Despite the long flight and lack of sleep, Gillian Jacobsen, age 47, and her entire family could be found today amidst the thriving centre of the local markets.
Admiring the handmade carvings, handicrafts and ava bowls, Gillian said she and her family were already enjoying the local culture.
They arrived in Samoa on Tuesday night.
“It’s a beautiful and warm place,” she said. “It’s tropical which is exactly what people are looking for especially this time of year.”
Staying at the Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa on the south side of the island, Gillian has been especially impressed with her accommodation.
She said the “resort’s beaches are particularly beautiful”.
The south coast of Upolu boasts a number of sandy beaches perfect for relaxation, or for the more courageous traveller, they act as the picturesque spot for surfing.
Although only from Auckland, New Zealand, the Jacobsen family definitely noticed a distinct difference in the two countries respective cultures.
Despite sitting in an archipelago of beautiful islands, Samoa still stands apart as a hideaway from the demanding and intense life of the outside world.
The beaches are doubtless stunning and the mountains scenic, but is the stress-free and peaceful ambiance that continues to draw in tourists.
Surrounded by an abundance of handmade lavalavas and bright pieces of material, Gillian said: “I would definitely recommend Samoa because of the people here.”
She added that she had been fortunate enough to have visited many of the islands in the Pacific, but that it was the friendly people and their hospitality that separates Samoa from the rest.