Map of Samoa | Samoa Flag Facts | Best places to visit in Samoa
Planning your next getaway trip? Well, you have come to the right place. Get to experience nature like never before with a serene, peaceful environment and beautiful beaches. No need to pack your bags as we’ll take you on a short trip to Samoa with everything that you need to know about the place and get a native experience for when you actually go there!
Map of Samoa
Is Samoa a part of the USA?
American Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean and it is an unincorporated territory of the US. The place consists of five main islands and has two ring-shaped coral reefs also called atolls. Samoa is totally different from American Samoa despite being close. Samoa is an independent nation comprising two main islands; Upolu and Savai’i with other smaller inhabited areas. American Samoa and Samoa are equally beautiful when it comes to what nature has to offer there. Samoa is more geared when it comes to tourism and facilities that offer better accommodation for the tourists.
Where is Samoa located?
The independent state of Samoa which is also known as Western Samoa lies on the south of the equator. It is halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. Samoa is in the Polynesian territory of the Pacific Ocean. All of the Samoan islands have volcanic origins and the westernmost island, Savai’i is still volcanically active. The Cradle of Polynesia, the Savai’i island is known as the Polynesian homeland, Hawaiki.
How many islands are there in Samoa?
The independent state of Samoa comprises two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i. There are 8 small islets; three in the Apolima Strait (Nu’ulua, Apolima and Manono Island), four Aleipata islands towards the eastern end of Upolu (Nu’ulua, Namua, Fanuatapu and Nu’utele) and Nu’usafe’e which lies towards the south of Upolu. Savai’i is the largest out of all the Samoan islands and the sixth-largest Polynesian island.
What country does Samoa belong to?
The now-independent land of Samoa was previously ruled by New Zealand after the end of World War I. During this period, the rulers were considered responsible for the flu pandemic and the mau movement which was the resistance against the New Zealand rule. After tiring efforts for years by the Samoan independence movement, the New Zealand Western Samoa Act of 1961 declared independence for Samoa from January 2, 1962. After this, Samoa signed a friendship treaty with New Zealand. Samoa was the first small-island country to become independent in the Pacific. There are significant differences in the societies when it comes to Samoa (previously known as Western Samoa) and American Samoa now.
Samoa Flag Facts
Every nation ensures to incorporate a lot more than just what the country represents in their flag, it is always so well thought out with every single element and color that is used. For a country like Samoa which was the first of its kind in the Pacific to be a small island country which went through a lot under the New Zealand rule, their representation of themselves matters a lot.
They adopted their flag officially on January 2, 1962, when they were declared independent according to the New Zealand Western Samoa Act of 1961. Despite their international image being of a tropical paradise with tourists and friendly people wearing flowers, just a mere getaway but Samoa has transformed itself in every way possible from political to economic and represents not just the fun side but also the serious side of the country.
Samoa Flag colors
The very first Samoan flag was adopted in 1873. It contained a red background with a white cross and a white star in the upper hoist corner. This flag was later modified by King Tamasese in favor of the German visitors and added the color black to the flag by placing a black cross on top of the white one. In 1900, the US and the Germans divided the islands and discouraged the use of local flags. During the rule of New Zealand, a local flag was developed for the smaller islands inspired by the flag of New Zealand and its colors. The design of Samoa’s flag now is rectangular. The majority portion of it is red whereas there is a small blue colored rectangle in the corner with stars inside it.
Samoa Flag Meaning
Samoa as a nation and a country has acquired their independence after going through a lot of hard work and determination. All the colors used in the flag have their own symbolic meaning. The stars in the white color represent purity. The red color is used for courage and loyalty whereas the blue denotes patriotism and freedom. The pattern of the stars on the blue canton symbolizes the Southern Cross constellation.
Samoa is considered as a developing country which continuously strives towards betterment. The current population of Samoa is 198,773 and it ranks at number 188 in the list of countries by population. Approximately 18% of the population is living in urban areas. People of Samoa are called Samoans and they are indigenous Polynesian people.
People of independent Samoa and American Samoa are very similar with a similar culture and cultural values. The people there are very warm and welcoming and proud of their culture. The place is full of colorful rich culture and traditions that are more than 3000 years old. The people have had an influence from the west due to all of those years under the New Zealand rule but they have managed to strongly maintain their cultural identity as well. The cultural art involves a lot of craftwork, ideal for souvenirs to bring home with you.
The official language of Samoa is Samoan which is a Polynesian language and the first language for most of the Samoan islands and even American Samoa. English is also widely spoken in the region due to the previous rule and is also considered as the second official language of Samoa.
There are no important dialect differences when it comes to Samoan but the language used with the chiefs and the people of higher status greatly differs from their everyday language. It is famous for its phonological differences when it comes to formal and informal discussions. The language itself consists of a 14-letter Latin-based alphabet and the vowels are all sounded out.
Interesting Facts about Samoa
With its rich culture, interesting history and beautiful beaches, Samoa has a lot to offer for everyone. Here are some of the most interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Samoa
- Kilikiti; They have a different variant of cricket without strict rules that focuses on having fun. There is no definite number of players so the entire village can play!
- The Samoan Way; Samoans with their ancient traditions have a certain code of behavior that acts as the backbone of the Samoan society. They believe that everything is better and more powerful with bigger families. Their lives are not focused on an individual but a family as a whole.
- Tattoos; Samoans have a reputation as one of the earliest tattoo artists in the world. Tattoos in the Samoan culture are considered to be spiritual. A waist-to-knee tattoo is considered to be the rite passage for men.
- Skirts! It is a Samoan norm for men to wear skirts that are called lavalava skirts. It is good especially for the high humidity levels in Samoa.
- A Samoan gender; also considered as the third gender. The people there are very tolerant and accepting of others willing to explore themselves, especially men who like to explore their feminine side, locally called Fa’afafine.
Best places to visit in Samoa
Rich culture always comes with great authentic cuisine and unique tastes like you have never experienced before. With fresh seafood and plenty of tuna-based foods, people here eat a lot of poke and oka. There is also a McDonald’s in Samoa and several hotels and resorts with affordable luxury. Here are some of the things that you must do or visit when you visit Samoa!
- Robert Louis Stevenson Museum; the place where the famous Scottish author used to reside in Upolu is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in Samoa.
- Falealupo; Get away from all your worries and the worldly riches here in this beautiful village with a beautiful rainforest and clean waters to swim in and a picture-perfect white sandy beach.
- Saleaula Lava Fields; the remains of what used to be the Saleaula village is now also a tourist attraction. The place was greatly damaged from the 1905 volcanic eruption.
- Alofaaga Blowholes; situated around the outskirts of Taga village there are volcanic plug openings and whenever the water waves smash the shore, the water goes up hundreds of feet through the blowholes.
- Plantation House; with really unique items and hand printed elei textiles, Plantation house not only serves as a great place to shop for gifts but is also excellent for souvenirs with high-quality items at a bargain price.