French Polynesia

Tikehau – A Quiet Side of Paradise and Pink Beaches

When you have good weather, make sure you take as much photos as you can and do not let “I am tired” or “wait tomorrow” as an excuse to not to!!! I am famous for bringing rains to wherever I travel so I was very thankful that we had perfect weather so far in our trip despite the fact that it was the rainy season in French Polynesia. My luck ran out which I was mentally prepared so for two days we had cloudy weather. The first morning started with breakfast; the same place where we had dinner the night before.

After spoiled by Le Taha’a awesome breakfast with varieties of fresh fruits (that delicious mango), we were very disappointed with the breakfast in Tikehau Pearl Resort. The choices were limited and same thing every day for the 4 nights we stayed there. Did I mentioned that the staff know us as “Room #1” since we were the only party traveling with 3 people and the lady tended to stick us to the same table every day!

The only thing I like about the breakfast was the Rotui mango juice but it only available for one day 🙁

After breakfast, we walked back to our room and it was drizzle rain. This bird hang out our overwater bungalow every day and sometimes woke us up in the crack of dawn grrrr, we guess that it must have a nest in our bungalow!

It was cloudy so the colors didn’t do the water’s justice. We saw a family walked down from their premium overwater bungalow’s deck into the water and to the sandbar near them, how nice! There are two categories of overwater bungalows, the standard ones are without direct water access (not sure why they didn’t build a staircase down) and the premium ones have water access.

It was cloudy and the current was quite strong flowing into the center of the atoll direction so we didn’t want to take the risk to snorkel. However, right on our overwater bungalow, we were able to see tons of fishes swimming by. It was an entertainment itself 🙂

We took the hotel shuttle at 12:00 pm out to the village, I planned to have lunch at the village and then buy drinks at the market (there is only 1 restaurant and 2 markets in the village).

When we got off the boat, we asked the “captain” for direction to the market and he said places are closed at this time…urg what? The restaurant is also closed urg…..he said the markets will open at 2 pm. It is a weird schedule they have, well I guess I can say, in island time! We went back to the hotel on the 12:15 pm boat.

Jason and I went to have lunch; I ordered the chicken sandwich which was tasty (I guess fresh organic chicken) and Jason ordered the spaghetti bolognese.

Our lunch was 4050 xpf ($37).

After our lunch, Evita decided to take the kayak out to circle around the overwater bungalows while I took photos of her. Too bad it was cloudy otherwise will be Facebook profile worthy!

After their fun, we took the 2:30 pm boat out to the village again! We had 2.5 hours till the shuttle to go back so we had plenty of time!

From the pier, we walked straight till end of the road and turn right…we passed many interesting houses and had a glimpse of French Polynesian village life.

A cute church!

End of the road, we saw this one but they were “away” for 15 minutes, so we’ll come back.

We turned right and the market was right there. The market is very small, smaller than any convenient store that I have ever been. Surprisingly, they stocked many Chinese/Asian sauce and rice. We did not see Rotui mango juice so we continued walking down the road to search for the second market.

Another beautiful little church!

This young lady was riding this huge wheel bicycle; we have never seen bicycle wheels this big before, have you?

We finally reached the second market, another very tiny market but they have the can kind Rotui mango juice! I think the boxed one tasted better!

Just like the village I grew up in China, each household has at least a dog to watch their house…although not sure if that’s their intent since I don’t think there are any home safety issue on this tiny little island. The dogs were roaming around going from one house to another, there was a point where a group of them just walking down the street with us; it was a little bit scary as I grew up afraid of dogs!

We walked all the way down to this as straight as it can be street, probably 15 minutes to the end, and reached the beach. I like those signs there to protect their beautiful beach!

Besides us three, there were another couple there who kayaked from some place else.

Another pink beach 🙂

After few photos, we walked back since it wasn’t as nice as it should be if it was good weather 🙁

We passed many homes with piles of coconuts in their yard, what they doing with those?

This weird looking stuff hanging down the tree…..hum…

The bicycle “gang” riding from the very end of the street to another end and back and forth, that’s the entertainment in this tiny island haha!

The boys were super friendly and polite as well, each time they passed by us they’ll say “Ia ora na” which means “hello”.

We walked back to that souvenir shop and it was really a dive shop and few t-shirts. We got back to the pier and waited for our hotel shuttle boat and we saw a reef shark swim by. We got back to the hotel, rest, enjoy our favorite mango juice on our deck (although no spectacular sunset today) but was delightful to see the fishes. For dinner, I ordered the duck breast (it was okay not the best), Jason ordered the lamb and the portion was huge!

Evita ordered a chicken salad since I told her my chicken sandwich at lunch was yummy.

Dinner was 9750 xpf (~88).

Same menu everyday…we were running out of choices!

The next day was similar weather, very cloudy and strong current…..that bird woke us up again!

We did our normal routine…breakfast….Evita went to kayak….lunch…..photos…dinner 🙂

This time, I told Evita to kayak to our bungalow so I’ll take a photo from above our deck…look :O Mr. Shark is visiting!!!

When I saw a few patches of blue sky, I told Jason “photo time”!

See how pretty those corals are?

This fish was huge!!!

Then, lunch time, we got the royal seats haha! Evite helped us to take a photo and look at her finger blocking the corner sigh!

After lunch, Jason taught Evita on how to snorkel, it was her first time!

Kids’ water fight!!!

That was our typical day in the quiet side of paradise 🙂

At night, we constantly heard splashing noises and we fought out the fishes and reef sharks were chasing each other LOL!

The next day weather was much better but the water current was still very strong! Look at those fishes seeking shelter underneath the lobby bungalow.

Sun, we finally see the sun today! At breakfast, I finally asked if they have the mango juice and the lady sure enough brought out a pitcher of mango juice just for us OMG we should’ve asked earlier! We were super happy and had no problem to finish the whole pitcher of mango juice, love it!

Photo time, have to treasure the good weather time for beautiful photos! I love that stretch of sandbar so beautiful!

The sandbar constantly changing shape due to the strong current pushing on the sand or even submerging the sand under the water.

 

Postcard perfect 🙂

Our overwater bungalow #1!

We found out that there’s an access into the water near the end of the pontoon; Jason went down to attempt to walk to the sandbar. The water depth was up to his waist in the deepest section.

See Evita who was enjoying her glass of wine on our deck?

How I miss those blue sky and white clouds!

I love those Polynesian style overwater bungalows, they added the relax island feel to this paradise!

Jason finally made it to the sandbar, see him?

Pics from Jason’s phone when he was over at the sandbar looking back at the overwater bungalows.

The island adjacent to the hotel:

We took a break from the hotel burning sun and I walked to the restaurant to order a “take out” for our lunch…the chicken sandwich:

We had a wonderful lunch with awesome views from our overwater bungalow deck and not to mention the refreshing coconut juice that we brought all the way from New Zealand LOL! Selfie time!

After lunch, I changed into another dress and we took a stroll to the other side of the resort for more photos.

Took a few tries for Evita to get the frame I wanted!

The map of the hotel and room numbers 🙂

Another beautiful sunset in Tikehau!!!

Those two high school classmates 🙂

I walked out for more photos and it was colorful!

Our last dinner, Evita ordered the poisson cru which she thought was yummy.

While Jason and I ordered the same thing……boring….

At night, the Milky Way over the overwater bungalows!!!

Our departure day, the weather was perfect and water was calm awwww back to reality 🙁 The checkout process was smooth except that when I reviewed the bill there was an extra fee (few hundred dollars) added and I asked what is this fee for? The guy made a phone call and took it off the bill….hum…..make sure you review the final bill before handing them the credit card! Goodbye Tikehau! Last glimpse of this piece of unspoiled paradise!

The airport was small and the boarding pass was a classic! Have you ever seen a boarding pass like this before?

We flew back to Tahiti and have a few hours layover there. While Evita watching our luggage, Jason and I walked over to the pharmacy, hoping to buy more of that wonderful insect repellent but the pharmacy was closed on Sundays awww. We crossed the street to that Chinese restaurant but it was not open on Sundays too 🙁 With no other choices, we walked back to the airport and waited for the international side to open. Once checked in, we headed to the lounge; I was a bit surprised that the Priority Pass has a lounge in a small airport like Tahiti. It was such a great thing though; the lounge has no AC but comfortable enough to have free wifi, snacks, and instant noodle. I was shocked when Evita said she didn’t know instant noodle tasted so good LOL, of course after few days of boring food!

Our flight from PPT to Auckland on Air New Zealand’s Boeing Dreamliner was comfortable. We didn’t even notice when we landed; wondered if it was the pilot’s skill or the plane’s technology! We spent the night in Auckland and had a filling yummy lunch before we headed home. Our adventure came to an end and not sure when will be our next time visiting the French Polynesia; if we ever come back next time, which islands should we visit?

Conclusion: we had visited Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Tahaa, and Tikehau out of the French Polynesian islands and each has its own pros and cons. My favorite? Hard choice….Bora Bora in terms of the most beautiful lagoon and amazing overwater bungalows and it might be the most popular island, it is nowhere near crowded compared to other beach destinations in the Caribbeans. I loved everything about French Polynesia except for food (variety and affordability). Warning though which I must say, once you visited French Polynesia, it’ll never be the same when you look at other beach destinations; so hard to beat French Polynesia!!!

6 thoughts on “Tikehau – A Quiet Side of Paradise and Pink Beaches

    1. I bought the from various places, on sale of course: Guess Factory, Ebay (my favorite seller bhfo), Dotti (New Zealand/Australia brand), etc. Any specific dress you are looking for? 🙂

      1. Specifically the purple layered dress, peach floral dress, light aqua tie die dress – all from the recent posts of French Polynesia.

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