When planning out the YPT Least Visited Countries Tour my obvious aim was to try and visit the least visited countries in the world (hence the name), but there were also logistical, and financial constraints that meant part of the itinerary would be decided for me.
The part that chose itself rather than me choosing it was Honiara in the Solomon Islands, officially the 15th least visited country in the world, which by the standards of Nauru and Kiribati made it practically Ibiza. Logistics also meant that I would be coming here not once, but twice! I was pleasantly surprised by what Honiara had to offer, so here are my top 5 tips for what to do in Honiara.
5) Visit the Honiara Hotel.
Whether you are staying in Honiara or just visiting, the eclectic Honiara Hotel run by the charismatic Mr. Chan, a local of Chinese heritage is an absolute must! To start with, it has lots of weird models of dinosaurs and fishes that make it quite the 70’s throwback. If that is not enough for you, it has a huge pool, 3 restaurants, 2 bars, and one eccentric owner in Mr. Chan. And if you think Honiara Hotel isn’t good enough for you, well it was good enough for William and Kate! Ask Mr. Chan nicely and he might even show you the room where they stayed in the hotel.
4) Eat street food.
I won’t dwell on this as I have already written a very informative article about the said activity. If you like fresh fish, chicken, and hot dogs served with rice and pumpkin whilst looking at a great scenery then Honiara is where it is at. I would really rate highly the Honiara street food if only they serve some of the great beers that are made in the Solomon Islands (they don’t).
3) Visit the Solomon Islands Parliament.
Parliament is a huge weird structure built on top of the hill looking over Honiara in a very omnipresent way. It was built by the Japanese as a kind of apology for all that WW2 business, and as architecture goes, it’s fairly interesting.
2) Visit the Honiara market.
In my mind, visiting a market is a great way to learn about a country, and in that respect, Honiara market is pretty damned special. It’s on the water next to not one but two shipwrecks (that you can play on) and is full of fresh fish, huge tuba, the local narcotic betelnut, as well as cool jewelry made from shells. Top experience, although beware of pickpockets out there.
1) Wreck snorkeling.
On the way to a nice beach, there’s a whole street selling Honiara street food (see point 4). But then if you keep on driving, there’s another beach that has a sunken Japanese boat from WW2. Calm waters, lots of fishes, great weather, a stunning view of Honiara, and in my mind, the best way to rock out in Honiara!