Name: Independent State of Samoa
Population: 197,773 (2012)
Time Zone: (UTC+13:00)
Samoa is located south to equator and is close to Hawaii and New Zealand. The history of this beautiful country runs back to approximately around 3000 years and is still subject to study by many scientists. It has been a colony under many countries, such as, Germany, New Zealand, the United States, and Britain.
The major ethnic group residing is Samoans who constitute for more than 90% of the population while there are some Eurasians as well. Even though the main language is Samoan, they utilize English in communicating too. The economy of mainly depends on agriculture and fishing at the local level and at present, Samoa is dependent on development aids, agri exports and foreign remittances.
Samoa being a tropical country has a tropical rainforest climate and therefore, you can visit in any part of the year. The average annual high temperature is 30 celsius whereas average low temperature would be around 23 celsius.
What is unique about the Samoan culture is that no matter how many countries have influenced the country by ruling, it has never forgotten to maintain its traditional customs and traditions until the present days. Even though it is practising Christianity in a massive manner, the ancient beliefs still play an important role in the lives of the Samoan people.
The houses in Samoa known as fale have no walls and are open and covered with blinds which are made using coconut palm fronds.
If you are a lover of dancing, you will also be able to witness some traditional Samoan dancing styles such as sasa and fa’ataupati. In addition, the country also has its unique form of tattoo which are differently used for males and females.
Food plays a vital role in Samoa and is often a social event that brings people together. Samoan food are prepared with very less oil and using traditional methods. Fish is a main part of the delicious dishes while tropical fruits and vegetables also are abundant. Some of the must try food would be oka which is raw fish in coconut milk and palusami which are young taro leaves baked with coconut cream.
Samoa offers charter flights between Upolu and Savai’i.
If you want to travel around Apia, buses are a good option. Even though there is no set time for buses, you can get into a bus usually every ten minutes or so.
If you are planning on day tripping, taxis would also be a good option. But always make sure to ask the price prior to the journey.
For more information on Samoa check out the Samoa Tourism Board website here.