• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Tonga


The people of Tonga are very humble and modest as they rarely express themselves in a way to offend another. This comes in respecting other people, dressing modestly, avoiding outward signs of wealth or affection, and having a reverence for God as most people are Christian.

As a visitor to Tonga, that same modesty is expected; modesty in dress, actions, words, and every aspect of your life. Many of the most important behavioral restrictions to be aware of are related to dress, dating (see below for both), and dining (see our Tonga Food & Dining Page for more information). Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting drunk in public.


The Tongans have created a dress that combines historic and modern aspects of style, both Tongan and European in origin. Today most men (but not all as jeans are becoming popular) wear a short garment called a tupenu for pants (similar to a sarong or a skirt) and a western-styled shirt on top, whether that is as informal as a t-shirt or as formal as a suit jacket and tie. Likewise, women wear a tupenu that tends to be much longer than men's. The usually top for women is a dress or a local shirt called a kofu. For many formal occasions men will wear a ta'uvala and women will wear a kiekie, both of which are a type of pants, but more formal and in the case of kiekies, much more decorational.

As a visitor to Tonga it is important to dress modestly, this is especially true for women. Men have some freedom as wearing shorts and t-shirts is common and acceptable, but women should be sure their clothing covers their shoulders and knees at a minimum. Pants are also considered inappropriate for women in many settings (such as work) so be sure to wear long skirts or dresses for the duration of your trip or buy a tupenu and wear it over your pants or shorts. In resorts there is more freedom to what can be worn as swimwear is common and showing more skin is accepted. However, this dress should be contained to these resorts and nudity is never allowed.

This page was last updated: November, 2013