With a population of around twelve thousand, split almost evenly between indigenous Fijians and Fiji-Indians, NADI has a laid-back rural charm, enhanced by an almost constantly sunny climate. The twin Fijian villages of Navoci and Namotomoto and the murky Nadi River separate Downtown Nadi from its northern suburbs. South of here, the congested Queens Road is referred to as Main Street, lined with fashion and accessory shops and with a lively market square off to one side. East of the market and beyond the bus stand is a tiny grandstand overlooking Prince Charles Park, venue for Nadi’s football and rugby games.

The northern side of town is by far the most pleasant, with several excellent restaurants serving Indian dishes, and some interesting boutique handicraft stores, although persistent taxi drivers vying for attention distract from its charm. The further south you walk along Main Street, the seedier things become and by Westpoint Arcade beyond Hospital Road, the sidewalk touts take over, hassling tourists with “Bula mate!” or “Best prices in my shop!” From here on, the road is dominated by kava saloons where the locals gather to play pool.

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