The Solomon Islands are a country that has surely had their fair share of problems, with the civil war and ethnic strife of a few decades ago still very much in people’s minds.
Things though are changing, and changing fast. In the last few years, there has been a massive tilt towards the People’s Republic of China, most notable evident in the recent highly dubious switching of allegiances between Taiwan (The Republic of China) to the PRC.
Another point where this seems to be evidenced is on what’s happening in Honiara, there are lots of high end hotels popping up, hotels that come with the best friend of the Chinese tourist, casinos. Now you will see Chinese tourists gambling throughout Honiara, and whilst they tend not to frequent restaurants that aren’t Chinese, there does seem to be at least some trickle-down economics in place.
Ironically considering the previous ethic strife with the Chinese community, and the influx of said tourists the best place to escape that kind of thing is the Chinese owned Honiara Hotel.
The Honiara Hotel was the original tourist hotel for the Solomon Islands back in the 60’s, and in many ways not much has changed since. Owned by Sir Tommy Chan the Honiara Hotel offers a time-lapsed glimpse into what colonial times in the Solomon’s must have been like. The fact that Prince William and Kate stayed here only adds to the weirdness of things.
But, still probably one of the best nights you can have in Honiara is to grab a few beers, take the all you can eat buffet, and watch pretty girls do Melanesian dancing at the Honiara Hotel.
Weird doesn’t mean bad, welcome to Honiara.