That was a common reply I got from many people I met when I told them I was heading to Fiji for a media trip 2 months ago. Many mistook it for the famous photogenic volcano in Japan and wondered what was I doing there for a week.
No, guys. It wasn't a typo. Fiji is a country in the Pacific Southwest, made up of more than 100 islands itself. It's located about 3 to 4 hours off Australia/New Zealand, with about 60% of their tourists from OZ/NZ. All until April 2016, Fiji remained a very mysterious and faraway place for many Singaporeans, mostly unheard of (including myself), but that is no longer the case now.
Because you can now fly direct from Singapore to Fiji via Fiji Airways!!! Before April 2016, it took around 20 hours for one to get to Fiji from Singapore with transfers and the thought of long haul flights itself is enough to make many of us abandon our plans to go there. But now, with direct flights leaving Singapore twice a week, each journey takes only 10 hours!
Courtesy of Fiji Airways, I managed to step foot into this amazing country of sapphire blue waters and golden soft sand, filled with warmth and hospitality.
"BULA!!!" A greeting (meaning "hello") you're bound to hear more than a thousand times on your trip there :')
Now, before I go into details of the trip, I guess you guys would be more interested to know about the flight there and back, since 10 hours isn't a short duration and we all know how terrible it can be to be on a horrible flight... Also, personally, I always felt that a trip on a national carrier on my first trip to a particular country always gives me a glimpse of the culture and people in that country. And my experience has been great so far.
The fleet to and fro Singapore and Fiji has both Business and Economy classes on board, together with friendly crew too! I flew there on Economy class and flew back on Business class, making it my first business class experience (all thanks to the staff at Fiji Airways for upgrading us!!!). Now, I'm not a fussy flyer/passenger and my usual mode of transport is via budget carriers. So, naturally I was already very happy to be planted in my economy seat throughout the whole 10 hours with the accompaniment of Jessica next to me!
Thanks to great and clear weather, both flights were super smooth without turbulence. I'll let the pictures do the talking :-)
Their business class seats came with a 60" pitch, lie flat 8 degree bed, in-seat video with 15.4" monitors,in-seat power and entertainment on demand (information retrieved from their website)
The business class seat was such a luxurious treat for me, especially since I was sick on the flight back and having a lie-flat bed really allowed me to have a good rest. I slept for 8 hours straight and the moment I opened my eyes, breakfast was promptly served to me within 10 minutes (as soon as the crew saw I was awake)
|I love the toiletries bag provided!|
We managed to get a photo with the crew and also in the cock pit with the pilot upon landing at home to mark the end of our trip. As much as it was our first trip to somewhere so magical in the Pacific Southwest, it was many of the crews' first trip into our sunny island as well! Here's to more broadening of horizons now with more opportunities to experience new cultures!
Thank you Fiji Airways (& Nuffnang SG) for making this trip possible for me/us :') I'll bring you guys more of Fiji itself in the next post!