The Kingdom of Tonga (Pule'anga Fakatu'i) is a Polynesian island country. The 169 islands of Tonga (36 inhabited) stretch north-south east of Fiji in central Polynesia.Tonga is a constitutional monarchy, the only remaining indigenous monarchy in the Pacific. Tonga is one of the best places in Polynesia to buy tapa cloth, felt-like cloth made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree.
The main island is Tongatapu. The whole island is an uplifted block of coral limestone no more than 30' above sea level anywhere which tilts into the sea at the northern coast. Most of the island is covered with coconut-palm plantations. We visited Tonga in 1991, staying on Tongatapu.
Tongatapu is the site of the capital, Nuku'alofa.
The royal palace.
There is a big colony of fruit bats (flying foxes) near Kolovai at the western end of the island.
And there are spectacular blow holes, Mapu'a Vaea, along several miles of the southwestern coastline where incoming waves spout up through the porous uplifted lava rock.
The eastern end of Tongatapu has interesting archeological sites. The raised royal tombs, Langi, are around the ancient royal capital in Lapita.These large artificial hills are surrounded by slabs of coral rock.
There are traditional villages and graves.
The Ha'amonga 'a Maui ("The Burden of Maui"), a coral limestone trilithon in eastern Tongatapu, was built in the 13th century by King Tu'itatui in honor of his two sons.
Near the trilithon is a stone throne called the 'Esi Maka Faahinanga.
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Last modified 4 October 2021