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American Samoa Travel Guide

Services

The Wesley Bookshop at Fagatogo carries books by Samoan novelist Albert Wendt, which are hard to find in Apia.

Hawaiian Airlines, Polynesian Airlines, and Interisland Air all have their offices at the airport. If possible, reconfirm your flight out as soon as you arrive. The travel agencies directly above the post office in Fagatogo sell air tickets for the same price as the airlines, and they are usually less crowded and more helpful.

Money

The Bank of Hawaii, in the Centennial Office Building at Utulei, at Tafuna, and at Pava'ia'i out toward Leone, will cash U.S.-dollar traveler's checks, but not those denominated in foreign currencies. ATMs stand outside the Bank of Hawaii branches at Utulei, Pavaiai, and Tafuna, which is good because the lines inside are horrendous.

The ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank, owned by the Australia New Zealand Banking Group, has branches next to the police station in Fagatogo and at Tafuna. They're a lot better bet for changing traveler's checks expressed in currencies other than U.S. dollars. ATMs are available at their branches, and at Cost-U-Less in Ottoville, at Pago Plaza, and at the Executive Office Building in Utulei.

Western Union behind Tedi of Samoa in Fagatogo Square receives money transfers from abroad but does not change foreign currency.

Post and Telecommunications

The main post office is in Fagatogo with a contract station at Leone. There is no residential mail delivery, but around 5,000 post office boxes are in use at the main post office. Mail addressed to General Delivery, Pago Pago, American Samoa, U.S.A. 96799, is held 30 days. If you're a yachtie, ask the clerk to also check under the name of your boat.

Place long-distance telephone calls at the Office of Communications (open 24 hours), diagonally across from the Fono Building in Fagatogo. Go at odd hours, because this office is jammed around mid-afternoon. Local telephone cards (available at many shops for US$5, US$10, US$20) are a cheaper, easier way of making long distance calls. When using a local phone card you must put the country code 684 before the number for it to work.

Internet access is available at Don't Drink The Water at Pago Plaza and at the Pago Pago Seafarers' Center on the north side of Pago Park toward the canneries. The Seafarers' Center is also a good place to make long distance phone calls. The Feleti Barstow Library in a two-story tan building near the Executive Office Building in Utulei also provides Internet access provided you buy an Internet day pass.

Launderettes

Numerous launderettes around the island charge around a dollar to wash or dry (ask the locals where they are).

Yachting Facilities

The Pago Pago Yacht Club at Utulei is a friendly place worth frequenting in the late afternoon if you're looking to hitch a ride to Apia, Fiji, Wallis, Vava'u, or wherever. They can call any yachts in the vicinity over VHF channel 16. Check their notice board, or borrow a book from their exchange. Friday 1700-1800 the whole yachting community converges here for happy hour-priced drinks and free popcorn. The luncheon menu is also good (served from 1130-1400 only) and visitors are always most welcome (ignore the Members Only sign on the door). Happy hours is 1600-1800 Monday to Saturday.

Pago Pago is a good place for cruising yachts to provision—ask about case discounts. For example, there's Cost-U-Less, a warehouse-style bulk store in Ottoville on the road from the airport to 'Ili'ili. It's also easy to order yacht supplies from the U.S. mainland.

Health

The 140-bed LBJ Tropical Medical Center in Faga'alu has doctors on call 24 hours a day in the Emergency Department. Non-resident medical consultations and hospital beds are quite cheap compared to the mainland USA. There's also a dental section here, open weekdays 0800-1600. Several private medical clinics are at Nu'uuli.

The Drug Store has branches in Tafuna and on the road to the hospital.

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