Puka Puka (named for Pukapuka atoll) was one of four tribes comprising of five castaways that started the game in Day 1. In keeping with the season's racially-divided format, the tribe was comprised entirely of Asian-Americans of varying ethnicity. Puka Puka's tribe color was green.
Interestingly, Puka Puka seemed to be the tribe that was most concerned with how their race was viewed. When Cao Boi Bui made a joke about the lightness of their raft due to the small Asians on it, Jenny Guzon-Bae was quick to reprimand him. The schism between Cao Boi, who was quick to make ethnic jokes and stereotypes, and the rest of the tribe, who were conscious of their appearance on television, would become a running sub-plot during Puka Puka's brief time as a tribe.
Cao Boi was an outcast for other reasons, however: as a first-generation Vietnamese refugee, he had a different viewpoint than his other, younger tribemates. Cao Boi's old-world techniques helped the tribe when Jenny and Brad Virata came down with headaches, and the nail salon owner vigorously massaged their foreheads. Unfortunately, they were also branded with red marks on their foreheads for the next several days.
Puka Puka was a physical powerhouse, and emerged in first place the first two Immunity Challenges. As a result, the tribe earned a fire-starting kit, along with both a set of fishing gear and a tarp (the latter of which was also a reward to Rarotonga in what was decided to be a tie victory).
On Day 7, the members of Puka Puka were, in a Schoolyard Pick, shuffled into the Aitutaki and Rarotonga tribes. Becky, Cao Boi, and Yul were sent to Aitutaki, while Brad and Jenny went to Rarotonga. Only Becky and Yul would make the merge, but those two would also make it to the Final Tribal Council.
- Puka Puka is one of five green tribes to produce the winner of the game. Others include Ogakor (Tina Wesson), Viveros (Aras Baskauskas), Tavua (Sarah Lacina), and Yanuya (Wendell Holland).
- In spite of this season being divided by race, it was often pointed out that the ethnicities of the Puka Puka tribe were distinct and varied: Cao Boi Bui is Vietnamese, Brad Virata and Jenny Guzon-Bae are of Filipino descent, and Becky Lee and Yul Kwon are of Korean descent.