The small island nation of Samoa is located in the middle of the South Pacific. It is also known as the Independent State of Samoa or Western Samoa to differentiate it from American Samoa. It mainly consists of two major islands, Upolu with the capital Apia, and Savai’i.
Samoa enjoys a warm, tropical climate with lots of rain, offering perfect conditions for a rich vegetation and beautiful flowers. It is rich in culture and still very traditional, with most people living in village communities that are built in the traditional style. Village and family are still the binding factors in the Samoan society – income earned for example will be shared with the family rather than used for personal benefit.
People here still live mostly in close-knit village communities where elders enforce locally recognised laws and codes of conduct. Alcohol for example is mostly shunned and alcohol abuse or other misconduct will be punished to the point that the individual is excluded from the village community.
Just like what you would expect from a tropical paradise, people are usually not employed in the modern sense, much to the despair of tourism operators and accommodation providers who are working hard at staff retention and loyalty.
All of these aspects and more can be easily summarised as the Fa’a Samoa, the Samoan way of life, an expression will encounter a lot when doing your research about this island nation.
What makes Samoa such an appealing travel destination is also the fact that it is almost crime free and very safe, thanks to the rigid society structures in place. This makes it ideal for backpackers and young women who want to explore the islands not just from the safety of their resorts but also beyond. And there is so much to see here: massive banyan trees in the forests, for example, waterfalls and waterholes, endless beaches, dramatic volcanic coastlines, and beautiful gardens.
There is no malaria present but Dengue fever can be a problem, so ensure you have tropical grade mosquito repellent in your luggage.
Accommodation options range from simple oceanfront beach fales without walls and private facilities to high-standard Western style holiday resorts with pool, gym and restaurant.