QUOTE(andrea @ Jan 1 2008, 12:27 PM)
... looks so beautiful! Anyone have stories to share?
I went in 2002 and I refused to do it as a hotel room number. More in a clean backpaker style.
I did it from island to island (5) , from pension to pension, without any reservation ahead.
I had a great time with true local people inviting me to local festivals, to jump on a boat to go to the other side of a motu, to be invited to a local BBQ (their style).
People most of the time harbour of smile and a music is part of their life.
I had a "coup de coeur" and fully intend to go back.
I saw some american tourist illtreating a french salesgirl in the Bora Bora postcard shop for no reason at all and you can understand while on that island the local are more blazzé about visitors....who can blame them (I am fluent in French)
My favourite island was Moorea where the local mayor decided to have all the electrical posts and wiring put underground, the island looks fantastic.
Rangiroa was so laid back.....
Paupiti was a touch quiet...
Where ever you go, do not forget though that there is not the physical ground space to grow all the vegetables you are used to ; whatever is sold is mainly imported and if that is the case it will be expensive, local products of different taste and texture are cheaper.
Never have to say " I wish I had" , so just go ahead and do it, remembering that the best way to enjoy a new destination is to see it "their way" rather than "your way" and to remain humble.
Have fun !