.
Our volcano's experience was huge and strong !!! and we appreciated to be free to go up and down by ourselves ( free for transport, not for government fees, of course ! )
Besides, we've met different people in JUNGLE OASIS. Marc, in particular, teacher, guide during school's holiday and when he has free time. A sensitive person, clever, moderate, affable, communicative We've learn so much about Tanna's culture, customs, traditional way of living, actual trends of the young generation,.... and so much more. Never tired by our thousand of questions !!! Thanks so much, Marc ! Still think about you !
With him, we visited 2 customs villages. i.e. traditional ritual dancing executed only on demand for tourism. Marc guides us on small paths going through the jungle to reach those villages. That moments were serene, friendly, exempted of any kind of "damages" from any" heavy touristic business machine pressure" .... only Marc and both of us ... walking through the jungle... meeting people from Tanna's villages ... discovering different traditional dancing shows ... small donation to thanks the community (the range is about us$10 for a small group of 2-4 tourists. If you want to offer a little more, buy one of their handicraft : amulet - bag - all in natural material - it could be about another us$10 donation for the community).
Apart from Marc we've met Mr Kelson - the owner of JUNGLE OASIS. He is a very busy and politically implicated man in Tanna Island & indeed Vanuatu but he doesn't neglect to share ideas with tourists if those has any interest about the island;
Apart was Kelson's family. The first evening, his wife cooked for us a nice local food diner ( a piece of chic hen - rice - and plenty of local vegetables ). The second day diner was more "basic" (concerning foreign standarts ). For the breakfast, they provide bread + jam. coffee & tea, include into the price of accommodation. The restaurant-building is made with natural material and is very pleasant to give you good natural energy for morning time.
Right, don't expect lodging/fooding as any basic international standards; But if you can to set aside those standards only for few days.... you'll share an basic joy of living, of sharing, eating, of being,.... Hmmmm !
Well !! Before booking try to keep in mind that the way of living, lodging and fooding is absolutely ... different of our conventional concerns;
Go to the right choice for you !!!
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