French Polynesia Fun Facts

By Caitlin Hornik

Also referred to as Tahiti and Her Islands, French Polynesia is a stunning oasis that’ll leave you needing to pick your jaw up off of the sandy beaches!

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  • French Polynesia spans over two million square miles in the South Pacific Ocean, with five archipelagos and 118 islands!

  • Some of the more popular islands include Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, and Taha’a.

  • Tahiti is the largest of the French Polynesian islands. The capital of Tahiti is Papeete, which translates to “water basket.”


  • In the 1960s, the overwater bungalow (as seen above) was created on the island of Moorea!

  • It is believed that the word “tattoo” comes from the Tahitian word tatau and dates as far back as 1500 B.C.

  • About 10% of the French Polynesia population today is Chinese. This is a result of the Chinese coming to the area in the mid-1800s to work on in fields and plantations.


  • “Hello” in Tahitian is “ia ora na.”

  • French is recognized as the official language of French Polynesia. However, a majority of the population knows at least one Polynesian language as well!

  • Motu Tapu, an isle located near Bora Bora, is said to be the most photographed isle in the South Pacific. It has stunning white sand beaches and pristine turquoise waters!

  • Residents of Tahiti have letter boxes outside their homes, but they don’t receive letters-- They receive bread! Fresh loaves of bread are delivered twice daily!

  • The national flower of Tahiti is the tiare. It is customary to put one behind your left ear if you’re taken, or your right ear if you’re looking for love!

  • Tahiti is home to the Pearl Museum which is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to pearls!

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