Samoa Travel Information
Local time is UTC -11. As Samoa is east of the international date line it shares the same date as North America is one day behind Australia and New Zealand.
Electrical current is 240 volts (50Hz). Power-points are designed for three-pronged plugs commonly used in Australia and New Zealand.
Samoan and English. English is widely spoken in cities and tourist areas, but is far less common in more outlying areas.
The most significant health risk is over-exposure to the sun. There are mosquitoes but no malaria.
Tipping is not usual and may even cause offence.
Crime rates are very low in Samoa, but petty theft occurs, partly inspired by a belief that property is communally owned. Consequently keep your valuables secure at all times. The Sabbath (Sunday) is observed, particularly in rural areas. It is recommended not to drive through villages during this time. Surfers should be cautious as waves tend to break onto coral reefs. Beware of stray dogs, particularly at night.
Christianity plays an important role in the life of many Samoans with Sunday church services and Sabbath observances. Traditional Samoan men undergo tattooing as a rite of passage and the resultant patterns and images can be seen on many faces and upper bodies around the islands.
The international dialling code for Samoa is +685. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Internet cafes are available at a few location in the major centres and will cost from $ST10 per hour. There is good cell phone coverage and roaming agreements are in place with major international operators. Cell phones can easily be rented from Go Mobile and Digicel Samoa.
Travellers report the Faleolo airport duty-free stores are exorbitantly expensive. Passengers are entitled to import 200 cigarettes or 250g of cigars or tobacco, plus 1l of spirits duty free.
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