Tonga, like it’s cousins across the Pacific, has it’s own approach to time. Today may mean tomorrow. Half an hour may be more like two hours or in some cases two days or even a week.

If you are a foreigner this may take a bit of adjusting to, but remember you are on holiday so just relax and go with it.

Big occasions like a street festival maybe changed from, let’s say, Monday the 14th to Tuesday the 15th. The change could be made on the 13th without much consultation. Although you may not know that the times have changed, the rest of the Kingdom does. We call this the coconut wireless. So the village meeting that was said to start at 7:00 may, in fact, start at 8:30, and you may be there at 7. But everyone else will be there at around 8:30 or even at 9:00.

You see, in Tonga time is not as important. People are important. Food is important. So go with the flow on Tongan time.


PCC blogger, Bobby Akoi.  Originally from Keaukaha on the Big Island of Hawai’I,  his path took an unexpected turn to the little town of La’ie as student at Church College of Hawai’i.  Never in his wildest dreams did he think he’d be working at the #1 paid tourist attraction in the State of Hawaii.   Today he is the Director of Protocol & Community Relations for the Polynesian Cultural Center.  He is married to Hiromi and has 4 children.