French Polynesia



It's surprising how close a visit to French Polynesia comes to fulfilling the ideal of paradise. The islands, which include Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea, are still largely quiet and move at a slow pace outside Papeete, Tahiti's busy capital city. The lagoons of French Polynesia are still amazing shades of blue or green; the mountains still rise dramatically above the sea.

And though the residents of French Polynesia may spend more time buzzing around in SUVs than paddling outrigger canoes, they still gather for a Hinano (a local beer) and a song, and many wear flowers in their hair.

But as with most things beautiful, French Polynesia isn't easily had as a travel destination. A (decidedly chic) thatch-roofed bungalow there can cost you 70,000 CFP a night or more, and there are few bargains to be found in dining, activities or transportation. However, those who can afford a vacation in the islands of French Polynesia aren't likely to be disappointed. And were it not for the travel price tag, you might be tempted to stay forever.

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