For chocolate makers
For cacao farmers
Cocoa training video series produced by PHAMA
Tips for Honiara
These are a few tips for overseas Chocolate makers visiting Honiara in the Solomon Islands.
Taxis – $10 per km, except between town and airport is $100 flat fee. Easy to catch a taxi off street by day but at night avoid catching taxis off the street by yourself, instead get the hotel to book one for you with a taxi company or call yourself – Kings Taxi 27888.
Travel like the locals – other than walking, locals catch the local buses along the main road (Mendana Ave) eg from Mendana hotel to Central Market. Only $3 SBD per trip. There are bus stops but if you tell the conductor where you want to go they will drop you at nearest stop. Traffic congestion can be very bad so sometimes faster to walk. Unless you’re an expert, don’t take local buses beyond the main road.
Phone/internet – recommend getting a local SIM and putting in a data pack for Internet. Local network providers are Solomon Telekom and bmobile (Vodafone). If you use International roaming note that the daily data limits for Internet can be low and you might be paying international rates to call local Solomon numbers – which are more than $2 AUD per minute. Coverage outside Honiara can be limited, Solomon Telekom has best coverage in rural areas but most people have a SIM from both providers.
Personal safety – avoid walking around by yourself after dark, keep close eye on personal belongings when on street or at markets, don’t leave valuables or bags in an unattended car. Don’t keep your laptop and backup drive in the same bag!
Food – Avoid salads. Don’t eat uncooked food without peeling or washing well with clean water. Wash hands well before eating.
Water – don’t drink town water unless boiled first. Buy bottled water. Szeba water is best. I buy a carton of bottled water and leave in my room.
Health / malaria prevention – see a doctor (travel doctor) for medical advice before coming to Solomons. Always wear insect repellent, especially morning and dusk.
Tips – tips are not common for food service, but if you are happy with service then tell them and you are welcome to leave some small money.
Cocoa bean samples – always insist to pay for any samples of beans you take from a farmer. A good rule of thumb is $20 SBD per kg but confirm with them.
Language – the locals all speak pigin. They will generally understand your English but may not be confident to talk back to you. There are lots of English speakers in Honiara.
Honiara can be a bit hectic and dusty. If you need to relax then go and get a coffee or something stronger at one of these places:
- Breakwater Cafe (Next to Mendana hotel) – no alcohol
- Coral Seas Resort – sea frontage
- Heritage Park Hotel – sea frontage
- Yacht club – sea frontage
- The Ofis (AKA Raintree Cafe) (10-15 mins drive away at White River) – sea front