Travel solo to Jiuzhaigou

Solomon Islands Travel

Solomon Islands

Quick Facts
Government parliamentary democracy tending toward anarchy
Currency Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Area 28, 450 sq km
Population Melanesian pidgin; English is official but spoken by only 1-2% of the population; note: 120 indigenous languages
Religion Anglican 45%, Roman Catholic 18%, United (Methodist/Presbyterian) 12%, Baptist 9%, Seventh-day Adventist 7%, other Protestant 5%, indigenous beliefs 4%
240V/50Hz (Australian plug)
Internet TLD

The Solomon Islands [1] are a South Pacific archipelago east of Papua New Guinea. They occupy a strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea.


The Solomon Islands are believed to have been inhabited by Melanesian people for thousands of years. It is believed that Papuan speaking settlers began to arrive around 30, 000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived circa 4, 000 BC also bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. It is between 1, 200 and 800 BC that the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, arrived from the Bismarck Archipelago with their characteristic ceramics.

The first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. The people of Solomon Islands were notorious for headhunting and cannibalism before the arrival of the Europeans. Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century. They made little progress at first, because "blackbirding" (the often brutal recruitment of laborers for the sugar plantations in Queensland and Fiji) led to a series of reprisals and massacres. The evils of the labor trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893.

In the Second World War, there was fierce fighting between the Americans and the Japanese in the Solomon Islands campaign of 1942–45, including the Battle of Guadalcanal. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of the Solomon Islands, at present Elizabeth II, as the head of state.

In 1998, ethnic violence, government misconduct, and crime undermined stability and society. In June 2003, an Australian-led multinational force, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), has arrived and restored peace, disarmed ethnic militias and improved civil governance. It has also led to the development of facilities catering to the expatriate workers.


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