ATTENTION SAMOA TRAVELLERS!!!
Replies: 103 - Last Post: Jul 5, 2011 7:21 PM Last Post By: Laszlo
Nov 27, 2006 9:17 PM
45this is ridiculous...
i just got back rom samoa with a group of 21 uni students and not one of us had anything stolen ever... we left wallets/ipods/phones lying around in our rooms
we hitched rides home from clubs with the first ppl who offered (often in the back of a ute)
the only thing that bothered some ppl were the samoan men.. they were just a lot more fwd than aussie guys but if you said no they respected that
the samoan pleople were the most friendly people i have ever met!!!! i definetly reccommend going there!
Dec 15, 2006 10:09 PM
46Hello all... With re: to Samoa... I have travelled to Samoa 21 x.. in the past 10 years... and have loved 95% of all my experiences there.
With re: to theft... YES.. it can be a problem.. if you are not careful. Anywhere you go.. where people have less than you... this will be an issue.
There is a great solution to this... When I travel.. I bring a lock box... and keep it in the trunk of my car... LOCKED.
Never trust someone.. outside of yourself.. to watch anything..
The Samoan people.. by in large.. are so gracious and friendly... to visitors.
The best way to experience Samoa is to befriend a Samoan... and travel with them.
If you plan on staying in Samoa.. I can recommend Carol Ah Chong.. my dearest friend in the world.. who lives there full time. She will not guide you astray.
I always tell people to stay at her accomodations and venture from there... meaning.. have a base.. and go out.
In Savaii... Stay at REGINA'S beach fales.. and tell them KRISTIN AND CAROL... sent you.
They are like family to me.. and they will completely respect that.
Jacinta.. is an angel.. who works herself to the bone.. trying to please people. YOU will NOT have to worry about theft there. She has a safe... The fales are clean.. the grounds are safe and beautiful.
If you have any questions.. where to go.. eat.. etc.. write me of call Carol 011 685 777 1914 email@example.com
Her accommodations is called Caroline's Boutique Lodge...
Regina's.. is in Savaii...
Both are a perfect way to begin.. to experience the good in SAmoa.
Can I guarantee.. you may not lose a t-shirt.. or sandals??? NOPE.. I have lost a few.. and donated thousands.. more.. just like them.
With re: to stoning....
That.. was a random act.. from a group of bratty kids.. NOT the NORM..at all...
If you want to really be blessed.. and have some money... Call ahead.. and ask a village to put on a show for you. Tell them you have.. X amount of money you'd like to gift to them for the honor of thier dancing and singing..etc..
When you realize.. they live in the midst of the tourists.. with no way out.. you will see.. it's best to bless... and be blessed.
I LOVE Samoa... so much.. I have dedicated the rest of my life.. to helping improve things for the poor.
Believe me.. it's a greater joy for me.. than for them.
Jan 14, 2007 7:53 PM
47Ive never been to Samoa but had intended to sometime soon. As a lover of all things Pacific, I am horrified by the above posts. There are other parts of the Pacific Ive not yet visited....I'll go there first.
Has anyone engaged with whoever is responsible for Samoan Travel , in a Governemnet sense.? What was there reaction? Seems others are turning off visiting Samoa, which must surely have implications for the local economy.Now that VirginPacific fly there, many more Australians and Kiwis would love to visit but if they are turned off by reports such as these, patronage will surely drop, leading to the inevitable - cessation of flights.
Jan 14, 2007 8:04 PM
Jan 14, 2007 8:17 PM
Jan 15, 2007 10:46 PM
50I am a German, living in Samoa for about 10 years now, hosting and guiding tourists almost every day. I warn them about straying dogs (never reach out to them, never touch them, never feed them), I lead them away from drunken locals of any age, I tell them to keep an eye on important belongings at all times. What about this is sooo uncommon or special, compared to other parts of the world?
They steal in paradise? Yes, they do, at least some and in Samoa too that one person stealing apparently outweights those hundred others who do not. The problem is not that but the stupid "paradise" crap, this romantic illusion of civilization-tired Western people. Neither Samoa nor any other Pacific island has ever been Paradise, peaceful, caring for animals, caring for each other (besides the own family). Simple as that. Samoans are just people - there are good ones and (few) bad ones, like everywhere else.
I held a lecture at a school with 25 teachers present. When I came back from lunch my (nice) mousepad was "taken" (Samoan euphemism for stolen). Well, one bad apple (or coconut) in the bigger basket. BTW, another teacher gave me a new mousepad next day, feeling ashamed about her colleague. And - I left my wallet on the counter in a hardware store in Apia. When returning after 25 minutes it was still there (untouched). No guarantee that this would also be the case with your left wallet as well though, but ask yourself how likely this would be where you live or where else you traveled to.
When you forget about romantic dreams and give yourself a chance to meet the real world of Samoa, you will find quite emotional people. Very few nasty ones, most people being genuinely friendly (and honest), some even overwhemingly generous and good-hearted. A real experience, really! Give them (and yourself) a chance to meet.
Things being stolen in a Matai's house? Ha, what do you know about matais? There are about 45.000 adult males in Samoa and more than 25.000 of them are matai. There is hardly anyone older than 35 years of age who is not. To have a house you are likely to be a bit older - consequently there is only a very slim chance to be victim of a theft in a house that does not belong to a matai. I hardly ever saw a house being owned by a non-Matai. Again, there is no knowledge but just romantic illusion, nothing else. Don't blame Samoa for not being what you dreams are. Get real and you will have a very good time here.
Jan 19, 2007 1:56 PM
As a three time traveller to Samoa I must admit that I´m a bit shocked by the the posts on this thread. I lost a wallet in Apia to a young brat(completely my own fault), but apart from that I´ve had only good experiences. Always left my stuff out in the fale and was extremely naive and reckless. I tried my best to give presents everywhere, but always ended up getting more than I gave away.
As for the dogs, yes they did scare me a bit. They exist both in the villages and in Apia. I found that carrying rocks helped. Also Samoans often came to my aid.
It´s not a good thing, but did´nt ruin my vacations. If it bothers you that much, go to Manono where there are none. Personally I´ve had much worse elsewhere.
Child abuse. Yes, hard to watch, but it has a purpose. Without respect the samoan way of live would fall apart. The Samoans truly love their children, but I agree that they sometimes have a funny way of showing it. Some samoans are a bit viollent, and fights occur around the beach road in Apia rather frequently. Very easy to avoid though. Whatever you do, NEVER fight a samoan!!!! Heard stories about hostility to tourists in villages, but only if they happened to hit a chicken or a pig. We only had hords of smiling and shouting children running after us. Some youngsters in Apia may play cool by calling you bad things in Samoan, but why should you care. Keep smiling:)
I absolutely loved the place, but if you want to go to Fiji instead, please do! Bad for the tourist-industry, but good for the Samoan way of life. Too many tourists of the wrong kind visit this place.
Feb 22, 2007 5:38 AM
52The Samoa Observer's report: SAMOA’S DOG PROBLEM HAS DEEPER IMPLICATIONS
Feb 22, 2007 7:00 PM
Mar 16, 2007 3:14 AM
54I travelled to Samoa nearly two years ago, and I want to say that Samoa was one of the most beautiful, peaceful, most laid back countries I've EVER visited. In terms of natural beauty and friendly locals, I personally rank Samoa right up there with South Africa, New Zealand, and Japan, as I also had amazing experiences in those countries.
I absolutely LOVED Samoa. I had NO negative experiences whatsoever. Sure, there were dogs wandering around, but not one, NOT ONE dog, ever tried to attack me. A few - and only a FEW - of the local children asked me for money. I politely declined, and they accepted my kind refusal.
I found the local Samoans to be absolutely kind, friendly, and open. I visited Samoa with an open mind, knowing that their customs, and the way they do things, is much different than industrialized, Western countries. I understood that the pace of life in Samoa is very slow - in fact I loved the slow pace in Samoa so much, especially compared to the frantic pressure cooker that can characterize life here in San Francisco from time to time. When I was in both 'Upolu and Savai'i, I was really able to relax and unwind, and just accept the slow, warm pace of things.
I'm sure in a few years I'll return to Samoa, I really want to go back at some point. I've read many responses on this branch describing many negative things about Samoa. I feel that wherever you go, there will always be good experiences and bad experiences - so I always try and just "go with the flow". Any destination has its good side and bad side. If you can, just accept both and make the most of your travel experience.
Mar 24, 2007 11:12 AM
55I've been to Samoa a couple of times and never had a bad experience nor met anyone who has. It's one of the most beautiful countries on earth and Samoans are some of the world's most beautiful people.
(I think the Thorn Tree, like many other internet forums, is prone to a little hysteria sometimes.)
Mar 24, 2007 11:13 PM
56"+I think the Thorn Tree, like many other internet forums, is prone to a little hysteria sometimes+"
Perhaps you're correct-however-the OP on this thread is a veteran traveller and staunch defender of the place yet he saw fit to post here about serious shortcomings in how visitors are treated.
Other experienced travellers/volunteers have commented on breakdowns being experienced by Samoan society and the resultant deterioration in societal mores.
It's certainly a beautiful looking place but packs of bloodthirsty dogs are enough to put anyone off the scenery for good.
Mar 25, 2007 1:07 AM
57The OP, I believe, is in Samoa currently on his fourth (or so) annual visit.
Mar 25, 2007 5:44 AM
58I totally agree with # 57 and 58. The OP, islandboi, knows and loves Samoa far better than most of us (and also knows most of the South Pacific). Additionally, Laszlo, also knows Samoa well.
I've only been there twice and stayed in resorts. I never had any real problems though on a couple of occasions we both felt uncomfortable caused by the reaction to us on young Samoans. We left quickly. As for dogs, we were very careful and never spoke when passing dogs (and this was only in daylight). At Lazslo's suggestion, I always carried a couple of stones in my pocket.
I've known Rarotonga best (10 trips) and it has always amused me when first time travellers talk about wanting to move to paradise. It isn't and they are naive.
I think the same applies to those who think Samoa is paradise. It isn't - just look at the poverty.
Posters on this branch do not tend to go 'over the top' - the majority of regular posters know what they are talking about.
Mar 28, 2007 7:43 AM
59I'm a late comer here, but I just wanted to add that I really enjoyed Samoa. Didn't like the dogs much, I must admit, but it is one of my favourite spots in the South Pacific. I didn't spend too long there but aren't suprized to hear things are different once you start living there. I have lived in Tonga, Indonesia and now India, and my experiences and ideas on the various cultures are very different to people's who just stay for a short time, or who don't actually work and live in the country (even travelling for extended periods doesn't give you the same experience). Also, sometimes it is the things you don't like that you start noticing first and if you have some bad experiences it can stop you from seeing anything positive (I often find it hard seeing the beauty in India that so many people comment on, but that is because of a fairly tough beginning). Likewise, we westerners must have so many annoying / bad traits if viewed from another culture.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$149.00 per night
Rio de Janeiro CityBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$18.63 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$8.67 per night