American Samoa or Pago Pago as it is known by the locals is a relatively small Island paradise hidden deep in the South Pacific ocean. I have traveled fairly extensively in the South Pacific and i have to say Samoa is up there with the most beautiful tropical islands you could ever envisage. Think deserted beaches, crystal clear waters, palm trees and every other cliche’imaginable. What really makes Samoa special though is how unspoiled it is. Samoa doesn’t attract the crowds of Hawaii and some of the other more popular tourist destinations and this adds to the charm and beauty of it. Things are done on “island time” in Samoa and there is no such thing as sticking to a schedule. For example my wife and i decided to catch one of the local buses from the center of town one day and head out to find a beach and explore. There was no real point in looking at the time table as the driver turned up forty minutes after he was due to arrive and didn’t seem to fussed (this is just one of the things you accept when travelling around the South Pacific islands). The journey up the mountain and out to the beach was interesting sitting on the brightly painted multicolored old school bus with remixed reggae and hip hop blasting out from a speaker near the driver for the entire one hour trip. Once we drove down the other side of the mountain the driver pulled up near a deserted beach, smiled, and said i’ll be back in an hour. Little did we know in island time that meant i’ll see you at some stage in the next few hours. In the end it didn’t matter though. This was one of the most stunning beaches i have ever seen and I’ve traveled to Bora Bora, Hawaii and many other beautiful locations. For hours we swam, explored the shallow reefs and laid about on the beach until a bunch of school kids turned up to greet us. Kids in that part of the world don’t own Playstation’s or iPhones and i think they found it both amusing and a little odd to see these funny looking tourists hanging around on their isolated little beach. They were so curious and asked us what seemed like a thousand questions about where we come from, what we do and were quite happy to literally hang out with us until our bus returned hours later.
Samoa has an air of innocence about it. The tourism dollar is not the driving force in the islands hence shopping and other touristy things are not big in this part of the world. The people are welcoming and friendly and the beaches are incredible. Taking a trip to Samoa is like travelling back in time to some extent. Get over there and see it while it is still unspoiled by consumerism.
(Photo taken by myself standing in waist deep water almost 200 meters away from beach)