10 things I wish I knew before going to Samoa
Many travel enthusiasts dream of going to Samoa, which is a touristic island country. However, many things about Samoa, such as location, cities, and travel tips, are not well known among travelers. Where is Samoa? Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean, namely the westernmost of Pacific Polynesia. Upolu and Savaii are the two main islands that are the most convenient places to visit in Samoa. The capital city, Apia, and the international airport of Samoa are on Upolu island. If you wonder how to travel to Samoa, there are flights from Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, and Fiji available several times a week. Stunning tropical beauty and Samoans' well-known hospitality make travel to Samoa attractive for millions of travelers worldwide. To have quality time in Samoa, you need to know several things about Samoan culture, lifestyle, national laws, local travel tips, cuisine, and sightseeing. In this blog, I will list and elaborate on the interesting facts about Samoa that will make your trip more enjoyable.
1. The unique experience of staying in a fale
Looking for affordable places to stay in Samoa during your trip? Well, you can enjoy your nighttime sleep in a fale, which is a traditional village house. Samoan people have resided in fales for thousands of years. Fales have a thatched circular or oval roof built by local Samoans. Most fales do not have walls so that residents can feel the gentle breeze from the ocean during their overnight sleep. Many tourists consider going to Samoa to experience a perfect nighttime sleep near the ocean in a traditional Samoan fale. One of the highly attractive things about Samoa is that travelers can have a very budget-friendly stay in fales with breakfast and dinner included. For those who worry about tropical mosquitos, fale owners provide mosquito nets that ensure safe and quiet overnight stays. Fales will definitely make your travel to Samoa unforgettable and special. Just as average daily prices and costs of living, the accommodation is not expensive in Samoa.
2. Celebration of fiafia nights
On fiafia nights, tourists can gather, cook, and dance together, just as local Samoans did thousands of years ago. During your holiday in Samoa, fiafia nights will make you feel like a local Samoan. Native Samoans arrived in Upolu and Savaii islands more than three thousand years ago, and they have celebrated fiafia nights since then. The fiafia celebration is great tourism entertainment, and the visitors can see the brochures of the event in many places during the trip. Organizers of fiafia nights serve feasts for tourists where they cook local meals using hot volcanic rocks. Local singers perform Samoan folk music while the cooks prepare delicious food. At the end of the fiafia celebration, guests can dance and sing after tasting local Samoan meals.
3. Ocean fishing at its best
Samoa is a place where you can fish literally anytime and anywhere. Due to the tropical climate and geographical location, fish of many kinds and various sizes are around Samoa islands in every season of the year. Fishing a wide array of species will make your tropical holiday much more entertaining. Moreover, the seaside is one of the best places to visit in Samoa. The stunning beauty and pure water of the ocean will motivate you to fish. Catching lagoon, tuna, sailfish, and other impressive species will make your boat tours remarkable. In Samoa, fishing experts organize lake and sea trips by boat. If you have no time for a boat trip, no worries, fish are everywhere in Samoa.
4. Nice tropical spot for a romantic holiday
Travel to Samoa is all about getting romantic. An extraordinary tropical holiday in Samoa will make every couple's honeymoon unforgettable. The couples will start every day with the calm sound of ocean waves lapping on the beach shore. Fales are among the most romantic places to stay in Samoa. Couples can spend their best time in Samoa while enjoying a calm sleep with the view of the blue ocean. After a delicious breakfast in a fale, couples can pick among a wide array of places to visit in Samoa. Exploring shops along the shore and having some drinks in tropical cafes are top-notch. Couples also must try coconut water, local beers, and exotic cocktails. A tropical honeymoon with affordable prices is what every couple has dreamed of. No matter how expensive or cheap the accommodation is, in Samoa, the romantic atmosphere and wilderness will make your honeymoon unforgettable.
5. Tour of waterfalls
Thanks to its mountainous landscape, Samoa is home to a lot of waterfalls. You can have a splendid experience of the Samoan wilderness while having a waterfall tour. Admiring waterfalls for an hour is enough for having a well-spent time in Samoa. Furthermore, you can also jump on the waterfall and have a lot of fun getting wet. Seeing some species of fish in the pure water of a waterfall will calm your mind and soul. Wet adventures in the Samoan wilderness are unmissable experiences in a lifetime. Stepping on wild rocks and crawling waterfalls will exhilarate you.
6. Enchanting vibes with the Samoan church choir
Most of the Samoan population are faithful Christians. For thousands of years, Samoans have been loyal to their religious rituals. Local Samoan people attend Sunday church services and listen to choirs at events. Tourists can also attend religious events. One of the interesting facts about Samoa is that the locals welcome people of all religions to their church events. Enchanting choir sounds will inspire and impress tourists. Tourists can also join locals while praying.
7. Chance to see Samoa's endemic birds
More than 80% of the country's birds are endemic to Samoa. In other words, you can see certain birds only in Samoa, nowhere else on Earth. While having a tour in the Samoan wilderness, you will most likely see many endemic terrestrial birds. Samoa is home to extraordinarily beautiful birds, thanks to its unique geographic features, nature, and landscape. Seeing endemic birds can be one of the strongest reasons for going to Samoa and exploring its territory. The stunning beauty of Samoan birds can be in the center of your Instagram stories. Seeing colorful Samoan local birds on your Instagram posts and stories will definitely amuse your social media followers. Thanks to endemic birds, you will get only positive and cheerful vibes from your Samoan forest and wilderness trip. Sounds of birds fluttering their wings will make your forest walks much more fun and delightful.
8. See some remarkably cool tattoos
Tattooing is an essential part of the Samoan traditional lifestyle and culture. Local Samoan people have gender-specific tattoos with great cultural significance. Since their childhood, Samoan boys and girls receive tattoos that determine their gender roles and social duties. Samoan females receive a special kind of tattoo called malu. Male Samoans traditionally have tattoos named pe'a. Samoan male tattoos are more detailed and intricate. One of the interesting things about Samoa is that the local people respond very positively when tourists approach and ask to take photos together. They do not complain about getting photographed. Also, local Samoans enjoy hearing compliments about their tattoos. During fiafia nights, Samoan performers amaze the audience with their body movements, thanks to elegant tattoos.
9. How to get around in Samoa?
The best and most affordable kind of transportation is taxis. During your holiday time in Samoa, taxis will be very helpful, and there are plenty of them on Samoan roads. The second-best kind of transportation is the bus. Buses are also cheap and easily available. Although buses are less comfortable than taxis, you can have more interesting experiences during bus travels. For example, you will have a chance to talk to locals and have delightful conversations. However, cycling is uncomfortable because Samoa has plentiful hilly and steep roads. Another way of getting around in Samoa is car rental. Renting a car is easy and affordable. However, local Samoan authorities do not accept international driving licenses. Temporary visitors should get a local driving license from a police station or car rental firms.
10. Play kilikiti and have some fun
Local Samoan people love to play kilikiti, which is a form of cricket. Historically, Europeans brought cricket to Samoa. Local people have made some changes to the game, and cricket has evolved over the years into kilikiti. Nowadays, local Samoans widely play kilikiti, and this version of cricket is highly popular in Samoa. Cricket lovers would enjoy playing kilikiti with local Samoans.
A quick recap
To sum up, if one decides to travel to Samoa, she/he should first find where is Samoa and figure out how to travel to Samoa. Travelers usually become interested in visiting the Samoa islands (especially Savaii and Upolu) by seeing photos of its stunning nature, extraordinary lifestyle, and amazing tourist attractions. As Samoa is not a well-known country worldwide, travelers need to get detailed information about the country before considering the trip. In this article, we started by answering the following questions: where is Samoa, how to travel to Samoa, and elaborated on interesting facts about Samoa, its local people, societal habits, nature, etc.
Punhan was born in Baku, which is the scientific, cultural, and economic center of Azerbaijan. Since he started to study International Relations at university, Punhan has been fond of learning about new cultures and traditions of different nations. Punhan taught English to children in the summer camp in the Kyiv region of Ukraine. He also participated in a short-term youth cultural exchange program in Japan. During his studies and travels, Punhan has gained knowledge of comparing the lifestyles of various nations. He especially enjoys watching travel vlogs and reading culture blogs.