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Samoa FAQs


  • Swimming Hole Trench in Samoa

What language is spoken in Samoa?

The official languages of Samoa are Samoan and English. English is spoken in all touristic areas. 

What currency is used in Samoa?

The currency used throughout the country is the Samoan Tala. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants and shops. It is recommended to take out cash or exchange money at the airport as there will not be many opportunities to do so after arriving at the resorts. 

Do I need a visa to travel to Samoa?

A visa is not required when travelling as a tourist from Canada or the United States for up to 30 or 90 days, respectively. Travellers must have an onwards ticket and a passport that is valid for 6 months past the date of entry into the country. 

When is the best time to travel to Samoa?

Due to its location close to the equator, Samoa is hot and humid all-year-round. The dry season is from May to October thus being the best time weatherwise to visit the country.

Is there transportation within Samoa?

The two main forms of transportation within the country are local buses and taxis. It is also an easy destination to navigate in a rental car or scooter. Ferries operate between Upolu and Savai’i. 

Is Samoa a family friendly destination?

Samoa offers activities for the whole family and the locals are very warm and welcoming. The islands of Samoa are fringed by a reef that protects the beaches and offers calm swimming conditions with no worry of currents or undertow great for young children to splash around in. Although Samoa offers a natural playground most hotels do not offer the type or kids clubs or facilities for children that would normally be found in the Caribbean. .  

How welcoming is Samoa to LGBTQ travellers and families?

Samoa has a large transgender population, as it is common in Polynesian culture for families with a shortage of daughters to rear young boys as girls. Homosexuality for males is still illegal however, for females, it is legal and same sex marriages are only recognized for foreigners. The locals are friendly and welcoming of any tourists to their country however, Samoa has a modest religious culture where public displays of affection for LGBTQ and non LGBTQ is not recommended.  

Are there any religious customs I should be aware of? 

Samoa is a religious country where dressing modesty is respectful especially in villages and churches. Sundays are for attending church and family time as businesses will close on Sunday. Some villages observe an evening prayer curfew called Sa between 5-7pm which is marked by a bell or blowing of a conch shell.  

What voltage and power outlets are used in Samoa?

Samoa uses the same type of plug/outlet, as you would find in New Zealand and Australia, the type I plug with slanted prongs. The voltage is 230V therefore North American travellers will need an adapter converter for their electrical appliances. 

What should I buy to bring home from Samoa?

Traditional local souvenirs from Samoa include baskets, bags and fine mats woven from pandanus fiber; lava, lava (local sarong); Siapo cloth artwork, coconut oil beauty products and woodcarving such as canoes or ‘ava (kava) bowls.

What are some important items to pack for Samoa?

Be sure to pack bug repellent, as the mosquitos can be quite bothersome. Do not forget sunscreen with at least a SPF of 30 and reef shoes to protect against cuts from coral. 

What is the Wi-Fi like in Samoa?

Wi-Fi is available via hotspots in resorts, restaurants and at the airport. Blue Sky Samoa and LavaSpot offer pay by the minute hot spots. 

What are the main annual events held in Samoa?

Teuila Festival (September) Held in Apia, Samoa celebrates all things Fa’a Samoa (Samoan way of life) with canoe races, food and craft stalls, traditional dancing, cultural demonstrations such as tattooing, carving and Uma. At the end of the festival is the Miss Samoa beauty pageant.

Independence Day (June) Festivities are held to commemorate Independence from New Zealand. One of the main events is the Fautusi Outrigger Canoe race. 

What are some Samoan words that are good to know?

Hello – Talofa

Thank you – Faafetai

Please – Fa’amolemole

Goodbye – tofa

 

 


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