Vanuatu

It is advisable to be immunised against Hepatitis A and B and typhoid fever before visiting Vanuatu.

Malaria is endemic within some areas of Vanuatu, but not Port-Vila. If you are venturing outside the resort areas, check with your doctor before you travel.

Tap water in Port Vila is clean and potable, but is best avoided elsewhere. Doctors used to treating common traveller problems are available in Port-Vila. Any more serious problems may require some form of medical evacuation.

Be careful of any small cuts, scratches, or other sores you receive while travelling in Vanuatu. As in most tropical areas, small sores can easily become infected if you don't practice proper hygiene. Most of these things require common sense.

A long list of countries are exempted from visas (http://vanuatu.travel/get...), which includes all Commonwealth and EU Member countries. All visitors must have a passport valid for a further 4 months and an onward ticket. On arrival, you will be allowed an initial stay of up to 30 days, extended one month at a time for up to 4 months.

talk

There are three official languages: English, French and Bislama. Bislama is a pidgin language – and now a creole in urban areas – which essentially combines a typically Melanesian grammar with a mostly English vocabulary. It is the only language that can be understood and spoken by the whole population of Vanuatu, generally as a second language.

It is a mixture of phonetic English woven in a loose French sentence structure spoken with ‘local sound' producing some comical outcomes e.g., ladies brassieres or bathing top is called "Basket blong titi"; no offense intended. An excellent Bislama dictionary is available from good book shops: 'A New Bislama Dictionary,' by the late Terry Crowley. Some common Bislama words/phrases include:

Me / you - mi / yu

Him / her / it neither masculine nor feminine

this here - hem/ hemia

Us /we / all of us - mifala / mifala evriwan

You / you plural - yu / yufala

I do not know/understand - mi no save

See you later / ta ta - Lukim yu/ tata

I am going now - ale French derivation of allez mi go

One/ two / three - wan / tu / tri

How much is that - hamas long hem

Plenty or many - plenti

Filled to capacity / overfilled - fulap / fulap tumas too much

Day / evening / night - dei / sava literally supper / naet

Hot / cold - hot / kol

What / what is that - wanem / wanem ia literally wanem here?

Why / why did you - frowanem for why?

Please / thank you / sorry very sorry - plis / tangkyu / sori sori tumas - sorry too much

Do you know - yu save pronounced savee

In addition, 113 indigenous languages are still actively spoken in Vanuatu. The density of languages per capita is the highest of any nation in the world, with an average of only 2000 speakers per language. All of these vernacular languages belong to the Oceanic branch of the Austronesian family.

postal services

Postal services to mainland Europe can take up to 7 days. You can send letters and postcards from mailboxes in the streets, however the incoming postal service can be patchy, especially for parcels, so don't rely on people sending you things while you're staying in Vanuatu.

internet

Internet cafes can be found in Luganville & Port-Vila. You may also find that some post offices will also provide some kind of Internet facilities, and can be found on the main streets in Port-Vila and Luganville as well as on Espiritu Santo.

telephone

The international country code for Vanuatu is +678. To dial overseas from within Vanuatu dial 00 followed by the relevant country code and phone number.

Emergency phone numbers: Ambulance 22-100; Fire 22-333; and Police 22-222.

Vanuatu has GSM mobile coverage in Port-Vila and most GSM mobile phones roam seamlessly. You can buy special visitor SIM cards from TVI (http://www.tvl.vu/modules.php), which offer considerable discounts over roaming charges. Available at any post office.

International Roaming from New Zealand and Australia is available. Telecom Vanuatu has a package called ‘Smile Visitor' which consists of a sim card with a pre-purchased credit. This can be purchased at the Vanuatu Telecom Office in town. Telephone: +678 081111. Email: info@smile.com.vu

Or with the new player's Digicel, giving Telecom some overdue competition. Digicel have made themselves very visible, and can be found everywhere. They have a bunch of different cheap plans for you.