Kiribati is not exactly how you would picture any other beach country. Yes, it has a beautiful coastline. But it isn’t a happy place to be in. It still has the evidence of the Second World War. The Gilbert Islands, the Line Islands, and The Phoenix Islands collectively make the Kiribati. Two islands are densely populated, while the Phoenix Islands have only a few families, who reside there.

Two official languages are Kiribati and English. The predominant religion is Christianity. 

The official currency is Australian Dollar. The approximate exchange rate is A$1.38 for US$1. The currency exchange is available at the Bank of Kiribati Ltd and local hotels. MasterCard and Visa are acceptable, but not widely. There are ATMs at branches of the Bank of Kiribati/ANZ in Betio, Bairiki, and Bikenibeu (all on Tarawa atoll).

There are no taxis in Kiribati. But you can rent cars, motorbikes, and scooters in South Tarawa. Car hire is also available on Christmas Island. In the outer Gilbert Islands, you can rent motorbikes or small trucks. Roads are good only in urban areas. Other roads’ accessibility depends on the weather. Cars drive on the left side of the road. 

In Kiribati, they use electric sockets of type I. The standard voltage is 240V.

Living conditions are harsh here. In fact, poverty is a major issue in Kiribati. They use the Kiribati dollar alongside the Australian dollar. You will have to book flights to move from one island to the other. Ticket fares are inexpensive. The airway network is fast improving. Due to the popularity of the Christmas Islands or the Kiribati islands, tourists are often visiting this unknown land. The Phoenix Islands have the biggest area of protected marine life in the world.

Sadly, you cannot scuba dive here now. The authorities control the number of visitors. However, you can still revel in the gorgeous beaches and lagoons. If you cannot have a swim, you can watch the wide varieties of birds in the island. English is the lingua franca, which most of the locals use to communicate. But as you move away from the populated areas, you will find them speaking Gilbertese.

Locals will welcome you with open arms. They will invite you to traditional festivals and family dinners. Don’t expect something fancy, though. With a limited supply of fruits and vegetables, locals have made fish and rice their staple food. If you crave some Chinese food, the restaurants can serve you that. Kiribati is truly a secluded piece of heaven. Although it has seen terrifying days, it can now be a refreshing change for tourists. You can go local and enjoy the simplicity of life here.

August 10, 2016 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

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