10 things you did not know about French Polynesia

  1. Polynesians sometimes bury their family members in their garden.
  2. The main ingredient in Polynesian cuisine is a huge French baguette which can be found everywhere and is the cheapest food item on the islands.
  3. Many islands have only one shop. Too bad if it is closed when you need something which brings me to my next point…
  4. … opening hours of the stores have no rules. There are days when the shop “forgets” to open. For example Tuesday, Wednesday afternoon or in the evening. Just not in the mood to open 😉
  5. I guess that more than 90 % of Polynesians are obese. Seriously obese with health problems. You can even get an “obesity card” for that but I did not study what advantages the membership of obese club offers.
  6. Gas station: same as shops, there are islands with one single gas station. It is reeeeally hard not to laugh/swear/be furious when your motorbike runs out of fuel on the other side of the island which happened to us. Even in the island with two gas stations you are not safe – we managed to drive to the nearest one and … they just ran out of the gas. Just like that. You had one job.
  7. If you get pregnant, be ready to move out of the island of Huahine (and many others I guess). There is no hospital so you have to move to another island from the eight month on until you give birth. Then you can take a ferry back to your home island.
  8. French Polynesia is one of the few colonies that gave up their sovereignty willingly. They just offered themselves to France.
  9. This one is fun – Bora Bora is really underdeveloped in reality. The overwater bungalows you see on every postcard represent only 1 % of the island. Outside of the resorts, it looks a bit like rural Asia and there is very little in terms of housing and shopping. If you do not believe me, check out the main village called Vaitape. Even google might struggle to find pictures of it. Have you found many? No? I told you.
  10. The lagoons of Bora Bora are three times bigger than the island’s surface. But they are indeed magnificient.

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