While our Least Visited Countries Tour has always been around Christmas, destination of said holy day has often changed. Last time it was in Majuro/Pohnpei with a split flight, this year it was to be Christmas Eve in Kiribati, with the evening spent in Nauru.
So, how was Christmas in Kiribati and how does it compare with other locales? Well as a long term (23 years) expat, I decided to go find out for myself.
What the Kiribati?
I’ll I’ve it a full article and landing page at some point, but it is part of the Micronesian, Polynesian and Melanesian nations that make up the Pacific Islands.
You get here from Majuro, but despite it only being an hour flight you really could not be further away both culturally and economically.
Unlike the Palau, the FSM and the Marshall Islands there is no big poppa supporting this tiny nation, this not only make sit poor, but combined with the fact raising sea levels mean it is the first country to bite the bullet, things are different here…..
Christmas Eve in Tarawa
In the day time our group went out and toured Tarawa whilst I stayed at the hotel trying to fix some issues, issues that might end up filling up a different article later……
By the evening though it was time to head for food and drink which we did at the (gggg) a new bar complex owned by the guys at out (xxx) hotel.
Here we had a traditional dance, as well as some local beer, but alas Christmas in Kiribati did not feel all that festive, particularly compared to the 68 Market in Koror.
There were though at least some decorations, as well as the odd Santa hat and tankini worn by me.
Seeing in Christmas in Kiribati
There is an island in Kiribati called Christmas Island, which as you might guess is popular at Christmas. I was not there, I was in Tarawa.
At 19 pm we headed to the George Hotel, one of the quite literally three hotels in Tarawa, which of course I shall write about at some point….
I had remembered said bar, rather than the hotel from one of my last visits, due to the amazing sashimi they served, which I can confirm are still epic. Thus my Christmas Eve meal ended up being tuna sashimi with chicken and chips. This was off course accompanied by a few beers.
Do people in Kiribati drink at Christmas?
You see drunks pretty much everywhere in Kiribati, but it seems to be more profound around Christmas time, at least at the George Bar Tarawa.
Christmas in Kiribati
There were many drunken incidents one could recount, but highlights mighty be a very drunk man asking for my Santa hat only for me to tell him I had work later that night driving my sleigh. He didn’t quite get it, but left regardless.
Which takes us to how the evening ended, ot most of how it ended anyway. Essentially we finished our beers and went to head to our hotel, but alas there was a nightclub opposite our hotel from where a brawl started and not just ant brawl. This was truly tribal shit my man, with the hotel locking the gate, but the gate almost being breached.
Less scary than getting robbed in Port Moresby, but in fairness not by all that much and things could have gone seriously south.
I am told Christmas in Kiribati is not all that different to the rest of the world, but this place is unique 24/7, particularly so in the festive season.