American Samoa

Overview

Introduction

American Samoans might like football and fast food, but that doesn't mean that their lives are fast-paced.

The U.S. influence on these beautiful islands has meant a greater demand for consumer goods and some of the accoutrements of the good life, U.S.-style. But underlying the superficial changes is a solid base of strong Samoan traditions, known as the Fa'a Samoa, or Samoan Way, which they share with their cousins in the nearby independent nation of Samoa. It means that life still moves at a relaxed, leisurely pace. In fact, the Fa'a Samoa is one of the islands' greatest assets.

Although off the modern tourist track, the islands are astonishingly beautiful, too. The two coral atolls and five volcanic islands that make up American Samoa are lush and green, with sharp peaks rising along the coastline. They're not our favorite islands in the South Pacific, but they can be a good introduction to the region.

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