Travel Facts about Samoa
Country name Independent State of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)
Location The nine islands of Samoa are located in the Pacific Ocean, around 5632km northeast of Australia.
Capital city Apia (Upolu Island)
Government Constitutional monarchy; gained independence from New Zealand in 1962
Time Zone GMT/UTC +11 hours; Australian East Coast -21 hours
Currency Samoan Tala (WST)
Electricity 240 volts, 50hz. Australian-style three-pin plugs.
Language Samoan and English
Samoan phrases ‘ioe –‘Yes’; Leai – ‘no’; Fa‘amolemole – ‘please’; Fa‘afetai – ‘thank you’; ‘Ua lelei – ‘that’s all right’.
Tipping Tipping is not practiced. However, a gift for good service is acceptable.
Local etiquette Visitors are requested not to offend local sensibilities. Samoa has a strong cultural structure and Christian faith: visitors should avoid walking through villages during evening prayer (usually between 6 and 7 pm) and on Sunday, visitors should behave quietly and travel slowly through villages; permission should always be asked before taking photographs in a village; and visitors should not offer money to children, even when they ask. Swimwear should be kept for the beach only; topless or nude bathing is prohibited.
Tip Hats and sunscreen are a must and sneakers or sandals are advisable for walking and swimming around coral. If you cut yourself on coral pour lemon or lime juice over the wound to relieve the pain, or use hydrogen peroxide.