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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in samoa
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It is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. The islands have narrow coastal plains with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in the interior.
Regions - Major Islands
"Map of Samoa">
Samoa is composed largely of two islands, Upolu and Savaii. These islands are the result of countless volcanic eruptions, leaving easily visible volcanic cones all over both islands. None of the volcanos are currently active, but small earthquakes often rock the island, reminding people of their presence. The last eruption was in 1911, on Savaii.
The eerie, lifeless lava fields that remain from this event can be visited easily, since the only sealed road on Savaii goes right through the middle.
Both islands are almost entirely covered by lush vegetation, although almost none of it is the original rainforest that covered the island before humans arrived. Most of the land area is given over to plantations or semi-cultivated forest, providing food and cash crops for the locals. Since Samoa has been inhabited for over one and a half thousand years, the cultivated lands around villages can often seem like deepest, darkest jungle to a foreigner(palangi).
The climate is tropical with a rainy (and tropical cyclone) season from October to March and a dry season from May to October. It has an average annual temperature of 26.5°C. This makes it an suitable winter vacation destination for southern hemisphere countries.
New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the "Western" from its name in 1997.
National holiday : Independence Day Celebration, 1 June
Samoa is governed by an elected council, or fono, under a constitutional monarch, Malietoa Tanumafili II.
There is continuing debate as to whether people should be allowed to vote against the wishes of their village chiefs, or matai. While the vote is technically entirely free for an individual, in practice those who dissent from the majority village view have been ostracised, thrown out of the village, and even, in extreme cases, killed.
The legal system is based on English common law and local customs.
The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, and agricultural exports. The country is vulnerable to tropical storms, and was hit by two cyclones in quick succession in 1991.
Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labor force, and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products.
The decline of fish stocks in the area is a continuing problem, due to both local overfishing and severe overfishing by Japanese factory trawlers. Tourism is an expanding sector, accounting for 16% of GDP; about 85,000 tourists visited the islands in 2000.
The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline. Observers point to the flexibility of the labor market as a basic strength for future economic advances. Foreign reserves are in a relatively healthy state, the external debt is stable, and inflation is low.
Some people sail their yachts to Samoa.
Ports and harbors include Apia, Asau, Mulifanua, Salelologa. Container ships and cruise liners can only dock in Apia Harbour, but many smaller fishing boats and village boats use the smaller docks.
Cycling is possible (and in my opinion quite enjoyable) but 'Upolu has a few fairly steep and hilly sections and the cross island roads are about 7kms steep uphill to their crests. Savai'i has only 2 or 3 small steep sections (around the western end). Dogs can be a nuisance and occasional menace but a 50% mixture of methylated spirits and water in which chilli's or chilli powder has been steeped and then poured into a spray bottle could make an effective "capsicum spray" type defense.
Languages spoken include Samoan (a Polynesian language) and English.
Namu'a Island: Namua Beach Fales. Includes meals and launch transfer. 70 tala per per night (as at July '05). This place should definitely be included in your itinerary.
Manono Island: Sunset View Fales. At Lepuia'I village on tranquil Manono island - no vehicles - no roads - no dogs * Free launch transfer from 'Upolu * 5 fales on the waters edge * all meals included * boat trips to reef * outrigger canoe * Samoan family environment Ph/Fax: 45640 (sunset view fales on Manono) Phone: 46177 (shop at ferry wharf on 'Upolo). 90 tala per night (as at July '05)
Falealupo-tai, Savai'i: Utusou Beach Fales (just south of Tanumatius Beach Fales). 2 fales on beautiful secluded beach. Run by Tafa & Salia Seumanutata and their family who really look after you. 50 tala per night which includes meals (and if you're lucky some excellent stories) (as at July '05)
Samoa is highly religious with most of the population following one of the Christian denominations. This means Sunday is generally respected as a holy day and most shops and businesses are closed.
Samoa has an adequate telephone system with international calling. Some villages have public phones available and require a pre-paid phone card.
Samoa.ws and Lesamoa are the only Internet Service Providers, but there are at least two public Internet access points in Apia, where fast, reliable access can be had for around 12 tala (4 US dollars) per hour.