Chinese In Papeete, Capital Of Tahiti, French Polynesia...

For reasons that will become clear later, I'm in French Polynesia this week. The island of Tahiti to be exact.

It was Sunday when I arrived. All the shops were closed. France, the colonial power here, is a Catholic country so it is against the law for shops here to be open on the holy day. That's why these photos, which were taken in the downtown area of the capital Papeete, are almost all devoid of people.

A government building.

A war memorial to the French and their Polynesian subjects who died in the First World War. This monument could quite easily be in Paris.

Notice the signature Tahitian flower in the bronze statue's hair. A nice touch.

Tahiti is very Americanised, I even saw a Hummer today. This island, part of French Polynesia, is 2,724 miles pretty much due south of Hawaii. In terms of spheres of influence, we are a lot closer to California here, than we are to Paris.

I did find some locals though. Here they are playing ball.

And these guys were playing with their remote control cars in front of the 'Residence du Haut Commissaire', the colonial governor's residence.

There is a big Chinese community in Tahiti. Here is the local KMT office. Many Chinese came here to work on the plantations during last century, and more than a few more came to escape China after the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949. I would have liked to stayed here a bit longer to annoy them with a few questions about shark-finning around here, but I'm leaving today.

Note the French colonial ballustrade.

Some French signage near the port. A boring image, but I wanted to show how the infrastructure in Tahiti is just like it is in France.

Pacific Islanders sleeping. Life moves slowly in these parts.

Here's the 'Arctic P', Australian tycoon James Packer's sumptuous ship which has a quite number of very blingy launches on board (you can see two in this photo). He can afford to have luxury fun in the sun, owning, as he does, one of the largest casinos in Macau along with Lawrence Ho, the eldest son of the Macau casino kingpin, Dr Stanley Ho.

Dirty, dirty marine air pollution from a cruise liner, the 'Pacific Princess'. They are using high sulfur diesel, which is bad, bad, bad.

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA TAHITI PHOTOGOGRAPER

All images and text © Alex Hofford / Image Solutions Ltd. 2011 | Web design in Hong Kong by Ugli © 2011