Tonga: the first impressions! | The Family Without Borders

The Family Without Borders

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South PacificTonga


Tonga: the first impressions!

Tongatapu (Tonga): Airport, Virgin; Photo: Thomas Alboth

Warm, wet and exactly like we like: people, people, talking with people!

So we landed in one of the Pacific islands: The Kingdom of Tonga! Out of the plane, still in our New Zealandish outfits, we were melting. Warm, very warm and very wet!

Tongatapu (Tonga): Flight – from the air; Photo: Thomas Alboth
Tonga from the plane

Polar jackets off, we are dreaming about putting our flip-flops on our feet. But… One of our two backpacks didn’t arrive to Tonga. It stayed at the airport in Auckland, because the airport security didn’t like our petrol (empty!) bottle, which is a part of our cooker. Shit shit shit, not only about the flip-flops during the first days in hot Tonga, but we won’t be able to cook on our own! For some days (until the next plane from New Zealand will come), we don’t have our tent, most of the clothes and whatever is in the other backpack.

So we cannot sleep in the tent and have to find some other options. We are getting to a little taxi in the capital Nukuʻalofa and first thing, which happens is… the road is closing because the King of Tonga, in his black car, is crossing our way!

Tongatapu (Tonga): The King of Tonga in his car
The king of Tonga in his car.

Tonga, the last kingdom on the Pacific, which has never lost its sovereignty to a foreign power. Strong and very friendly people. Here we go with few very first impressions we have after few first days here:


1. People: smiling, “malo leleing” (“malo e lelei” – good morning in Tongan), making hundreds of pictures of/with our girls. Girls are happy.

Tongatapu (Tonga): A photo with our kids; Photo: Thomas Alboth
Hanna in the bakery in Tonga


2. Clothes: traditional clothes and school uniforms of different colours are creating a beautiful mixture on the roads. Still a lot to learn: who is who, why and how to recognise the details.

Clothes in Tonga: A sister in her Ta'ovala – traditional wove
Clothes in Tonga: A sister in her Ta’ovala – traditional woven mat


3. Music: everywhere and so different! People are sitting in the corner of the house, or in the garden, or just on the street and making music together, small, big, families and friends. Nice! We are already loving it!

Tongatapu (Tonga): A musician; Photo: Thomas Alboth
A musician in a cafe in Tongatapu, the capital of Tonga
Kids playing music in our guest house
Kids playing music in our guest house
Tongatapu (Tonga): Our kids playing with Tongan children; Photo: Anna Alboth
Tongatapu (Tonga): Our kids playing with Tongan children


4. Pigs: on all of the streets, running freely. Peppa Pigs and little Georges and dozens more, wherever you look. Great motivation for our girls to walk longer and faster.

Tonga: Pigs run around everywhere; Photo: Thomas Alboth
Pigs everywhere


5. Waters: bluuuuueeeee and greeeeeen. Like on the posters!

Tonga: Anna, palms and beaches; Photo: Thomas Alboth
Tonga: Palms, beaches, blue sea and Anna


6. Church: very important, not only on Sundays. Free Methodist Wesleyan Church (and 4 other Methodists churches we saw), Roman Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Anglicans and few more, are active and visible. People like to talk about the church, do things for the church, some attending the messes even few times during one day.

Tongatapu (Tonga): No place in Tonga without at least 5 churches
Churches are everywhere in Tonga


7. Rain: still a lot of it every day. But it’s good! People are dependent on the rain water: to wash, to drink, to take a shower. Big tanks are standing next to every house and I’m still wondering why this water can stay clean and our stomachs don’t have any problems.

Rain, rain, rain nonstop for the first days
Rain, rain, rain nonstop for the first days


8. The time: times has stopped for us! Everything is slow, “maybe today, maybe not”, “who knows when”, “when the rain will stop” and stuff like this. We are getting into the mood. Nothing is going on? Have a nap! You are stuck for next few hours in one place? Make the best of it and talk to everyone. No hurry, no worries. We are on holidays, we will still learn it! ;)

Tongatapu (Tonga): From island to island you get by ferry; Photo: Thomas Alboth
From island to island you need a ferry
Tonga: A family sleeping on the ferry boat; Photo: Thomas Alboth
A Tongan family sleeping on the ferry boat
Sleeping and waiting is a big thing in Tonga; Photo: Thomas Alboth
Sleeping and waiting – 2 big things in Tonga
Tongan nightlife
Tongan nightlife 

And here we are.

We will tell you soon more about our Tonga adventures.

Our first book is out!

We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »


  • Ola i Vathsan
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 22:30 | Permalink

    Haha, my tez bylismy w tym guest housie i mielismy caaaaly dorm dla siebie! :)

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted May 30, 2014 at 02:25 | Permalink

      :)) No my byliśmy zmuszeni! I brakiem namiotu i mega deszczem. Ale potem było tylko lepiej!!

  • Posted May 31, 2014 at 18:00 | Permalink

    Świetne zdjęcia! Ale wam zazdroszczę wyjazdu! Dobrze, że i ja zaraz wybywam, bo od takich zdjęć to mną nosi jeszcze bardziej niż zwykle :)

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 10:28 | Permalink

      i o to chodzi! a gdzie wybywasz?

      • Posted June 3, 2014 at 22:28 | Permalink

        Dużo bliżej, ale też maloeniczo ;)
        Barcelo.a, a potem wolontarian w Pirenejach francuskich.

        • Anna Alboth
          Posted June 30, 2014 at 10:41 | Permalink

          odległość nieważna!

  • majka
    Posted July 11, 2014 at 09:54 | Permalink

    jesteście wielką inspiracją!! cudowni!


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