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Tonga Fast Facts
In general, shops and businesses in Tonga open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm and on Saturday from 8:30 to 12:30pm. Government offices are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm with an hour lunch break 12:30-1:30pm.
There are 3 Commercial Banks in Tonga. Westpac Bank of Tonga, ANZ Bank and MBf Bank. They offer all typical banking services including currency exchange and cash advances from most major credit cards. There is also Tonga Development Bank which mainly provides lending services for locals.
Summer clothing is more appropriate during most of the year, but a jacket, sweater, or wrap should be taken for evening wear if visiting between May and October. Visitors should not wear bathing suits or skimpy attire away from the beaches. Appearing in public without a shirt is a punishable offense for both men and women.
DON'T GO THERE! Harsh penalties. So, don't even think about it.
Electricity in all of Tonga is 240 volts, 50 cycles, and the plugs are the heavy, angled type used in Australia and New Zealand. A converter and adapter plug is required to operate American appliances.
Internet is available throughout the country, there are at least 6 internet cafes in Nuku'alofa. Outer islands are also equipped with internet connectioms.
The emergency telephone number for the police, fire department, and hospital is tel. 911. Police Direct Line in Nuku'alofa is: (676) 20-222
Guns are illegal in Tonga.
There are no casinos or any other form of organized gambling in Tonga.
Vaiola Hospital in Nuku'alofa provides medical and dental service, but expect a lower standard than what you're used to. The outpatient clinics are open 24 hours. (tel. 676 21-200)
A fairly reliable method of transportation in Tonga.
Mosquitoes are plentiful. No malaria exists in Tonga, but an occasional obreak of Dengue fever does occur. There are tropical centipedes that can inflict painful stings if touched; watch your step.
There are no laundro-mats in Tonga, although, Savoy Dry Cleaners operate Mon - Sat. 9 - 5pm. They are situated on Fatafehi Rd. Nuku'alofa.
The legal drinking age is 18. Licensed establishments can sell alcoholic beverages to their guests 7 days a week; otherwise, sale is prohibited from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday. Ikale beer is brewed by Royal Breweries in Tongatapu and available throughout all of Tonga.
The local newspapers are published in Tongan, with only minimum news in English. Matangi Tonga is an English-language monthly magazine.
Nuku'alofa Post Office is located in downtown Nuku'alofa, next to Westpac Bank of Tonga. It's open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4pm.
Most programming on the AM and FM station is in Tongan, although the music played is mostly U.S., Australian, or British popular tunes. The news in English is relayed from the BBC or Radio Australia several times a day.
Tonga has 3 over-the-air TV channels, that carries predominately Christian programming with BBC and International on and off during the day. Tonfon Cable TV is available in some hotels airing 24 hrs BBC News, ABC Australia and American Movies.
Although crimes against tourists are rare in Tonga, remember to keep personal items such as cameras and bags safe at all times, and if left unattended might disappear. Take the proper precautions. Street crime is not a problem, but it's a good idea to be on the alert if you walk down dark streets at night. Women should not wander alone on deserted beaches.
The government imposes a 15% consumers tax on all items purchased in Tonga. According to law, the tax must be added to the retail price prior to the purchase of a product or service. All passengers on international flights leaving Tonga pay a departure tax of T$25 (US$11).
Calls can be dialed directly into Tonga from most areas of the world. The international country code is 676.
International calls can be placed from any phone using a prepaid Phonecard, which can be bought at many shops and at the Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC) or Digicel Tonga Ltd. offices. Phone booths have recently erected around downtown Nuku'alofa that require a TCC prepaid phonecard.
Mobile phone system in Tonga is GSM 900 compatible. Mobile phones are widely sold in Nukualofa.
The number for directory assistance is tel. 910 or tel. 919, and the number for the international operator is tel. 913.
Local time in Tonga is 13 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Tipping rarely occurs in Tonga as it is considered contrary to the Polynesian tradition of hospitality to guests. The only time it is encouraged is during Tongan dance shows, when members of the audience rush up to the female dancers and stick notes to their well-oiled bodies.
Although the government proclaims the tap water in the main towns to be chlorinated and thus safe, most Tongans drink from cisterns that catch rain water. Bottled water is available at most grocery stores in Tonga.
Tonga uses the metric system.
The nearest U.S. embassy is in Suva, Fiji. Consular offices in Tonga are the Australian High Commission (tel. 21-244), the New Zealand High Commission (tel. 21-122), and the People's Republic of China Embassy (tel. 24-554). Swiss Embassy, and the European Community also have offices in Tonga.
Other Helpful Phone Numbers
Tongatapu Visitors Bureau: (676) 25-334
Note: Please report any faults to: email@example.com
Taufa'ahau Rd, Nuku'alofa, TONGA
Phone: (676) 24640 or 75623
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