As in most South Pacific ports, local dancers and singers greet the visitors upon arrival. The local Utukalongalu market was next door to the pier offering local fruits, vegetables and handicrafts.
Since someone was still in need of rest to kick a mysterious bug, I opted to do a local van tour with four others to see the area around Neiafu. The key sights were St. Joseph's Catholic Cathedral, a landmark for Tongans, and Mount Talau National Park. Climbing the Mount Talau to the top is treacherous and possibly a death trap but the views are great.
The driver went past residential houses, dogs, chickens and pigs either in yards or roaming on the streets. The surrounding terrain is mainly agricultural with small kava, vanilla bean, taro, pineapple, and yam farms. Coconuts and breadfruit grow everywhere.
We also stopped at Pouono Park, where a monument reminded of the historical importance of the first landing place of Christianity into Tonga and where in 1839, the 1st King of Tonga gave Tonga to God for protection, instead of giving it to colonial power. For Tongans, this park is of great historical significance.
The island is an active yachting hangout. Moorings has a sailboat charter base located in the area. Sailboats are anchored in the bay and there is even a boatyard to store vessels on the hard.
Fun facts: weddings are only held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for good luck; you can bury your deceased loved ones in the garden; 11 to 12 cruise ships visit annually.