American Samoa. Where to go? What to see? What to do? Lynn Pulou-Alaimalo, an emerging author from the Pacific Islands, gives her recommendations (this week we change The 3s for The 4s).
Visit the Turtle and Shark site in Vaitogi
The story behind this site in the village of Vaitogi is about a mother Fonuea and her daughter, who swam from Upolu-Savaii (Western Samoa) to Tutuila (American Samoa) to seek survival. During the famine days in the village of Salega, they swam to American Samoa in forms of a turtle and shark, until they arrived at the beach of Vaitogi. They turned back into their human form and met Chief Letuli. The village welcomed them. Upon receiving food and clothing, Fonuea thanked Chief Letuli for the love shown towards her and her daughter. She also proclaimed with gratitude to the chief that they will live under the cliffs of the Vaitogi Beach, and if the villagers should ever want to see her and her daughter – they can sing the chant of Fonuea, and they will reveal themselves on the ocean’s surface. The legendary tale has long passed, but the proclamation between Chief Letuli and Fonuea is still alive and preserved by the village of Vaitogi today. The Turtle and Shark site in Vaitogi have become one of the most visited sites in the South Pacific by world tourists. Every time the villagers chants the melody of Fonuea, the turtle and shark reveal themselves to villagers and guests. Become familiar with the song so you can sing along when you visit Vaitogi, American Samoa.
Laumei, faiaga, faasusu si au tama
Aumai le moega’afa- fa’i mai, fa’i mai
Se lauti o laulelei, e lavalava le laumei
Fonuea, Fonuea, laulau mai se manamea
Po o sa i luga nei
Sa Letuli i luga nei
A ua’ina, a la’ina
A solo e mata’ina
Lou galu tu’u la le i’a
Lalelei, lalelei,l alelei!
Visit the National Park of American Samoa
Colonization monuments, World War II artifacts, lands preserved and rare indigenous animals grant tourists an enjoyable quest when they visit American Samoa. One of the large sightseeing parks in American Samoa is in the village of Vatia. It takes a few minutes to drive past steep hills to get there, but you will not ever pass up another tour to Vatia once you discover the breathtaking view of the Polatai and Polauta mountains, lands and natural spring water flowing in from the mountains.
Hike Mount Alava
Hiking up Mount Alava is becoming a point of marathons and sightseeing for tourists and locals. Mount Alava is another mountain monumentally used by the territory for communication signals to reach each village in the territory. From Mount Alava, you can view the capital of Pago Pago, the central wharf of American Samoa in Fagatog unto the outskirt views of the Molioleava Point on the left and the Fatu ma Futi mountains on the right. The boomerang outlook from Mount Alava is best seen before sunrise.
Visit Tisa’s Barefoot Bar in Alega
Privately owned by the lovely Tisa, Tisa’s Barefoot Bar is another great place to relish the view of dolphins while enjoying a cocktail and seafood delight at the ravishing bar in Alega. There are numerous activities and events held at Tisa’s annually. There is a Tattoo or Tatau Festival hosted there every year, where local artists and tattooists can exhibit their talent in tattooing a Samoan traditional tattoo sogaimiti – for men, malu – for women, or any Samoan tattoo. This event also serves our locals and guests in a classic show to display or model their tattoos. Aside from the ongoing activities, there is more to enjoy besides scuba diving and surfing. There’s Rainforest Jungle Tours, Tisa’s Marine Reserve Tours, and Aunu’u Island Tours. The tour to Aunu’u Island is a must!