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Tahiti’s roulottes for fresh, cheap and quick food

Getting around Papeete is fun if you take Le Truck. This bus (which is literally a truck with 2 bench seats down each side) costs about 200 CFP each way into town (about $2.70) and they run all night. The whole family is usually sitting in the cab – dad driving and mum and a couple of kids hanging out the window taking the money while a toddler sleeps with its head on the dashboard. No such thing as seatbelts over here.

Tahiti Le truck

Forget the taxi, take Le Truck for a cheaper trip to town

Each evening down at the port in Papeete is the roulottes (French for caravans). And each one cooks up fresh and delicious food like mahi mahi, tuna, steak, crepes, pizza, Chinese. It’s a matter of browsing along them all, trying to make out what the blackboard menus say in French, looking at the photos displayed and plonking yourself down at a table with plastic stools. I ordered a tuna steak with frites and peppercorn sauce. (They’re big on roquefort cheese here too, but it’s disgusting!) My fish came to 1200 Tahitian francs, (about $12 US – $16 NZ?).

Tahiti roulottes

BBQ at the Papeete roulottes

Live music often accompanies your dinner down here, and afterwards you can wander across the road to find a local bar for a drink. I loved the sight and sound of the impromptu band that had set up outside one bar with a guitar, ukulele, coke bottles filled with rice, spoons for percussion and a plastic drum turned upside down with a pole and a piece of rope for the bass guitar.

Order a local Hinano beer and immerse yourself into Tahiti time…

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!