Nuku’alofa, Tonga

Tonga is made up of over 170 islands, only about a third of them  are inhabited and of those Tongatapu is the most populated. Tongatapu is the island where we stopped today.  Tonga is a constitutional monarchy, the last one in the South Pacific.  The King, Tupou VI, is 48 years old.  One tour group today was lucky enough to run into him on their tour.  How cool!

Nukualofa Tonga Flower Stairs

Mom and I wandered around the city of Nuku’alofa- the biggest city in Tonga.  City is being generous, it was very small.  But it may be bigger than I realize because we arrived on a Sunday, the observed holy day in Tonga.  It is against the law to work on Sunday so all restaurants, shops, and offices were closed.

The Church Bells rang frequently today:

Nukualofa Tonga Church bells

It was a ghost town except for those given exemption due to the number of cruise ships in port.  We were originally supposed to be in Samoa today but a tropical storm made the ship’s captain adjust the itinerary to miss it.  Tonga it was.  I didn’t mind, I’ve never been here before either.

Nukualofa Tonga Empty Streets

Basically the churches were filled to the brims and singing could be heard from blocks away from each church.  It was pretty cool.

Nukualofa Tonga Church

The Royal Palace is right near the main port.  It looks out over the water and sits in the middle of Nuku’alofa.

Nukualofa Tonga Royal Palace gate

King Tupou VI of Tonga doesn’t actually live here, he lives in a more modern mansion a few miles outside of Nuku’alofa.

Nukualofa Tonga Royal Palace gates

This is the official palace where foreign dignitaries and Tongan ceremonies take place.

Nukualofa Tonga Royal Palace

It rained intermittently today and was very hot and humid.  But I wore my sunscreen and reapplied liberally (unlike in Bora Bora) so I had a good day in Nuku’alofa.

Nukualofa Tonga Church bells 2

Mom and I are going to explore more of Tongatapu,Tonga outside of the city of Nukualofa (since absolutely nothing was open!) this afternoon.  More to come from the Kingdom of Tonga!

Nukualofa Tonga Plumeria

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2 Responses

  1. Megan says:

    Caden loves your sunset pictures but is disappointed by the lack of pictures of Grandma Sherry. He wants to swim with the fish like you did.

  1. March 13, 2015

    […] and Samoa the day the tropical storm was due to hit there.  Instead we veered south and docked in Tonga.  I was perfectly happy with that as I’ve never been to Tonga […]

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