Located about halfway from Hawaii to New Zealand, the island nation of Samoa is a place that should not be left out if you are up for an adventure. Harbouring around 185,000 inhabitants and sitting comfortably deep within the bounds of the tropical climate zone, it is a paradise that you’ll not soon forget after the trip. So, without further ado (and before we spoil too much info), let us hop right into the turquoise waters of the South Pacific and examine the top five facts pertaining to Samoa (wink)!
1. Language barriers:
Before you hit the road, you have to understand that Samoa is a Polynesian state – hence, the native language will contain a lot of vowels. Alright, alright, we’re merely jokingly illustrating its uncontested beauty! The official language is Samoan but English is also somewhat accepted as a co-official one. It is widely spoken and understood in the touristy areas (such as Apia, the capital city) but are less so in the villages of the more scarcely-trodden rims. Getting down a few local words can go a very long way in Samoa as the locals particularly enjoy outsiders going the extra mile to please them. So, “talofa” means “hello” (wink)!
2. Seasons change:
But not in Samoa (excluding the hurricane seasons, of course)! Why? Well, as we have already mentioned in the introductory phase of the article, the weather is warm and tropical all year long. Escaping the colder climate zones has never been more relaxing as Samoa rarely experiences weather turbulences. While there are two official “seasons” designated (a dry one and a wet one), you are less likely to feel the difference as the temperatures generally stay the same. The average daily temperature there is around 28 degrees Celsius. What more could we ask for?
3. Volcanoes galore:
Did you know that most of the islands and islets of Samoa were formed by ancient volcanoes? Their mark is clearly visible throughout the country as the landscape never lets the locals forget their roots. The interiors of the islands often harbour rocky and rough outcrops that signal active elder days and their beauty is more than awe-inspiring. Don’t fret, though, as none of them are active nowadays – they are but aesthetic relics hearkening back to the days when Tagaloa, the supreme god of the Samoan genesis myth, raised the islands and fashioned the heavens. But let us not go that far, right (wink)? Just enjoy the volcanic landscapes.
While basking in the presence of a lot more tourists than Tokelau, for example, Samoa does not see a great deal of tipping. Why? Simply because it is not part of the local etiquette or tradition. The people there are as laid-back as you might expect from a South Pacific island nation and they will not rush you out of their establishments to get paid fast. Just enjoy your stay and tip directly to the employees if you must. Yes, you are most certainly going to cause smiles all around, so why not do it? Tip if the service was great, even if it is not expected. Be generous, be altruistic, be good (a million winks)!
Although it may seem that Samoa is some remote island in the middle of the ocean, it is in fact one of the most easily-accessible states in the South Pacific. Any traveller with a valid passport can visit the island nation for 30 days and members of the Schengen Area can stay for 90 days, every 180 days. Served by quite a few airlines and boats, it is even a successful relay to Tokelau and other neighbouring islands and/or nations. Even if your plans are to go for a great Pacific island-hop, Samoa would be your best bet. Oh, and did you know that it only takes 3 hours to fly in from New Zealand? Picked up those tickets already?
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Samoa and what lasting impressions have they left you with? Was the aftertaste good, mediocre, or bad? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Oh, and be sure to visit us regularly for some exciting new updates and articles! Safe travels!