A SINGAPOREAN travel writer who spent nearly a week in the country as a guest of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) says she was impressed with her trip to the Hapi Isles.
Lee Siew Hua is a senior travel writer from the Straits Times in Singapore – South-east Asia’s largest English language newspaper where more than two million people in Singapore alone used to read.
She told the Solomon Star before her departure yesterday that, her trips around Tavanipupu, Gizo, and Honiara has offered more impressions that what she imagined at the first place.
“The Solomon Islands are a revelation with its crystalline water, mix of island cultures and war memories.
“I’m a sea lover so it was joyful to dip into the vivid blue water. It was unreal to snorkel over an American hellcat fighter from the World War 2 days.
“And I reeled in a 1-metre Spanish mackerel weighing 8.7kg in the Gizo zone! The Fatboys Resort turned a bit of the mackerel into super-fresh sashimi for me a couple of hours later, and also pan-fried the fish,” she said as she shares her experience.
She said, on Kennedy Island in Western Province, she was thinking about the brave islanders who volunteered as coast-watchers for the allied forces.
“Without the Solomon Islands as a bulwark within the Pacific theatre of war, the world might be quite different.
“Little nations and people anywhere can have mega-destinies.
“I visited several villages, where I encountered panpipe players, a St Mary’s festival where parcels of whole fish and swamp taro were cooked on hot stones and shared.
“It was also enlightening to step into the new Sikaiana Polynesian Cultural Village – I loved its vibrant life,” Ms Lee said.
Meanwhile, the travel writer said the Solomons are one of the less-known places on the planet for many travellers, and that makes it even more of a secret waiting to be unwrapped.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA