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Backpacking in Western Samoa

The Independent State of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) is isolated, protected, and authentic. Just ask the main man, or Samoan, Dwayne Johnson – more popularly known as “The Rock”. Locally known as Malo Sa’oloto Tuto’atasi o Sāmoa, Samoa is a part of Polynesian region in the Pacific. The islands have one of the most gorgeous, enticing, and lush landscapes in the South Pacific. Any while many will disagree, the truth and history of foreign forces in a battle against this hot piece of territory cannot be argued with. Samoa is definitely a true South Pacific Island, and more.


BA_Samoa map

Samoa (13 35 S, 172 20 W) in the South Pacific occupies an almost central position in the region of Polynesia. Half-way between Hawaii and New Zealand, Samoa is a total 2,831 km2 territory with two main islands (Savaii and Upolu) and a few other smaller islands. The terrain is diverse but mostly volcanic, rocky mountains in the interior with coastal plains. The highest point in Samoa is the Mount Silisili, 1,857 m.


There are two seasons in tropical Samoa, but only 1 season best to visit- and that is the dry season between May and October. The dry season is also when most of the festivals are scheduled. The wet or rainy season is from November through to April. Besides active volcanism, another natural hazard in Samoa is the occasional typhoon. There is little temperature variation with an average annual temperature of 26.5°C.


Samoa has a population of 194,320 (July 2012 est.). The inhabitants of Samoa, the Samoans are predominant in the country by 92.6%. Samoa also has a small community of mixed Polynesian and European ancestry called Euronesians. There also are a handful Europeans.


Samoans retain its customs, social and political systems, including the language. Hence, SAMOAN, as well as ENGLISH are the official languages. These are the only two languages listed and spoken in the country.


The dominant religion in the islands is Christianity, around 98% of the population. The kind of Christianity in Samoa is one that coexists with the traditional customs and rituals of Fa’a Samoa. In fact, when Christianity was introduced in Samoa, the majority converted. Now, more than half of the population is Protestant. Roman Catholic adherents comprise a sizeable community of about a fifth of the total population. Other religions practised in Samoa are Mormon, Worship Centre, and other Christian denominations.


Samoa is one of the most exotic places on earth, and one of the only places where, due to its vibrant culture, doing nothing and just bask in its vibrant culture. Just sit and stare at one too many lagoons’ multi-colored coral and marine life collection. The Samoan holiday begins rightfully in the largest of nine Samoan islands, Upolu, where the capital Apia and the international airport are.

Apia has Samoan culture represented at its best. In Apia, it is also ideal to make friends and learn trendy secrets like the hidden pyramid in the island of Savaii called Pulemelei. Religion is an integral part of the Samoan way of life, and while the Christian churches in Samoa are eccentrically stylish in design, as are the other houses of worship, like the Baha’i Temple of Worship in the Inter-Island-Road surrounded by lush greenery and reaching up to the blue skies.

But, only 65 km from it, stellar freshwater sights such as Fuipisia Falls, Falefa Falls, and Mafa Pass speckle the land. True, utter bliss in the form of water activities alright. What can be more unique than lava caves and lava fields near the village of Saleaula. Don’t miss the stunning Mu Pagoa Waterfall and the marvelous Alofaaga Blowholes that are close by as well. Some places, like the Aleipat District have water, sand, and traditional villages to immerse oneself in, or just go off-road to Sauniatu and its waterfall.


Samoan cuisine, like many aspects of the Samoan identity, maintains tradition, like the cooking process in the umu (a traditional oven). Characteristic of the food is freshness, particularly the seafood from tuna to less mundane edibles like octopus. Talking about dangerous stuff, oka may sound good, but two dangers pose threat: raw fish and coconut cream. Not tummy-friendly stuff.

Eat your way from sea to shore with a roast suckling pig – a young pork with tender and milky taste to it. With palusami, that is taro leaves baked in coconut cream, it is even better. ‘Finger-licking good’ was made for Samoan dishes, I presume as you would like to lick off the oils and flavors dripping down your fingers. Western cuisine has wafted to Samoan shores, as have modern Chinese fare.


Backpacking in Western Samoa

Backpacking Addictz looks at Backpacking in Western Samoa.

Joshua Boorman

Joshua Boorman

Founder & Editor in Chief at Backpacking Addictz
Come with me on a journey with me to various destinations throughout the world. We discuss all things Backpacking, Lifestyle Design & Online Business to help you achieve new found freedom and create a life of meaningful fulfillment.
Joshua Boorman