Postcards from Apia, Samoa

A few weeks ago, I took a quick trip to Apia, Samoa. I’m talking quick, like, under 48 hours. I went with four friends, for a little girl’s get-away. I would have liked to explore the island outside of Apia, but considering how much time we had and all the different ambitions and personalities, we did the best we could. And it turned out to be just right!

Flying Over Apia, Samoa

Flying Over Apia and Upolu Island

I’ve been on the small island of Tutuila, in American Samoa for over 14 months and I’ve definitely been feeling island fever! Boarding a plane again, even the tiny 12-passenger one we flew on, made me feel like I could stretch my arms and breath deeply again. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

Flying away from our home island, gave me a serious thrill of excitement! Even though it’s just a 20 minute flight, we were flying to a different country, with new things to see and eat and experience, and I couldn’t wait!

Once Upolu, the main island of Samoa, was in view, I started snapping pictures. I didn’t want to miss it. But then it kept going. It felt like I was looking at a whole continent compared with our little island of Tutuila. The island just kept going on.

Apia Flat Island
Upolu is definitely an older island than Tutuila, obvious by the amount of flat spaces
Apia Mountain Peaks
But it still has it’s share of majestic looking peaks, great for hiking and exploring

Food from Apia

Once on the ground, we didn’t waste any time looking for a place to eat. We dropped our bags off and then headed out for a feast. And what we found, didn’t disappoint.

Here’s a little taste:

Apia Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes from Manai Restaurant
Apia Stuffed Pancakes
Stuffed Pancakes, with fruit and cream inside, and a ham and cheese omelet from Manai Restaurant. Both were amazing!

Apia Coconut Crab Risotto

Coconut Crab Risotto from Scalini’s Restaurant

Around the time we were moving to American Samoa, I heard about coconut crab and immediately added it to the top of my bucket list. These crabs just eat coconuts, so their meat is rich and slightly sweet. It was the perfect addition to this robust risotto and the serving size was spot on. Bucket list ✔

Apia Seafood Platter
Seafood Platter from Scalini’s Restaurant
Apia Misiluki Flambe
Misiluki Flambe from Scalini’s Restaurant

Last one…

Apia Pina Colada
It’s just wrong to be sipping mocktails by they beach and not order a Piña Colada- from Amanaki

The Market in Apia

If you ever go to Apia, you have to experience the market. It’s an outdoor collections of individual stalls where locals sell their goods. There are locally grown fruits and vegetables and home baked goods. Most of the non-food merchandise is obviously cheap and imported, just for tourists, but you’ll also find some beautiful, hand-painted elei fabrics and items that have been woven or carved by hand. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Apia, Samoa Market

Apia, Samoa Market
Some things are a little more authentic than others
Traditional Samoan Drum at Apia Market
Traditional Samoan Drum
Elei Stencils at Apia Market
This beautiful and enthusiastic young woman offered to show me her elei stencils for painting patterns onto fabric, discarded x-ray images are often used for making these stencils
Elei Print Samoan Dresses at the Market in Apia
Sometimes I wish Hadley was still young enough to fit into cute little girl dresses like these. lol
Flower Arrangements at the Market in Apia
You will see these incredible flower arrangements everywhere, I only wish I was as artistically minded to be able to create such beauty on my own
Tropical Fruit, Apia Market
Star Fruit, Mangoes, and Huge Limes, Looks like the beginnings of the best tropical fruit salad

Sights Around Apia

Knock-Off 7-11 in Apia
Look familiar? This isn’t the only bad knock-off, and no, they didn’t have Slurpees ?
Storefront in Apia
The convenient stores here, cover their windows with advertisements, just like their neighbors in American Samoa

Some pretty churches:

Church in Apia, Samoa

A Grand Church Front in Apia, Samoa

LDS Apia, Samoa Temple
Our real reason for taking this girls’ getaway. It was a real treat to go inside this beautiful temple!

Even though Apia is just a 20 minute flight from American Samoa, it provided the perfect get-away. Just what we were looking for. Nothing can compare to a few days spent enjoying quality food, cultural enrichment, stunning natural beauty, and the best company a girl could ask for!

If you ever find yourself in the South Pacific, make sure to include a stop in Apia, Samoa, and while you’re at it, American Samoa, too.

Pinnable Apia, Samoa Image
Pin for your next or first trip to Apia

5 thoughts on “Postcards from Apia, Samoa”

  1. thats incredible how after a 20 minute flight you could be in another country! I bet the island fever is strong, living AS seems like a dream, but I bet its small. Looks like a good, quick getaway. That white church is beautiful!

  2. hello, great blog.
    did a scuba trip to am samoa 1993, hippies had a wonderful organic farm, just amazing.
    fresh everything and a bakery ….. so long ago.

    Are there many expats living on american samoa? can you buy a retirement home?
    any american banks? is there a walmart?

    thank you mick

    1. Hi, Mick. That sounds like an awesome way to experience Am Sam! Overall, expats make up a very small percentage of the population, but those who are here do a pretty amazing job at hanging out and relying on each other. Most of the territory is communal land, owned by the villages and families, but there are a few areas where you can buy a home. My husband and I talk about retiring here someday, It sure would be an ideal place if you’re looking for a slow pace and warm weather year-round. A brand new bank just opened here last year- Territorial Bank of American Samoa- I believe they’re still working on getting all the kinks worked out. And no, there’s definitely no Walmart here, just smaller grocery stores, specialty stores, and mini-marts. I hope you get the chance to visit again.

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