Tuvalu: Funafuti – Capital of Tuvalu

Funafuti is the main settlement of the Funafuti atoll of Tuvalu, 70% of the country’s population lives here, although it is just a narrow strip of land 12km long and between 10-400 m wide. The airport runway takes a significant portion, while the rest is just two streets running in parallel. Simple houses, several Chinese-run shops, and scattered shipping containers along the streets (the Chinese shops weren’t here last time I visited, now every shop and eating establishment is Chinese). There is a nice church in the middle of the island with a large yard around it, while the Parliament, police, High Court, bank, jail, and several other administrative buildings are next to the airport (which itself is super tiny). Everything is super basic, no ATM (only Australian dollar in cash are accepted), cellular is limited, no cafes or restaurants per se, and the heat and humidity is overpowering. All food is imported, water has to be desalinated or imported, most income comes from remittances of those who have moved to Australia, or the Australian government and UN grants.