Think beautiful black and white sand beaches and tranquil, clear water, with vibrant coral reefs perfect for snorkeling and diving. Think exploring stone temples deep in the heart of luscious jungle heartland, witnessing traditional dance, and tasting authentic French Polynesian cuisine.
Think black pearl and vanilla bean farms, and overwater bungalows above eletric blue water. Think tropical sunshine and coconut-based cocktails. You’re thinking about Tahiti. You’re thinking about Paradise on earth!
And while you probably already know all of the above – the stunning landscapes, friendly locals and postcard worthy views, here are 15 things about the islands you probably didn’t.
Think you do know everything about Tahiti? Here are some fun facts!
15 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Tahiti
Tahiti is made up of 118 islands and atolls spread out over five archipelagos. The whole archipelago spans 4.000.000 square km, which is the equivalent size of Europe.
The Tahitian alphabet is made up of 13 letters; the vowels a, e, i, o, u and the consonants f, h, m, n, p, r, t and v. Noticed that there is no b? That’s why Bora Bora is actually pronounced “Pora Pora”. It means “first-born”, but early visitors heard it as Bora Bora.
A typical Las Vegas hotel has more rooms than on all 118 islands of French Polynesia.
The shopping and retail on the island is monopolized by the Chinese population. When you hear Tahitians talk about going shopping, they say they are going to “la Chine” or to the Chinese.
In ancient Tahiti, archery was considered to be a sacred sport, and only people of high rank could participate. And while they were expert marksmen, bows and arrows were never used as weapons of war.
There are no poisonous snakes or insects in French Polynesia.
Tahitians are considered to be the most genuinely friendly people in the world.
The official languages of the islands are Tahitian and French, however, English is widely spoken on most of the islands.
The word tattoo originated in French Polynesia. Tattoos have long been considered signs of beauty in Polynesian culture, and in ancient times were ceremoniously applied to the body when reaching adolescence. The English word ‘tattoo’ comes from the Tahitian word ‘tatau’.
Hawaii receives more tourists in a day than Tahiti does in a year. Tahiti is therefore one of the most exclusive destinations in the world and you can drive around the island and explore with relative ease.
“Tahiti” or “The Islands of Tahiti” is technically an ‘Overseas Country of France’, though it has it’s own government which makes all international decisions on behalf of French Polynesia.
More than half of the population of Tahiti is under the age of 20 years old.
The overwater bungalow was invented in Tahiti in the 1960’s on the island of Moorea.
If you were new to the island, you would think the boxes outside the homes of Tahitian residents were for mail. They are actually for French bread delivery. Residents get a fresh loaf dropped off twice a day.
The Tiare flower is the national symbol of Tahiti. Both men and women wear these flower, either as a necklace, crown or behind the ear. You wear a Tiare flower on your left ear if you’re taken, on your right ear to indicate you’re available.
Popular Tahiti Hotels
Intercontinental Resort Tahiti
Intercontinental Resort Tahiti is located on Tahiti and provides 5-star facilities in addition to free Wi-Fi. It has a gym, as well as porters, a shopping mall and 24-hour room service.
Tahiti Airport Motel
Tahiti Airport Motel is located in Faaa and features a rooftop terrace and free Wi-Fi. It is ideally positioned for guests wishing to visit local attractions.
Le Meridien Tahiti
Le Meridien Tahiti is located on Tahiti and offers 4-star accommodation in addition to free Wi-Fi. The numerous amenities this themed resort has to offer include a coffee bar, 24-hour room service and a BBQ/picnic area.
Hotel Sarah Nui
Hotel Sarah Nui is located in Papeete and offers free Wi-Fi. It also provides valet parking, an executive floor and a coffee bar.
Manava Suite Resort Tahiti
Manava Suite Resort Tahiti is located on Tahiti and provides 4-star accommodation in addition to free Wi-Fi. There is also a gym with an infinity pool.
Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort
Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort is set on Tahiti, and offers 4-star accommodation as well as an infinity pool. There is also a fitness centre with aerobics classes, an infinity pool and yoga classes.
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