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Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeTahitiBora BoraGuns & Butter: Tahiti Travel Guide

Guns & Butter: Tahiti Travel Guide

Tahiti Travel Guide is part of the Tahiti Triumph Trip Report. It covers the following cities:

See the Picture Preview here and see how this $60,000 trip cost $1999 here. Be sure to check out TPOL’s Map, the best feature of the blog.

TPOL’s Guns & Butter Travel Guide is the best way to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Here’s how it works – A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy. The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa. The guide includes inefficient activities i.e., tourist traps that should be avoided and aspirational activities that are worth doing but may be impossible to see given the constraints of time and resources.

Getting There 

Tahiti is one of those mythical places everyone dreams of visiting. For me, it became a challenge not only to go but also to get there in style. Apart from the roundtrip coach flight from New Zealand to Papeete (see AKL-PPT Upgrade FAIL & In Coach to Paradise), I did a great job (see Do You Believe in Miracles? Emirates Showers, Dreamliner Suites, Tahiti Triumph!).

38,000 Miles
On this trip I will be going back to Dubai, back to Shanghai, then to Tahiti, then New Zealand for the second time, back back to Shanghai, then to Tokyo again, before dreaming my way to the US for next to nothing ($169 including hotels).

Island Transport 

I visited three places in Tahiti: Papeete, Bora Bora, and Moorea. Be sure to book flights among the islands in advance as they sell out quickly (see Air Tahiti Island Hopper Review: Cheaper Than Maldives).

2016-05-15 13.13.21
For $400 I flew from Papeete to Bora Bora to Moorea and back to Papeete.

TPOL’s TIP: Be sure to use the sneaky carry on trick to avoid weight limits (see Sneaky Carry-On to Bora Bora).

The Islands 

Here are the three places I visited, ranked worst to first.

3. Papeete 

Most tourists stay in Papeete either on the way in or out of Tahiti. I stayed one night and that was plenty.


I stayed at the Le Méridien Tahiti. As is written in the post, it was Good Enough. Next time, I would just stay at an airport hotel to avoid the $40 taxi ride plus cost of luggage.

Looks photo shopped, the background, not me
Is it photo shopped?

A Note on Luggage

The stupidest thing I did on this trip besides my China visa incident (China 72-hour Visa-Free Transit Disaster (again)) was bringing golf clubs (see TPOL in Tahiti: Now What). It ruined my streak of no carry-on bags and I ended up leaving them in Papeete because they cost too much to bring on the hopper plane.

2. Bora Bora 

When anyone thinks of Tahiti, they automatically think of Bora Bora. While the scenery was beautiful, I was not impressed with either of the Intercontinentals.

It started before I arrived when the IC Bora Bora emailed me to say that there was not going to be A/C in my room (see No AC in Tahiti!). The poor customer service persisted at the IC Le Moana Bora Bora where I was denied breakfast and generally did not feel any hospitality.

Vertically put
Bring your own positive attitude (along with your own snacks) because you won’t encounter it with this staff.

Next came the IC Bora Bora (see IC Bora Bora Thalasso: Cockroach, No A/C, Some Champagne, What The Duck!). Like the IC Le Moana, the staff, not the cockroach in my bed was the issue. Once the sun came out, I was all smiles despite paying for breakfast (see TPOL Paid for Breakfast! And…).

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The post, TPOL in Transit to Moorea, sums up Bora Bora nicely.

My quick assessment of Bora Bora is a function of the sun. If the sun is out, then the views are spectacular, the water is crystal clear, and life is good.

1. Moorea 

The best place I visited in Tahiti was Moorea. It’s not perfect and it does take tourists for granted with its inconsistent service (see Tahiti’s Diva Wide Receiver Problem), but it was much better than overpriced Bora Bora. Here’s what to do and not to do there.

Don’t: Play Golf 

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Rather than forcing myself to golf just to say I golfed, there are much better ways to spend time in these destinations.

Perhaps: Swim with Sharks & Stingrays

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Should wildlife be domesticated for the sake of selfies? I don’t think so. Then again, I did it and now I have this blog post to show for it.

If the Points Are Right: Stay at the Hilton Moorea 

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Great sun, great fun. Would return.

Definitely: Eat 

Leave the hotel and enjoy the local cuisine whether it be casual cafe, a fancy French food, or a fantastic steak house. Alternatively, order pizza and watch a DVD.

two plates of food on a table
Lilikoi Garden Cafe
a plate of food on a table
Moorea Beach Cafe
a plate of food and wine
Holy Steak House
a pizza in a box
Allo Pizza


When I wrote TPOL Tahiti: Real Talk, I highlighted the positives and negatives of Tahiti. Those traveling there should know that like any tourist destination there will be memorable places and memorable people. There will also be expectations that are not met on account of the mystique of the word ‘Tahiti’. To truly enjoy your time, hope that it is sunny and do your best to avoid outsized expectations.

One Last Thing

On the way out, be sure to recoup the cost of alcohol by binging at the lounge (see Fat Guy in the Lounge: Tahiti Edition).




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