Samoa. Where to go? What to see? What to do? Sieni A.M., the author of ‘Illumine Her’ and ‘Scar of the Bamboo Leaf’, gives her recommendations.

Visit Namua Island

If you want a true departure from the rigors of life, then this is the place to go. A short boat ride from Upolu (and if you’re lucky you’ll see turtles skimming the ocean floor), you’ve reached the island where beach fale dot the sandy banks furnished simply with comfortable foam mattresses, pillows, and mosquito nets. Dusk is my favorite time of the day because there’s no electricity. Lanterns are instead provided and the only sounds are those of the waves crashing on the beach. Breakfasts and dinners are prepared by the family caretakers, and other than a few fellow solitude seekers, you pretty much have the island to yourself. In the daytime, you can hike up a trail that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and spot dolphins, swim in the water, or read in the fale where the breeze is always blowing. Anything that combines nature with reading is my ideal form of escape.

Enjoy High Tea at the Plantation House

For a unique experience that combines the vibrancy, flair, and hospitality of the Pacific together with the etiquette, polish, and culture of English high tea set against a tropical backdrop, the Plantation House at Alafua offers this and much more. The hostess, Marita Wendt, will welcome you warmly and set about making your visit a truly enjoyable one. Perfect for intimate gatherings, bridal showers or a simple mother-daughter date, it’s also the ideal place to throw on that pretty dress and take a significant other or overseas guest to. Afterwards, a browse through the boutique will make you want to refurbish your entire home (and wardrobe).

Visit Baha’i Temple

Nestled in the cool mountains of Tiapapata and away from the busyness of town, this place of worship is one of seven around the world and is known as the Mother Temple of the Pacific. Open to everyone regardless of religion, social status, or ethnicity, and built on acres of lush land with views of the Pacific Ocean and tropical rainforests, the surrounding gardens and peacefulness lend a reverent quality and spiritually uplifting experience to someone who wants to reflect, meditate, and pray. For temple services, anyone is welcome to attend them on Sundays at 10 am.


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