• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Samoa


The people of Samoa are very humble and modest as they rarely express themselves in a way to offend another. This comes in respecting other people, dressing modestly, avoiding outward signs of wealth or affection, and having a reverence for God as most people are Christian.

As a visitor to Samoa, that same modesty is expected; modesty in dress, actions, words, and every aspect of your life. Many of the most important behavioral restrictions to be aware of are related to dress, dating (see below for both), and dining (see our Samoa Food & Dining Page for more information). Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting drunk in public.


The clothing of the Samoans is a combination of past and present as western-styled clothes are popular, but often times in a style and pattern that reflects Samoa's heritage. Both men and women often wear a lava lava, which is a piece of cloth worn around the waist (or even as high as the chest) and reaches to at least the knees on women. The styles and designs of these differ, but they are often worn with western-styled tops including dress shirts and military uniforms. For ceremonial occasions men generally still wear a lava lava or an ie, which is similar, as well as all types of shirts. Women tend to wear puletasi, which is a fitted top and a lava lava on the bottom for these ceremonial events.

As a visitor to Samoa there are a few restrictions in the way of dress you should be aware of. In private resorts shorter swimwear is common and accepted (although nudity is not), but don't wear this clothing in public; women should never show their knees and men should wear similarly long shorts or pants. Shoulders should also never be exposed on men or women. Many visitors will buy a lava lava upon arrival to wear over their shorts or skirt when in public. In some villages there are more conservative dress codes so check with locals prior to going so you don't offend anyone. Women with long brown hair should also pull it up in villages as there is a superstition against this in some villages.

This page was last updated: November, 2013