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Vanuatu Travel Information

Country Information

Area: total: 12,200 sq km land: 12,200 sq km water: 0 sq km note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited

Population: 205,754

Capital: Port Vila

Language: Bislama, English & French

Religion: Presbyterian, Catholic, Anglican

Time Zone: UTC + 11

Electricity: 220 Volts AC

Passport: A valid passport required

Currency: Vatu (100VT)

Health: No Special Precautions

Climate: Tropical

International Dialing Codes: 00-678

THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH

Vanuatu, the Happiest place on earth. In what's likely to be a surprising find to many developed countries, a new survey conducted by he highly respected New Economic Foundation (NEF) a think-tank based in the UK in association with 'Friends of the Earth',in a so called Happy planet Index moves beyond crude rating of nations according to national income, measured by Gross Domestic Products (GDP) to produce a more accurate picture of the progress of nation based on the amount of the earth's resources they use, and the length and happiness of people's lives.It differs significantly from the central indicator of national income used by governments and statistics to measure their success - the Gross Domestic Product. It states, "some will view the reports finding with surprise or even shock. But this is because to a large degree, policy makers have been led astray by abstract mathematical models of the economy that bear little relation to people's day to day realities." The report argues that a growth in GDP implies economic activity, which in turn implies that people are spending money and improving their quality of life. "But GDP is insensitive to the distribution of income within within countries. A country with a rate of poverty, a small but affluent elite and high exports could have a similar GDP per capita to a country with little inequelality and a thriving domestic economy. GDP is also a poor indicator of welfare in key respects. Interpreting it as a standard of living measure means assuming that income is closely correlated with well being the national level. General well being does not increase as the economy grows as has been repeatedly shown in recent years." The happy planet index incorporates three separate indicators. Life satisfaction, life expectancy and the ecology footprint of the country. The ecology footprint measures how much land area is required to sustain a given population at present levels of consumption. It takes into account land available to grow food, trees and bio fuels, and land required to support the plant life needed to absorb carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. The footprint of Vanuatu is a measure crops, unique rainforests, little logging and an excellent democracy record.

Geography of Vanuatu:

a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes more about Vanuatu.

Efate also known as Port Vila is the capital city of Vanuatu. People live mostly in and around Port Vila in little villages.

The main attraction here on Port Vila are The cultural center, The market house with all our local selling hand made carvings, sea shell necklaces, mat weaving & basket and many more all made with local materials, Port Vila has lots of beautiful white sandy beaches, Fishing trips are also available, trips to our most beautiful waterfall in Mele village. Go on a day cruises around the island see how the locals still live in their traditional custom ways learn about the Vanuatu cultures.There is much land in Vanuatu well known for its views across the water of Port Vila bay, so sit back relax in your home and watch the sunset.

Well known places to getaway in Port Vila to relax and enjoy the sunshine is Erakor Island very nice place with white sandy beaches, free ferry across to the resort 24 hours, floating bar and restaurant, Erakor Island Resort has different cultural nights from different island with the custom dancing, Erakor Island Resort also gives you the opportunity to taste our local foods. Enjoy a half the day at the Frangipani spa there. Snorkelling gear can be hired there also kayaks, jet ski, catamaran, canoes, go on a half day fishing trip with the experts, so just bring your towel and enjoy your day at Erakor island.

Hideaway Island  is well known for hand feeding fishes and also its under water post office. Hideaway is located away from town off shore from a near by village called Mele village, Mele village is well known for its beautiful waterfall.

Irirriki Island Resort is well known for Honey mooners. Set in the middle of the harbor, it is one of the most prominent sights when you enter Port Vila. Relax and unwind at the bar or spoil yourself at the beauty saloon. For a range of beauty therapy and treatments, visit the local Day Spa and Natural Health Centre and Spoil yourself with a manicure, pedicure, hot stone massage or a facial.

Vanuatu is made out of chains of 80 other islands and on all island there there are different things to see and cultures to experience.

Santo Island is well known for its diving sites, the blue hole, enjoy your day relaxing on the white sandy beach on champagne beach, visit the Million Dollar point where the WW2 American soldiers dumped all the weapons and other equipment worth a million dollar, and go trekking up the Sarakata river. Bokissa island is a nice romantic island to getaway on for the weekend.

Tanna is one of the most popular island of Vanuatu because of it's volcano, Yasur volcano so easily and speedily accessible. Tanna island is also known for the traditional Toka dance or the Nekoviar dance, this dance marks off the tribal war, the custom ceremony is held in the whole country according to the dates which the ceremony takes place every year, Toka dance starts off with the woman only dancing till early hours of the morning then there is a five minute silent then the men take over and start dancing away, The woman's dance is called the Napen Napen. It takes  a few months to prepare for this special ceremony.

Pentecost island is well known for the The Nangol which is like bungee jumping. The tower is about 35 meters up high. Each man that jumps off that tower is responsible for getting his own vines and launching pads. Before the jumpers jump off the tower the village people make sure that the ground below the tower is all cleared away from rocks and is soften so that when the jumper jumps he lands on the soften ground. Kids that have already been circumcised are allowed to jump the Nangol as well. Places to visit in Pentecost are the Rangusu and Laone hot springs, Captain Cook's famous rock that he crashed his ship on, To go to Bunlap village you can either trek up in the mountains to the village or go around in a boat.

Kava

The people of Vanuatu are know as the happiest people on earth and this is for a reason! Kava is being used around the world for these very reasons.

There are numerous ways of preparing kava, in Tanna – one of the southern islands of Vanuatu - people chew it raw! More traditional methods include grinding it using coral, timber or kava grinding machines.

Kava (piper methysticum) is a traditional drink used in Vanuatu and other South Pacific countries as relaxing non alcoholic beverage.

Kava is traditionally used in custom ceremonies and at the end of the working day. Due to its relaxing effect kava is ideal for:
- Relaxing muscles after a busy day working
- Calming of nerves
- Reducing anxiety
- Giving a sense of well being and contentment

Traveling in Disaster Prone Areas

Map Of Vanuatu

More Information on Vanuatu and things to do, things to see, places to stay and places to eat.

Map of Vanuatu, clearly marking distances to main countries nearby

Map of vanuatu, showing air connections

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