Journey to the Real Face of Tahiti – 1: Gentle Moments in the Pacific Ocean, Part 1
Tahiti, in French Polynesia, consists of 118 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, including Moorea and Bora Bora. The island is rich in nature, with its endless turquoise lagoons and white sandy beaches, as well as deep green valleys with crystal-clear streams and majestic waterfalls. You can see colorful pareo cloth fluttering in the tropical breeze, and flowers spilling out of the trees. The island is a blend of French aromas and traditional Polynesian culture, and was loved by the artist Paul Gauguin, who spent his last years on the island. We are going to share a series of two reports about Tahiti, one of Peace Boat’s most popular ports of call. In this first part, we will introduce the natural beauty of Tahiti, a paradise in the South Seas.
Enjoy the time flowing in the paradise on earth
The air is pleasantly calm and tropical in Tahiti. As we land in the port of Papeete, the largest city in French Polynesia, the locals will greet you with Tahitian music. And even the hospitality of handing each person a Tiare flower. This is the national flower of Tahiti, a symbol of purity and happiness, and can be found throughout the city. Once you’ve smelled its rich fragrance, you’ll understand why British author Somerset Maugham wrote, “Whoever smells the scent of this flower comes back to Tahiti.” Strolling the streets of the city, you’ll find French-influenced culture in the bustling local marchés (markets) and the cathedrals of the city, dressed to match the tropical atmosphere.
The light melody of the song willwelcomes you with a tropical mood, and really make you feel like you’ve arrived in Tahiti.
The marche (market) is the kitchen of Tahiti and is an integral part of people’s lives. It’s a very lively place where locals gather.
The cathedral stands just behind the marché. The soft yellow walls and the red trapezoidal roof are so pretty and endearing.
Gauguin’s favorite unexplored island
After a 30-minute high-speed ferry ride from the port of Papeete, we arrive at the island of Moorea. This is one of Tahiti’s most popular tourist destinations, and the island is known as the setting for the movie “South Pacific”. Paul Gauguin loved this place, and he likened the 1,000-meter-high mountain range to a fortress, calling it “like an old castle.” Next to the crystal clear emerald green sea and white sandy beach are the water cottages. The postcard-perfect view is mesmerizing. Leaving the ocean, you can next head to Belvedere Lookout. After about 30 minutes of hiking up the mountain road, you will see the panoramic view of Moorea Island in front of you. When you think of Tahiti, you might think of the beautiful ocean, but this beautiful green mountain range is a must-see. It’s also a sprawling land. The rich nature of both sea and mountains is the charm of Tahiti.
Blue skies, white clouds, glistening seas and dark green trees – the contrast is breathtaking.
A romantic water bungalow is something that everyone would love to visit one day. Such bungalows are said to have originated in Tahiti, and are unique to the atoll islands unaffected by waves.
The mountains of the island of Moorea are lush in nature. This island is also the model for the island in the Hollywood musical and film, “South Pacific”.