25 Jan Go to Savaii

I never understood why people would want to go to Savaii – unless of course they already lived there or were from there and returning. I grew up on Upolu and I just figured, hey you see one Samoan island then you seen them all, right?


Went over for the weekend to take Little Son to his new school Vaiola College and I’m now a believer. Savaii is epic and sorry Upolu, you just cant compare. If youre a brand new visitor planning your trip to Samoa, my advice? Dont even bother with Apia. Just go straight to Savaii.

The Fab Five’s observations on How Is Savaii Different from Upolu?

“Everybody’s got a horse in front of their house, and a volleyball net up and its so so clean here and the sea is a different blue-green color and its much much more prettier and much less cars and much less dogs that want to bite you.”

We only got to a few places in our short visit but here’s what you MUST do while youre here:

1. Feed the turtles at Satoalepai. If youre not averse to getting in the pool, then swimming with the turtles is also an option. I didnt want to get in dark (icky?!) water where creatures could grab my leg and drag me into the depths of nastiness BUT this is the year I promised myself I would get out of my house comfort zone and have new experiences. Even if it gave me some horrible turtle disease… So I did it. And nothing bit me and I didnt catch a turtle infection. The water is cool and being able to touch these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is pretty special.


2. Eat pizza at Leilina’s Pizza. I did not expect to find REALLY REALLY good pizza on Savaii. Wow. This place is gorgeous and the food is great. Bella usually wont eat anything with #greenLeaves on it but she loved their garlic n parsley bread knots twists. Large pizzas are $40 and service is fast and friendly.

3. Go to the lava fields at Saleaula. When I wrote my Telesa books, Mt Matavanu and the lava fields were essential elements of the story but I’d never actually been to them and so Google was my reference. It was humbling to see the vast expanse of black rock baked hot in the golden sun – in real life. We didnt get to Matavanu on this trip but definitely planning on it for the next one.

4. Go to Tanu Beach Fales. Stay there if youre wanting the BEST beach fale experience on the planet. We only spent the day there but it far surpassed anything Upolu has to offer. The hosts are friendly and helpful. The beach is white powdered heaven and the water is that exquisite meld of aquamarine and emerald, shimmering jewelled tones in the spangled sunlight. The showers and toilets are clean, the water pressure in the taps is a rush and the place is kept spotless. They do meals if you want to sleep there and even have a cultural show on certain nights.

5. Look for rivers and waterfalls. The lovely owners of the Savaiian Hotel told us about a beautiful river spot by Savaii’s only “iron bridge”. We parked by the road, asked permission of a very nice elderly man sitting in his fale, and then we experienced an almost magical place.
6. Eat fish and chips at the Savaiian Hotel. Stay there if youre looking for somewhere not far from the wharf. Nola and Poi are excellent hosts and the rooms are clean and inviting. The hammock under the mango tree is a perfect reading spot!

7. Go to the Eva Eva Nightclub if you like : really loud fun music, fascinating people watching, and an edge of danger with too much cigarette smoke.
Im looking forward to our next Savaii trip.
Have you been to Savaii? What do you recommend?

  • Tina De Suza

    Lani Wendt Young! I’m so surprised that this is your first trip to Savai’i! One good thing though … you never cease to amaze me! I love Savai’i – and you’re right about it being so different to ‘Upolu x

    February 7, 2015 at 9:59 pm
  • Fred Radewagen

    Lani – You have made it sound and look so appealing, I’m putting it on my list for my next visit to Pago. You should get a gratuity from the tourism bureau! Yes, surprising you haven’t been there before but, then again, as Mele will tell you, most residents of Brooklyn have never been to The Bronx.

    February 8, 2015 at 2:04 am
  • Elenoa

    Thanx Lani for a great post about Savaii. I always tell my families & friends that if they want to experience the real Samoa go to Savaiiiiiiii. I love that island & everything in it. Falealupo tai is also a great place to visit.
    p.s I have been to almost all those places you mentioned and it makes me giggle to read about your experience coz they are all so true.

    February 8, 2015 at 4:29 am
  • vaee

    I too been to places, turtle sanctuary awesome place. Too many to name!
    Oh man i forgot the name,i ve got to ask my mom the name of it. There is a little trail ,climb steps/ladder to treetop walk across a narrow bridge,it located back of a primary school, I think we paid $5-10 tala each. Anyhoot the best part return trip to upolu I saw dolphins swimming parallel to our Lil ship.:)

    February 8, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Post a Comment