Yina Goes

Singapore Beauty, Food, Travel, Lifestyle & Fashion Blog

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fiji: Cloud 9, Floating Bar & Radisson Blu Resort


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Chowing down on wood-fired pizzas while basking in the middle of the blue blue ocean? Yes, it's a thing in Fiji and just what we did to unwind from all that tiring pre-trip flurry of packing and our 10-hours-long flight aboard Fiji Airways!

Read on for my account of Day 1 in Fiji:


Touch-Down at Nadi International Airport

We touched down at Nadi International Airport, Fiji in the dead of the night: It was around 2AM and the first thing we did was to get our currency changed at the money-changer at the airport (straight out of arrivals, you'll spot a lone money-changer right in the courtyard, we were advised that the rates there were best).

Most of us had gotten our SGD changed into USD prior to our trip because we weren't sure if the money-changers in Fiji accepted SGD: You won't have to do that because the money-changer we went to had no trouble accepting SGD.

Another important task to do for all the social media addicts (that's exactly all eight of us on this trip. LOL) is to get your local sim card from DigiCel at the airport. This data-only SIM Card cost us FJ$29 (S$20), comes with 4GB data and is valid for 7 days, more than sufficient for our massive data usage. Yay to being connected at all times, almost!

That being said, some of the more rural areas like in the villages or high up in the mountains do not have any service, but I'd say we were able to have data service almost 80% of the time. You don't need to be checking your phone while you're on a zipline in the mountains or white-water rafting down a river, anyway.

After getting all those stuff done, a short coach ride took us to our accommodation for the first two nights, at Radisson Blu Resort Fiji!


Radisson Blu Resort Fiji

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First look at Radisson Blu Resort! I remember stepping into Radisson Blu Resort and feeling really happy about the thought of a bed awaiting my arrival.

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A clean, cosy room with simple decor and inviting-looking beds. This sight warmed my heart! The first thing I did was to soak in a hot bath and then I slept like a baby because I didn't sleep the night before the flight, thanks to my last-minute packing.

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Rise and shine! Awoke to some lovely weather and finally got a good look at Radisson Blu Resort's lush and idyllic surroundings.

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My beach-ready outfit!

Fiji-Blu-Radisson-2016-3Breakfast was a cheerful affair accompanied with the strains of guitar and melodious singing, this was the first of many musical encounters with the Fijian folks, most of whom can carry a splendid tune! Almost every resort that we visited had singers welcoming us in, singing us a farewell song, or just accompanying us during meal times. It was very pleasant and always a mood-lifter to listen to!

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Made a beeline for my favourite breakfast food: Eggs! I got a hearty "BULA!" from the egg station chef and look at that huge smile on his face! What a nice way to start the day.

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So excited about my first day in Fiji!

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Black swimsuit: Billabong // Bohemian resort pants: TheVelvetDolls // Nude leather sandals: Charles & Keith // Haversack: Billabong

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It was a very short ride out to Port Denarau, where you can then take a boat out to so many different places and activities. Apart from travelling out to sea from Port Denarau, there's also a huge shopping arcade at the port where you can find everything from beach apparel, swim wear, to medication, food and souvenirs.

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There are also many restaurants and cafes at Port Denarau, where we killed some time before our boat to Cloud 9 was due to go. Say hello to Joyce, Evonne and Jess!

A 45-minutes boat ride brought us out into clear blue waters, and finally we spotted a floating island in the middle of the sea:

Image from Google
Which looked like this!! In my excitement, I didn't manage to take a photo of Cloud 9 from afar HAHAHA.

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As we approached Cloud 9, strains of upbeat music as well as laughter and chatter drifted across to us. It must have been a good day because it was really crowded at Cloud 9! (Would have preferred it to be less crowded but I guess Cloud 9 is really just too popular a spot...)

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Cloud 9 is a floating bar and pizzeria, and apart from the usual alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks, they even have an oven where wood-fired pizzas are made on the spot!

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Cloud 9 has two storeys, and there are sun beds and deck chairs on both levels where visitors can relax, chill and enjoy a drink or a pizza.

I totally loved the happy and relaxed vibes at Cloud 9!

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With Xinlin, Jess and Evonne ❤

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Just chilling' atop Cloud 9! Got this simple one-piece swimsuit from Billabong, it's such a classic ;)

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We ordered a couple of those wood-fired pizzas and they tasted especially good in the tangy sea air!

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Fuelled up on pizza before I took a dip in the ocean with my fellow water babies!

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I actually enjoy the sea so very much, I just don't enjoy getting all nice and roasted with a never-fading tan afterwards, SIGH.

At Cloud 9, you can jump straight into the ocean to swim or do other sea activities like snorkelling/paddleboating, but you have to make special arrangements for your equipment, from what I know!

Just look at how insanely blue the waters were, and this was on a cloudy day.

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Happy as a duck in water!

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And all the other bright yellow ducklings! Hehe. That's Mabel and Christina in front, our two capable Nuffnang managers who took real good care of us during our time in Fiji ❤

Something to take note of: Some of us got stung on our arms/legs by microscopic jellyfish (referred to as sea lice) and those bites started itching like mad after! Think we must have swam into those sea lice together, yikes. They are nothing major and can frequently happen in any ocean, but can sting and itch and leave marks for days, so I recommend wearing a long sleeved rash-guard (I bought one while I was in Fiji!) to help protect against these accidents.

Our entire afternoon was spent lazing around at Cloud 9, on deck, in the water and all around. It was the perfect Day 1 to unwind from all the pre-holiday stress and to ease into vacation mode!

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Here's some of the lovely people I spent my time in Fiji with!

We headed back to Radisson Blu Resort to wash up and rest before a nice dinner at Chantara Thai Restaurant within the resort compounds.

That ended off Day 1 in Fiji, which was a rather leisurely day I must say, compared to some of the activities we experienced later on during our trip! It was a perfect respite for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Next up: Our Sigatoka River Safari experience and visit to Mavua, a local Fijian village! We also tried Kava (a traditional Fijian drink) for the first time as well as got up-close and personal encounters with the lovely Fijian people.

For more information on Cloud 9, click here, or find out more about Radisson Blu Resort here!
If you're all raring to hop on the next flight out to Fiji, direct flights from Singapore to Fiji via Fiji Airways are now available twice a week!


[ The Fiji Travelogues ]

Fiji #1"Is Fiji in Japan?" - Flying direct from Singapore to Fiji via Fiji Airways
Fiji #2An Afternoon on Cloud 9, Floating Bar & Staying at Radisson Blu Resort


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Friday, July 8, 2016

"Is Fiji in Japan?" - Flying direct from Singapore to Fiji via Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways Singapore to Fiji Direct Flight
BULA!!!
(Which is a common way of saying Hello!!! in Fiji)

The first response I got from many people when I told them that I would be travelling to Fiji was, "Oh, you're going to Japan??" I guess they got confused with Mount Fiji in Japan hehehe.

That's pretty much how unknown the country Fiji is to us folks in sunny Singapore and it's little wonder, because a flight from Singapore to Fiji easily used to take 20 hours and always required a stop-over/transit, until now!

Fiji Airways recently launched a direct flight from Singapore straight to Fiji, and it now takes all of 10 hours to get from Singapore to the exotic island country that is Fiji! 

Even if the name Fiji doesn't sound familiar to you, I'm sure Fiji Water rings a bell! That's right, that brand of premium bottled drinking water? It really does come from Fiji, and I can now tell you that practically everywhere serves Fiji Water in Fiji, which is still somewhat of an amusing novelty to me.

Where/what is Fiji exactly? It is a tropical country made up of more than 330 islands, and its closest neighbours familiar to us are actually New Zealand and Australia.


To be honest, I knew just as little about Fiji as the next person before my trip to Fiji happened, but I'm so glad I got the opportunity to experience Fiji for a week, and discovered for myself that Fiji is an amazing country filled with beautiful people, sights and sounds! 

If you love the beach life and enjoy gorgeous beaches and blue waters, if you love exploring fascinating cultural experiences, and if you love outdoorsy activities or sea sports in the most scenic of surroundings, you will LOVE Fiji!

My week in Fiji was exactly the holiday I needed, especially after a very stressful two and a half months of being involved in Hear Me Sing's singing competition (for which I managed to make it all the way to the Top 4, in huge part due to the tremendous support from family, friends, and readers!!). I flew off exactly two days after the grand finals of the competition, and I felt free as a bird! Prior to Fiji, my last flight out of Singapore was in late March, and man, that feels like it was a life-time ago!

Firstly, a big thank you to Fiji Airways for flying us out to Fiji as well as Tourism Fiji for arranging such extremely memorable experiences: From enriching village visits to exhilarating white-water rafting to incredibly scenic island-hopping, I've come back with a newfound appreciation of beautiful Fiji that I hope I'll be able to share with all you friends and readers on this space!

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Flying direct from Singapore to Fiji via Fiji Airways

I'm really quite the seasoned traveller. So when it comes to airlines and flights, I'm not all that picky, whichever and whoever gets me from Point A to Point B safely, is good!

That being said, I've also flown with many different airlines so many times that I know great service when I see it, and Fiji Airways definitely ranks among the top when it comes to the flight experience. From checking-in to our 10 hours onboard, I don't have a single negative remark to share because it was a great experience all round!

Fiji Airways very generously put me up in Business Class on the way to Fiji (don't worry folks I experienced Economy Class as well on the way back and it was all good), and for someone who didn't sleep the night before the morning flight, I probably had the best flight of my life aboard Fiji Airways!

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The big and warm smiles started from the on-the-ground crew, and was just as effusive on-board Fiji Airways!

Something interesting I found out, Fiji Airways hires 100% Fijian crew! That's kinda awesome to me because it shows how much national pride they have.

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And of course we were served with a bottle of Fiji Water, because, what else, right?

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A pre-flight thirst-quencher for all us special people in Business Class. 

I've only travelled in Business Class just a couple of times in my life, really, and this Fiji Airways flight from Singapore to Fiji was undoubtedly the most comfortable flight I've ever, ever taken!

Apart from the luxury of having your food come on actual dinner ware.. The cushy and fully-reclinable seats were just so damn good. We were even given actual comforters instead of just a thin piece of blanket, as well as sleep masks for better sleep. And the headphones in Business Class are really serious business, they were so good in noise-blocking that I couldn't hear a thing with the headphones on!

Some flights are only a few hours but feel like they're forever. My experience on-board Fiji Airways was the opposite, the 10-hour long flight breezed past and hardly felt anywhere close to 10 hours!

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This is a very excited me that's excited about going to go on holiday. YAY HOLIDAY!

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It's quite amusing to see that the in-flight magazine is called Fiji Time, which I think is something of an inside joke. In Fiji, "Fiji Time" is such a common saying! Because everyone in Fiji is so relaxed and noone is remotely uptight about time and punctuality, "Fiji Time" really just means... No one is ever on time, ever. HAHA.

(Fiji Time sounds like it ought to have far more repercussive effects, but somehow with the entire nation on the same Fiji Time, didn't actually pose too great a problem during our trip... strangely.)

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My fellow travel companion, Joyce, and myself, we really had an extremely comfortable ten hours on-board!

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The Fijian crew aboard Fiji Airways certainly gave us our first taste of classic Fijian hospitality and warmth! We were always greeted with a warm smile and impeccable service. 

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Just in case I never get on another business class flight again in my life... HERE, BEEN THERE DONE THAT!

Obviously, all the seasoned business class travellers all around us looked totally bored out of their wits while we were ooh-ing and aah-ing over everything. But, no shame at all, I had a ball of a time enjoying my business class experience!

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Yummy canapes, look at that giant chunk of crabmeat on a crusty base!

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Starter for our first in-flight meal. My salad never tasted this good. And those buns too!

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Thoroughly enjoyed the luxury of enjoying a steak on-board, silly as that sounds. 

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Desserts consisted of cheese and fruits, if you like them but I preferred a chocolate mousse cheesecake since I'm not a cheese person,

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Which was delicious and disappeared off my plate in mere minutes.

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Most of the Fijian crew have been flying for years and they are so experienced and also extremely extremely friendly and nice! We were well taken care of during the entire flight and it was an absolute joy to fly with Fiji Airways.

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Here I am, looking refreshed even after ten hours!!

Remember what I said about Fijian hospitality? We were lucky enough to get to meet our friendly Fiji Airways pilot right after landing, and he gamely plopped his very cool (and too huge for me) pilot's hat so that I could have a photo with it!

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Thank you, Captain!!

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And one with the entire crew aboard Fiji Airways, it was by far the most excellent flight I've been on!

In case you feel that my experience was warped because not everyone flies business, Fiji Airways also gave me the oppportunity to experience Economy Class on my way back, and well though Business Class is obviously very much more luxurious and comfy, my 10 hours Economy Class flight didn't fare badly at all and I had a great flight as well ;)

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This was one of my Economy Class meals: Loving the huge meat-to-carb ratio of my in-flight meals, can't say the same for every airline!

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All in all, it was a very pleasant experience flying with Fiji Airways, and the fantastic flight experience certainly contributed to how incredi-balls the entire holiday was, honest!

So now you know about the ten-hour direct flight to Fiji via Fiji Airways from Singapore, and next up I'm gonna be sharing with y'all the crazy good times we had in Fiji!


Fiji Airways's online website is right here, should you feel compelled to book your tickets straight away, hehehe.

Be right back with more, 
xoxo
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