This really is as crowded as the beaches get in Kiribati – mainly because tourists are few and far between.
The reason there are so few tourists in Kiribati (and probably why this is the first picture of Kiribati to be posted on TrekEarth) is that it is so far off the beaten track. The Republic of Kiribati (pronounced ‘keer-ree-bahs’) stretches nearly 4,000 kms east to west and just over 2,000 km north to south, but is right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator. Within this vast area of the Pacific Ocean, there are 33 coral atolls which make up Kiribati’s 810 sq km of land area. In the west there are the Gilbert Islands, which includes Tarawa – a reverse ‘L’ shaped atoll which is the administrative centre; in the middle there are the Phoenix Islands (sparsely inhabited); and in the east there are the Line Islands which includes Christmas Island (not to be confused with the Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean).
About a third of Kiribati’s 90,000 population lives on Tarawa, in two small towns – Betio and Bairiki – near the south western end of the atoll. The rest of Tarawa’s population live in open huts thatched with palm fronds, very basic concrete block and fibro houses (similar to what you see in Aboriginal communities in Australia or Fijian communities in Fiji), or crude shelters made out of corrugated iron, spread out in villages along the atoll.
There are only two flights a week to Tarawa – one from Nadi (Fiji) south of the equator which connects to flights to Australia, and one to Majuro (Marshall Islands) north of the equator which connects to flights to the US. As there is virtually no tourism on Tarawa, accommodation for visitors is limited.
Despite this, and the fact that there are no special facilities for tourists in Kiribati, it is still a fabulous place to visit because it is so unspoilt and peaceful. The only other westerners I saw during my four days in Kiribati were some church missionaries from the US (and they seem to be everywhere these days, except for Iraq!) I will post a few more pictures from Kiribati in the coming days.
This shot was taken from the Tanaea bridge looking across to the islet of Buota, which is the last islet in South Tarawa accessible by road. To reach the islets of North Tarawa you have to wade between the islets at low tide (as in this picture) or take a canoe at high tide.
Critiques | Translate
Paolo (41222) 2005-07-18 12:36
A great image and a great note too!
it is the first time that i saw an image of Kiribati's atolls.
good colors and a nice light.
excellent the POV.
HD462 (280) 2005-07-18 13:24
Very nice photo from this distant part of the world. Very imformative note too, thanks.
aferrao (1145) 2005-07-18 13:28
Well, I would love to be in a beach like that! Sometimes here in Portugal I get bored because I don't have were to lay a towel without "neighbours" everywhere. And to take pictures of an almost desert beach like that is not easy around here. :)
pedrocarmo (1295) 2005-07-18 14:07
For a long time I've been traveling around the world looking for nice tropical places ( Crystal Blue Waters, Palm tree, hot water, hot temperatures ) way from the crouds.
I have been in some nice places, and some of them almost as Kiribati (without tourism). Saddly some of those places are becomming very touritic!
Every year is more dificult to find places like Kiribati.
Thanks for sharing a great photo from a great place
jbweasle (9393) 2005-07-18 15:02
A delightful beach. I love the colour of the sand and the water. The solitary person is perfectly placed.
Fon (2302) 2005-07-23 20:26
Spectacular picture of a beautiful beach and the wonderful colors mainly the tones of blue, light and plan of bottom perfect.Well done!
ChrisJ (112373) 2005-07-24 3:55
Exactly the kind of place I'd like to be, on this cold, overcast day, here in eastern Australia. I like the horizontal layering of colors. The person adds scale & context. Well done!
Tayon (1985) 2005-07-25 22:44
This is a really great place to stay ! The photo is irretocable ! I like the man to give us the scale of the beach. As everyone else I'd like to be in a place like this. I live in Brasil and there's no water with this colours. I think too many people makes too many mess. thank you for sharing.
AiresSantos (56155) 2005-10-08 7:09
I never visited a country tropical. This image has for me meaning double. First, I love landscapes of the tropics. Second, this photo has much beauty. Fantastic colors, mainly the blue one. Thanks for sharing
Regards. Aires dos Santos
krakowiak (4762) 2005-12-10 5:28
You've made a great image in a beautyful place. Kiribati sounds sooo exotic for me. Colour of the water is excellent.
Best Regards from Krakow
rabani (9645) 2006-04-16 20:54
Beside the small touch of humor in your note, I liked your note a lot. Pretty descriptive and in a narrative way. Then again, you worked with the media and it shows here. But the lead to this work of yours David, is the suggestive nature of the colors, its tone and especially the seafront with the coconut trees lining up along the white beach. And that lone figure, contributes to the feeling of remoteness of this far flung place.
Propofol (1790) 2006-05-20 20:55
The solitary person adds such interest to the the photo, which you've aptly titled.
Beautiful colors, and a very informative note.
paura (47186) 2006-10-12 19:15
Very beautiful shot, David, from this amazing place. It's a very nice composition and POV. The blue tones are superb.
vagabondtravels (6511) 2007-03-11 4:34
Nice comp and bright colors. Well managed light. Great note. This is a place I would love to visit. I made it as far as Fiji. What were you doing there? Anyhow well done.
ViktorVaughn (1521) 2007-09-23 19:12
Randomly came upon this photo when searching Kiribati (not to many photos here) but this makes me want to go. As my eternal quest for the best beaches on this planet continues, this looks like a place where there would be several contenders.
Your note was excellent, and very informative. I enjoyed your title, and the colours are phenonmenal.
giorgimer (34941) 2007-11-01 10:26
the color of the sea is really stunning, excellent light too
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-01-13
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED, UV
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/320 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Top Beaches, Blogger slideshow [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-07-18 12:35
- Favorites: 4 [view]