Visiting Tonga in the Off Season

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20 Responses

  1. Nina says:

    I think I’d miss visiting the whales but still Tonga looks amazing!

  2. I have heard of Tonga before but didn’t know much about it other than its location on the map. You write so beautifully. I had fun reading and am so inspired to see another Malaysian solo traveler. 🙂

    • Teja says:

      Thank you! I didn’t know anything about Tonga either, and I don’t know anyone who has gone. Certainly not another Malaysian. If I’m honest, maybe that’s why I chose it. Kind of like a ‘I wonder what would happen if I went to…’ sort of decision.

  3. Krista says:

    Tonga sounds interesting to visit during the off season! I actually prefer off season travel so there are less people, even though some services aren’t available and things may be closed.

  4. Taylor says:

    Wow! Tonga looks so beautiful. I actually never heard of it before, but you definitely put it on my radar. I love visiting destinations in the off season because it allows me to truly enjoy things without crazy crowds and waiting in long lines. This is a great guide. :)

  5. Emma says:

    I completely agree that visiting places in the off season is definitely underrated. You feel more like a local just assimilating to daily life than a “tourist”. Tonga looks amazing, such blue water, shame about the whales but the snorkeling looks fabulous

    • Teja says:

      Yes, indeed they’re two very different kinds of trips. In hindsight, more cash and some kind of mobility would have been good for Vava’u. It’s a big enough island that you need transport to explore properly.

  6. I’m so happy that you got the chance to visit Tonga. The place is certainly one of my dream destinations. Thank you for giving me a virtual tour of Tonga until I get to visit it.

  7. Georgina says:

    I am a huge fan of off-season travels and Tonga sounds fabulous! I don’t mind if some places are closed, I can live with that but really love it when there is less crowd. You have given a detailed guide and included useful suggestions on international roaming which often goes amiss. I would definitely love to do whale watching :)

    • Teja says:

      Whale watching is only in the high season though, because the whales pass through the area during their migrations; they’re not local around Tonga. Everything I heard seems to indicate that whale watching season is high season and busy, but then again I don’t know what ‘crowded’ means on Vava’u. Maybe it just means ‘full up’ rather than ‘Venice levels’ of crowded. You should probably still be able to enjoy lower crowds on an adjacent island homestay even then, I think.

  8. Sue says:

    Some really good information here. I am hoping to get to Tonga one day & you’ve whet my appetite! I would definitely travel in the season though as one of the reasons for going for me would be to swim with the humpback whales. The fact that you were in a communication blackout & the flights kept being brought forward struck a chord with me. I’m glad you were able to find out but these are the sorts of things that cause me a bit of panic! Certainly great info here for when I do visit – thank you!

    • Teja says:

      I got better at managing the anxiety about these travel uncertainties, but yeah, I still don’t like coming in unprepared. Hence my suuuuuper generous transfer margins which, for once, was actually needed. Definitely go in the season for the whales, and if it’s a different experience then, do write about it Sue!

  9. Renata Green says:

    I’m so jealous that you had the chance to visit Tonga. It’s certainly one of my dream destinations and sadly one that might just remain a dream. At least from Europe, it’s incredibly expensive to go there. Hence, I just enjoy your post that takes me there – basically for free ;-)

  10. Natascha says:

    What a detailed report! We love to visit places off-season or at least at shoulder season. Usually it is less crowded and you get better prices. Good to know, that some places are closed in Tonga, if you go off-season. Although I am not much interested in diving. So as long as there are some decent snorkeling options I am fine.

  11. Good for you making it through your visit to Tonga in the off season old school. Important to know that you need to plan in advance to travel around to domestic locations. And that many flights can have long delays. We have had that issue before in off season travel. And even to many locations off season from home in Canada. And we have absolutely visited places were so many spots were closed. We would definitely have wanted to go snorkelling or scuba diving. And would not have expected dive centres to be closed. Good to know that the underwater views may not be as stunning as I might have expected.

    • Teja says:

      Tonga has real off seasons, I have to say. And… actually I think that’s a healthy attitude, though I’m not used to it as an Asian. You just need to know it in advance so you’re not caught out. Bear in mind that because I stayed along one of the narrow bays my underwater sights may be quite different than if you were to stay next to a sand lagoon.

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