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Most Interesting Facts about Samoa

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facts about samoa

Samoa is a beautiful island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. This is a destination ideal for active holidays and lazy beach breaks, with a wide range of adventures and serene resorts to tempt all types of travellers!

Here are some one of the most interesting facts about this island country!

1. Apia, the capital city of Samoa, is the only city in the country. It is located in the island of Upolu which is the country’s second biggest island.

2. The traditional house of Samoans called “fale” has no walls. Relationships between community members are highly fostered in the Samoan culture. Hence, Samoans had fale or houses with no walls that hosted large groups of people and promoted bonding between members of a community. It is usually round or oval in shape with pebble floors and a thatch roof supported by wooden posts, but it has no walls. The area is very open and the only protection from a bad weather is blinds made from coconut leaves.

traditional house of Samoans
Source: Kiwi Krossings

3. The majority of this population is a little more overweight than others – a fact that would typically sound alarming to most other cultures. However, here, the bigger you are the better. Traditionally, Samoans found that a heavy frame is a symbol of health, wealth and happiness. This is because village chiefs were always well fed and therefore, they were the largest, naturally everyone looked to the chief as a role model for how they should look and from there obesity was born.

4. In Samoa there’s a ‘third gender’ – the Fa’afafine. It’s as accepted and relevant as ‘male’ and ‘female’. They are an integral part of the traditional Samoan society and culture. Although the fa’afafine are assigned to the male gender at birth, they are believed to embody both male and female characteristics. Here these males are raised as girls to conduct the women’s duties in the home.

5. The islands of Samoa formed over millions of years as the result of volcanic activity. The Pacific plate that the Samoa volcano occurs on moves 3 inches per year to the West towards China, which means that in about 1,000,000 years, American Samoa will have moved 50 miles closer to the Asian continent.

6. 84% of the 37 species and subspecies of Samoa’s terrestrial birds are found nowhere else in the world. Some examples of these birds include the Samoan tooth-billed pigeon, Samoan wood rail, Samoan ground-dove, etc.

7. Samoa is right next to the International Date Line, which goes between American Samoa, and Samoa. This means that if you fly to Samoa – 30 minutes away – you will actually go back in time 24 hours.

8. As the clock struck midnight on December 29, 2011, a fun fact about Samoa is that they fast forwarded to December 31 as they crossed the International Date Line so they could align with trade partners Australia and New Zealand. This means that their week would line up better, rather than losing business days to having different weekends to their nearest allies.

Samoa went from being the last place on earth to see the sun set to being one of the firsts to welcome the new day.

Losing a day made people born on December 30 missed out on celebrating their birthdays that year. Everyone who was meant to be at work on that Friday 30th December still got their day’s pay.

9. Samoans love to play Kilikiti, a form of cricket. After the European missionaries introduced Samoans to cricket, the game became highly popular in the country. Over the years, the game evolved on the islands in the region and is known as kilikiti. It is the national sport of Samoa and Kilikiti events are often accompanied with singing, dancing, and feasting activities.

10. Author of Treasure Island found a home in Samoa. Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist who wrote the popular fiction Treasure Island and the Strange case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.

Plagued by tuberculosis, Stevenson settled in Samoa in 1890 with the hope that its tropical climate might alleviate his suffering. He constructed a beautiful mansion at the foothills of Mount Vaea, complete with a spacious veranda and even a fireplace. Stevenson immersed himself in local life and advocated on behalf of Samoans to the colonial powers of the time. He was highly admired by locals and even took the native name Tusitala – Samoan for “Teller of Tales”.

He sadly died in 1894, buried at his request at the mountain’s summit overlooking the Pacific Ocean and his mansion – which is today the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.

How to reach?

There are no direct international flights between the major cities of India to Samoa. However, you can opt for connecting flights to reach Faleolo International Airport, Samoa.

Visa:

Samoa Visa Requirements for Indians

Author’s Recommendations:

To Sua Ocean Trench: This is the most beautiful swimming spot in the entire country.Set in the serenity of the rainforest, the trench is a 30m deep swimming hole with some of the clearest turquoise water you will ever see Clambering down the sturdy wooden ladder is not for the faint hearted, but jumping off that platform into the gorgeous water is the best reward for your bravery!

Click here to read more about To Sua Ocean Trench!

Best Surf Destinations
Source: Pinterest

Visit the waterfalls: Samoa is a land of beautiful waterfalls surrounded by lush green forests. So, make sure you explore the waterfalls here. There are literally hundreds you could visit across the islands but some of the most popular include Fuipisia Waterfall, Sopo-aga Falls, Togitogiga waterfall, Afu Aau waterfalls and you can’t miss the spectacular views from Papapapai-Uta Waterfall.

Togitogiga waterfall
Source: TripAdvisor

Alofaaga Blowholes: Watch nature at its wildest in the southwest of Savai’i. Here. the Alofaaga Blowholes drive water hundreds of feet up into the air. These natural wonders were created from previous lava flows that have since formed tubes in the volcanic rock. Throw a coconut into the blowhole and see how far it launches. ?

Explore the National Parks: Explore the nature and wildlife in the national parks of Samoa. There are beautiful protected areas to visit across the Samoan islands including the Uafato Conservation Area, O Le Pupu-Pue National Park, A’opo Conservation Area and the Tafua Rainforest Preserve. If you are a hiker, you would enjoy explore the beautiful picturesque hiking trails in these national parks.

Uafato Conservation Area
Source: Locationscout

Explore the beaches: Indulge in various water activities such has surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving in the Samoan beaches. Some of the best beaches are Lalomanu Beach, Lefaga Beach, Tafa Tafa Beach, Aganoa Beach, and Manese Beach.

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