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Apia Travel Guide, Samoa

Apia Travel Guide – Location and Main Geographical Characteristics

This Apia travel guide will give you all the essential information you need when visiting the capital and largest populated area of the Western Pacific state of Samoa. It is located on the northern coast of the country’s second largest island, Upolu. Although it was formed by volcanic activity, the island doesn’t have any recorded events of eruptions and it is 75 kilometers long, being the most populated island in the country. Apia was first known as the village the city took its name from, but more recently the urbanization process separated the two areas and the contemporary city lies between the old village and the industrialized area known as Vaitele. Apia has a population of 59.000 and is the only city proper in Samoa. It is also the main port of the nation and it lies on the mouth of Vaisigano River, which facilitates both internal and external connections.

Apia Travel Guide – Urban Issues

The fact that this is comprised of 45 small villages means that it has no administration of its own, each region dealing with its individual regulations. This however lead to major infrastructural problems once the city began to modernize and develop economically and architecturally, and the Planning Urban Management Authority (PUMA) was founded in 2004 to better plan the way the city evolves in the future. Still, there are major problems with sewage disposal, as each separate administration has its own laws and strategies, and the large rate of vehicle imports constantly leads to traffic congestions in the city centre. Another specific issue that the people from Apia are faced with is the permanent flooding of the island due to lack of proper means of protection, but all these elements are being addressed by local authorities through institutions like the PUMA.

Apia Travel Guide – City Structure

As most Apia travel guides will tell you, the main buildings in Apia are its Catholic cathedral (called the Immaculate Conception of Mary), its government buildings and the headquarters of the National Bank of Samoa. There is also a clock tower that stands in the middle of the city as a war monument and a colorful new market. If you roam the streets, you will also find old wooden buildings that preserve the characteristics of local traditional architecture, together with multi-leveled contemporary constructions which serve as communication towers or business headquarters. The common way to get around in Apia is on foot, but the island also has an extensive bus service which compensates for the lack of trains or trams. The legal speed in the city limits is 40 km/h because of the excessive number of cars, but there are also many people that travel by bicycle. The city is also served by the Faleolo International Airoprt, which is 40 minutes away by car form the city centre.

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