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Travel Guide: Tonga

by | Tonga

The Kingdom of Tonga is a popular choice for those looking to avoid the usual South Pacific tourist traps. While access to the Kingdom of Tonga is reasonably straightforward, a visit to the islands is only suggested for those ready to forego the luxuries of hotel life in exchange for the beautiful adventures of this independent nation’s unspoiled beauty. Tonga was given the moniker Friendly Islands because they welcomed Captain Cook in 1773, and the name is still used today.

Here is some brief and helpful information about Tonga that can help you on your trip to this paradisiacal country.

Language: The official language is Tongan. However, English is widely spoken.

Currency: Pa’anga (TOP)

Credit Cards: Credit cards are accepted in Tonga but, locating restaurants and grocery stores that take them may be challenging. Tonga is essentially a cash society, so bring enough cash to exchange some at the airport money exchanges (Western Union usually has the best rate) and then find an ATM when you need it.

ATMs: ATMs are available on the Kingdom’s major islands. ATMs can be found at Nuku’alofa and other central communities on Tongatapu and Vavau’u in Neiafu and Lifuka in Pangai. 

Internet: It’s pricey when you have to pay for it, and it’s sluggish in our short experience with it. It could assist if you carry a pocket wi-fi device. Free wi-fi is available at several guesthouses, cafés, pubs, and restaurants. We chose to spend most of our two weeks there without access to the internet.

Island Time: Island life is universal among the tropical islands we’ve seen. You are forced to slow down by the passage of time. The idea of time can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Expect nothing to happen on schedule, and don’t expect anything that requires immediate attention to happen quickly. Expect things to take longer than they usually do. Please take advantage of the leisurely pace for all it’s worth.

Climate: Tonga has a subtropical climate, with temperatures reaching approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmer months (December – April) and 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the colder months (May – November). Throughout the year, the humidity level is approximately 80%. In the afternoons, the trade winds deliver a refreshing breeze.