The Friendly Islands

The nation of Tonga holds a Guinness World Record. Their previous King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV who died in 2006, weighed 460 pounds and holds the record for being the world’s heaviest king. There are 170 islands that make up Tonga but only 36 of them are inhabited. And, it is one of the few places on the entire planet where you can swim with whales. You can also explore active volcanoes and pristine rainforests on your South Pacific adventure.
These islanders are known for their friendly hospitality. Their rich culture, music, dancing and feasts have been celebrated for nearly 3,000 years. During his first visit in 1773, the famous British explorer James Cook was invited by the island’s chief to a lavish feast and celebration to honor him and his men. The celebration was so well received that Captain Cook gave Tonga the nickname of “The Friendly Islands”. Later, Captain Cook found out the chief had planned an ambush to loot his ship while he attended the feast but that plan was abandoned just before the feast began.

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