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Apia is the capital of Samoa, located on the country's second-largest island, Upolu. With a population of less than 40,000, Apia is a typical small, sleepy Pacific Island capital. Fagali'i-Uta Airport is located 5 km away, making Apia a first-stop for many visitors coming to Samoa. It's a place where travelers can make plans for their journey around Samoa, recover from jet lag, and generally get accustomed to the island. Moving beyond Apia, along Upolu's main road, you'll find the pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, tumbling waterfalls and lush rainforests that Samoa is known for.
Apia is small enough to walk around, however the intense humidity makes taxis and buses a better option. Taxis are generally quite cheap and safe. Alternatively, you can catch one of the buses leaving from Marketi Fou, which connect Apia with the rest of Upolu. Buses clearly display the name of their destination in the front window, and you can easily flag one down by waving your hand as the bus approaches.
Most points of interest in Apia can be found running along the harbor on Beach Road. There's a pleasant waterfront promenade, lined with churches, government buildings and local businesses. A little south of the main town in Vailima is Robert Louis Stevenson's House, which was built by the author during the last years of his life, and has since been converted into an interesting museum. Nature-lovers will appreciate exciting Papaseea Sliding Rock and pretty Papapapaitai Falls. Apia is also home to some lovely beaches, including Lefaga Beach and Tafa Tafa Beach, which are good places for paddling and fishing.
Apia has a number of lively markets, where you can buy many locally-made souvenirs and goods. There's a fish market every Sunday morning, as well as a large market located west along Beach Road. This enormous flea market is an excellent place to find handicrafts, such as woodcarvings, hats and handbags. The stalls along the market's water side are some of the cheapest places in the city to find food. In the evening, head to Aggie Grey's Hotel, which hosts a “Fia Fia” every Wednesday night, featuring traditional Samoan dancing and singing.
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