Sleeping Giant Zipline


Even though I’m back living in Australia, I think of Fiji all the time and still have so many recommendations to share!

When arriving in Fiji you will most probably stay in Nadi for a day or two before going onto your island paradise in the Mamanuca’s, Yasawas or along the Coral Coast…

I would highly suggest to get out of your hotel/resort and look around the area. There are two Zipline companies, Nadi Zipline and Sleeping Giant Zipline. I’ve only been to the Sleeping Giant Zipline and it was fantastic. I’m sure Nadi Zipline would be great as well, however I can’t comment.

Sleeping Giant Zipline is located in the Valley of the Sleeping Giant in Sabeto. This is about 20 -25 mins outside of Nadi and they can arrange transfers to and from your accommodation. The surrounds are stunning, lush greenery, mountains and rivers and it’s also very fun to zipline through these while doing tricks. I just kept to the basics but I think Jay was getting ready to audition for Cirque du sole haha

They provide lunch, all safety equipment and a locker to put your valuables. The friendly team are happy to take photo’s and videos of you ziplining through the valley. Afterwards we went for a short hike of about 20 mins to the Orchid Waterfalls. It was stunning, small waterfall and fresh water. Although it was cold we enjoyed a nice swim and waterfall massage as you sit underneath it. It was actually the best shower pressure I’d had in a long time haha, shame I didn’t bring my shampoo!

Orchid Waterfalls Shower fallOrchid Waterfalls

Check out the video, as you can see, it’s a lot of fun!

I miss Fiji!!

Donu Vinaka,

Lolomas x

Levuka ~ Fiji’s Old Colonial Capital

Locals say if you haven’t visited Levuka and Lovoni Village then you haven’t been to Fiji. The history is amazing, sad, and a very moving fight for survival. 
Epi’s tour took us on a fantastic day trek from Levuka Town to Lovoni Village, through the jungle, over a mountain, and down into the crater. On the way he explained his story which is remarkably humble and the reason he knows so much about how to survive with the food and medicines provided by the jungle. Once we were at the top of the mountain the view into the crater of the extinct volcano was stunning. The volcano is said to have been extinct for 40,000 years, Lovoni being in the crater means that it is one of the only safe villages from hurricanes or cyclones.

Climbing an extinct volcano

Climbing an extinct volcano

Looking into the crater village of Lovoni

Looking into the crater village of Lovoni

We had a fabulous lunch at Epi’s families house in lovoni, it was delicious range of vegetables and fish which is the diet of their ancestors before chickens etc were introduced. After lunch and tea Epi then explained the history of Fiji from the first landing times, when the first people came to Fiji, how Ovalau Island was populated with lovoni being fiji’s first village, colonial settlement, and the survival of the lovoni people. I would recommend this trip to everyone who visits Fiji and especially ovalau Island. It was the best day on Ovalau and one of my favourite days during the island hop.

Delicious traditional lunch

Delicious traditional lunch

Church in Lovoni Village

Church in Lovoni Village

We stayed in ovalau for 5 nights but I think 3 would have sufficed. It is a sleepy island where there isn’t much to do in the evenings. We spent most nights eating in and going to the bar of the ovalau holiday resort. The manager David was a great host who wore many hats as he was also the cook and pretty much worked 24/7… What I didn’t expect was that we would be ambushed by a New Zealander bogan! The company that was fixing the roads on ovalau Hiways, had booked out some cabins at the resort so it was 5 nights of bogan. Offensive language, obvious sexist, fighting, real fighting fists and all, drunk every night and chain smoking.

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Anyway, levuka town was very cute and now a world heritage site. It looks as though cowboys should be walking down the main street with its colonial architecture and coconut trees lol. It used to be a bustling trade town with many restaurants, pubs, hotels etc but only the Royal Hotel remains.
I would suggest to check out the Deed of Succession where Britain gave back Fiji to the Fijians, on Fiji Day there is a reenactment which would be very interesting, maybe we’ll come back one day for that. We also took a walk to 18th century gothic Catholic Church on the cliff, it is quite eery purched up on the headland and it has the tombs of the first priests of levuka.

Deed of Cession

Deed of Cession


A bit further down is St Johns College which is also another out of place but cool building. Unfortunately inside is just used as storage and we weren’t able to go in.

One of the grounds workers Emosi at our resort heard we were hoping to go to the waterfall nearby, it would be virtually impossible to go without anyone who knew the way since there is no real track, so he took us. It is passport his village and he does a lot of his own farming out on the mountain. It was difficult and at times I had to be pulled up steep parts or when the footing was dodgy but it was worth it for the view and seeing all the casava, kava, banana and paw paw plants. Emosi even picked some mandarins and paw paw for us, I’ve never liked paw paw but this was no ordinary paw paw, it was delicious, must be the volcanic earth?! It isn’t a big waterfall but it’s very pretty, the view is fantastic and you can see the reef very clearly.

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It was an amazing couple of weeks and I can’t wait to explore more islands of this amazing country in the future.

Vinaka vakalevu,

Loloma Levu xx

Taveuni, The Garden Island

Rather exhausted after the 14 hr overnight boat ride, I could not wait to get off. It was mid afternoon when we caught the first glimps of Taveuni. It was beautiful, lush, greenary, rich vegetation and then I was happy we travelled by boat for the sea to land view.

We stayed in the Beverlys camping which was amazing, it is run by a Fijian family and consisted in a few places to pitch your tent or hire one of theirs, there is also 1 private cabin and 1 dorm room if camping isn’t quite your thing. I’ve never been one to camp but here in Taveuni it was awesome, right on the beach, bedding provided and kitchen and with everything you need, the bathrooms were fine and its a small site so everything is very close. There isn’t anything commercial about this place, completely untouched and beautiful. I loved breakfasts on the deck overlooking the sea.

Taveuni is called the garden island and it’s very much true. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much greenary, flora and faurna! Coconut, cassava, banana, pawpaw trees everywhere, just to name a few. It is also home to this massive lemon which you peel away the outer layer then also peel the lemon skin to just eat the juicey parts and it’s delicious! 

 Our first morning we ventured by bus to the bouma falls. The bus ride in itself is stunning, going through lots of villages until you get to bouma. The waterfalls consist of 3 falls, one at the base 10 mins into the hike, the 2nd about 30 mins later and the 4th about another 40 ish mins depending on your speed. The sign says 1hr 10 mins to the 3rd from the 2nd but we did it much quicker. They are all so beautiful and you can swim in them if you want to. We were running low on time so unfortunately we didn’t fit in a swim. The hike is beautiful, further and further you go up the view just takes your breath away. 

Some people weren’t bothered with going to the 3rd waterfall but I would recommend it, who knows when you’ll be in Taveuni again if ever, you may as well see all 3. My only complaint was that the bus time table doesn’t leave much time to get to all 3 and have a swim. I think this is why people wouldn’t bother with the 3rd fall. The bus gets you there after 11 am and then comes back around 2pm, if you miss the bus like we nearly did, you would either have to get a costly taxi or hitch back. Our campsite friends hitched back but it took awhile and quite a lot of walking between hitches.  

 We’ve done a bit of snorkelling in the mamanucas and on the coral coast but never experiences anything like the rainbow reef. It is rated the 3rd best in the world, so many different species of fish, soft and hard coral, it’s just amazing!  The current was very strong so you just have to go with it and skim the reef around the drop off. Snorkelling was great but if you can afford it, definitely do the scuba diving, we’ll be doing that next time! We did get to see a reef shark which was exciting and not scary at all. As a bonus we also saw 2 dolphins on the way to the rainbow reef yay, absolutely gorgeous! The team at Taveuni Ocean Sports were so nice and knowledgable. I would definitely recommend to do the introductory scuba with them and it costs around 250 FJD, the snorkelling is around $100 FJD. We were taken to 2 dive locations but there are more than 40 dive spots, all I’m sure as amazing as the other in different ways.  

   After the snorkelling we were starving so we ventured into town. There isn’t much in the way of restaurants but we heard one place made nice curry. The restaurant Diners Paradise is quite a standard curry house so we thought we knew what to expect, but unlike the curry restaurants on the mainland where potatoe is used to make the plate look more wholesome, this place had no sign of potato and plates were full of the main ingredient of your choice. I ordered the fish curry with roti and jay had the lamb curry with rice. Both were absolutely amazing and the best curry we’d had in Fiji or maybe ever and between $8-9 FJD each.  

 That evening Jay and I made a bonfire on the beach. It was so much fun but quite a lot of hard work to keep it going. It was a test run for the next night which was our last night in Taveuni, so that was a success and a lil couple fun time yay.

Our last day was perfect just like all the other days on Taveuni. We hitched and walked to the natural watersides, and again had our breath taken away. The rock formations create a natural waterslide and much more fun and beautiful than wet and wild haha. The rocks are so smooth it doesn’t hurt at all, only time you could get hurt is slipping while walking to the top. I had a minor slip but was fine to keep going. The water is fresh and there are deep pools as well, just like it the water parks. After a fewslides we were joined by some kids who come everyday. Their slide skills were amazing, running to the top like slipping isn’t an option, then running and sliding down on their feet, not bums like us haha! It was amazing, so fearless. Then they were jumping into the deep pool from the 2-3 metre rock, backflips and everything. Jay also jumped although it wasn’t as confident as the kids haha.   

 That evening we had dins up at the backpacker resort which is stunning, murruva for our last night.  During our trip, Jay played volleyball up there and I went on the free wifi. They also do kava sessions which we went to one on the second night, it was quite fun. 

As its our last night a few people gathered together for our bonfire, including Doe from Activities team at Maruva who brought his guitar, singing skills and also the highlight, fire dancing! Also our two camp site buddies Liz and Jasmin, then 3 other guys jay got to know from volleyball. It was a perfect way to end the trip and next time we’ll stay for longer as there is still so much to see on Taveuni, up on the shore and under da sea (lil mermaid)  

   Next stop, the old colonial town of Levuka!

Loloma Levu


Miami the city that keeps the roof blazin!

Welcome to Miami, benvenidos a Miami! 

It’s always great when you can start with a Will Smith lyric! 

Forget your English and I hope you know some Spanish as its the first language  in Miami, no wonder with such a massive Cuban population. Unfortunately I think Celiya and I were a few months too early as the transport authority hasn’t opend up direct routes to Cuba yet. Oh well next time I’ll check out this amazingly notorious island which is probably like stepping back in time 50 years or so!

We stayed right in South beach and loved the Art Deco architecture. It reminded me a lot of my aunt and uncles house in London which is Art Deco… You should check it out! The weather was awesome and quite similar to Fiji only a lil less humid. We ditched our cold clothes and got to sport some of our new buys from NYC 🙂 also went a lil crazy with the flash tatoos haha but hey, it’s fun!  


The second day we ventured out to lil Havana which is the Latin/Cuban quarter as well as the wealthy area. The wealthy area houses are made out of coral, since Miami is a massive coral reef but over centuries has eroded. One house is actually built on top of an extinct reef, it looks interesting but not my style and would def not buy it for over 1 mill. Little Havana is a complete contrast, much more humble homes which range from 60k to 400k, quite colourful 1 level (bungalow). I don’t think we saw any of the 60k houses, probably more like a shed! 

house built on a reef

 The Main Street had a Cuban vibe and since it was around 3pm I think a lot of places were closed due to siesta? We managed to get a pinacolada with fresh pineapple juice served in a pineapple yay.  Then onto the Biscayne bay cruise 🙂  

     The mansions were amazing, esp Will Smiths house, Jennifer Lopez, who lives on same street as ex Mark Anthony  but in a much bigger house, and same island as ex P.diddy lol (awkward). Alicia Keys house was stunning and you couldn’t miss her yacht docked out the front. Famous deceased mobster Al Capone house is there as well as Frank Sinatra’s. There were heaps but I believe it’s their holiday house as most looked rather quiet and empty.  

 Unlike New York we realised there wasn’t really that much to see in Miami and if you weren’t into beach days you could possibly come for 3-4 days and be happy. However, I can never turn down a beach day so we spread out sightseeing inbetween beach days yay! Water is warm and there were a few waves to make it fun. That is one thing most beaches in Fiji lack, not that I’m a surfer lol. 

It was Memorial Day long weekend so lots of holiday makers and good vibes. People watching at its best, so many cool and confusing fashion trends, girls with their hair done, nails done, everything did (sorry I love a song quote *Drake-fancy*), to go to the beach where it will get ruined! Lol  

 I was doin my thang floating on the waves  and nearly floated into this black guy who said and I quote “ya’ll gettin ya float on” in a happy tone and big smile! It was an exciting and funny moment haha.

I’m in love with this cocktail fusion, pinacolada and strawberry daiquiri! Best daytime summer drank, so refreshing! Really enjoyed the range of Cuban food here in Miami and the 2 for 1 cocktails in giant glasses! Another drink I’m having withdrawals from is Starbucks bottled frappicinos in coffee, mocha and mocha coconut (my fav) flavours! I would enjoy 1 or 2 of these a day in th morning or on the beach. 

  More sightseeing took us to Vizcaya museum mansion. It is probably most famous as the house used in Bad Boys 2, where Mike and Marcus go in as “pest control”. It was stunning early 1900’s owned and built buy English aristocrat. The grounds go for ages and so well kept. There were ppl having their wedding shots done, fashion shots and I think the house was setting up for a function, maybe an evening wedding? Amazing but extremely costly location. 

   Although we had to get 3 forms of transport  it was actually very easy and cheap, just buy a day pass. The city monorail is free! It was also a cool way to see Downtown Miami. 
Now not like NY wasn’t enough, the shopping spree continued into Collins ave, South Beach. Got excited in Victorias Secret, more Zara purchases (each store has something diff), club Monaco amoung others. By the time we got to Lincoln rd Mall, I’d reached my shopping spree limit. Too bad apart from 1 jumper everything is summer clothes so as of June 18th it won’t be worn.

  Saturday we went to the Everglades to see the alligators. That was pretty cool but with a delayed rain season the water level was very low. I hope they get rain soon so no more fish etc die. They are still having to repair a lot of damage that has been done to the ecosystem from previous years, including draining water, dumping toxic waste and endangered species. Sad face 😦 Celiya was recovering from a migraine so we postponed our night out dancing to Sunday, which would prob be the better of the nights as it was the long weekend yay.

We decided to give the celebrity clubs a miss with their long lines, expensive cover charge crap and only to see the likes of Young Jeezy lol. We checked out tropical mango which was mainly a Latin club which also played R&B, perfect! I found my salsa skills are a bit rusty but was also thrown when a girl dragged me to dance salsa lol. After that brief weirdness celi and I found our groove and celi was also celebrating Cavs win or mainly her BronBrons win haha. It was a great night and now I can’t wait to get back into salsa and Zumba 🙂 

Our last day was a late start for obvious reasons, but we enjoyed our final day in Miami on the beach. We ended the evening with cocktails and Cuban food at De Rodrigues, in the Hilton which was delicious and well worth the splurge! 



 Another note, do not visit samba sushi in Lincoln Rd Mall, food is expensive, tiny and tasteless and the staff were rude. That was our only crappy food experience. 

Thanks Miami for turning up the Heat lol *pun intended


New York, concret jungle where dreams are made of!!

New York was the first stop for myself and Celiya, very tired after the overnight flight from LA not to mention the overnight flight from Fiji as well. We made our way to the apartment in the Hells Kitchen district. After settling into the apartment we ventured uptown 86th street to cross Central Park over to the East side for the MET. Central Park was lovely and lots of school excursions, basketball and baseball games being played, along with people taking rides in the horse and carriage. The MET was really cool but take note that $25 per adult to get in is optional, it’s a donation only so we paid much less as was everyone else. 
We saw the Chinese Through the looking glass exhibition which was amazing, beautiful dresses. you may remember they big yellow dress Rihanna wore to the MET gala this year, it was by designer Guo Pei and Celiya and I agree she should have worn this one instead.

There was also lots of other things to see like Egyptian artefacts, African, even Fijian yay! Along with a lot more. It’s worth the trip it’s cheap and take a walk through Central Park as well.

 We had an early night since we were extremely tired and also after nearly falling asleep towards the end of the MET trip and Celiya having power naps on the subway haha

Wednesday we were feeling much more fresh and ready to go! We caught up with my friend alexia and had lunch in the stylish West Village and shopping in Soho. Great to catch up since it had been 2 yrs since we last saw one another. Also this marked the beginning of my US shopping spree haha. 

We spent Thursday checking out the city via Hudson River cruise, then onto 9/11 memorial which was sad but very nice park and tastefully done. We wanted to climb the Statue of Liberty but unfortunately it was booking out until August! So some advise, book online at least 3 months in advance esp for the spring/summer months. Wall Street was pretty cool a lot of Mike Ross and Harvey Spector types but not as sawve in real life haha. We did make use of the street food and got a delicious hot dog (really!!) we searched for ages for the famous Bull, I know it from Hitch movie where Will tells the douche bag he won’t help him then th douche gets kneed in th balls by Eva Mendez lol. Really there were too many ppl taking pics with it and not getting the pic and getting out but standing in front for ages adding diff family members, multiple poses argh annoying! 



 The first time I went to New York I didn’t get to see a Broadway show so this was a top priority and we loved Aladdin. The Genie was awesome, you couldnt get a better one and he’s rightfully won a tony award for his performance, as has the entire show. I’m so glad I saw this as its a childhood fav.

We thought for a Friday afternoon, what more appropriate than to do a sex and the city tour. It was a lot of fun and I didn’t realise it was mainly filmed in west village and not upper east side. We stopped where the girls take Charlotte to buy her “rabbit” haha. We were supprised how small Steve and Aidens bar is in real life but enjoyed a cosmopolitan of course! Also it’s not called Scout. We checked out the restaurant where Big and Carrie had their rehearsal dins, so nice and we were surprised it is affordable, so I’ll be making a reservation next time! 

     We went up the Empire State building which had hardly any queues yay. The view is great and you can see how huge Central Park is. Afterwards we did some 5th ave shopping and research. I now know what shoe size I am in Valentino, dolce & gabbana and Louboutins yay, now I just need to get paid again so I can buy online haha. 


 Sat night we met up with alexia again at Catch in the Meatpacking district. Celiya and I are still dreaming of the delicious chips we had there as well as our meals. I suggest the mussels, amazing!! We made a reservation however I don’t think it meant anything since we had to wait about an hr anyway. I can imagine this is standard in this popular nighttime district. Afterwards we went up to the rooftop bar which was playing good music with a dance floor. I would suggest eating at the club/bar you want to spend the night at, as we didn’t have to pay a cover charge or line up again. Or this could have been since we were three girls? 

Sunday was a lazy day but we went to ripplies and time square. We actually go to Times Square everyday since we’re so clo but we had a better look around this time. Always amazes me how many ppl go to New York for new year to watch the ball drop! It isn’t even that big or long of a drop haha. 
We took a long day trip to Washington which was rushed but very good and informative. It actually reminded me a lot of Canberra, with a lot of greenary, roundabouts, wide avenues and well positioned monuments. I know i shouldn’t find something funny at a war memorial but the “freedom is not free” just reminded me on Team America! 



Food of New York, it’s amazing however, our first dinner in NY was maccas lol, but there after we made sure to make use of all the cuisens at our doorstep. Each night we tired something diff, Mexican, Ethiopian (a must try), Turkish, seafood just to name a few. We had a local bakery which made a delicious assortment of paninis which we would grab for lunch or dins sometimes to save a lil money. Of course a cocktail is required with every meal, try to go with the cuisen so if the food is spicy, make sure the cocktail is as well hehe.

   Next stop and post Miami!! 


Oh my Seoul, Street Food, Street Art, Street Entertainment & Cosmetic Surgery

Seoul, Korea!

Cosmetic Surgery, 1 eye lid or 2? Delicious Street food! Street Art… Good times

After Japan we flew to Seoul, Korea. Just want to shout out to Korean Air, they have a great selection of new and old movies.

I thought Japan was cold, turns out Korea is still in winter mode. It was quite rainy as well but we managed huddling under an umbrella. Our first stop was the Palace which was very cool. It was a shame it was quite foggy as we were surrounded with mountains which you could only vaguely make out. The colourful architecture was great and they had guards in traditional dress, which you could take pics with but you’ll be told off if you accidentally touch/bump them

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The furniture is similar to what we had seen in Japan, low lying tables and sitting cushions on the floor. I must say it does create a lot more space and looks very tidy. Giving me more ideas for future pad hehe

The grounds were stunning, even in the wintery weather. We had a lot of fun *trying* to take arty pics with the surroundings. There was only a tiny bit of Cherry Blossom but can imagine later in spring it would look amazing at this palace!

Afterwards, we found somewhere to have lunch. This was quite a trendy area, lots of cool shops and cafés. The place we went to was small but the food was very yummy and it was cute how you wrote your review on a post-it note or simply that you had been there and the date.


We searched for quite some time for the Traditional “village” which is actually just a street with a few houses in it in their traditional forms. It was quite cute but we thought it would be an actual village, google images made it look much better than what it was haha.


Korea Tower and 3D museum was really fun, I recommend to do both and to go in the afternoon so you can also stay up the tower to watch the sun go down and all the city lights come on. It is amazing the density of this city but it is quite usual for a lot of countries other than Australia! Makes Sydney look like a country town and Canberra a village! The 3D museum has karaoke booth with awesome selection of songs, like usual I did my rendition of Yeah by Usher haha

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Louise and I found Korea is much better at making coffees than Japan and I really enjoyed the barley Tea, very earthy but nice flavor. I loved the street food, on the first night after a disappointing and expensive meal in Udong I wished we’d just walked around spending equivalent to $1-3 AUD on all diff kinds of food from street vendors. Also all the hustle and bustle adds to the fun and making sure we’re not separated… luckily I was wearing a very noticeable red jacket just in case.


The next day we went to the street art area, it was very cool and not too crowded as we were there early, well, before lunch on a Saturday morning anyway! There are a lot of stairs which reminded me how unfit I am, but I’m working on it now hehe.


Afterwards we went and had some delicious hot pot and being full didn’t stop me from getting more street food. There was also a lot of street clothing vendors. Hats and Socks were the most sold items, the slogans on the hats were quite funny and I’m not sure if they realise that most of them weren’t quite right ie) Pervert in big block letters on a flat cap!

The other thing I noticed was the highly advertised cosmetic surgery. It’s actually quite sad how acceptable and even encouraged to change the structure of your face! It’s so “normal” that people walk around right after having surgery, have lunch, go back to the office etc. I guess for the more simple surgeries like widening your eyes by removing part of the eyelid!


On a happier note, Seoul’s free wifi was awesome! Pretty much had wifi everywhere which was great for google map directions.

Back in Fiji now so…

Vinaka vakalevu

Loloma levu xx

Cherry Blossom Season ~ Japan


A little over two weeks ago I left the very beautiful Cherry Blossom country of Japan. Myself and two of my regular travel buddies and besties Celiya & Louise started our Japan trip in Osaka. It was the coldest and least things to really see of the three cities we traveled so it was good that we got it out of the way first while we were none the wiser.

The Osaka Castle was our first sightseeing stop, it was nothing like the castles I had experienced in Europe. Unfortunately on the inside it’s just a museum like any other, I was hoping they would have persevered the interior and made it feel like you were stepping back in time. The view from the top is nice, but not many cherry blossoms were out yet so it looked quite wintery.

Afterwards we went to famous eating and shopping district, the hussle and bussle was fantastic, I really enjoyed the vibrancy and also the amount of food to eat. I wasn’t a huge fan of Japanese food but I’ve changed my mind since! We had some amazing green tea deserts and dinners mainly noodle based. I’ve also discovered green tea chocolate! My favourite is the green tea Kit Kats. I’m not sure why but I’m seeming to be enjoying green tea more in Japan than I ever did in Australia, maybe they brew it differently?

Day two saw us at Osaka Tower, this was a major let down haha… I don’t think the tower was much or any taller than Telstra Tower in Canberra and there was nothing special to look at. The city isn’t really beautiful or architecturally amazing. However, it was worth going there for the tepenyaki in this area which we had beforehand and on the way out the Japanese Pancake. My mouth is watering thinking of them.

The day improved when we visited the Shitennoji Temple, it wasn’t very crowded so we could have a good look around and climb the steep steps up the temple tower. There are some similarities between the architecture of Japanese Buddhist temples to the ones I saw in Thailand. This one isn’t particularly big but a good temple to start off with. We were mainly amused with the cute Turtle community in the pond outside the temple!

We caught the train to Kyoto, the minute you step out of the station you can see it’s such a pretty city, very clean and organised as Japan is very well known for. Immediately we saw girls dressed in their traditional Yukata’s looking like dolls, I felt very frumpy in my jeans and jacket. We stayed in a traditional Japanese style guesthouse. It was so much fun, sleeping on the floor and eating on the floor with little floor chairs (without legs but has back support)! They served us green tea when we came to the room and provided lounge style Yukata’s. The floor bedding was unbelievably comfortable, warm and reminded me of sleep overs.

First off we went to the Golden Temple which is about 30 mins by bus from Kyoto city. It was just as it’s described, golden and you spot it the minute you enter the temple grounds. Lots of people huddling around to get the best shot, luckily we managed to get a few as well. I saw my first Japanese Crane here and they are a funny but beautiful looking bird. They don’t look much like the origami ones I tried to make in primary school haha.

We did some browsing around the traditional shopping area and had dins in a traditional restaurant, shoes off and on the floor. This was the worst meal I had while in Japan, very bland and too much sashimi for my liking, typical it was the most expensive as well.

The next morning it was rainin, but our hotel provided umbrellas Yay! Then off we went to the Fushimi Inari, I had pinned this one on pinterest and it is well worth the hike, even in the rain! It’s absolutely stunning and the most fun since you walk through thousands of orange wooden arches, they did provide some shelter from the rain. You are greeted with a beautiful Cherry Blossom tree on entry and we started to see more cherry blossom from here. It’s quite fun to make a prayer, throw some coins and ring a bell… much more fun than sitting in church and being passed a plate to put money in, but who’s comparing hehe.

We also discovered food tasting in Kyoto which is much better than Costco haha. I was trying all sorts of treats and deserts, even green tea and vanilla ice cream! I bought some back with me but Jay has already eaten all the green tea Kit Kats.

Lastly we checked out the Silver Temple Ginkaku-ji, this was a much smaller temple but very unique and pretty grounds. There was another Crane frolicking around the gardens, mini waterfalls and moss like grass.

The bullet train to Tokyo was very exciting, we sped past Mt Fuji and were able to take a few pictures, it does look amazing but I’ve heard it’s popular for attempted suicide, so sad!

Tokyo is what I expected, big, loud, people, cars, trains, buses everywhere but the chaos is in a somewhat orderly fashion.

In the main, Japanese people are very nice and helpful. We did come across one B!tch who Celiya was about to ask in Japanese for directions and she just yells “NO, NO”! We were startled by this rude lady and the people she was with also seemed shocked. We were only looking for a restaurant to celebrate Celiya’s bday… Anyway, shortly afterwards we found we’d come out too late for dinner on a Tuesday night, who would have thought a city like Tokyo would have quiet times?! After many helpful restaurant managers who were closing, gave us directions for other Japanese restaurants that were also closing, we thought Maccas could be our only option! Until we stumbled across one, who said kitchen closed in 10 mins, no one spoke English except 2 patrons who helped us with the menu and drinks. Since we didn’t really know what we ordered I was skeptical how enjoyable this meal would be… I was wrong, it was delicious and prepared right in front of us, I even enjoyed the sashimi yay! The people who helped us over heard our Saki cheers for Celiya’s Bday and ordered some Japanese Cake for us, OMG so nice!

We visited the Ueno Park which was filled with so much Cherry Blossom! I went a bit crazy with Cherry Blossom selfies, the park was filled with people, you have to book to have a picnic under the cherry blossom trees in the heart of the park, and it’s like a cherry blossom tunnel. Spring is definitely the time to see Japan, even if it is still a little cold.

After taking a few wrong turns we eventually made it to the Oldest Temple in Tokyo Senso-ji , it was packed full of people, the most busy one I’ve seen but I guess it is in the most populated city in Japan. Locals have a soft spot for this temple as it’s the oldest in Tokyo.

On the last day we went to Meiji Shrine, there was a bride and groom in traditional wear arriving for a wedding, which was exciting… I’m not sure if it was staged or real, nevertheless cool.

The last evening, we went to the red light district, it’s got a lot of great places to eat, and not all the places are brothels or strip clubs. Male brothels are also just as popular and their pics are posted up on billboards, it’s weird how open and out there it is. Haha

Japan was great, except the coffee, buy from the vending machines before a café… my favourite brand was Boss café au late, cos I’m a boss haha.

Korea next blog 🙂



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Treasure House ~ Homework & Tutoring

Bula Gang,

Last Friday was the end of another stint of volunteering. It’s been a great month being back at the Treasure House. Immediately it felt like I hadn’t left and the kids were all very familiar with me. I spent the first 2 weeks with my toddlers in the routine I had from last year, but these last 2 weeks I’ve been coming in the afternoons and staying into the evening helping the older children with their reading, writing and homework.

I didn’t realise how hard a task would be getting kids to do their homework, I’ve felt somewhat like a nagging mother or school teacher, maybe there isn’t a difference. Although they do seem to enjoy having me around to help, Gideon who is 7 sits on my lap while he’s doing his homework. I don’t have to check their bags for homework in case they are lying, I was told by the staff they are likely to do this. I’m glad I haven’t really needed to be a homework warden haha.

It’s alarming how behind some of the kids are, 8-9 years hardly know how to read. I’ve had to teach them to sound out the letters instead of just guess the next word. Five girls are going to a catch up school for reading and writing. Then there are others who are doing so well and take a lot of pride in their work and I think they only get me to check it so I can tell them how smart they are!

One of our final year of primary school girls Ester, really tested me with her maths homework. It was a fractions multiplication and I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to do this, but looking back on her previous examples we managed to figure it out. I might add, I’ve never in my adult life had to use a fraction multiplication!

It is a bit heartbreaking when the toddlers see me around the house, as they’re not my main focus anymore and they don’t understand. I do spend an hour or so with them when I first arrive but then when the school kids are home and organized I’m in the sunshine room.  Jacob is always calling “Ali mai, Ali mai” and Siriti cries when I have to go for homework. One evening the other day, it was so cute, Gloria and Siriti came over to the Sunshine room and excitedly said “ALICE!!” I had a lil play and cuddle with them between homework and dinner time.

I’m also helping Jenny who has down-syndrome, she’s doing very well with her adding work but not so well in her reading. She does seem to focus better than some of the other kids when I’m reading to her, so that’s good, she’ll get it eventually.  

It was sad the other week. Ansu came down with an appendicitis, she’s off school now for a month. I’ve seen her around a lot as she’s recovering but the poor thing is bored staying at home from school. She’s just started high school and really enjoying it. She’s definitely a dedicated student and already talks about what she wants to do when she finishes, be a flight attendant for Fiji Airways because she wants to see the world. I think she’ll do just fine!

I am hoping to continue my volunteering when I return for the next bit of traveling, so hopefully there will be more updates from the Treasure House.

I will visit them at the very least.

Vinaka vakalevu

Loloma levu x

Treasure House ~ All Smiles

Milly before Milly After

Every girl deserves to have a bula smile! On Saturday Milly and I picked up her new teeth which we had measurements done on the Saturday before. I’m glad that it didn’t take very long to have her teeth made up and now she and everyone else can enjoy her smile. A girl of 16 already has many things to be self-conscious about, but smiling, laughing and talking doesn’t need to be one of them anymore.

This is a big thank you (Vinaka) to my parents for donating the money so I could do this for Milly. They always gave me a reason to smile when I was growing up (and still do), now they’ve given Milly a reason to smile.

Vinaka Vakalevu,

Loloma Levu x