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Home to the largest population out of all Solomon Islands, Malaita features access to many cultural traditions that the Solomons are famous for including; shell money, panpipes, shark worship and the man-made artificial islands.

GETTING HERE
Regular flights operate from Honiara to the capital, Auki, taking only a short 25 minute journey. Fast boats from Honiara also operate weekly and only take about three hours. Solomon Airlines operate a bus to and from the Auki airport into town for S$10. When leaving, arrange with them before your departing flight and they can pick you up from your accommodation in town.

LOCAL TRANSPORT
There is an abundant supply of taxis in Auki along with buses (and trucks) operating to the various road accessible villages, as well as motorised canoes available at the wharf. Malaita has the longest remote road network in Solomon Islands, though sometimes the going can be slow.

SHOPPING & SERVICES
Auki has a main market next to the wharf with plenty of Solomon Islands fruit, vegetables and fish. In the main street is a good supply of retail stores with food, household and hardware needs. Between them you can normally find most things you need. Sunflower Enterprises, opposite the market, is locally owned and has one of the best selections. In town are the main bank outlets and ATMs, along with services such as business supplies and stationary. There are a couple of internet access locations, though due to ongoing power supply problems, can often be difficult to log on unless you’re prepared to wait. Most villages out of town have a small canteen with only the bare essentials.

PANPIPES
A must see and hear during your stay. The instrument is made up of a number of bamboo tubes of varying length and width. The tubes are tied together and when air is blown through, produce a gentle soothing sound. Panpipes are a soulful woodwind instrument, common in Malaita and often played as part of a band. Many performances are also found in the major hotels back in Honaira.

SHELL MONEY
This is the traditional currency and is still in use in many parts as a form of barter or compensation. It is now predominately used in marriage ceremonies for what is known as bride price. Though more symbolic than in the past, it helps confirm the coming together of families. It is made up of a series of small pierced discs in various colours, with each colour carrying a weight of value and importance. Shell money necklaces are found in many parts of the country and a highly recommended souvenir for visitors.