What’s it Like in American Samoa?

| October 6, 2012

Pago Harbor, Western Samoa

Many people ask me many of the usual questions people like to know about a travel destination before they decide – like how much is accommodation; how much does it cost to get there; what is the food, or nightlife like, and so on. So I thought I would give potential travelers an overview of what the great American Samoan islands have to offer.

The Islands of American Samoa are high volcanic islands of dramatic beauty and adventure. For travelers, American Samoa is diverse in many ways. Visitors decide on luxury or budget lodgings. Adventure activities are mostly free. Bus rides cost about one dollar US. The buses are friendly, safe, regular and many. You can rent a car.

As for food you can eat cheap. Select the finest, freshest sashimi in the world. Eat Asian, Polynesian, Filipino, Korean or American at much better than affordable prices.

International Banking and all major ATM debit and credit cards are welcome. Call anywhere in the world on your mobile phone. 3G Broadband internet.

A Territory of the United States, American Samoa adheres to safe drinking water and safe waste water regulations. i.e. You can safely drink water from the tap. We also comply with US federal regulations governing the environment such as protection of reefs, rain forests, sea mammals, fish and birds.

Immerse yourself in our history of exploration, culture, voyaging, romance and adventure.
If you are coming over from the Independent State of Samoa the return air fare is about $155.00 US. American Samoa has no departure fee. The bus fare from the airport to town is US $1.00. The inter-island ferry is cheaper.

Budget traveler notebook for American Samoa:
Room; US $45.00 – $ 60.00 a night; double occupancy
Activities for 1 to 5 days; Free
Food per day; $10.00 includes 3 full meals at various restaurants
Bus Fare; $ 0 – $6.00 a day depending on activity
Beer; $1.50 bottle in store or $3.50- $4.00 a bottle in club


Pago nightlife is an assortment of clubs and restaurant bars. All clubs and bars are open until 2:00am. Given Pago Pago’s American connection, DJ’s spin the latest in hip hop, rock and rave music. But a healthy blend of traditional Samoan music gives every club a cool blend of modern and traditional. Almost all clubs have dress codes. Prohibited are tank tops for men and informal lavalava. Women dress codes are less prohibitive. Almost anything goes.

South Pacific culture embraces cross dressing and transgendering as a normal fact of life. Every club will have a regular coterie of LGBT patrons adding color and vibrance to the dance scene. There are no gay bars, per se, because acceptance is the norm.

Many clubs feature live music. Open mike is a welcome and fun addition to the music mix at live music bars. Just tell the band your tune and you are on stage.

Pago is famous for special live events held in nice hotel poolside venues and in public performance spaces. Fa’afafine or gay pageants are wildly popular. Families generally turn up en masse to support their candidates for the queen title. Music and performance are integral parts of Samoan culture. During holidays and the annual April 17th Flag Day festivities, week long song fests showcase hundreds of performers. The colorful groups are so spectacular the events reach jet set proportions of the place to be to witness an outpouring of cultural exuberance.

Drinks at the clubs are generally 4 dollars and under for beer (local brands or US regulars such as Coors and Heineken). Well drinks are more expensive depending from which shelf you order. Stoli? Grey Goose?

If you are a seasoned South Pacific traveler, American Samoa’s clubs are modern and up to date with neon lighting, strobes, DJ booths and big screen TV. No fights, no hassels and no rip offs.

If the bar/club scene is not your scene American Samoa has a diverse selection of ethnic supper clubs. Both big hotels have quiet oceanside or poolside bars that serve formidable fare in luxury settings with formal dinner settings. Ethnic restaurants reflect Pago’s long tradition as an international fishing port. Chinese, Korean and Filipino restaurants serve up spicy and colorful dishes prepared by ethnic cooks.

The key to Pago nightlife is diversity and choice. A luxurious dinner or a plentiful 3 dollar plate meal followed by an organized pub crawl of swank dance clubs mixed in with steamy tropical hotspots. Its all here in Pago Pago!

John WaskoAgeNation is delighted to welcome John Wasko as a contributor. John specializes in corporate and industrial publications in American Samoa, recently launching American Samoa’s only full color lifestyle magazine, BusyCorner. Since then the BusyCorner Magazine Blog was launched as an eco-tourism product showcase which is beginning to play a key role in the rebuilding of American Samoa’s tourism industry. John both writes and makes videos on Samoa’s magnificent rainforests, reefs, history and culture.

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Category: Travel

Comments (3)

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  1. VTHopkins says:

    Your description of the island sounds amazing! I have recently been offered a job on the island, and am very much looking forward to coming. I am however having trouble finding information regarding the cost of living on the island (i.e. rent, electric, internet, and water). Do you have any resources for those of us coming to the island to stay?

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much for the comment. I am sure John Wasko, the author of this article, will be happy to answer your questions – I shall send you his email address.

      Social Media Manager

  2. Jasper says:

    Lonely Planet picks American Samoa as Top Ten travel destination! http://amsamoa-busycorner.blogspot.com/2012/12/lonely-planet-picks-american-samoa-in.html