Catriona Rowntree has found a South Pacific paradise one that can be enjoyed on a shoestring budget! Its natural beauty and charming locals ensure the holiday of a lifetime. Welcome to Samoa!
The Samoan islands each have special features to explore, including rainforests, rugged volcanic peaks, vast valleys and coastlines ringed with white sandy beaches. Little villages with white churches, traditional Samoan dwellings and meeting houses show the local way of life.
Tanu Beach Fales
Tanu Beach, on the island of Savai'i, has clear waters and white sand. The family-run hostel exposes backpackers to Samoan culture and lifestyle in the village of Manase. Fales are traditional grass huts, cooled by Pacific Ocean breezes. There are 25 on the beach and nine double rooms. Each has two beds, and some rooms can accommodate three people. Mosquito netting and bedding are supplied and there is a village store. Toilets and showers are easily reached from wherever you are staying.
Relax to the sound of lapping water and gaze at the moon and stars through banana leaves. One night is nowhere near long enough.
Family and eating are high priorities for Samoans, and the fia fia is a real experience. The feasting consists of fish, chicken, taro, vegetables and plenty of coconut flavours. Once everything is in full swing you will be entertained and amazed by the fire dance with knives. A night to remember!
With most of the island surrounded by a protecting reef and comfortable water temperatures, snorkelling and diving are a must.
Dive Savai'i is the only dive centre on the island and is run by a most enthusiastic team. The boat is comfortable, safety is important and having fun a necessity. The beautiful, clear waters are home to colourful corals and inquisitive fish, and your captain and tour guide will take you to the best site on the day.
Samoa boasts around 3000 hours of sun each year, so how could you not go there?
Savai'i, two hours by boat from Apia.
Tanu Beach Fales start at around $40 per person a night. Breakfast and dinner are included.
Dive Savai'i half-day snorkelling is around $30 for adults and $15 for children. Fins, masks and snorkels can be rented for around $5 each. They offer transfers from some resorts, and fruit, fresh water and life jackets for beginners are provided. They run from April to October between noon and 4.30pm. Diving runs year round.
Prices correct at February 26, 2009.
For further information
Tanu Beach Fales
Main North Coast Road
Ph/fax: +685 54050
Ph: +685 54172
Samoa Tourism Authority
PO Box 2272
Ph: +685 63500
Fax: +685 20886
Samoa Tourism Authority Office
PO Box 611
Ph/fax: (02) 4627 5926
Visas: Tourist visas of 60 days are granted on arrival to all visitors except Chinese nationals who must obtain a visa beforehand. A passport valid for at least six months and an onward ticket are required.
Electricity: 240V using Australian-style plugs.
Time zone: GMT -11 hours.
Currency: Samoan tala.
International dialling code: +685.
It is recommended travellers to Samoa see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information, visit www.welltogo.com.au.
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