Samoa travel hints & tips
Fa’a Samoa culture has a strong focus on welcoming visitors, but it is important that visitors follow protocol when entering villages and family homes as well as using and accessing village resources.
- Avoid walking through villages during the evening prayer curfew (usually between 6pm and 7pm). This usually lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is often marked at the beginning and end by a bell or the blowing of a conch shell.
- Respect Sunday. While many visitor attractions are open on Sunday, you are expected to behave quietly and to travel slowly through villages.
- Almost all shops are shut on Sunday, so buy what you need the day before.
- Skimpy clothing is not recommended in villages, and will cause offence. Women are advised to wear a lava lava (sarong) rather than shorts or pants, especially if they attend church.
- No nude or topless (for women) swimming or sunbathing.
- Shoes should be removed before entering a fale (pronounced “fah-leh”, it refers to the traditional Somoan thatched-roof house).
- Never stand within a fale when elders are seated.
- When sitting in a fale, avoid pointing your feet at others. Either tuck them away, cross them (yoga style) or cover them with a lavalava or mat.
- Always ask permission from your host before taking photos in a village.
- Don’t offer children money, even if they ask.
If you are ever in any doubt, ask your host or a village member. And remember to smile lots, you’ll always get a smile in return.
The electricity is the same as New Zealand , 240 volts/AC 50 cycles, but can be converted to 110 volts in most hotels.
If you need more assistance while in Samoa you can visit the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale on Main Beach Road in front of the Government Building in Apia.
*The Small Print
We’ve tried to make this destination guide as accurate as possible but please double check the essentials like visas, health and safety, airport information etc with the relevant authorities before you travel. STA Travel takes no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience caused as a result of this guide. All prices listed are in the currency of the destination, unless otherwise stated.