I just got back from 3 weeks in Samoa and thought I let you know how it was!
I spent 2 nights in Apia at the beginning and end of my trip and for me that was way too long. One day in Apia would have been enough. So I had plans to go to Lalomanu and Savaii...well, there I went to Taufua Beach Fales and fell in love with the place and stayed there for almost 3 weeks! I know, I know, I should have seen more places but luckily some people had a car and I got so see a few things. Tinz, thank you so much for recommending Taufua!!! Lovely people, Tai and Sili (owners) are the nicest people I have ever met. I said hi to them from you Tinz and they were over the moon and said they are vey much looking forward to seing you again later in the year! Sili is very sick at the moment and has been in the hospital for a week. I don't really know how serious it is but Tai said he should be coming home soon.
I had a booking at Taufua, and unfortunately they are not very organised and like many other people I ended up in the overflow fales which are about 50meters away. During my stay I moved fales about 5 times but I didn't mind. For some reason stuff like that just doesn't bother me at a great place like that. I have to say that the open fales right on the beach are definitely the best (and cheapest) and anyone staying there should ask for one of those. Best one is Fale number 11. Food was awesome, even though it was always pretty much the same. Tuesday and Saturday is lobster night, which was fantastic! Wednesday and Saturday they have a fiafia night and I never got tired of it. ..
Some nights there were only about 8 people staying there, some other nights over 100. But that was during school holidays.
What I would recommend is that you bring a bottle of something from duty free as the bar ususally closes very early and often we felt like having drinks but couldn't get anything.
I can recommend Taufua to anyone, singles, couples, families. I met a lot of families who were there with small kids or teenagers and they all loved it.
When you are at Lalomanu, make sure you go to the ocean trench and vavau beach.
In Apia I stayed at the Outrigger which is really nice. They have fales in the garden but also have rooms with fans or even aircon. The fales are very cheap and just great. It's a very clean and well organised place!
Taxis from Apia to Lalomanu are usually around ST80 but loads of people managed to get it cheaper than that. Bus is about ST5. People from Taufua go to Apia all the time to get food or the divers fill up their tanks there, so often you can get a lift with them and they just charge a tiny wee bit.
Now, what to bring...Make sure you have loads of mozzie repellant (especially for the outrigger!), bring a torch, and pegs. Don't bring too many clothes. Everything smells after a few days, even if you don't wear it. You can always get them to wash clothes (about ST5) or buy washing powder and hand wash.
Oh yeah,and make sure you drink enough water! I was dehydrated and passed out in front of everyone. Not very pleasant. After that I had about 5 litres of water a day.
I think that's about it. oh yeah,and make sure you go to church once if you can, it's a great experience.
I love Samoa and I am definitely going back to finally see Savaii!
Polinesian blue were great, of course you have to pay for meals,t hat's the whole idea of a low coast carrier, but you can bring your own food if you like. And it's only a 5 hour flight from Sydney anyway.
Let me know if you have any questions...