Vanuatu - Port Vila, Efate Island



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Tamtams Everywhere

Part of the culture of Ambryn Island, tamtams - or slit gongs - seem to be everywhere in Vanuatu's capital and port city, Port Vila.

Float Plane?

Yep, it's one. Seems a little low in the water but this little bugger comes and goes from Port Vila a number of times per day.


The public market in Port Vila operates 6 days per week and is packed with gorgeous fruits and veggies.


The ni-Vanuatu are skilled at using natural products for binding (and also building) materials. This creative cinch for this huge bundle of "island spinach" was made from a banana leave.


Vanuatu consists of over 100 clans speaking over 100 (some say 120) different languages, each with its own cultural rituals.

Fern Trunk

Carvings are commonly done to the trunk of a tree fern which has an interesting texture.


Pigs are intergral to society and are a source of trade; boar tusks are commonly used in ornamentation.


Generally carved from soft wood, such as breadfruit, tamtams are considered by some to be the largest musical instruments made. They are struck with sticks (rather than knuckles) and produce a warm tone that varies with the drum's size.

Wooden Mask

Ceremonial masks are composed of a variety of different materials.


In a country of traditional "wantok" clans going back thousands of years - many of who still live in "kastom" villages and speak distinct languages - public health education must be a particular challenge. That being said, we enjoyed reading this sign!


Tanna's Mt. Yasur is one of the world's most accessible volcanoes. Unfortunately, when we arrived at Port Resolution nearby, the volcano was extremely active and the park closed to visitors. Didn't look inviting for sure.


This 220' beauty was launched only a few months before this photo was taken. Her main mast is 228' above the wonder her moniker.

Esema Bay, Port Havannah

Frank came around with a "mud" crab to sell and an offer of veggies for trade. He was the first of many visitors who visit their gardens each day on Efate Island from their homes on Moso Island.


is Frank's handsome younger son..