Thursday, 24 June 2010

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

My last card for today comes from a very far away place: French Polynesia. It was a swap with Magali - who claims the water is too fresh for her so she won't go to the beach! Personally I'd love to be on that beach at the moment, it looks so refreshing and seems like a paradise.

Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres.

The major settlement, Vaitape is on the western side of the island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. The products of the island are mostly limited to what can be obtained from the sea and coconut trees, which were historically of economic importance for copra. During the August 2007 census, the population on the island was about 8,880 people.

Today the island is mainly dependent on tourism. Over the last few years several resorts have been built on motu (small islands) surrounding the lagoon. Thirty years ago, Hotel Bora Bora built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon and today, overwater bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts.

The stamp on the right was issued in 2007 for the celebration of Chinese New Year, that year's subject being Year of the Pig. The stamp on the right is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2008, representing Marine Fauna. This one shows the Ray (Himantura fai).

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