Samoa has always been a popular vacation destination among international celebrities.
In the 1950, the famous Aggie Grey’s Hotel was a hangout for people like Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Later Mia Farrow and Max von Sydow enjoyed the country’s beauty while filming Dino De Laurentis’ epic adventure of lust, passion and desire, ‘The Hurricane’. Members of the British Royal family, presidents, prime ministers and other dignitaries all visited Samoa.
But even before the days of modern stardom, Samoa was frequented by artists, among them the famous Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of such literary milestones as ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde’ and ‘Kidnapped’ to name a few. He settled in Samoa in the early 1890s with his family and purchased 400 acres of land in Upolu. Fascinated by the Polynesian culture, Stevenson wrote several letters to The Times on the islanders’ behalf and published novels like The Beach Of Falesa (1893) and The Ebb-Tide (1894), which condemned European colonial exploitation.
The Samoan’s gave him the name Tusitala, which means ‘teller of tales’ and he was buried in a manner, normally reserved for royalty. Today his beautiful plantation home Vailima (“Five Rivers”) is open to the public. The buildings and grounds have been beautifully restored, and contain many of Stevenson’s belongings.
Shopping in Samoa is always a colorful and vibrant experience. Samoa has a wide range of local items perfect for gifts and travel souvenirs. Popular Samoan shopping items include ‘lavalava’ (sarong) and handicrafts such as wood carvings and woven bags, baskets and mats. Traditional wood carvings include Kava bowls, walking sticks, and war clubs. Bags, baskets, and mats are woven from narrow strips of leaves. The traditional ‘toga’, the best quality and beautiful mat, is made from strips of pandanus leaves. These are mostly used in formal meetings and other special traditional occasions.
Handicraft shops are mainly located in Apia is open all day and offers wide range of handicraft, a variety of traditionally made jewelry such as rings, earrings, necklaces & bracelets; imported goods, small convenience stores and food stalls. The Maketi Fou is our main market in Apia that sell fresh local produce and handicrafts which are found at the flea market at Savalalo. Additional to selling souvenirs and handicrafts are found at hotel gift shops and supermarkets.
Samoan food is hearty and welcoming. It is full of flavor it’ll leaves your tastes buds always wanting more. Traditional Samoan food made in an Umu is an important part of the Samoan culture. A typical Samoan feast includes baked taro, breadfruit, bananas, and palusami (fresh squeezed coconut cream wrapped in baby taro leaves) cooked in a Samoan umu (ground oven). Fresh seafood – fish, lobsters, octopus are also an important part of the Samoan diet. The best way to enjoy traditional Samoan cuisine is at a Samoan fiafia, a traditional music and dance performance usually accompanied with dinner. Several hotels organize such cultural nights for their guests.
Upolu and Savai’i offer a large variety of restaurants, cafes and takeout restaurants as well as bars and night clubs.