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Things to do in French Polynesia

France is one of the few countries of the world which still has its different departments that are spread across the world. French Polynesia is one of such French colonial regions. It is present in the Tahitian region and lies in the south of the Pacific Ocean. It is termed as an overseas country in French and consists of 118 separate islands.

Polynesian islands

French Polynesia is quite spread out and its outlying islands are separated by a distance of over two thousand kilometers. The total area of the region is estimated to be just over 4,100 square kilometers. The collection of islands can be termed to contain five definitive groups. There are 67 islands in French Polynesia which are known to be inhabited, while others have stayed away from the touch of humans. The most well known island of French Polynesia is Tahiti, which also holds the capital of the French Collectivity which is Pape’ete. The five island groups include the Society Islands, the Gambier Islands, the Austral Islands, the Marquesas Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago. The region is famous due to the passage of many famous European explorers. One of the best things to do in French Polynesia is to visit the historical landmarks where the famous people have left their mark. The French were quick to make a claim to this territory and they established their presence officially in 1842 with the opening of a French Protectorate. When France turned into a republic in 1946, the area was transformed into an overseas territory and the people of Polynesia were allowed to vote with the area being officially renamed as French Polynesia. The more recent law of 2004 allows the establishment of a Presidency in the region with its designation being changed to an overseas country. French Polynesia is one of the last places that our ancestors were able to inhabit as they followed navigation from the stars to find new islands in the Pacific Ocean. History shows that this area was inhabited by humans during a period of 200 BC to 300 AD. The area gained prominence in modern times when the most famous sea explorer, Magellan sighted the area in 1521 while on his famous voyage to circumnavigate the world. After that, many Europeans were able to identify and discover different islands in the region during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Another famous explorer, James Cook visited Tahiti in around 1769. There are many things to do in French Polynesia such as visiting the many small islands in the region and enjoying the peaceful sea. Different small establishments were created in the area in those times but these were mostly of a temporary nature. Many Christian missions then also started to target the region. The region is now mostly famous for its tourism activities as there are many things to do in French Polynesia for tourists.

Places to visit in French Polynesia

French missionaries reached the area late in the 19th Century, but they were well supported by their military that allowed the French missionaries to work without problems. Tahiti was annexed in 1880 and the other regions quickly followed the same fate afterwards. The official name for the region in those days used to mean the Establishment of France in Oceana. French Polynesia also took part in the Second World War, although the area was included in the capturing plans of Japan. The tide of the war however turned and French Polynesia was saved from suffering an invasion which would have garnered some local support. The situation became better when the people of the region were granted the French nationality after the war. There are many things to do in French Polynesia such as enjoying the beaches which are full of palm trees. The 2012 census shows the population of the region to be around 268,000. The urban regions have a very mixed ethnic culture where people belonging to different backgrounds live together. The rural areas are mostly inhabited by the local population. The area has suffered though at the hands of ignorant politics which has given rise to violence based on the cast and cultural differences. There are many tourist facilities that are present on the well known islands of the region and French Polynesia regularly receives tourists from all parts of the world. The official language of the country is French but there are many native languages that are spoken and well understood in the region. One of the best things to do in French Polynesia is to enjoy the cultural diversity that gives the region a particular flavor. Many people speak the Tahitian language at home but almost all the population is well versed at understanding and using the French language. Most people are Christian in the region although they are divided among a majority number of Protestants and a large minority of Roman Catholics. There are also many airports in the country, but there is only a single international airport which allows the region to be connected with the world. The country has recently become extremely famous for its music. There are many famous musicians from this region who produce a typical music piece that is common only in this region. One of the best things to do in French Polynesia is to now enjoy lovely musical performances.