Chinese immigrants first arrived in Polynesia in the 19th century and today's community stands at around 13,000. The culture thrives within Polynesia: we celebrate the Chinese new year, and Asian flavours have permeated our cuisine.
Even though this is a tropical island, walking around in just a swimsuit is frowned upon. Wear one of our lovely pareos over the top.
Learning some of the Tahitian language will open the door to getting to know the locals.
DID YOU KNOW ?
Many festivals take place in Bora Bora. The Heiva i Tahiti in July is a celebration of Polynesian culture, and Hawaiki Nui, which happens each October, is a three-day outrigger canoe race.
In Tahitian, Bora Bora means 'first born'. According to Polynesian mythology, Bora Bora was the first piece of land to emerge from the sea after the sacred island of Raiatea was created. Captain James Cook landed here in 1777. The island is known as 'the pearl of the Pacific' and its lagoon is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Monoi and tamanu oils are local beauty secrets. Tamanu is applied to sunburn and mosquito bites, and monoi is an excellent body moisturiser.
Polynesian tattoos are an ancient tradition and have many different meanings. They were originally made with sharks' teeth, but these days sterilised needles are used. Two great tattoo artists, Fati and Marama, offer their services on Bora Bora.
WHAT TO PACK
Bring cotton clothing and light rainwear in case of a sudden tropical downpour. A pair of reef shoes is essential to avoid coral cuts.
Bring a universal adapter or converter for use with your personal electrical equipment.
The French Pacific franc (XPF) is the local currency. It is best to bring US dollars and exchange them once you arrive.
Bora Bora is such a remote island you might have difficulty finding the things you take for granted. Remember to bring your mobile phone and iPod chargers, digital camera, batteries and a universal adapter.
Don't forget your sun cream, sunglasses and hat.