If you have to describe the
island of Nauru in a few sentences, how those
>> Itís hot but with the most comfortable sea
breeze. Itís small but with lots of relics to
explore. Itís a Pacific island but with the unique
Nauruan style. Itís Nauru, the lost Pleasant Island!
What crime, what is the
government policy in the country and what are
actually the price of food, and souvenirs etc...?
>> (crime part) >> Basically, I guess
the law here is pretty much alike. Stealing or
murdering will definitely earn yourself a long stay
in the prison. There is no traffic light here, but
you have to follow the rules of pedestrian-first and
speed limit (40 mph) even without any speed detector
on the whole island. Just make sure you donít pass
any police car ahead of you. If you accidentally
overtake their car, donít worry, usually they are
pretty nice to foreign visitors.
Recently, I heard they have a very interesting rule
about schooling. In order to prevent kids from
skipping school for no reason, Nauru government has
a new policy. Parents will be received a penalty of
50-300 AUD or a 2-3 days stay in the prison once
their children skip school without any notice.
>> (price of food)
Compare with where I am from (Taiwan), I would say
the cost of food or beverage here is 2-3 times
higher. More than 90% of goods in Nauru were
imported from Australia, Fiji, or other Pacific
countries. Letís take Coca-Cola as an example. The
common price of a Coca-Cola 330 ml can here is 1
AUD, which in Taiwan is only 50-60 cents. The price
of a take-away meal in Chinese restaurants, Nauruan
stores, or Philippine shops is about 4-5 AUD. If you
want to discover the most surprising price of food,
just go check the fresh vegetables in the
The best deal you can make here is seafood.
Fishermen or women will sell fish, squids, or
lobsters on the piers or on the side of road. Only 5
AUD will get you a super fresh, forearm-sized bonito
or squid. If you are lucky, you can also get a tuna
in a sweet price!
Getting a souvenir here is not a problem. In the
biggest supermarket (Capelle) here, youíll find
Nauru T-shirt and beach short. You can also choose a
fabric in the store and ask the tailor to create a
custom-made shirt or dress. This will only cost you
30-35 AUD to get an Island style outfit for local
parties! Although you have to wait 5-7 days to it, I
think itís totally worth it! In the post office, you
can find different styles of Nauruan postcards and
send it to any part of world by just 1 AUD
(including a postcard). They also sell some
beautiful stamps on various themes, like frigate
birds. There are also 2 gift shops on the island,
where you can buy different things printed a Nauru
map. If you are looking for some crafts, you
probably need a local guide to help you out.
The island is very small.
Nevertheless, it is the road network and the cars
with the bike. If someone has a car is a luxury, or
people here can cope financially that?
>>Yes, of course. During my stay here, I saw a
roadster speeding on the road once or twice. I also
heard that more and more people bought second hand
cars from Japan, like Mitsubishi. Even though itís a
used car, it still looks pretty new comparing with
the ancient jeeps here. The most amazing part is
while you are wondering why there is a moving mess
of broken, rusty, worn metals on the road. Itís
actually an old jeep which can even speed up and
Most people here drive motorbikes or take
buses. Nauru got different sizes of buses which can
take people to school, work, church, or some special
events like bingo or a big party. But usually only
local people or foreign employees of Nauru
government will get on the bus. If you just travel
here for a few days, you may think about renting a
motorbike or hitchhike all the way.
The war marked the island,
despite the fact that its center was in Europe. What
remains of war can be found on the island?
>>The relics of World War II are basically
everywhere on the island. Along the coast, you can
easily find the pill box every few miles. If you pay
more attention to whatís around you while going
around the island, you will spot Japanese cannons
hidden in the middle of trees or stand straightly
right in front of peopleís houses. If you head to
the Buada district, where is the easiest place you
can see the bunker surrounded by pinnacles. There is
also an old Japanese prison concealed in the wood on
the uphill road to Buada. Few months ago, local
people even found some human bones in a cave of
Anibare district. You can also discover various
sizes of bunkers in different districts, but you
probably need the help from a local guide.
What was the reason that
you work in Nauru?
>>I worked here as an alternative military service,
or we call it Taiwan Youth Overseas Service. You
know every man in Taiwan is under the obligation to
serve in the army for like 1 year. Because I am a
vet, which got myself qualified for joining this
program. Thus, actually I was assigned to Nauru and
work in the Taiwan Technical Mission in Nauru. We
are here to help people develop home gardening and
build animal farms to improve their lives. My job is
basically taking care of all the animals on the
island. Recently I also worked with Secretariat of
Pacific Community to train some local officials to
What are you doing at the
time off (in free time)?
>> This is an interesting question. Believe it or
not, on weekdays I just stayed at home after jogging
or biking on the airport runway around evening. As
for weekend, I will go grocery shopping, hiking and
ridge climbing to see the relics, fishing at piers
with locals, swimming and sunbathing at the Anibare
harbor, sports game (rugby, boxing, racing, tennis,
volleyball, rooster fighting..) watching with
friends, or just go around the island and expect to
see the unexpected surprises. Usually on weekends,
there will be some special activities, parties, or
games for different reasons or holidays. I tried not
to miss any of them cause these special events are
the most fun things to kill time here. Recently I
decided to go deep into local peopleís lives, so I
went noddy bird hunting with my local friends and
also watch them tame the frigate birds. This is
quite an experience.
How people live here, they
differ among themselves as the islanders? Refuse
>> No! During my 1 year stay in Nauru, I would say
people here are pretty nice to foreigners. Just
politely ask them if you need any help or guide, or
before taking a picture. I think people here are
super optimistic and hospitable. You may share your
thought, traveling stories or plans with them, which
will easily make them laugh out loud. They may offer
you some extra helps or show you around the island.
People here are pretty proud of who they are. I
heard Australia used to offer a place for all the
Nauruans, but guess what? They choose to stay here.
My local friends told me this is their home, they
are not going anywhere. Even though there are more
and more young people studying or working abroad,
they still want to come back to this Pleasant Island
Island is sure very
attracts for tourists from around the world. What
the different nationalities on the island you have
>> I was amazed that there are so many people from
different countries living on such a small island. I
have met people from Australia, China, Cuba, German,
India, Ireland, Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New
Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands and of
course Taiwan. From time to time, there were some
visitors, journalists, or photographer from America,
French, Italy, Japan and South Korea.
If tourists come to the
island, what would you recommend to see first and
what to avoid?
Well, although you can basically see everything
thorough the window, you should definitely avoid
going straight into local peopleís houses no matter
how good friends you guys are. Besides, always
follow the principle of pedestrian-first while you
are driving a car or a motorbike.
As for the things I will recommend to see in Nauru.
Here are 10 things I think you must do except going
around the island.
1. Go to the island bingo at Friday night and feel
2. Visit the Buada lagoon to capture the primitive
3. Explore the relics from World War II to witness
the history of Nauru.
Take a picture with ďthe RockĒ which is the landmark
in Nauru, just like the Eiffel Tower in France
according to my Irish friend.
Visit the refining factory of phosphate, the broken
cantilever and the present phosphate mining area at
Join the ďHashĒ to closely feel the pinnacles. (Hash
is a weekly hiking event hosted by Australians every
to a rooster fighting game and feel the tension.
Fully dressed swimming or snorkeling at Anibare
harbor around evening.
fishing with locals.
Enjoy a night at K-bar in Menen hotel or at a local party.
What a life on the island,
discotheques, entertainment, or some sporting
events. Something is happening there?
>> Yeah! Los of interesting things are going on
here. The main entertainment on the island is Bingo!
It usually starts at Friday night and Saturday
afternoon as well. They will have extra games during
holidays like Christmas, New Year, or Fatherís Day.
You can also go to the K-bar in Menen hotel. Things
there will get ugly and fun once it passes midnight,
you got to be part of it and feel the passion of
Nauruan girls. As for sport event, you can see local
people playing volleyball, basketball, tennis and
rugby almost every day. The big sport event or
competition usually takes place on weekends or
Like during the holidays of
Independent Day here, there were a series of games,
including cockfighting, fishing, traditional sports,
boxing, rugby, volleyball, and even church choir.
Well, I think the biggest sport event here is
absolutely the Olympic Nauru Day run in the end of
June. Tons of people joined the competition and
enjoyed the run! While you were running here, you
would never feel that close to the equator.
Can you imagine life on the
island, or you miss home and want to go back soon?
>> Haha! I still canít believe I lived here almost 1
year. Life here can be really simple! But it is just
so different from Taiwan. I definitely miss Taiwan
and canít wait to go back to see all my family and
friends. If I get to choose how long I can stay
here, I will say 3 months is totally enough. For
people who are looking for a simple life, you will
definitely feel home here.
Thanks Grey, I think your answer will bring a
better image about the island. I wish you that
you'll get back home soon with a lot of great
experiences in Nauru.