Here are a list of do’s and don’ts. They may not be absolutely necessary but they will make your trip that much more enjoyable.
- Learn a little of the language; it tickles the locals sense of humour
- Learn as much about the area as you can before leaving home especially about Guadalcanal and the second world war; it gives a much better perspective.
- Eat locally and eat what is natural to the area. The locals cook it better and you can always have steak and chips when you get home. Coconut crabs are becoming extinct so don’t choose those off the menu but mud crabs have to be seen to be believed. Check out the size of your waiter as you may need to call on his assistance to break open the huge claws. be prepared to make a mess!
- Solomon Islanders tend to be quiet. Encourage them to talk and be involved and they will interact and give a wonderful cultural insight.
- Be courteous to a fault.
- Be prepared to hold hands. It is not uncommon to have a local man hold your hand while in conversation or walking along; it’s just a local way of interacting.
- Don’t take the huge knives off the small children. You are a lot more likely to hurt yourself than they are.
- Be aware that alcohol, cigarettes and skimpy clothing may offend.
- Take a small backpack to keep your camera in. If staying in an air conditioned room keep your camera box open as the camera will fog up and can cause long term problems.
- Take an extra water bottle; dehydration can be a big problem. Take a wide brimmed hat and sun cream.
- The Solomons are a great place to buy carvings both in stone and wood. It is fine to bargain but be fair. In the villages bartering hats, t-shirts, mask and snorkels can be of more use than money.
- Small gifts for the local kids, especially anything made of plastic, such as a yoyo, will earn you a life long friend.