Vila, Vanuatu

Reference work entry


Vila (also known as Port Vila), on Mele Bay on the southwest coast of the island of Éfaté, is capital of Vanuatu and a thriving port.


Run jointly by the French and English in the early part of the twentieth century, the US used Vila as a military base during World War II when they developed Havannah Harbour.

Modern City

Vila’s population comprises Vanuatuans, Vietnamese, French and British. Vanuatu’s administrative and cultural centre, the local economy relies on port and related industries, tourism and food processing. It exports locally produced sandalwood, coffee and copra. Bauerfield international airport is just outside the centre. Kumul Highway is the main road.

Places of Interest

Leading attractions include a cultural centre, the Constitution Building, a fish market and a covered market. There is a French Quarter and a Chinese Quarter. The Anabrou cemetery has ornately decorated Chinese and Vietnamese graves. Independence Park is where Anglo-French joint rule was announced. Nearby is one of the city’s leading landmarks, the Post Office building.

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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