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French Polynesia

France Forever: Exploring Cluny And The Butte de Suin

France Forever: Exploring Cluny And The Butte de Suin David Downie As I teetered atop the wind-blown, 700-year-old Tour des Fromages in the medieval tangle of Cluny, on Burgundy's southern edge, I could see history writ large: the Romanesque spires and broken columns of Cluny's ruined abbey, once the biggest in Christendom. But...

Video: A Sublime Disruption

"A Sublime Disruption" from Gareth Nolan on Vimeo. Gareth Nolan shot this short film, "A Sublime Disruption," during a trip around the world he took in 2011. "This video is not about the places I visited, but merely an attempt to evoke the feeling of wonder and...

Voyage To Rapanui: 5,000 Miles Down With No GPS, Maps Or Compass

Voyage To Rapanui: 5,000 Miles Down With No GPS, Maps Or Compass How would you feel about sailing 10,000 nautical miles from Auckland, New Zealand, to Easter Island and back on a double-hulled canoe with no GPS or navigational equipment? In August, after reading a story my colleague wrote on the Waku Tapu Voyage to Rapanui Expedition, I...

In The Lagoon, At Midnight

In The Lagoon, At Midnight The Pacific is inconstant and uncertain like the soul of man ... The trade wind gets into your blood and you are filled with an impatience for the unknown. – William Somerset Maugham It was the last place I expected to feel lonely: on a little coral atoll in...

Overseas France: Or Where You Can Find France Outside Of France

Overseas France: Or Where You Can Find France Outside Of France The days of colonial empires may be long over, though the United States, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands and Denmark continue each to administer a smattering of overseas territories. Among these, France has arguably the most interesting and wide-ranging set of...

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tahiti

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tahiti Located in the South Pacific, Tahiti is thought of by many as a prime vacation destination. But what do you actually know about these islands? To test your Tahitian knowledge, here are 10 things you probably didn't know. 1. The official languages of the country are both...

Teahupo'o: the world's 'heaviest' surfing wave

Teahupo'o, site of a legendary surfer break on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, has developed quite the reputation among big-wave surfers. Due to a shallow coral reef just off shore, waves here tend break as massive, chunky walls of water, a...

Surfers in Tahiti ride waves so big they cancel contest

For those who don't know very much about the world of pro surfing, it isn't very often that a professional contest gets cancelled because the surf is actually too big. That's exactly what happened in Tahiti, however, when a massive swell generated by hurricane force...

Fishing in the French Polynesian waters

Fishing in the French Polynesian waters Fakarava Atoll, the Tuamotus, French Polynesia – Maru's 16-foot, plywood fishing boat, steered by one metal rod coming straight out of the floorboards in his left hand and accelerated by another rod held tightly in his right hand, hugs the eastern edge of Passe Garuae....

The coral reefs of Bora Bora

The coral reefs of Bora Bora Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia – I dove in the beautiful lagoon that surrounds the tall island to have a first hand look at how the coral reef is doing in this South Pacific resort island. The report is not good. Descending to ninety feet it was...

Summer vacation in Tahiti: 5 reasons to visit French Polynesia's Tuamotu Atolls

Summer vacation in Tahiti: 5 reasons to visit French Polynesia's Tuamotu Atolls If you've had enough with the recent onslaught of wintertime blizzards, you're probably ready to start your summer vacation planning. How about jetting off to a part of French Polynesia that few travelers ever visit? Considered to offer a number of the best diving sites...

Learn the national holidays before you go - International travel tip

Learn the national holidays before you go - International travel tip Before departing for a foreign country, be aware of any national holidays that will occur during your trip. Do your best to learn about even the minor ones that aren't widely known. My husband and I nearly had our honeymoon derailed by a national holiday during our stay...

Tahiti greens up its tourism

Tahiti greens up its tourism Tahiti ain't cheap. And, at least in the past several decades, it's also had a reputation for crappy food, cheesy resorts, a seriously sketchy scene in Papeete, and a general lack of sustainable tourism. But that's all changing. CNN reports that small-scale, eco-oriented...

Daily Pampering: Sailing Bora Bora in your own private catamaran

Daily Pampering: Sailing Bora Bora in your own private catamaran You're already in Bora Bora, what more could you possibly want? Fortunately, the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has planned for travelers like you, who want just a little bit more with their side of luxury. Adding to its fleet of custom-built boats, Four Seasons Resort Bora...

Tahitian dance chronicles, part three: Dancing towards a new adventure (video)

Tahitian dance chronicles, part three: Dancing towards a new adventure (video) To'ata Amphitheater, French Polynesia's biggest Tahitian dance venue, is an open-air wooden stage surrounded by a half-circle of tiered seating for about 4000 people. High-tech lighting on adjustable steel scaffolding surrounds the arena and the stage is backed by a covered,...

Tahitian dance chronicles, part two: Going to To'ata

Tahitian dance chronicles, part two: Going to To'ata It was February and I'd been taking Tahitian dance classes for six months. I was now loving my twice-weekly wiggle as well as hanging out with my sometimes cranky but always lively retired Tahitian classmates. My hips were really starting to move and my rolling ueue shake...

Tahitian dance chronicles, part one: Getting hooked

Tahitian dance chronicles, part one: Getting hooked Early explorers were struck by its sensuality, Christian missionaries banned it shortly after their arrival, and the open-minded 1960s began to revive it. Today, the uber-fast hip shaking of Tahitian dance is again ever-present in French Polynesia. The best performances can...

17 great destinations for romance

17 great destinations for romance Some say that romance is a lost art - but it's not. It's just hiding, waiting to be uncovered in some of the most beautiful places around the globe. Whether you are trying to show that special someone that they truly are special, making a proposal, or rekindling the...

Trade Mocked

Trade Mocked You were a cheerleader, you dated a cheerleader, or you hated the cheerleaders. As I recall, that's how high school worked. Thanks to travel PR, that same primeval paradigm lives on long after graduation. That miniskirts-shouting-slogans thing still works, whether you're...

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