Tuvalu

Etymology

An important creation myth of the islands of Tuvalu is the story of the te Pusi mo te Ali (the Eel and the Flounder) who created the islands of Tuvalu; te Ali (the flounder) is believed to be the origin of the flat atolls of Tuvalu and the te Pusin (the Eel) is the model for the coconut palms that are important in the lives of Tuvaluans. The stories as to the ancestors of the Tuvaluans vary from island to island. On Niutao, Funafuti and Vaitupu the founding ancestor is described as being from Samoa; whereas on Nanumea the founding ancestor is described as being from Tonga. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Queen Elizabeth Ii Park Tuvalu – National park in Funafuti, Tuvalu. [facebook]

Tuvalu’s Hottest – Sharing & Displaying the Beauty of the people of Tuvalu! [facebook]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

A Dating Net – Tuvalu’s free dating site! Completely Free Online Dating for Tuvalu singles meet at single123.com. There are many single Tuvalu women and men searching for their perfect love match. We’ll remove all escorts, scammers & spammers. This is a regular dating service so please do not post adult or nude images. Profiles with Bikini photos are not approved. We make sure that you are dealing with serious single people at this Tuvalu match making website. [a dating net]

First Met – Meeting singles from Tuvalu has never been easier. Welcome to the simplest online dating site to date, flirt, or just chat with Tuvalu singles. It’s free to register, view photos, and send messages to single men and women in Tuvalu! [first met]

Mingle 2 – Why pay for online dating in Tuvalu when you can claim your free dating profile in seconds at Mingle2? Mingle2.com is a 100% free service where busy professionals are finding attractive singles in Tuvalu. Claim your free online dating account now at Mingle.com and start mingling! [mingle 2]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Beautiful Pacific – Not much higher in elevation than the azure sea it sits in, and decorated with a fringe of coconut palms, the tiny islands of Tuvalu make up an ancient volcanic island chain eroded so much over time that it has almost disappeared back into the sea. The highest point on this nation is 5 metres high with much of the land swamped by the rising sea-level. [beautiful pacific]

Timeless Tuvalu – With 9 atolls to explore, coral reefs and an abundance of oceanic life, Tuvalu is a dream destination for diving, snorkeling and yachting enthusiasts. Tours are generally fairly informal and are best arranged once you arrive on the island. [timeless tuvalu]

Vivi Travels – Sink into the wonderful world of the paradisiac Tuvalu Islands, surrounded by the crystal-clear Pacific Ocean. Beaches covered by fine and white sand, emerald sea rich in undersea wonders, such as colourful tropical fish and fascinating coral reefs, tropical and lush vegetation and picturesque palms near the sea; all these elements will make your holiday enviable. These 9 atolls will allow you to get away from the chaotic daily life, find time to devote to yourself and recharge your energies. [vivi travels]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Get active on the airstrip – Every afternoon, when the Equatorial sun starts to lose its bite, the place to be is Funafuti’s unfenced airstrip. It’s only used two mornings a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays; the rest of the time it’s a cross between a public park and a sports ground. Of course during the day it’s too hot and humid to be outside, but come late afternoon, people gather there to walk and talk or play soccer, volleyball or touch football. [spto]

Go to church – Christianity infuses much of life on Tuvalu, so don’t be surprised if your guesthouse host invites you to a Sunday church service (which will be in Tuvaluan or English, but not both) and offers to take you there on the back of his/her motorbike, then to a traditional family lunch called a “tonai”, where you’ll have a chance to sample typical Tuvaluan fare such as fresh fish, “coconut apple” (sweet, germinating coconut) and breadfruit loaf. [spto]

Have a castaway day – In addition to Fongafale, there are about 20 smaller islands in Funafuti atoll that encircle a large, protected lagoon. Several of the most pristine and uninhabited of these “motu” lie within Funafuti Conservation Area, established in 1999, which is a 30-minute boat ride (about 15km) from the mainland. Most are barely big enough for a dozen palm trees, but home to hundreds of nesting seabirds such as black noddies and crested terns. [spto]

Relax – The Tuvaluan version of a siesta, called “Pacific exercise”, is one of the most popular “activities” in the island nation. It’s easy to do: just stretch out in a fishing-net hammock or on a mat under a tree (preferably not one with dangling coconuts) in the middle of the day, usually after lunch, when the heat is too intense to do anything else. [spto]

Ride “around” the island – One of the best things to do on your first day is rent a motorbike (for $10 a day, ask at your guesthouse) and ride around Fongafale, the main island in Funafuti atoll. Because it’s a long, thin island there’s no loop road; instead, you’ll ride about 10 km in one direction to the northern end of the island, then turn around and ride back to the southern end. [spto]

See some culture – Although geographically Micronesian, Tuvaluans are almost all Polynesian (with the exception of those on the island of Nui) and have their own distinctive songs, the most common being the “fatele” or dancing-song. Almost every night, there are impromptu performances in family homes and public meeting spaces called “maneapa”; there’s one next to the airport terminal and Hotel Filamona, another family-owned guesthouse. Ask your host where to see a fatele during your stay. [spto]

Shop for stamps – With limited souvenir-shopping opportunities, Tuvalu Post (formerly Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau) is worth a visit; it’s open weekdays from 8am to 4pm (1pm on Fridays). In this modest concrete building you’ll find, under glass at a long table, sheets of rare and beautiful stamps issued for special occasions (everything from the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War to Charles and Diana’s royal wedding) since Tuvalu became independent in 1978. [spto]

Stay in an eco-lodge – Ten minutes by boat from the northern tip of the mainland, Adelita Island Resort (on Mulitefala Island) offers a back-to-nature experience, Tuvaluan style. This solar-powered, 4-room (soon to be 8-room) beachside lodge opened in 2013 and although it’s still a work in progress (“island time” makes everything take a little longer), the rooms are clean and there are plenty of nature-based activities, including fishing, kayaking, beachcombing, weaving lessons and hanging out in one of the hammocks. [spto]

Step back in time – In the absence of major landmarks, a hole in the ground is one of the top attractions in Funafuti – but it’s made interesting by the story behind it. Between 1896 and 1898, researchers from the Royal Society of London (and Australian professor Edgeworth David from the University of Sydney) drilled into Funafuti’s main island, at a spot now known as David’s Drill, to a depth of 340 metres, to test Charles Darwin’s theory of coral atoll formation. [spto]

Visit merchant seamen-in-training – The Tuvalu Marine Training Institute occupies A Matuku Island, which is next to Adelita Island Resort (see above) so a visit can be arranged during your stay at the resort. The college trains about 120 cadets a year for life on international cargo ships (much of Tuvalu’s revenue comes from Tuvaluans working abroad as seamen, cooks and marine engineers). [spto]

Festivals

Festivals

Bomb Day – This day is celebrated in Funafuti only and commemorates when a Japanese bomb fell through the city’s church roof on April 23, 1943. An American soldier had pre-estimated the danger, and 10 minutes prior to this had evacuated 680 villagers out of the building, of which inhabitants of Funafuti remain thankful for. [iexplore]

Hurricane Day – On October 21 Tuvaluans commemorate Hurricane Bebe, which hit the islands in 1972. Tragically, 18 people died during this severe storm and hundreds were injured. Every island and atoll in Tuvalu has its own activities to commemorate this important day in the country’s short history. [iexplore]

New Year’s Day – Following the fun-filled previous night, this is the first public holiday of the year, observed on January 1. Indeed, due to its proximity to the international dateline, Tuvalu is one of the first places where you can see the new year in, with the clock here ticking over into the next day 22 hours ahead of Honolulu in Hawaii. [iexplore]

Tuvalu Days – Held on October 1 every year, this event commemorates the independence of Tuvalu in 1978. It was a peaceful transition and today Tuvalu boasts status as the fourth smallest sovereign nation by land mass and the second smallest in population. Festivities are centered around Funafuti, where the airstrip hosts an official parade and dances. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Ferries – Tuvalu, an island group in the Pacific Ocean that stretches roughly 500 miles north to south, comprises of just nine islands or atolls. There are no scheduled commercial services between the islands so most people travel by private boat. Yacht charters are possible in Tuvalu. [iexplore]

Taxis and Car Rental – Even the main island of Tuvalu is very small, at about five miles long and very thin. There is a taxi service available around the capital city of Funafuti which you can reach by calling Tongoland (+11-688-20674). Because of the islands’ small sizes, it is not commercially viable for companies to offer car rental service here. There is only one road on the main island of Vaiaku, which is about five miles long. [iexplore]

Trains and Buses – There are no rail services in Tuvalu. You will not find any bus services on the islands except in Vaikau. Here, there is a privately owned 26-seat minibus that takes fee-paying passengers. It travels around the south of the island between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. daily, and is mainly used by locals to get to and from work. There are no bus stops; simply flag the bus down and it will stop to let you on. [iexplore]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Living in Tuvalu- Expat – In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Tuvalu is famous for its beautiful fine sand beaches which are surrounded by palm and coconut trees. As one of the world’s smallest states, comprising nine coral atolls, the country mainly relies on fishing and foreign financial support. [expat]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Tuvalu

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