Photos of the east coast of Savai'i, the largest island, Samoa

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Flag of Samoa

The east coast of Savai'i, the largest island

Savai'i is the largest island in the Samoan islands and is, in fact larger than all the other islands (including American Samoa) put together. It has an area of 1700 kmĀ² and a population of almost 45,000 people.

Bus stop, Salelologa
Selling mangoes
Traditional fale
Iron roofed fale
Family in Sa'asa'ai
Family home
Sa'asa'ai beach
Fales along the shore
Carrying breadfruit
Dark skies over Saipipi
Viewe of Saipipi
Returning after fishing
Repairing the roof
Palmleaves for the roof
Jumping in the water
Music school
View to Salelavalu
Pastor's house
Playing volleyball
Saipipi pool
In the church hall
Sunday School
Joelan Beach Fales
Simple beach shacks
A modern house
Family compound
View towards Saipipi
Village ground
Along the shore
Coast near Saipipi
Saipipi church
Church on the hill
Saipipi bus
Doing the laundry
Fresh water pool
The oldest fale
Along the road
Fale in Lano
Church in Asaga
Catholic church
Catholic statue
Maria Imakulata church
Pond, Pastor's house
After the service
View to Salelavalu
Hotel swimming pool
Lusia's Lagoon Chalets
Handicraft for sale

The only township on the island is Salelologa, where the ferry from Upolu island is situated; it has a shopping street, a hotel (the Jet Over Hotel) and a friendly guest house, Lusia's Lagoon Chalets; a new market has been constructed in 2009, a little away from the "town centre".

A good bitumen road circles the island and colourful private buses go to the villages along the coast. Going anticlockwise, one of the first villages is Sapapali'i, where in 1830 the Rev. John Willams of the London Missionary Society brought Christianity to the islands; judging by the enormous churches in every small village you pass, he was spectacularly successful. The large open meeting houses are still very much in evidence but over the years the coconut leaf roofs have been mostly abandoned in favour of corrugated iron roofs that are easier to maintain. Similarly, the family fale, open on all sides now also is mainly roofed with iron and there are more houses in "palagi" (European) style.

Whereas the only places to stay used to be with families in their fales (Samoan hospitality is legendary) there are now a few simple places along the coast to stay for travellers. There is family-run "beach fale" accommodation, where you may stay in a small traditional open fale (with coconut-leaf mats that can be lowered for privacy or protection when it rains) and a mattress on the floor or, slightly more upmarket, in a beach shack with a real bed. There is a cluster of these along the beach in Lano, between the villages of Sa'asa'ai, Saipipi and Pu'apu'a, peaceful villages along the east coast of Savai'i.