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“A tropical paradise but not the cheapest....”
Review of Port Vila

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Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
30 reviews
28 helpful votes
“A tropical paradise but not the cheapest....”
Reviewed 18 July 2010

Upon arrival in Port Vila late at night,one can't help wonder what a beautiful place this was even tho' it was so dark...The beautiful,warm tropical night was the key...!!
However,we found Port Vila food prices to be quite expensive....We were told that meal prices are similar to Sydney.However,I have found many great cheap eating places at home...The same cannot be said for Port Vila....We looked high and low for cheap eats to no avail....
However,we did solve that problem by cooking our own meals in our kitchenette which is so good....Tho' we found supermarket prices were also high in various items...such as mushrooms at 2800 vatu/kilo...work it out..!!...Expensive...!!??...Had to can our mushroom and risotto idea....
Try and find a magazine in Port Vila...The only place that has mags is Au Bon Marche #2 and the mags are expensive....Sydney Morning Herald $11.50..??...We picked up lots of free brochures from the casino...
We decided to look at renting a scooter....$60 a day for a 50cc model....By the way,one day is not 24 hour rental...
Otherwise,we made our holiday what it was supposed to be...Great..!!...And that we did....I surfed great waves in the Pango area and we practiced great yoga at the yoga school near Ronnie's Nakamal....Thankyou so much for the wonderful yogic experience in Vanuatu Kate....!!...The local people of Port Vila are beautiful happy friendly people...well most of them anyway,some bus drivers might need a cheerup pill....The local children near our motel were so happy and friendly....Beautiful kids...!!...and it does'nt take much to keep them happy....
We know Port Vila is not Vanuatu but this was our first time and we did complain but got over it and got on with making our holiday as wonderful as it was....

Helpful?
2 Thank cocotang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
94 helpful votes
“Excellent blend of west and pacific”
Reviewed 14 July 2010

Spent a total of 4 days in Port vila - in and out on our way to other islands in Vanuatu. Fresh market on the waterfront is a great place to meet locals and see how they trade - we also purchased a lot of fruit there - including their wonderful fresh or roasted peanuts. Had one meal at the market - and it was the best value for money we spent for our entire time in Vanuatu - our family ate for 1200 VT - normally we were paying 1200 pp for mains alone! Give it a go - you wont' be disappointed. People are friendly - bus drivers honest and reliable - try nicholas on 678 565 7523 - he was excellent.
Nambawan (number 1) cafe on the waterfront was excellent value - didn't get to see the regular outdoor movies, but the set up was very good.

Helpful?
Thank Kiwilanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 helpful votes
“It is the friendliest Place On Earth”
Reviewed 17 November 2009

We have just returned from 10 Days in Vanuatu, 6 of them in Port Vila. It must be said that It has been voted the Friendliest place on earth & I can see why.
From the Moment we stepped off Our flight from Brisbane and entered the arrival terminal of Baurfield International Airport, where there was a Local Band playing Local music to the Hordes of people waiting to get through Immigration, to the Moment we left I Cannot say I encountered any one rude person not willing to help.
Vanuatu is not a cheap destination in Comparison to the likes of Thailand, Indonesia etc, but we found nearly everything on Par with Australian prices.
It is a Laid back atmosphere where the local people really do have thier own pace of doing things, in saying that, the services we found were always punctual.
There are so many things to do In Port Vila for tourists you would need to spend a year here to do half of them.
Transport on the Island is plentiful and we recommend using the Little Buses (Bongo Vans) as they are cheaper by a fair margin than Taxis.
The Island also has many fine Bars and restaraunts, Cafes with a french Influence & great Coffee etc.
There is plenty of shopping also from the cheap imported stuff to Quality local hand crafted goods and market places.
We did not need medical help during our stay but we did venture into the Local Pharmacy for other items and found it as well stocked as our Pharmacy here in Brisbane (And Better Service)
Some establishments we can recommend are
"Chill Restaraunt" "Sebel Hotel", "Peche Mignon Cafe" Pandanus Bay Apartments, Water Front Cafe & Bar to name but a few.

We cant wait to go back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Helpful?
2 Thank jasonsarah2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
37 helpful votes
“Magical Paradise”
Reviewed 9 October 2009

My husband I have recently returned from the island paradise of Port Vila. One of the highlights for us was the Honeymoon Picnic run by Ecotours operator Pascal. We were taken to Lolimina cascades and the Beauty of the place is just magical. You get to swim in the pools and enjoy some french pastries, just delicious. Pascal also does small Group Tours to Lolimina Cascades as well. Another Tour not to be missed is the Bakro Efate Round Island Safari, You get to experience a cultural Village and learn all about coconuts. This tour is one not be missed. Another Tour we recommend is the Lelepa Island Day Tour. A Full Day where you get time to relax on the Beach, go for a swim or a snorkel. You get to visit historical caves with drawings and handprints and visit the village where you can purchase handicrafts at market prices. A lovely barbecue lunch of local beef, chicken and salad is also provided. A great day out for all the family. There is so much to experience here in this island paradise, We truly wished we could have stayed longer.
We both can't wait to return to this island paradise.

Helpful?
Thank IslandGirl68Victoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne Australia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
“Good not Great, fun not memorable”
Reviewed 16 September 2009

Never being overseas before naturally I was excited to get to a nice place away from the melbourne cold. Any holiday is a good holiday which was true of Vanuatu but would I go back most likely not. It wasn't aa surrounded with beaches as I expected ... it was a PORT for ships to dock hence Port Vila however when you go out with various tour groups you go to some nice beaches however tiny they may be, beautiful white sand and spectacular clear water was gorgeous to see in person. The people are friendly with pretty much most who speak English, however I don't think half of them knew what we were saying half the time since most times the response was "yes sure". Good holiday but expected more for the price

Helpful?
Thank Optimoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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