Americans impressed with cultural display
American couple Masha Kleshcheva and Tony Evans said they searched for an authentic slice of life in the Pacific islands and settled on Samoa.
The pair told the Samoa Observer that they did a Google search and agreed to visit Samoa as they got the impression that it did not have a lot of tourists and is cheap.
"After comparing the islands based on a Google search, we chose Samoa as it sounded less touristy and cheaper to us,” Ms Kleshcheva said.
Hailing from the American state of Oregon, they flew into the country on Tuesday and are currently at Olivia’s Accomodation in Apia.
On Wednesday morning, they visited the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.)-run culture village on Beach Road and were able to see first-hand Samoan culture on display.
"To get an insight into the handcraft is what we are most looking forward to," Ms. Kleshcheva added, and revealed that she first read of the cultural village in the Lonely Planet tourist guide.
The couple said the cultural display exceeded their expectations.
"I never thought that we would be able to watch a traditional Samoan tattooing procedure," Ms. Kleshcheva said. "I was surprised [to hear] that Samoan people always live as extended families, which is completely different [compared] to the American way of living.”
The couple said the live production of tapa cloth made from u'a (paper mulberry tree) was the most exciting part of the show.
During their three-week stay the pair say they want to see everything that Samoa has to offer to its visitors.
"The beach fales, the ocean trench and some waterfalls are our top three attractions" Ms. Kleshcheva added.
Her husband noted that diving, too, was high on their bucket list.