"American Samoa, from the heart of Polynesia" Top 5 Page for this destination American Samoa by sennaya
American Samoa Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 102 photos
With few hotels, few public beaches, American Samoa remains less spoiled by commercial tourism than most South Pacific Islands. It has it's own charm, a wonderful people, culture and language that has been kept mostly intact despite so many years of outside influence.
Local laws protecting outside ownership of land and bi-cultural education have helped preserve many traditions.
We lived there a year and David worked for the Samoa News.
Nicholas Von Hoffman wrote a book, "Tales from the Margaret Mead Taproom." and Doonesbury comic strip of the same time had a lot of satire about Samoa and it's appointed governor from the United States. Now the governor is elected locally.
We put some information about Samoa online a few years back and if you still have questions feel free to drop by the Visitor's Fale.
This picture was taken in black and white on the far east near Tula. Tutuila is only about 30 miles wide and with one major highway near the ocean. The interior is high volcanic mountains but there are some roads and villages inland as well
Pago Pago harbor is on the main island of Tutuila. Ofu, Olosenga, Ta'u and Swain's Island are also in the goup. This is a picture we took climbing up a coconut palm on Ta'u Island/ It is where Margaret Mead wrote her "Coming oif Age in Samoa." Many residents there disagreed with her conclusions about Samoan culture, but for outsiders it remains an idyllic account of growing up in paradise. Maybe a better book about traditional culture is "Samoan Village" by Holmes.
An enjoyable book to read is "Tales from the South Pacific" by James Michener and many of the storylines are apparent in the islands even now.
If you have the good fortune to be able to visit and take your time to walk and see the magnificent light. It is a life lived in electric color magnified by clean air and water.
We climbed onto this rock and found a secret pool on the sea side, cool and deep. In these moments you must dive in and feel alive. :)
The church bells for vespers had finished just before we took this picture. The sun rises and sets about 6:30 everyday and temperatures are between 75-85 degrees F.
Many people have asked me about the paradise of Samoa and about living or retiring there. It is related to the United States as a territory, but U.S. citizens or other countries cannot own land there. You can visit on a tourist visa, but you cannot live there. There are some government jobs that give you a work visa and often a 2-year contract.
Most foreigners who dream of the romantic paradise of Gaugin in the South Seas find that lving in a warm sunny place with not much to do gets old after a few weeks. Familiar friends, culture and lifestyle beckon most back to their former homes.
American Samoa has many elements of paradise and is a fascinating place unto itself, but it is not full of resorts and typical tourist activities.
For current information, go to http://www.samoanews.com
- Pros:"Remote, protected, authentic"
- Cons:"Not for casual tourist, few facilities"
- In a nutshell:"Plan, make some friends there first...."
All beaches are private and usually belong to the village next to them. It is best to ask the neighbors and usually they... more travel advice
Families make plantations usually on the hillsides. Sometimes the local Matai oversees the distribution of produce from... more travel advice
- Rain and warm weather
- Siva siva
- Local crafts
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