Savaii Island is located off the main island of Upolu, Samoa. There are daily flights or more cost efficent and full of local comradarie the choice of crossing the straight by ferry is a more colourful experience.
Savaii is a lightly populated south pacific island. you could say it is pretty much untouched by man except for the road the circles the island. There are villages and a wharf but the most of the land is undeveloped. This island is a volcano and has old lava flows that dominate the landscape.
Manese Beach on the north eastern tip of Savaii is a must see. There is also a surf camp on the south west side that is worth visiting if you are a surfer.
Basically the whole island is worth a look.
This island pardise is like most others. Completely low key, quiet and very relaxing. Things here get done on "island time" as is to be expected. So when ordering in cafes and bars expect friendly service with a smile (but it make take a bit longer than your are used to!)
The people of the small villages make this place whatt it is. Most live very modestly but all have a strong sense of belonging to a tribe and are very loyal to their community.
What's really great:
View from a bus
The people of Samoa are extra friendly and are extremely laid back. To use the local transport of public bus is an experience not to be missed!
Busesare very cheap to ride and can get extremely packed out during peak times.
I found the Samoan always offered me a seat.Some people complete strangers even may sit on your lap and then someone perches on theirs!
Also any manner of baggage may be brought on( although I did not see any chickens!). We had small bags we carried but surfboard bags were too big and fragile for inside. We took tie downs to ensure they did not come off the back.
You pay the driver as you get off. we werent sure how much to give so we asked one of the ladies on bus and they worked it out for us.
The buses get very hot and are island style air conditioned with perspex windows you pull down to get air flow.
All of the buses are "pimped" out with amazing graphics and paint jobs, festive season decorations and stereo systems pumping out the local sounds at full burst!
The numerous waterfalls on the island and the lava flows are worth viewing. You can catch a bus to most of them if you are on to it and want to risk being left behind if the bus does not turn up later! Or if you prefer get a guide from your fale to take you in their van. Your can do a whole island tour in a day if wanted for quite a reasonable price and with lunch and drinks provided.
Also their are rental car companies and taxis that you can use. We were there when a public holiday was on during Easter and we found most taxis were so busy shuttling the locals around that we had trouble securing a ride!
We had the pool to ourselves most days!
Stay a Le Lagoto Resort. It is peaceful, well run and not too expensive.
The ceilings in all the buildings were amazing! They were made traditionally and were a definite feature of each room.
This place has a superb staff and restaurant and the rooms were all air conditioned. There was clean linen and good sized beds. Bar fridges and TV were also standard in all rooms.
The beach here is not the most amazing on the island but it is pretty and water is clear and warm. I spent most of the time in the pool on my lilo sipping cold drinks and cocktails.
This resort was plenty big enough for all its guests and I felt like I pretty much had the place to myself during the day!This is a place where you can chill out and do absolutley nothing or if you want to arrange to do some diving or fishing it is run buy a french couple who live run a dive shop across the road from the resort.
We didnt really venture out to any of the local discos as we were too tired from doing nothing all day! There was a club down the road from Le Lagoto but we felt like it was more for the locals and had heard stories from backpackers that there were packs of dogs who would attack anyone walking home!( One of the dive instructers had a bad gash on his leg from one such incendent!)
Anywhere cool and with refreshments was a good place to hang out! Early evening could be enjoyed on a deck with a breeze and a stiff drink!
On Savaii there werent many "flash" restaurants to eat at but there were plenty of delicious eateries run by locals. Local fare was abundant and fresh. With note all fish was fresh and marinated/ cooked to perfection.
The main staple of the locals being a root vegetable called Taro which can be prepared in all manner of ways. Fish and fresh fruit were also served most main meals.
Depending on the season fruits such as paw-paw, mango, watermelon,coconuts and other such tropical delights could be tasted.
To be avoided was the corned beef dishes which came straight from the can!
Swimming with the turtles was going to be the main attraction for me until I found out the turtles were kept in a pool in an estury and I could not face this even though the turtles they were "rescued".