10 reasons why you should travel to Solomon Islands right now

Priyam Lahon15 September 20201456 views10 min. read
10 reasons why you should travel to Solomon Islands right now

When it comes to tropical island destinations, nothing can be different and unique as the Solomon Islands. Rich and extravagant, the Solomon Islands are an archipelago in the south of the Pacific Ocean. Located between Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, the archipelago is made up of six major and about 992 small islands, though, out of them, only 147 are inhabited.

Even though the roads are unpaved, and the weather is unbearably hot and sticky, this string of islands is paradise on earth. Are you wondering what is the capital of the Solomon Islands? Come to the capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, and even though it lacks the infrastructure that is expected of tropical resort destinations, the city is unlike what you will ever see – surrounded by pristine nature and volcanic peaks, Honiara is a slow-paced village life that is complemented by a strong cultural identity with a turbulent yet a captivating and rich past.

For those planning a travel to the Solomon Islands and to explore the beauty that the islands have to offer, there's no better time to pack your bags and travel to the Solomon Islands right now!

But before that, there are a few essentials that you should pay heed to.

Is it safe to travel to the Solomon Islands?

guadalcanal province

The Solomon Islands is a safe destination to unwind, but then again - what country hasn't seen crime?

The Solomon Islands are comprised of people of various ethnicities, and even though most of the Solomon Islands people are very friendly, know that not all of the ethnic groups take well to others. Some of these groups don't get along with each other; while one group is happy, the other is not, and the rising frustrations often give rise to protests and riots, sparking looting and unrest everywhere.

If you are a tourist, then it's best to avoid the protests and public gatherings, and if possible, keep an eye on the media or better yet, you can ask the hotel staff for any potential conflict. Remember, riots happen there very easily.

While the capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, can be a beautiful city and has its own charm, it does have its fair share of troubles – the city itself is the base of criminal activities, and often, the wealthy-looking tourists end up as targets; it's recommended that you leave all your expensive belongings either at home or at the hotel.

Even at night, if you plan to take a tour, it's best that you go with a tour guide or a group and consider giving your morning jogs a miss while you are in the capital Honiara. If not a tour at night, then you are probably thinking of winding down at a bar. Take note of your surroundings. Most of the time, there are a few locals who pick up a fight without any reason. It's best that you avoid them, they will know how to handle themselves, and you may not.

Above all, be aware of your surroundings, and keep an eye on your belongings. There are cases of mobile and wallet thefts, bag snatching of the tourists. Unpredictable it may be, but it will go a long way if you are aware and take precautions.

Places in the Solomon Islands you should avoid

kukum highway

Just because Honiara is the crime capital of the Solomon Islands, not all of the venues are to be avoided, but yes, there are a few that you should avoid at all costs.

Some of those venues are Point Cruz, Kukum, Central Market, to name a few; there's also the Japanese War Memorial at Mt. Austin, where criminal gangs operate at night. You never know what may happen, so, even if you plan to avoid the above-mentioned places and travel to the surrounding rural areas of Honiara, it's best that you contact the High Commission for security updates on travel before you venture out.

What about travelling by yachts?

tropical cruse paradise

Travelling by yachts is also not safe - there have been reports of criminals boarding the yachts of tourists and stealing valuable belongings. The criminals are always armed, and most of the time, if not confronted, they will simply take what they want. God forbid, but if something happens to you, don't confront them, and let them take what they want. If you are still not deterred and still plan to visit the surrounding areas by yacht, then avoid taking any valuable belongings and take only the bare essentials that you need.

Local etiquette to be followed in the Solomon Islands

sikaiana cultural village

Conflict and friction can be easily avoided if the tourists take time to get to know about the local etiquette. There are a few, though, that is of utmost importance.

If you plan to visit the surrounding areas of Honiara, you may be required to pay a fee to the local landowners. That said, there are many other places that are taboo to women, and only men can visit them.

And speaking of women, it's best to dress modestly and respect the local custom.

Now that all the essentials are out of the way, it's time to get to know the Solomon Islands better and why it's one of the most want-to-visit destinations of many!

1. Diving and snorkelling

The waters of the Solomon Islands are as clear as one can get – with the astounding array of marine life all around, including the beautiful coral reefs and various shipwrecks and artefacts from WWII, it's no wonder that diving is one of the main watersports in the Solomon Islands.

The companies operating in the Solomon Islands are knowledgeable about marine life, so it's a plus to know that they work with the locals and make sure that the marine life is not disturbed by diving and snorkelling activities.

2. Marine life

Even though the Solomon Islands get around 40 000 visitors per year, the archipelago is largely a least-visited tourist destination - and as such, it is not overrun by commercial architecture and heaps of tourists.

That means you get to see nature like never before – you can dive deep into the waters to see the turtles, whales, sharks, and manta rays. You can even explore the villages and get to know about them and their traditional life.

3. New discovery

children play in the sea

There have been reports of tourists making new discoveries during their time in the Solomon Islands. Only recently, a battleship wreck from Japan was discovered, and previously in 2018, a wildcat wreck was discovered.

There's always much to explore when you are in the waters of the Solomon Islands, and who knows, what you may discover when you are diving and snorkelling in the Solomon Islands!

4. Surfing

surfer

For beginners and experienced surfers, the Solomon Islands can be a great memory. In the waters, there are many areas with varied waves to please both, and with crystal clear waters, it's a treat to feast your eyes on the fishes and the bright and vivid coral reefs.

And even if surfing is not your style, then there are various other watersports that you can treat yourself to – wakeboarding, water skiing, and standup paddleboarding are only a few!

5. Beautiful traditions

traditional folkloric performance

Many companies are working with the locals of the Solomon Islands by connecting them with the tourists, and in return, they reap the benefits from tourists' income.

What's more, there are many villages in the Solomon Islands where the villagers welcome tourists warmly and let you enjoy their traditional singing and dancing; you can also get toured by the villagers to get a feel of their villages.

6. Wildlife

superb fruit dove

Just as the Solomon Islands are renowned for their marine life, their wildlife is also nothing short of spectacular. The islands are smeared with volcanoes and blanketed in lush and dense forests, they are ripe for exploration. Expect unbelievable waterfalls, muddy trails, and tall mountain peaks.

7. Festivals and treks

new years day festival

Did you know that the Solomon Islands are also home to some of the most colourful festivals?

Every year, they hold a festival that celebrates the colourful marine life of the Islands – a festival from where divers around the world attend, and of course, in the night, it is accompanied by singing and dancing and with the best of the local cuisines that the Islands have to offer!

The Solomon Islands also hold a trek for the tourists. For this, you have to travel to Kolombangara Island. It's a 2-day trek that challenges the grit of the tourists and includes various fun activities such as tackling jungle vines, crossing rivers and walking through the forests.

For those with the adventure genes, there's a hiking excursion on the twin peaks on Rendova Island.

8. Shopping

honiara central market

Did you know that the Solomon Islands are home to arts and crafts – so rare that collectors all over the world vie for them?

One of the most popular is the hardwood work made from black ebony – right from coffee tables to bowls to war canoes; the black ebony is used to make numerous items. What's more – you are also going to find a great selection of pandanus trays and baskets throughout the islands.

Pay a visit to Malaita Province; you are going to find beautiful shell jewellery and even money crafted exquisitely from the shell.

9. Food

Of course, what destination is complete with its cuisine?

The most important local cuisine of the Solomon Islands is seafood and fish, and which is prepared with crabs, crayfish, and yellow or bluefin tuna. You will also come upon mouth-watering dishes such as Cassava Pudding, Poi and Garlic Butter Lobster, to name a few.

Then, there are the fruits and vegetables that you can find in the local markets. And they are fresh too, and without a doubt, the best that you will ever taste!

10. Connections

ship at roderick bay

Above all, the Solomon Islands are a destination, unlike anything that you will ever travel to.

With limited internet and phone connection, you can disconnect yourself from the outside world and revel in natural life. Many come to the Islands to get a reprieve from the hectic pace of the day-to-day activities and simply connect with nature.

Can you imagine how long has it been since you have disconnected from the devices and simply bask in the glory of nature?

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