The archipelago of American Samoa is in the South Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and New Zealand. As it is closer to the island country of Samoa, it has the name American Samoa. The citizens of American Samoa can freely access the U.S mainland and work there.
HOW TO GO
The only international airport in the region is Pago Pago International Airport/Tafuna Airport. International flights from Auckland, Hawaii, Fiji, Brisbane, and Sydney run often. You can also use cruise ships to get between the islands. Smaller inter-islands flights operate daily.
THINGS TO DO IN AMERICAN SAMOA
As the short story “ Rain” by Somerset Maugham is set on Pago Pago, you can imagine the kind of weather here. All around the year the islands experience a warm yet humid weather. But during the months of June to September, the rainfall is lesser. It gives you an excellent opportunity to explore the islands without getting wet.
The main islands that are a must see include- Tutuila (larger population lives here), Ta’u, Ofu (apt for beach goers), Rose Island, Swains Island and Ta’u. To’aga Beach in Ofu is where you get best snorkeling opportunities, plus a cool Bar and Grill. Get to the top of Mt Alava to have a bird’s eye view of the archipelago American Samoa.
The exotic marine life of Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary requires a strenuous hike to reach the spot. And then there is the beautiful and isolated island Fatu ma Futi (Flower Pot), which houses vibrant bird-life.
ELECTRICITY & PLUG TYPE
Maybe it is the proximity to U.S That the American Samoa uses a standard voltage of 120 V. Visitors from North America do not need to bring a transformer, but Asian and European Visitors need one. And the sockets are Type A (two flat pins) and Type B (three flat pins).
WHAT TO WEAR
If you visit in summer, then you need to wear light fabric clothes like cotton. Shorts and t-shirts are the best outfits you can wear in the humid weather. You need to wear sunscreen to fight the intense sun rays.
But if you visit in the cooler season, you can wear jeans and trousers in the morning and warmer fabrics (like woven ones) at night.
The currency used in the Islands is $. If you are traveling from the US then you need not have a headache of exchanging money. Visitors from other countries can exchange the currency at the Pago Pago International Airport.
Even though people of American Samoa are not US Citizens, they speak American English. It is very easy to connect with the locals if you know how to speak English. Samoan language is also the official language of American Samoa except for English.
English. Samoan language is also the official language of American Samoa except for English.
The Europeans first reached American Samoa in the 18th century. And there was a dispute between US & Germany regarding the Islands. A treaty was signed in 1899, and the smaller group of Eastern Islands came under America. In the 20th-century, local independence movements were held but were crushed later on by the Government.
People here depend on fishing for their livelihood, and many have jobs in US Mainland. The politics here is different than in the US, there are protocols and chief systems set up by the Samoan Political body.
There are a wide number of restaurants on the main island- Tutuila. But as you start going towards the outer islands the number of restaurants gradually decreases. So, when you are in Tutuila go to a restaurant and eat the famous local cuisines – Palusami and Supoesi.
If you are on a weekend trip, you need $300- $400 to get you through the weekend. There are hotels in the major islands where the prices are reasonable. Eating and getting around you cost you very less as the prices here are low. But it depends on which option you choose. If you go on a bus, it costs only $1, but if you go in a taxi, it might cost $20.
HOW MANY DAYS
There is not much to see here except for the colorful reefs and the rich wildlife. The beaches and the National Parks will take 2- 3 days of your travel time. If you are doing a whole American tour, then a weekend here is good enough to see all the important places.
The road condition in American Samoa Islands varies from island to island. In the developed area like Tutuila you can see the highly maintained roads, but in the village areas, the roads are narrow and dangerous.
RENTING VS BUS, TAXI, TRAIN
There is only one International Airport in American Samoa, the Pago Pago International airport or also called the Tafuna Airport. From the airport car rentals are available to take you to the Tutuila.
Most of the other islands have domestic airports except for Rose and Swains Islands. So, for inter-island travel, you can take Inter Island Airways air service which runs between Pago Pago International Airport and other domestic airports.stic airports except for Rose and Swains Islands. So, for inter-island travel, you can take Inter Island Airways air service which runs between Pago Pago International Airport and other domestic airports.
Bus transport is very cheap in the islands; the bus ticket costs 50 cents to $1 only. So it is an easy pick for budget travelers. But if you want to drive yourself around then there are car rentals available outside the Pago Pago International Airport.
The bus ticket costs 50 cents to $1 only. So it is an easy pick for budget travelers. But if you want to drive yourself around then there are car rentals available outside the Pago Pago International Airport.
ELECTRICITY & PLUG TYPE
The standard voltage is 110 V in American Samoa is as it is in all United States. You need a universal plug adapter if you are a serious traveler. It helps you to connect to electrical outlets no matter the country or state. And if you are from Asia or Europe then a converter will also come in handy for changing the voltage (unless your appliance works in dual voltage).
FREE WIFI & SIM CARDS
The Pago Pago International Airport has free Wi-Fi, so once you reach here, you can connect to the internet and let your dear ones know you arrived safely. For those constantly looking for Wi-Fi can keep their Wi-Fi on, you never know which café or restaurant will have free Wi-Fi.
The best way to get around in American Samoa is to hire a rental car. And the cheapest way to get around is by a bus. Roads are a tad difficult in the rural areas of the outer islands, so you need to be careful when driving.
Taxis are also available but they are not metered, and after 6 PM you will have to pay a lot more than expected.
American Citizens do not need any VISA to enter the Islands. And the citizens of Canada, Marshall Islands, and Palau are also allowed free entry. Those who want a VISA need to phone or fax the Attorney General’s office as there is no- online application available.
WHERE TO STAY
In Tutuila and Ofu, you can find hotels in abundance. But as you go to the lesser inhabited islands there are little to no hotels available. We advise you stay in the main islands to avoid the lodging issue.
HOW SAFE IS AMERICAN SAMOA
American Samoa has very low crime rates. So you need not be afraid for your safety. But follow precautions that you would generally do while traveling. Like guarding your luggage and beware of strangers.
September 7, 2017 3:22 pm
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