Tropic-green Upolu is unmistakably a South Seas island. Cradled along its northern shore lies the peaceful township of Apia, resting place of Robert Louis Stevenson. Apia is the capital of Samoa and its slightly rundown air and the old pula trees shading the streets recalls the traders, beachcombers, pirates, whalers, and fallen missionaries who have washed up here. Sights include the clock tower in the centre of town, a memorial to WW2 casualties, the Flea Market which has craft stalls and the large number of churches scattered around Apia. Just outside the town is Vailima, the beautifully restored home of Robert Louis Stevenson now operating as a museum. Here you will find Stevenson's tombstone looking out over the township, the white fringe of reef and the distant horizon.
Upolu is a beautiful and varied island, especially the eastern half. Roads wind around the coast and across the centre of the island. Some of the South Pacific's finest beaches here and inland waterfalls cascade from the luxuriant green hillsides and there are countless places to swim. Tourism is still developing in Samoa, and while you will receive a warm welcome, please be aware that transportation is generally non-air-conditioned and guides are charmingly unsophisticated.
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