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Tonga - South Pacific

Tonga facts & history in brief

Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nuku´alofa, population 22,400 (1996), is the capital of Tonga.
The city is located on the coast of Tongatapu island.

Nuku´alofa is the most important commercial, transport and social centre of Tonga.
It comprises about 35% of the Kingdom's population.
The Tonga Royal Palace is located there.

Nuku´alofa proper is only a small area around the hill besides the palace, the Sia ko Veionga (Veiongo hill).
It was chosen as his residence by the Tu´i Kanokupolu Mumui, sometime around 1795.
Although the Tu´i Kanokupolu was the worldly ruler of Tongatapu at that time, the royal court was still located in Mu´a with the Tu´i Tonga, or the Tongan line of kings.
As such, Mu´a was the capital at that time, not Nuku´alofa.

Tupoumā built a fortress there during the beginning of the 19th century.

It was on one of his raids in 1837 that Tāufa´āhau I invaded the area near Fasi mo e afi with his tautahi (sea warriors), the warriors from Ha´apai and Vava´u.
As a reward, his men received parcels of land near the old existing settlement, Kolomotu´a (old-town), which were named collectively Kolofo´ou (new town), the two of which are separated by the Hala Vaha´a kolo (village separation road).

Nuku´alofa was not made the capital of Tonga until 1845 by Tāufa´āhau I (though he still resided in Lifuka from 1847 to 1851).
It remained a small village initially, slowly growing in size over time.
The area immediately east of it, Fasi mo e afi, was not subdivided and allotted until 1923.
Around the time of the second war Fasi mo e afi connected to Ma´ufanga, the estate of the Fakafānua chiefs, which was positioned further to the east of Fasi mo e afi.
It was there that a new wharf was built by the American army in 1942, still known as Fā-ua (meaning: 42).
In the west it reached as far as Sopu ´o Tāufa´āhau, which was deemed far enough from town for Queen Sālote to be exiled when the whole population of Nuku´alofa was forced to evacuate due to possible war attacks.

After the 1960's the town started to grow quickly, and it still is growing, in part due to its slow absorption of older villages around it, such as Tofoa.

Much of the business district of the city was destroyed during the 2006 Tonga riots.

There are district officers (´ofisa vahe) and town officers (´ofisa kolo), as there are in all villages, but their main task is only to forward the orders of the government to the people.
Services like police, firebrigade, hospital, and so forth are all arranged by the national government.
Positions for town officers are usually advertised for in the newspapers.

Nuku´alofa is the central hub of all transport.
Buses arrive and depart from the central bus station along Vuna Road (the boulevard) close to the centre of town.
Buses are privately operated and their drivers are free to drive whenever they want.
There is no regular schedule, and if a driver is not in the mood to go one day, then there is no bus.
Fares are fixed by the government, with reduced rates for school children.
Usually the buses are filled to capacity.
In addition some schools and big hotels have their own buses.

There are numerous taxis, also privately owned.
Some in good quality, others almost falling apart.
Many people who own a car earn extra money with taxi services in their spare time.
Taxi fares too are set by the government.

There are no railways or trams in Tonga.

Most families have their own car nowadays, and the traffic on the roads, especially Friday afternoons and Saturdays is heavy enough to give long queues.
Bicycles are few.
A lot of walking is still done too.

Nuku´alofa harbour is the only deep water harbour of the island (which was the reason that it was selected as the site for the capital).
For many years Vuna wharf was the international harbour, until it was destroyed by the 1977 earthquake.
A new, much larger wharf was built towards Ma´ufanga, named after Queen Sālote.

The fishermen and interisland ferries wharf, wharf '42', is between the two.
It is the central hub for boats to the outer islands.
There are usually 2 boats to ´Eua every day and 2 to Ha´apai and Vava´u every week.
In addition to these regular services by shipping companies, there are less regular services from private boat owners to smaller islands like Nomuka, ´Eueiki, and so on.

Air transport is provided at Fua´amotu International Airport on the south side of Tongatapu, 35 kilometres from Nuku´alofa.

For more information about Nuku´alofa see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuku´alofa) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, April 2008.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
About Wikipedia

This information was correct in April 2008. E. & O.E.


You can click on these photos for an enlargement.

Hui Chin and I were idling along the Nuku´alofa Harbour promenade, when we seen these guys 'tearing' around in a large oval kind of circle, one of the guys standing on the bow of the boat with a large and long stick, beating s#it of of the Pacific Ocean, while their boat was going around.

I was awestruck and forgot all about my camera in my pocket, when I reached for it to film this goings-on, which to me looked really hilarious, it was too late, the fellow stopped beating the Pacific and some of them jumped in the water, the others started to pull the net onboard and put their catch in the boat.

What they were doing in fact was, they were putting their net out, while the boat was going around and the the guy with the stick in fact was chasing or frightening the fish into their net, at least he had a good try.

I spent some time in the following couple of days, to see if I can catch them on video this time, unfortunately, no such luck.

To see a movie, I took after the boys stopped to haul in their catch, unfortunately not showing the funny part though. Click here to view the belated video.

Ha ha ha! Very funny this!
While on our holiday in Tonga we had a look at one of the major attractions, the Mapu a Vaea (blowholes) on Tongatapu Island, which is the main island in Tonga. The capital Nuku´alofa on this island too.
I took some photos as you can see some of the above, also took some videos.
After our return home, I had a look at them and the thought of doing a bit of funny on YouTube, like putting MeTube on the Videos before putting them here on this page. (Like, watch out YouTube here comes the real competition, ha?!)
Well, my son got my logo on and some other wording, but what seemed a simple operation of putting it on my web page, not that simple at all.
I studied the problem, tried some codes, tried some software, but all sorts of problems arisen and while some of the embedding codes did work on the harddrive they refused to co-operate on line. Some embedding problems, some size problems, like two of the videos over 30 mb in avi format, etc.
So, after 5 days of trials and tribulations I surrendered and uploaded them to YouTube, who immediate converted the to flash movies with the .flv extension and give me the embedding code right than and there.
So now I have the videos, but with the YouTube logo instead of my MeTube logo, I'm still working on this, so watch this place!!!

Now, my dear people, how would you like to see one of my movies from Nuku´alofa - the fishing one, - courtesy MyTube?

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