"Matai_Palagi's new Samoa page" Top 5 Page for this destination American Samoa by Matai_Palagi

American Samoa Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 101 photos

Samoa the Heart of Polynesia

Both American Samoa and (now just) Samoa remain the core of Polynesia. There is no middle ground for visitors to these islands; you either find Samoa in your heart, or you can't wait to leave. Bali Hai perhaps? The large island of Savaii was the inspiration for Bali Hai in Tales of the South Pacific - and, if you should see the mountains of Savaii brooding in the clouds you'll understand. And walking Harbor Way in Apia is like stepping back in time -

But there are 2 Samoa's - Split politically a century ago, and since having taken very different paths.

Should you wish to see how 100 years of US influence and financial support, managed now for 30 years by local islanders has impacted Polynesia then spend time in the US Territory of American Samoa. This 76 square mile island group is now home to 65,000 islanders (with up to 2/3's being Samoan Nationals from Apia to the west) and boasts US Federal Aid of someting over $70,000,000US per year. You should be able to see most of what is there in less then 3 days generally. Rental cars are very difficult to obtain and rarely are safe to operate. Medical care is marginal and you'll be better off drinking the local beer then the water. This is the only "country" I am aware of on Earth where they celebrate "Dependence Day" April 17th every year - the day the US took possession of this island group.

In complete contrast 87 miles to the west of this US embarressment is the sovergin nation of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa, now the only legal "Samoa" ...something of a contention between the two groups. Gaining their independence in the early 1960's from New Zealand, this nation is proving that they can maintain their traditional cultural ways and still move into the mainstream with modern nations. The nation is exceptionally clean, friendly and your best bet to "see" what the South Pacific truly is -

Should you wish a full picture tour of American Samoa (47 pictures and maps) visit my profile here and click onto my homepage. There you'll find more pictures and on page 7 a list of further links to resources on the islands.

  • Last visit to American Samoa: Aug 1998
  • Intro Written Sep 8, 2002
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