Made up of over 300 islands in the South Pacific, Fiji has become increasingly popular as a tourism destination. This month, CNN’s Fresh Routes offers a unique look at Fiji as we travel across the nation to discover its vibrant culture through traditional music, stunning natural landscapes, and mouth-watering cuisine.
First, CNN visits Malolo Lailai, an island in a larger chain known as the Mamanucas that is just an hour’s boat ride from Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. A local resident Cakacaka takes CNN on a journey to collect the ingredients for a traditional Fijian ceviche dish called Kokoda. He also introduces a seaweed often used in traditional Fijian cuisine called seagrapes, which is normally known in Fijian as “nama”.
The 30-minute special also sees CNN going to the historical Musket Cove Island Resort, where he works, to learn how to make traditional lolo, a coconut cream, from scratch. Musket Cove was opened in 1976 and continues to be a big tourist spot on Malolo Lailai with its marina, beaches, and dozens of villas.
Also on the card is a visit to the town of Savusavu on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island to meet Neelam Rattan. Rattan shares her passion for free diving, a form of underwater diving that relies on holding your breath, which she teaches to visitors from all over the world. Rattan brings CNN to one of the area’s best diving spots, Natewa Bay, where the rainforest meets the ocean. As the largest bay in the South Pacific, and also one of the deepest – it’s home to pristine coral reefs and abundant ocean biodiversity.
Finally, CNN visits the town of Pacific Harbour on Fiji’s largest and main island, Viti Levu. The annual “Woodstock Uprising Music Festival” takes place here, with dozens of artists across Fiji gracing the stage and celebrating local talents. CNN meets one of the festival judges Laisa Vulakoro, known in Fiji as the Vude Queen. Vude is a traditional genre of music that mixes island beats with elements of reggae, disco, R&B and Fijian singing.
CNN’s Fresh Routes focus on Fiji airs at the following times:
Saturday, 13th January at 7:30pm HKT
Sunday, 14th January at 1:30am and 12pm HKT
Monday, 15th January at 6:30am HKT