We arrived in Tahiti in the middle of the night – literally it was 3am — but the hospitable Tahitians didn’t seem to mind one bit. As we walked toward passport control, a band played Tahitian music and a lady who handed out fresh Tahitian tiare welcomed us. I’m not sure what it is, but the flowers in Tahiti are just so much more fragrant than the ones back at home – must be the smell of paradise!
I’d like to say that that marked the beginning of an awesome time in Tahiti, but once the sun came up and we explored Papeete, the capital city, we finally understood why most people stop here only enroute to the other islands – there really isn’t much to see here! The water around the island while nice, is not that characteristically unreal turquoise water you see on screensavers (even the Tahitians reiterated this). Not only that, there really isn’t much to do here besides see the market, which looked a lot like markets you’d find in 3rd world countries – hardly the picture of paradise we were expecting.
Our few days here consisted of kayaking around the resort, hanging out in our overwater bungalow, and having drinks at various spots in the hotel. It was a lot of lounging, which we weren’t completely opposed to…but we both decided that if we were to do it again, we’d skip Tahiti all together. Really, if you’re coming here, just… don’t. If you’ve flown this far, you’re much better off spending an extra day in Moorea or better yet, Bora Bora.
P.S. Did you know that Tahiti is not just one island but is sometimes used to refer to the whole string of islands that make up French Polynesia (i.e., “Tahiti and Her Islands”)? I learned this during all that free time we had hanging out at the resort!
Below are some shots from our resort when the skies cleared up a bit: