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Advice

Sunshine Coast
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Advice

Hi everyone,

I am looking to plan a trip to Samoa in september/october 09. and need some advice. Im 18, can't wait to travel, and am more than likely going alone. I'm from australia and have booked flights to auckland, NZ from 16 sept - 10 oct and want to fly to samoa from auckland for approx a week somewhere in that time frame, and have looked at flights that fly in to apia. (not sure how many airports are in samoa?)

I'd like to know roughly in AUD the average cost i'd expect to pay for accomodation etc. also what kind of costs im looking at for tours, food, etc. How much is it to cross the island? I'm sort of wanting to stay at a backpackers or something to meet other fellow travellers as i'll be alone.

I am in my second and final year of studying photography and want to do A LOT of shooting whilst im over there. So where are the best scenic places?

Is it best to stay in one place, and do day trips or move around?

What is the night life like? is there any/many nightclubs & bars?

Thanks in advance for any help !

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Samoa
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South Pacific
southern california
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1. Re: Advice

If you get a little fale like at Taufua you'll pay around 40-50 AUD per night... which also includes breakfast and a huge dinner. Incredible deal.

I was a single traveler too and found Taufua to be a great place to meet other travelers. The group dining gives you a chance to mingle and it's one of the more popular beach/accommodations. I was also interested in taking great pictures there and let me assure you there's postcard worthy shots around every corner. You can look up specific places online but you'll end up just seeing beautiful scenes to photograph as you explore the island. Some places that you might wanna check out though are: Lalomanu beach (and surrounding area), the Sua thrench (and surrounding area), aganoa blacksand beach, papapapaitai falls, fuipisia falls, pilua cave pool, virgin cove (scenic beach & good sunsets), fagaloa bay, random south coast beaches...etc...

The island is small enough that you can stay in one place and take day trips to other parts of the island...but you might wanna stay at Taufua for a while and then spend some time on others parts of the island especially since you'll be there for a few weeks. (I suggest a using a rental car some of the time to do the most exploration, although they can be kinda pricey)

Nightclub nightlife only exists in Apia on the north side of the island. Everywhere else is pretty secluded... the closest you'll get is watching a Fia Fia...and getting drinks from the bar at where you are staying.

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Lalomanu Beach
Lalomanu Beach
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Upolu, Samoa
Apia
Apia
Upolu, Samoa
Auckland Central...
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2. Re: Advice

Malo lava!

Shakas has pretty much hit the nail on the head with his advice (hiya dude!! xx) and I would head to Taufua first to get a feel for Samoa in general, and to hook up with like minded people. You will be able to get a fale by yourself - beachfront open ones at Taufua start at $90 Samoan tala per night, and that includes 2 meals. Bear in mind that that time of year is peak season - so book in advance if you can.

If you are interested in other beach fales (aka cheap and cheerful!!) see my traveler list attached below.

If you meet up with others at Taufua, you might be able to share a rental car, or even hire a taxi to take you around the island of 'Upolu which would be cheaper still.

Happy to pass on any other tips - beach fales is kinda my thing. Deb (another poster here) is more familiar with the hotels and motels in Apia.

Fa soifua - and enjoy!

Tina

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i19831-Samoa_Be…

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Samoa
Samoa
South Pacific
Apia
Apia
Upolu, Samoa
Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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35 reviews
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3. Re: Advice

Malo lava Hannah

I think shakas and Tina have probably given you the best advice regarding accommodation and scenery.

There are not many places in Apia for backpackers and the hotels/motels in that price range I wouldn't recommend for a female travelling alone.

If you wanted to get a bus into Apia one day to check out the markets and other sights, that's possible from Lalomanu where Taufua Fales are, The buses are great fun, very colourful, play loud music, air conditioned (they don't have windows!!) and have a passenger list that may include chickens and pigs, they are also a very cost effective mode of transport.

If you wanted to stay overnight and check out the night life then you might have to splurge and shout yourself to either either Hotel Elisa or Hotel Millenia or a little more upmarket to Aggie Greys Hotel and Bungalows or Le Manumea (the later are between $AU250 - $AU350). You can check out prices at samoa-hotels.ws or jasons.com/samoa. I can give you the names of more budget type hotels but I really wouldn't recommend it. There are also tour companies that do trips around the south coast and back across the middle of the island but, as the others have said, you could more cheaply join up with some other travellers and hire a car/van or a taxi for the day.

As for photographs, the scenery is amazing as is daily village lige in Samoa, which you would get to experience staying at Lalomanu, so there are plenty of opportunities for different sorts of shots.

The following link may also help and if you need any more info on hotels in Apia just let me know. Have a wonderful time.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i19953-Discover…

Fa soifua

Deb

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Le Manumea Hotel
Le Manumea Hotel
249 Reviews
Upolu, Samoa
Hotel Millenia
Hotel Millenia
167 Reviews
Upolu, Samoa
Apia
Apia
Upolu, Samoa
Samoa
Samoa
South Pacific
kurrajong
Destination Expert
for Samoa
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4. Re: Advice

malo hannah

the others have covered where to stay very well so i thought since i am also into photography i thought i would tell where i got some fantastic shots.

basically everywhere is a great opportunity for a great photo. it's all so beautiful.

in town the market is a great place. things like how they sell the cocnuts in these hand woven bags made form the palm leaves. it's so colourful i love it there.

also in town is the sliding rocks ( great fun and also great photos!)natural water slides.

if you stay at lalomanu beach, you will get some grat shots , the beach here is picture perfect, white snady beach palm trees, fales on the beach, it dosent' get any better!!!

about a 20 minute drive from lalomanu beach is a place called tu sua ocean trenches ( good to go with a guide, they can show you where ( if you are up for an adventure to swim under the cave rocks!)

it's a beautiful crater with a long ladder going down into in for a swim, very pretty.

you will get some great shots.

are you going to go to savaii? it's an hour ferry ride across (it is very beautiful, the beaches of manase are very very pretty villages, beautiful beach fales ride on the beach, amazing. you can also swim with the turtles!

have you seen david kirklands photos of samoa, he was over there again recently in feb taking some more for the samoan tourism board, so there should be some new one to check out soon.

have fun

sue

Auckland Central...
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5. Re: Advice

Wow Deb, that guide is amazing! Thank you so much for that!

Southland
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6. Re: Advice

Sweet, I'm into photography too and plan on taking all my camera gear over there so I can get some really stunning shots of the kids hopefully and of course some of the beaches too.

2 weeks and counting!!

Sunshine Coast
4 posts
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7. Re: Advice

Hi Everyone,

Thank-you soo much for all you information and advice! this website has such a great community of friendly people willing to offer advice.

How much does the ferry cost to get to savaii, and whats the accomodation like over there?

I read up about the sliding rocks... I so want to got there!

I'm sure ill be speaking soon as my trip I begin to plan the details of my trip!

thanks again everyone

Sunshine Coast
4 posts
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8. Re: Advice

Oh, I also wanted to find out how secure the enclosed fale's are? I want to make sure that all my valuables (camera equipment mostly) are safe.

thanks

kurrajong
Destination Expert
for Samoa
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846 posts
63 reviews
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9. Re: Advice

hi firstly re the ferry

it's cheap, i can;t remember exactly but about $10 tala. the fales are basic open style.

you can go to samoa-hotels.ws. or the samoan tourism site to view the fales and get an idea on price. the grat thing about fales , well apart form the obvious ( right on the beach!!!) is that you get at least 2 meals included for a cheap price.

i have stayed and would recommed regina's (it had a good back packer young feel about it. and you can go snorkelling or diving for $50 tala (snorkle) or $300 tala for a dive. in savaii there was this amazing waterhole called afu afu I got some great shots. loved it and the swimming is amazing.

the fales realy arn;t what you call secure , so i always carry a pack pack with my camera with me at all times. i haven;t stayed at taufaus , tina can comment on security, i always stay next to taufaus at litia sini fales, they are enclosed and have a lock and key, but really i would still take my beloved camera with me at ALL times. as i would be devestated it if was stolen.

some fales don't have power to charge up batteries, but the owners of the fales are usally happy enough to let you charge things up.

any more questions just ask.

sue

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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10. Re: Advice

Malo lava Hannah

It's exciting planning a trip isn't it?

The ferry to Savaii leaves from Mulifanua Wharf which is approx. 2 hours from Lalomanu and leaves every 2 hours starting at 6am (Mon-Sat), there are only 2 crossings on a Sunday and it's a 1 1/4 hour trip. The fare is 9 tala each way.

Savaii also has some amazing scenery including the Taga Blowholes, Devil's Gate and as sasa mentioned the Afu Afu falls with many beautiful little villages in between. There are also some markets at Salelologa where the ferry docks.

Anywhere along Manase beach is good, apart from Regina's there is Jane's and Tanu or if you feel like a change from fale life after Lalomanu a mid range resort is Savaii Lagoon Resort. As sasa said, check out the samoa-hotels.ws site or jasons.com/samoa. The link Tina gave you before is also an excellent reference to fale accommodation.

As for safety, at Taufua you are able to leave valuables with the family who owns the fales, they will put it in their safe with your name on it. Thefts in places like Taufua are uncommon.

Have fun planning.

Fa soifua

Deb

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Savaii Lagoon Resort
Savaii Lagoon Resort
572 Reviews
Savai'i, Samoa