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Trip report for Rangiroa and Fakarava in French Polynesia

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by Boiler_81, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. wico6768

    wico6768 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: denver, co
    50
    21
    8
    Exactly, because FP is a vacation, where you may also dive. And while there, most people will be staying at a resort.

    Finding the cheapest possible accommodations is not the goal. It isn't even on the radar.

    We stay in pensions, and we don't even do that. I've seen some of those low end places, and a camping place, and there is no way we are flying all the way there, spending what we do on air fare, to stay in whatever least expensive available turns out to be. We book our accommodations at least 6 months in advance, and many many others do too.

    Most people going to FP, are taking a trip of a lifetime. We did it once, now we like to go back so we have found more affordable options but they are by no means cheap even though they are pensions. Our 'cheap' trip is to places like cozumel, not FP. It's kind of funny to hear people arguing, or trying to, that FP is a cheap inexpensive destination. It's pretty well known it is one of the most expensive. I remember the first trip we planned, and we were so excited we thought the st regis was affordable. hahaha, we were looking at one night's rate, in the cheapest level bungalow, not a weeks rate! When we figured out the currency conversion we realized our massive mistake.

    One of those super cheap places in Rangiroa is by a snack shop we eat at. I ahve never once seen anyone from north america there. Doesn't mean there might not be someone sometime there, but for whatever reason, it seems to be usually french and other european travelers willing to stay at those backpacker accommodations. I don't know why that is, but it seems to be the norm.
     
    Wingy and mmmbelows like this.
  2. qwimjim

    qwimjim Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Canada
    223
    28
    28

    To me FP is a dive destination, the only reason I am considering going there is because it has some of the best diving in the world. It may be MARKETED as a vacation destination, and you may see it that way also, but that doesn't change the fact that it is and can be primarily a dive destination for others. How many people on this board would have gone if the diving was dull and lifeless? Beautiful beaches are a dime a dozen.

    ---------- Post added May 6th, 2015 at 02:31 PM ----------

    FP is a dive destination. Do people travel there with the sole purpose of diving? Yes? It's a dive destination. It may only be a dive destination for 5% of the people that go but it's still a dive destination for some people regardless of why everyone else goes. Is Cozumel a dive destination? Because I'd venture that 90% of people that step foot on that island never put a regulator in their mouth. By your logic Cozumel is nothing more than a cruise ship destination.

    And it doesn't matter that you can spend $5,000/night, what matters IS the low end when comparing destinations. If you're North American and only have $4,000 you can spend a week diving in either Palau or Rangi/Fakarava all included. That's the bottom line. How nice your accommodations are is irrelevant when discussing the minimum price possible. If you want to tack on a variable like the minimum price possible while still staying in a 4 star hotel with a pool, spa and in room massages.. well that's another discussion.
     
  3. wico6768

    wico6768 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: denver, co
    50
    21
    8
    That's why I said most people, not all people. The atolls of FP are not about the beaches, they are about the lagoon. However, you can find a beautiful beach on Fakarava, and on Tikehau you can find beautiful pink coral beaches. But people aren't going to FP for the white sand caribbean beaches.

    Also, to me and many who go, FP is just not something you can find anywhere, definitely not a dime a dozen.

    I guess, once you go, if you go, you may understand what FP has to offer, or you may not.

    No one argued the diving is dull and lifeless, just that for most people, FP is a vacation destination for trips like once in a lifetime trips, thus how cheaply one may be able to manage it, is not generally a factor because the idea is, a once in a lifetime trip isn't generally done camping or in backpacker lodging, and bonus of FP is that it also has some spectacular diving (particularly in the atolls).

    As you noted, the bulk of posts here aren't about FP. However, if you go to some vacation planning sites, like trip advisor, you will find an abundance of posts about FP, majority of which aren't about diving. Are there some? Sure, but it is (for most) a vacation destination.

    Honestly, if the only thing about FP you want is the diving, then IMO you (general you) will miss out on a lot more that is spectacular and unique to the area, which would be a shame. The people, culture, surroundings, food, lagoon, (mountains if on an island), motu walking, coral beaches, crystal clear shallow lagoons where hordes of juvenile black tips and lemons grow, bird islands, tropical fruits and tahitian grapefruit are found in abundance, fishing ifyou wish to do so, local art, local pearl farming and unique creations from those, the music, dance and local polynesian history, the hand crafted bungalows and native woods used, the different blends of ethnicities creating a unique cultural environment, all the other natural beauty, etc, etc, are all part of the experience that makes it so special. The diving is one of those factors, but (for most) it is far from the only factor. It is a feeling that we feel at least, as soon as we step off the plane. Some people call it the Tahitian flu, and it is why we return time after time, for just a bit more of the experiences we get while we are there.
     
    Wingy likes this.
  4. mmmbelows

    mmmbelows Regular of the Pub

    1,031
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    No, this was in response to you asking why do so many people go to Palau to dive and there are so many posts here on scubaboard about Palau versus (you used 4 different locations - FP, Tahiti and Rangiroa and Fakarava) It was not a response to why YOU are confused about it. It's nice you consider it a dive destination because someone has dived their once, but the rest of the world doesn't see it that way and it was relevant to your original question. You've typically post after post changed your question's context, this is no different.


    No, what typically everyone else considers a "dive destination" is a destination that the MAJORITY of visitors go there to do is dive. A vacation destination is a place that the MAJORITY of visitors go there not to dive but to vacation.

    Bonaire is a dive destination. Maui is a vacation destination.

    Dive destinations typically have questions such as "We are thinking of going to XYZ, but we will have four people in our group with us who aren't divers.... are they going to be bored out of their minds?"

    No, when this was in context to a vacation destination versus a dive destination the high end is relevant because FP isn't a dive destination, it's a vacation destination and why divers don't flock there is because it's regarded as an expensive destination to go to, specifically because it's a vacation destination with lots of high dollar five star resorts that charge massively high rates for massively luxurious digs.
     
    wico6768 likes this.
  5. qwimjim

    qwimjim Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Canada
    223
    28
    28
    It's a place that has some of the best diving in the world AND happens to be so beautiful people come to visit just to vacation. So why would divers avoid the place simply because it's also a great place to vacation? If anything that's all the more reason to visit, amazing diving, amazing scenery? It has amazing diving, what more do divers care about? I give up, don't reply. This is pointless, we will never agree, I feel like I'm talking to a chair. Move on
     
  6. mmmbelows

    mmmbelows Regular of the Pub

    1,031
    573
    113
    It's really all a conspiracy... :cool2:
     
    Wingy likes this.
  7. Freewillow

    Freewillow Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Brussels
    1,664
    417
    83
    @mmmbelows. Just to add a bit of salt in your heated discussion with quimjim. While FP is a vacation destination, the Tuamotus, and in parlicular rangiroa and fakarava North and South ( the later one @ 100%) are diving destinations. It is a bit like the Maldives, the Tuamotus is a great place if you are on honey moon and love white beaches, or if you are a Diver. There is NOTHING else that can be done in these islands, believe me. I have been there and I have seen "bored" visitors that were not divers nor newly weds :)
     
  8. kneptoon

    kneptoon Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Glendale, CA USA
    259
    33
    0
    I have three trips to Fakarava and Rangiroa. I usually stay in meal inclusive mid-range pensions. What amazes me are the amount of people who I share breakfast and dinner with daily who are not there to dive. They are generally European, mostly French who just want to chill in unspoiled Polynesia with a little snorkeling, beach combing and bird watching thrown in. I am often the only diver among 8 guests. The diving is hard to beat. I think I would be very restless just chilling.
     
    wico6768 likes this.
  9. kneptoon

    kneptoon Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Glendale, CA USA
    259
    33
    0
    I am going to add on to my above post. Most of these non diver people I mention above are repeat visitors. It is evidently an annual excursion for many people who just come to chill out.
     
    wico6768 likes this.

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