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  • Apia, Upulo Island Samoa

5th September 2008

Apia, Upulo Island Samoa

posted in Uncategorized |

says it allSamoa is beautiful group of Pacific islands with a population of about 180,000 people, full of warm smiling faces and slower pace of life. It is a country not without its problems, it is supported largely by remittances sent back by family members working abroad and aid from governments and NGOs. Samoa has very little industry and a very high unemployment level, as well as strict codes of conduct and an almost stifling sense of religious obligation. However despite or perhaps because of this sense of obligation to family and clan, Samoa is a friendly country, with well kept gardens and clean streets where people still take the time to say hello.traditional tatoos
Apia is the largest town in Samoa, with a population of about 40,000 it isn’t the Pacific paradise people expect when traveling to Samoa but it has its own charm. The time in Apia coincided with the annual Teuila Festival; which features traditional music, dance, long boat races, a parade and a beauty pageant.  Watching the long boat races from the shore with a crowd of Samoans as they cheered and urged their teams on was an experience with everyone competing for the shade created by the trees lining the shore. The parade was a display of Samoan beauty with both international and local winners of the Miss Samoa beauty pageant on display.
Trigger FishJust outside of Apia is the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, this shallow protected reef was established in 1974 to protect a small area of reef along the coastline. The shallow reefs extends for about 70 meters before a sudden drop off, here the walls of coral are populated with a diverse variety of fish species. This “blue hole” is about 10meters deep and 200meters in diameter. It is a great snorkeling spot and well worth a visit (if you don’t have your own gear you can rent some there). You can also find changing rooms, showers and bathrooms as well as picnic facilities inside the reserve along a small beach.
From Apia the adventure continued with a taxi ride to catch the ferry to the island of Savai’i.

Places to Eat and Stay in Apia

  • Giordano’s Pizzeria and Garden Cafe Excellent pizza especially the Blue Cheese Pizza and the tropical salad in a wonderful atmosphere. The owner is especially nice and helpful.
  • Sydney Café Good coffee, salads and sandwiches at this centrally located cafe.
  • Rainforset Café – located along the waterfront with both indoor and outdoor seating the food is decent but no where near as spectacular as the presentation.
  • Pasifik Inn Hotel Clean rooms, hot water showers and a helpful staff make this hotel a good mid range budget choice.
  • Hotel Seaside Bring earplugs if you plan to stay in this semi clean hotel. The staff was very nice, the breakfasts were good and they had free wi-fi but we didn’t stay here when we returned to Apia.
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