Getting a Samoan Tattoo
Unique Suggestions: I got a Samoan Tattoo whilst there. I mentioned my interest to one of the hotel staff he then offered to take me to a tattooist in Apia.
This was fine . Firstly you will pay over the odds for your tattoo and make sure you have US Dollers its easier. Secondly once I had had the tattoo done and was on my way back to the hotel with the samoan guy from the hotel he asked for payment aswell stating he needed it for his family his dad was ill etc etc.
I had no problem with this if it was true or not and gave him some US Dollers as he had helped me out but just be aware if someone offers help it may not be for free
Fun Alternatives: Obviously you could find a tattooist for yourself
Please also refer to the "warnings" section..
Just about everything we did along the southern aost was a rip off. There are almost no signs telling you where anything is and there are multiple fees along the way to EACH sight.
THE BLOW HOLES:
We rented a car and followed a map to the star. We arrived at the village entrance and payed fee ($2ST each), continued along a rough road...arrived at a tiny fale where we had to pay another $10ST "to see the blowholes", then continued toward them, arrived at another set of fales with another sign for $5ST "to park for the bowholes"! By now we were roped into paying again because it is was either pay or leave your car in the road, and you have to pass this to turn around. It was low tide to there was nothing to see at the blowholes...It was as if they just set up fales along the say and charged tolls. And if you don't complete the path, you have just wasted your money.
We went to the canopy walkway first and payed $20 ST each, which was to include Moso's footprint and the House of Rocks. There is a tiny sign (which we passed about 5 times while looking for it) . We arrived and parked on the road. Expecting something worth our trip out there, a boy lets us into his yard. Must have been a tiny giant! We laughed histerically that this was on the map! John taked out his camera in disbelief...a woman yells from her fale "$5ST to take pictures!!$5TALA!)
We didn't even bother to go to the house of rocks, which we ended up passing later in the trip..yes, it was a pile of rocks....
Unique Suggestions: Go with the green turtle.
Fun Alternatives: You can see more impressive things by just pulling over on the side of the road.
Be aware that you will be on village property, but there are many places where noone will see you.
We were driving down a really boring road for a while, with long brush on both side, suddenly I saw a break in the brush. We pulled over and walked through to the water...AMAZING sea arches, and noone was around (tourists or Samoans) . To be on the edge with noone around was exhilerating, peaceful, scarey, fun, exciting, etc..we could not have paid for that experience!
My trip was actually booked with a transfer from the airport to the hotel. But after arriving there was no-one there to pick us up. A guy from Aggie Grey's, my hotel, said that we should pick a taxi, although I was pretty sure he was there to pick us up. Anyway...
The taxi drivers tend to charge you 60 Tala on a trip to Apia. I was told that it's way too much.
Airport-Apia trips cost 30-40 Tala, not more.
Unique Suggestions: Before getting in to a taxi always negotiate the fare.
Fun Alternatives: Busses are much cheaper, but they don't run 24/7 and are much slower than taxis.
If youre after local arts\crafts or souveneirs try not to buy from souveneir or hotel shops, it can be sometimes up to 50% or higher than buying from the market!
The markets in Samoa are very cheap and you can practically get any Samoan craft.
At the market, try not to carry large notes ie $50 or $100 notes.
It's always good to have contacts - this helps when someone tries to rip you off eg paying to much on an item or even for the taxi rides.
Siumu, Apia, Samoa
Good for: Business
South Coast, Maninoa Village, PO Box 3684, Apia, Upolu, Samoa
Good for: Business
This hotel has a relatively interesting history which I encourage you to read if you happen to stay...more