So Jess and I have been here for a few days now, and since we’re both dealing with some mild sunburn, we’ve decided to chill for a little while. So here are some of my impressions of Bora Bora thus far!
1. It’s very French
This is pretty obvious to anyone except me, but Tahiti is in French Polynesia, so there is a ton of French influence here. Everyone sports French accents (someone kept saying “the wreck” to me yesterday and I thought they were saying “the rake” until I figured it out 5 hours later), there are french foods available (like profiteroles!) So yes, Tahiti and Bora Bora reminded me that France too was once a colonizing superpower.
2. It’s expensive
Lonely Planet’s guide on Tahiti & French Polynesia states “a resort holiday on this island isn’t going to be much fun if you have to worry about money.” Woo, truer words have never been spoken. So far Jess and I have kept to our regular travel budget – but that is because we eat at least one meal of ramen that we brought from the states everyday. Everything here costs at least double of what’d you expect traveling elsewhere (and I’m talking marked up hotel prices, not standard prices), and you have to be clever to avoid being nickeled and dimed. Or you could just be super rich and not care about it.
Still, we’re trying not to worry about money TOO much, we saved thousands of dollars on flights and this hotel (which retails at $1000/night, we paid about $700 for six in the end), and who knows when the next time we’ll get to travel alone will be. But still, the sticker shock is crazy, I ate a $25 cheeseburger the other day. $25! It wasn’t even that good!
3. The clear water makes for some great snorkeling
While I’m sure Bora Bora doesn’t rival places like the Great Barrier Reef, the snorkeling here really is quite amazing. We took a half day snorkeling trip to various points around the island and got super lucky – we saw some sharks, some amazing coral gardens (at the aforementioned “rake”), swam amongst schools of fish, and even got to see some dolphins (two people on our boat even got to swim with them!). We went with Pure Snorkeling, which I thought was a great outfit, and even though it was expensive (see #2), it was definitely worth it. Even if we had seen 0 fish, just riding around Bora Bora in a speedboat was an experience unto itself. Plus, Jess got to drive.
4. Bora Bora is the perfect place to relax
If you’re looking to be super active and fill your vacation with activities, Bora Bora might not be the place for you. Our typical daily routine consists of “wake up, eat breakfast, do nothing (sleep more) or something (activity or go to the mainland), eat lunch, jump off our pontoon at our villa and go swimming, get sunburned, have a drink, eat dinner, watch dumb movies like White Chicks on TV, rinse and repeat.” Still, for two parents who have been waking up every morning at 6 AM or earlier and tending to a little girl’s needs every single day for the past 383 days – this place is perfect. I assume that’s why people come here on their honeymoon as well, to just get some R&R after all that stress. Some people call Bora Bora “boring boring”, I call it heaven.
5. It’s worth it
5. It’s worth it
That is all.