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Vanuatu

What to see in Vanuatu? Mom’s Market; the SS "President Coolidge"; Million Dollar Point; the Star of Russia wreck; MV Semle Federsen wreck; the Cathedral; Ollies Lolly.

One of the most mysterious countries is lost in the Pacific Ocean between New Caledonia and the Fiji Islands. Till 1980 it was called the New Hebrides but after getting independence it changed its name to Vanuatu, which means “Our land”. Vanuatu is a republic located on 83 islands. It is mysterious because the local people, consisting of primitive tribes, have lots of incredible legends about the populating and dividing these territories. The most interesting one is about Black Island – the abode of the ancestors’ souls which didn’t leave the human world. They helped wizards to win the war by turning their boat into a huge shark, which swallowed the enemies. The Vanuatu people seem to be stuck in the Stone Age: they do not have electricity; they walk around naked and often use products instead of money. Even Port Vila (the capital) looks as the least known cities of developed countries! Nevertheless Ni-Vanuatu (inhabitants of Vanuatu) are the most happy people. Statistically every fifth person here has never worked. What for? Food grows on trees all the year round, so people can do nothing daylong and they enjoy their life. Moreover, prices in Vanuatu are low – if you drop in “Mom’s Market” you will be able to have a perfect lunch for only two dollars. Tips are not accepted here. You should worry about vaccination against typhoid unless you are going to eat only in top-of-the-range restaurants. Official languages are Pigin, English and French. Most of these islands are notable for their damp tropical climate; rain period starts in January and lasts till March.

Vanuatu depths are meant for diving – water transparency is from 30 to 50 meters which allows seeing hundreds of sunken ships of the Age of Exploration. On one of Vanuatu islands 50 meters away from the shore there is an underwater post office. Having bought a special waterproof envelope in advance, divers can drop a letter into the box or give it to a duty postman, sitting at the counter in a diving suit.

There are 31 airports in the country, but only 3 of them have hard-surface runways.

International airports of Vanuatu:

  • Bauerfield Airport (VLI)
  • Santo-Pekoa International Airport (SON)

Diving in Vanuatu. Most popular places:

  • Malampa Province, consisting of three main islands: Malakula, Ambrym and Paama. (It also includes a number of smaller islands –Uripiv, Norsup, Rano, Wala, Atchin, Vao and the volcanic island of Lopevi)
  • Penama Province, situated on islands Ambae, Maewo and Pentecost.
  • Sanma Province, occupying the territory of Espiritu Santo Island located approximately 2,500 km northeast of Australia and the territory of Malo Island.
  • Tafea Province, situated on islands Tanna, Aniwa, Futuna, Erromango, Aneityum.
  • Torba Province, occupying the territory of islands Torres and Banks.
  • Shefa Province, including the islands of Epi and Efate and the Shepherd Islands.
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