Tonga - South Pacific
It is the most populous island comprising approximately 66 577 residents, 68.3% of population (in 1996).
Tongatapu is also the home island of the king, (he has palaces in all the capitals of the major islands groups, but the late king's official residence (now of the queen-mother only) is the Royal Palace, Tonga).
There are also numerous Tongan historical sites on the island.
The capital, Nuku?alofa, has seen a more rapid economic development than the other islands and is thus a commercial hub, attracting many immigrants from outer islands.
Before the reform of the Tongan language spelling in 1943, the name was written was Tongatabu.
The Tongan p is pronounced somewhat softly towards the b, an effect that up to the 19th century was probably more pronounced than nowadays.
In the beginning on the 20th century many words originally written with a 'b' were already spelled with a 'p'.
But such a well established name as Tongatapu was the last to follow.
The IATA abbreviation of Fua?amotu airport is still TBU.
The name Amsterdam (island), given by Abel Tasman when he came as first European along on 21 January 1643 is no longer used, except by historians.
Sites on Tongatapu
Nuku´alofa - Capital of Tonga
Mu´a - Second largest city in Tongatapu
Langi - Royal Burial Tombs of past Tongan Kings
Mapu ´a Vaea - Blowholes in the coral reef on the southern side
Hüfangalupe - Natural landbridge on the south eastern side of Tongatapu
Pangaimotu - Small resort island close to Nuku´alofa
Landing Site of Captain Cook
Flying Fox Preserve - Located in Kolovai in the western district
Ha´amonga ´a Maui - Trilithon
Nukuleka - possibly the site of first human settlement in Tonga
For more information about Tongatapu see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongatapu) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, April 2008.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in April 2008. E. & O.E.
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