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Apia – The Good and The Ugly Side of It

by melmonica on June 5th, 2015


Hi guys! How are you doing? Took me such a long time to write about my travels. That’s because I was going through post-holiday depression wtf. Was really emo about leaving Samoa because… I’ll write another blogpost about it okay 😉


I was contemplating to do a chronological blogpost but thought better to do it place-specific.


So we landed at Faleoleo Airport which is 30 minutes away from Apia, the capital city.


It is an open aired airport lol.

Above – front view.

Below – back view.


I gotta say i LOVE flying with Air New Zealand. I love how the company updates its safety video. 2 years ago, when I flew with them it was Lord of the Ring safety video.


This time when i flew with them, they played this video!

So apt right?


That time semangat already wana sink my feet into the sand and dipped myself in the sea.


To be honest, first impression of Samoa – very village like. It is one of the most underdeveloped island in the South Pacific. So… show you some photos of our drive through the island.


This is one of the building along the road.


Oh i should mention – upon arriving, we rented a car from the first car rental that we saw. Smartie pants us for not exploring outside and immediately signed up for the first thing we see tsk.


Anyway, we rented a Rav 4 for $110 Tala per day. That’s equivalent to about NZD$55. Not sure if this is the cheapest as we didn’t check out the other car rental agencies.

The car wasn’t in the best condition. As we drove, it felt like it’s going to break apart. At times I was paranoid because the island is hilly and i don’t want anything to ruin my vacation. Anyway, we traveled around in one piece. Fuh.

On our first night, we stayed in Tatiana Motel, Apia. As I am a terrific blogger, I don’t have a picture of the place but feel free to browse the pictures on its website la ok 😉

But I have picture of our breakfast! Hahaha. Living the name of a Malaysian.

Anyway, we stayed in a room with double bed and single bed with ensuite bathroom. The rate was $110 Tala inclusive of breakfast. I think it’s a pretty good deal. However, it is rather far from city center thus having your own car is essential.


So while i was having breakfast, i was curious about the food that they served. As it is one of the most underdeveloped country, i was curious if they manufactured any products or is it all imported ones?



This… this ugly looking jam is made in Malaysia wtf. Don’t know whether to be proud or not. The jam was too sweet for my liking. Also could be because i’m not a sweet breakfast person. I prefer it savoury.


Check out time is the usual 10am and then off we went to the flea market. Told you it’s very Malaysia right. Actually, the whole place reminds me of Sabah. The city center – Kota Kinabalu (minus the multi-storey shopping centre) and the village – Kudat.


Samoans are very religious people thus you can see churches scattered sporadically around the island. This majestic one is opposite the i-Site. Tourists are allowed to enter the church but you must dressed appropriately. No sleeveless tops and bottom must be knee-length (or longer). As i was mostly in tak tutup aurat beach wear, so I skipped that.


This is a common sight in the village. This house is consider rather modern already. Some houses are only made of wood. And if you see closely, there’s a cemetery on the left side of the house. In Samoa and Rarotonga (can’t talk for the other islands) it is common to have your ancestor’s cemetery buried right in front of the house. Not sure why though. I wish i have a tour guide or local to explain this.


Made the bf stopped in the middle of the road so that i can take pic of the tong sampah. You’re welcome. Not sure to label it creative anot haha.


And also paparazzi shot of the garbage men. (Is there a nicer way to address them?)

So when you’re in the village, seeing chicken and ducks roaming around is a norm right? Have you seen…


A horse walking towards your car as you drive past it?

Have you…


seen Size 2 before? LOL. It’s actually piglets but the Samoan called pigs as Size 2. This bf super excited every time he sees a group of them. Entertained the cuteness but after 5 times it doesn’t get any cuter, more like irritating la. But the bf still gushes about its cuteness tsk.

So i’ve written the good side of Upolu in general. Now for the ugly side of it *jeng jeng jeng*


Generally, the Samoans are big sized people like Dwayne Johnson (he’s half Samoan btw). And come these 2 Asian kids, so naturally we stood out like sore thumb la. A Dutch friend said that if you hear the word ‘Palangi’ it means they’re talking about you. It actually means white people but i’m not sure why we’re in that category la. Anyway, whenever they see tourist, they see the $$ sign. Which is a normal case in many tourist spot. But what is unfair is that if you go to say food court, the cashier will purposely hike up the price. We were in this kopitiam where the majority are local. No tourist in sight. So the price must be cheap right for locals to makan? Unfortunately a bottle of water cost $5 Tala (supermarket was selling at $2 Tala).

Next bad experience is the champion of all champion la.

So we were looking for this food court called Sunrise – said to have authentic Samoan food. As a foodie, i’m up to trying new food. While we were walking around searching for this particular restaurant, out of nowhere, a man came up to us and started talking to us.

Man: Hi, how are you? Remember me?

Us: Umm… no.

Man: I saw you the other day. I’m the immigration officer that stamped your passport.

Who on earth remember immigration officer face la. So at this point we just played along.

Man extended his hand for a handshake. Bf dutifully reciprocated the handshake. Me silently gasp.


Man: Where are you heading? You look lost.

Us: We are looking for Sunrise. We want to try the Samoan food there.

Man: Oh, i can bring you there. It’s just around the corner.

So he led the way…

Man: So how long have you been in Samoa?

Us: 5 days already. We’re leaving tonight.

Man: Oh, in that case I will see you tonight at the immigration check point. I start work at 6pm later. What do you think of Samoa people? They’re friendly right?

Us: Yes, they’re nice and friendly. We love the weather and the beaches here.

Once we arrived outside Sunrise.

Man: Okay, this is Sunrise. And please write your name for the donation of the junior football team.

He then shoved the paper to Ozias and didn’t even give us a chance to decline or think about it. On the A4 paper itself, there was 2 English names with the same handwriting. I doubt it was a genuine person and they both donated $50 Tala.

As it was our final day already, we actually budget our finance cukup cukup to last the day. And now there’s this person who out of nowhere extorting money from us. Dah ler we area already poor lagi kena makan.

Well, we definitely don’t have $50 Tala so the bf wrote $20 Tala. Only to later find out that we only have $15 Tala. Apologized to the guy and he looked pissed. PISSED AT US! Wow the audacity! He didn’t even thank us. Just walked away like we’re a waste of time wtf.

At that time i was super angry. Angry that we just got cheated right under our nose but at the same time worried if we have enough money to eat and pay for gas.


After that i was dying to go home already. Thanks stupid ass for ruining our vacation. Remember how he said he was going to see us at the airport? Bullshit. He wasn’t even there. So not sure if he’s a genuine immigration officer or just some random person trying to make money off the tourist.










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One Comment
  1. Jane permalink

    nice place

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