What to do on Samoa?

Discussion in 'Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific' started by yaffa, Mar 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. yaffa
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    yaffa Silver Member

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    I have 8 days on Samoa coming up in June and am wondering what to do.

    In a nutshell I've identified the main island of Upolu, the more rugged Savai'i and American Samoa.
    From what I've read lots of people do a day trip from Apia to American Samoa and are quite happy with what they've seen.

    What are your highlights or recommendations?
    I've been thinking about getting to Savai'i as fast as possible and before heading back spend a day on Upolu followed by a daytrip to American Samoa.
     
  2. wingspan
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    wingspan Silver Member

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    It seems we don't have many members with information on Samoa! I've been searching the threads as I'm thinking of taking my partner here for our birthday celebrations next year.

    How was your time in Samoa? Any must do activities/foods/events?
     
  3. yaffa
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    yaffa Silver Member

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    Uh, in a nutshell is was amazing and exactly what I was looking for.
    Samoa is quite different compared to the Cook Islands.
    Besides Apia the villages are really centered around churches and communal 'fales' (open buildings). Be sure to rent a large car so you can pick up people while you travel. That way you'll meet all sorts of friendly people who can tell interesting stories. Besides numerous kids and families I've taken a worker (at the Vailima brewery) to work (he left 5 hours before his shift started!), met a family where the wife saw the 2009 tsunami wave hitting their home/village and spending days in the mountains with their kids.
    I figured the surroundings of Apia are a good base for snorkeling just off Apia (a must!), exploring the small town and daytrips to various places around the island. I found Aniva's place (check tripadvisor) is pretty good.
    If you want to go to Savaii (and you really should) book your place on the ferries as soon as possible. I'd opt for the larger ferries because they have more space, a covered deck (AC if you need it) but most importantly you can watch dolphins and turtles.
    On Savaii I've spent a few days on the north coast and experienced the only 'hostility' towards tourists. Towards the western end (Rockhouse, lava caves) kids and families try to scam money out of you for bogus admission fees. If you don't pay (because you already have a ticket or there simply isn't a charge) they may start throwing stones at you.
    Apparently the dogs on the island are a major annoyance but (and not only due to my avatar) I found that they are in general pretty calm.
    Food-wise I got invited to a few houses because I picked up the kids (and saved them a hour long trip from school up into the mountains) or donated some pain killers. I never expected to find cajun spices in the area but it was a pleasant surprise. In my eye fresh tuna and cajun spices are a perfect combination. If you are sick of local food try the 'Curry house' on the main 'Cross Island road' south of Apia. If even that doesn't do the trick fly over to American Samoa for a day. It's quite a contrast but worth it, not only for the low altitude flights ;-)

    Rental cars are much cheaper when booked on the island. On American Samoa I paid $60 for the day. On Samoa rental cars are WST 80 if hired locally but are more like WST 150 if reserved over the internet. Make sure you have a spare tire, but then it could also be that I'm the poor dog who always has to change tires in the middle of nowhere or an Omani desert.

    I'll try to add some more content later.
     
    wingspan and mynameismud like this.
  4. wingspan
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    wingspan Silver Member

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    Thank you so much for sharing this! My partner was a bit dubious about visiting but I'm sure once I've shown him your reflections, he will be as excited to go to Samoa as I am!
     
  5. yaffa
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    yaffa Silver Member

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