Couple share thoughts about Samoa, bus experience most memorable

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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WELCOME TO SAMOA: Max and Karen Orley at the Samoa Tourism Information Centre in Apia.

WELCOME TO SAMOA: Max and Karen Orley at the Samoa Tourism Information Centre in Apia. (Photo: Elizabeth Ah-Hi)

Max and Karen Orley were on a mission.

They were heading to the Information Centre in Apia to find what is there there to see in Upolu having just discovered that their accommodation was a little further out than they intended to be. 

Sitting down with Dear Tourist, they told us that they had just arrived the day before so it was early days yet.

But from the sounds of it they did wish that they had researched and planned their trip out a bit better.

 “Well we’ve been to Fiji and we’ve been to Rarotonga and Bali,” said Max. “We’ve done a lot of the islands but we had never been to Samoa so we thought, we’ll have a look at Samoa for change.”

The couple is staying in a resort on the south side of the island and even though they haven’t been here long, they were surprised to find that everything is quite expensive. 

Max says that it’s reminiscent of American operations. 

 “It’s quite American from what we can see,” he said. 

“It’s an American run resort and just from my experience with American run operations and we know how they operate - you pay for absolutely everything. Absolute everything. 

“They have infiltrated the local and that’s what they are doing at where we are staying which is quite sad. So for what you’re paying, especially if it’s a 4 star - its not good. I think they get a bit carried away and I’m sure they would have more people come and stay because I didn’t see a lot of people at this resort.

“We haven’t been to other resorts yet.”

The couple agreed that it was still early days and they might change accommodations over the next couple of days.

They were looking forward to exploring Samoa as they had heard so many good things about the islands.

 “We were told by people that going to Samoa is a little like going back to the islands as it used to be many years ago and it’s more traditional. We certainly can see that on the side where we are. It’s very diverse.

“We’ve had loads of friends come here. We had a friend who was just here last week and then another one the week before that, they all said such fantastic things about here and how great the place was. The people are lovely and friendly here that’s for sure.”

The couple promised that they were going to make the most of it and looking forward to hiring a rental car but they had an interesting experience coming on the bus into town from where they were staying.

 “Being on the bus with everybody, you’d think that there might not be any room left on the bus - but oh no, there is more room on the bus,” said Karen,  “people were sitting on each others laps and you’re thinking well that’s just really cool.”

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