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Escaping to the Southern Hemisphere: A Bora Bora Getaway

Escaping to the Southern Hemisphere: A Bora Bora Getaway

Old Mar 31, 16, 3:32 pm
  #16  
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That fits the profile of a few people we saw. Surprisingly there are a good amount of people vacationing with kids.
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Old Mar 31, 16, 3:45 pm
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We headed to Vaitape the next morning. There is a complimentary shuttle that runs to the Intercontinental Le Moana resort on the main island for guests. From there, a 15 minute or so bus ride takes you into the small town at a cost of approximately $15 per person. Arrangements can be made at the check-in/reception desk.

Waiting at the dock where the shuttle departs (this is also where the airport transfer arrives/departs).



On the way to Le Moana



The road that runs around the island with plenty of locals





We did stop by the grocery store to pick up some snacks and water to save ourselves from the exorbitant prices at the resort. A 1.5L bottle of water was only a dollar or so versus $7 for a 1L. Some of the Tahitian beer selection available:



Local bank



Lots of souvenir and pearl stores as expected





We had a little bit more than an hour before the shuttle took us back to Le Moana. The town itself isn't very big, about a minute in each direction from where we were dropped off by car. After a little bit of shopping, we head back on the bus and waited at the Le Moana dock.



And heading back to Thalasso!



The next 2 days we have booked a spa day and a jet ski tour (may not have many pictures, but we'll see).
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Old Apr 2, 16, 7:34 pm
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We ordered room service the night we returned from town and they come in and set up either inside or outside. I honestly wasn't expecting the tablecloth and all, but it was also my first time ordering room service. Somebody please educate me whether this is the norm?

Both dishes had a coconut curry to go along with the rice. I found the seafood and vegetables quite tasty.



The next day, we went to the spa facilities right when they opened at 0930. The massage I chose came with a choice of oils, and after taking a whiff of all three, settled on the papaya.



We were given a small basket with a cloth of sorts to wrap around yourself if desired, and a pair of flip flops. A key to a locker was also provided. By scheduling a treatment, you are allowed full day access to all the facilities.

A view of the locker room with showers on the right behind each door.



As you exit, an associate will give you a quick tour to show you where everything is at. To the left are the steam rooms and the cold plunge pool.



Further along is a salt water swim pool (I think that's what it was labeled) and a narrow pool with jets that you walk through to massage your legs just to the left of the lounge chairs (2nd photo).





There is also a tea room with refreshments and a relaxation room.



We spent most of our time at the jacuzzi with this amazing view below. The massages are performed in the buildings on the left which have a see through floor cut out so you can view the fish. Pretty cool!





We left briefly around noon to participate in another cultural immersion activity which was hat making. Unfortunately, due to the complexity, this was not something that we were able to make ourselves, but the hats look pretty awesome. We got a few people asking where we got them from when we were at the airport waiting for the flight back home.



I should be finishing up the remainder of the report tomorrow. I won't have coverage of the A340 or the prop plane from BOB to PPT. At that point I was either trying to not move to stay cool, or catch some Zs on the trip home.
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Old Apr 3, 16, 6:31 pm
  #19  
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The final morning of our full day in Bora Bora, we head over to the docks where we had our jet ski tour reserved for 08:45. We were the only guests for that time slot departing from the Thalasso, so after a brief introduction, our tour guide Mana led us speeding towards Le Moana where a few other people were picked up. The tour takes approximately 2 hours at a cost of $275 per jet ski and takes you around the entire island with a few stops along the way. You get to see all the different resorts and some of the smaller motu. Our guide also pointed out the locations of some of the WW2 cannons that were never used. It was a great way to start off the day and we were lucky enough to avoid any rain that inhibited visibility of the beautiful scenery. Not so great picture from the GoPro below.



Afterwards, we returned to our room for a quick rest before heading back over to the main island for lunch. We booked a scooter for 4 hours to get around through the concierge for $65. Of course our luck ran short here as it began to pour rain when we hopped onto the shuttle boat to Le Moana. As things began to lighten up, we grabbed some ponchos from the reception desk at Le Moana (where the scooter is picked up) and head off towards Bloody Marys for lunch. About 2 minutes after leaving, it started pouring again, but the ponchos did a decent job of keeping us dry. After wolfing down some fried fish and shrimp, we bought some shirts and decided to use the rest of our rental time to ride around the island. This gave us a different perspective and let us see the locals lived away from the glitz and glam of the resorts.







Back side of Mount Otemanu





It ended up taking an hour or so to cruise the island which was a great time. Compared to the cost of the other activities, I highly recommend doing this as it's cheap and lets you explore at your leisure. We caught the 4:15PM shuttle back to the Thalasso and ordered room service again. While hanging out on the deck, I setup the tripod again to get some more shots.



On checkout day, I spent some more time in the lagoon taking in the beautiful view for one last time. Afterwards, we double checked with the front desk and confirmed they would not be able to offer us late checkout, so we packed up everything and head over to reception at 11AM. We were provided a day room (awesome amenity!) and the porter was sent to move our bags over while we went back to the pool.



Some more fruity drinks



Before we knew it, it was 2PM, time for the daily stingray feeding



One of the seagulls hoping to catch some fish



Knowing that our boat transfer to the airport was scheduled for 4:50PM, we did the whole lock and throw away the key thing that was part of the Garden of Love.





Back to the day room (about 7x7 for the main space, plus a bathroom and shower) to change and shower.



From there we caught our boat, and hopped on our flights home. It was hard to leave paradise, but it's back to reality on Monday. Now we can look forward to our round the world trip in August.

Thanks to everyone who read this report! It was a blast of a trip!
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Old Apr 3, 16, 7:43 pm
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This is the next "exotic locale" on my list and both your pictures and TR in general certainly helped the cause! Thanks for another great TR!
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Old Apr 3, 16, 10:38 pm
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Bora Bora looks a lot nicer now than 30 years ago when I was there.

The hotels were so so, the food was awful and the locals not friendly.

Thanks for the nice pictures.
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Old Apr 4, 16, 6:34 am
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Beautiful shots and great TR - my wife and I spent 5 nights at Le Moana last July/August.

We'd hoped to go to Thalasso but availability never opened up. On the flip side, being on the main island did make running to the local stores (for cheap bread, jam, fruit, beer, and rum!) much easier and saved us a bit of money; we were able to eat off-resort much easier, too.

How was the snorkeling at Thalasso? It was great at Le Moana - we heard it was better on our southern tip of the island.

BOB is definitely a great bucket list trip. Glad you guys enjoyed it, too!
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Old Apr 4, 16, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Bretteee View Post
Bora Bora looks a lot nicer now than 30 years ago when I was there.

The hotels were so so, the food was awful and the locals not friendly.

Thanks for the nice pictures.
That's a good thought. However, either by accident or sensibly on purpose, the OP did not spend any time at La Moana, which is an absolute dump and trades solely on its admittedly fabulous location and the better developed coral that end of the island. I hazard a guess that a goodly number of folks lounging at Thalasso are Moana guests ruing their booking decision.
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Old Apr 4, 16, 2:53 pm
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You seriously make me so nostalgic of our time at the IC Thalasso. I'm not showing this report to my wife or else we'll be back before the year's end!
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Old Apr 4, 16, 4:14 pm
  #25  
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Really great photos!!

Good to see another San Diego FTer posting TR's, thanks for sharing ^
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Old Apr 8, 16, 10:02 am
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Thanks for all the comments. It was an excellent time and we would love to go back one day.

Originally Posted by stdatwmu View Post
How was the snorkeling at Thalasso? It was great at Le Moana - we heard it was better on our southern tip of the island.
We only snorkeled a little bit on our second day but it wasn't bad at all. I wouldn't be able to make any comparisons though.
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Old Apr 8, 16, 1:00 pm
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Very nice. I'd be curious if at the end of the day it was worth all the flying to get there...
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Old Apr 8, 16, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by farbster View Post
Very nice. I'd be curious if at the end of the day it was worth all the flying to get there...
It's only an 8 hour flight to PPT and a 50 minute flight from there to Bora Bora.
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Old Apr 12, 16, 5:33 am
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wow-amazing pictures

What camera / lenses?
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Old Apr 12, 16, 7:05 am
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Really fabulous photos of a truly stunning place. And yet... despite the glorious tropical water and gorgeous setting, I think I'd go nuts feeling so tied to the resort (especially where everything is so expensive). And there's only so many 'cultural immersion activities' I could be subjected to.

Did you feel there was enough to do, or did you also feel a little confined? (Of all the things you did, the scooter around the island had the most appeal for me.)

Also, I'd be curious to know if you spent much time on or under the water. Bora Bora always looks so amazing in the photos but how are the coral and beaches?
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