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What are the best things to do in Apia?
Samoa Cultural Village
Samoa Cultural Village is a great way to start your trip once your flights to Apia arrive. The village hosts free tours throughout the week and the tours usually end with a traditional Samoan meal. You'll learn about the history of tattooing in Samoa, how to prepare a traditional umu (earth ovens), and try your hand at basket weaving. An excursion to the village is a fascinating look into Samoan culture and heritage.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is located in downtown Apia. It's sits just across the road from the Samoan Cultural Village, making it easy for those with tickets to Apia to visit both on the same day. There is no entrance fee for the church, however, leaving behind a small donation is encouraged.
Apia Town Clock Tower
Make a point to stop by the Apia clock tower while wandering through the downtown area. It serves as a memorial to both those who lost their lives during the 1918 flu epidemic and the soldiers who fought in World War I. Time your visit to the tower for 8.45am and watch the Royal Samoan Police march down the road while playing the national anthem and raising the national flag at the Samoa Government Building.
If you're buying return flights to Apia and staying in self-catering accommodation, stock up on fresh produce at the Fugalei Market. It's open every day of the week and you can buy plenty of delicious fruits such as starfruit, passion fruit, mango, pineapple and avocado. For foodies travelling on cheap flights to Apia, a top tip is to go to the market hungry and try the traditional Samoan cuisine from the food stalls.
Palolo Deep Marine Reserve
The Palolo Deep Marine Reserve is one of the most popular things to do for travellers buying airfare to Apia. Located a short drive from the town, it’s home to a vibrant coral reef and an abundance of marine life. If you want to spend the day here, time your visit with the high tide; otherwise you won't be able to swim over the reef. You'll also need snorkel gear (especially flippers) to swim out to the drop-off as the current is strong and is not for beginners.
What should I pack for Apia?
What to wear in Apia
When packing for your return flights to Apia, you'll want to select some modest items when you're outside of the resorts. Samoan culture errs on the conservative side, and it’s not always appropriate to walk around in public in only a swimsuit. If you're booking airfare to Apia to go snorkelling, bring along a pair of reef shoes.
If you're an avid snorkeller planning flights to Apia, it's a good time to invest in your own mask and flippers. While you can rent snorkel gear in Apia, there are reviews it’s not in the best condition.
Much like other tropical destinations, mosquitos are prevalent in Apia and wider Samoa. Before catching your flights to Apia, make sure you've packed a repellent with a high percentage of DEET. You'll also want to cover up between dawn and dusk to avoid getting bitten. Once you’ve booked your tickets to Apia, check to see if your hotel has a fan or aircon. Both devices make it difficult for mosquitos to bite you in your sleep.
What are the do’s and don'ts of visiting Apia?
”Fa'a Samoa” translates as ‘the Samoan way’. It's akin to Samoa’s unofficial cultural code that guides locals on how they should lead their lives. It has a great influence over etiquette in Samoa, and is something that all travellers should be aware of before visiting. Here are some of the most important things travellers buying return flights to Apia should know:
Eye contact: When talking to locals, always be at their eye level. For example, if someone is seated, sit down with them before starting a conversation. Top of the head: In Samoan culture, the head is considered sacred. It's disrespectful to pass something over the top of someone's head or to pat the head of an adult or child.
Evening curfew: When your flights to Apia land at Faleolo International Airport (AWP), you'll need to obey the prayer curfew, usually from 6pm to 7pm.
Compliments: There is a Samoan proverb that says someone who offers a compliment actually wants that given object. For example, if you compliment a Samoan on their dress or bag, you might find yourself in a situation where they try to give it to you.
Losing face: Samoans rarely display exaggerate emotions in public, as doing so can cause the losing of face. Visitors run the risk of committing a social faux pax by losing their tempers or raising their voices in public.