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It seems to come around more and more quickly every year, but it's true, Christmas and New Year will soon be upon us. It's about time you started planning your New Year's Eve. If you fancy being among the first to bring in 2013 and you're feeling like something a little more adventurous than a tipple and Jules Holland then we've got an idea for you. Why not try enjoying your New Year celebrations in one of the first places on the globe to welcome it in? Samoa to be precise. This island nation in the South Pacific will be celebrating the start of 2013 14 hours ahead of the UK.

With a population of around 185,000 Samoa is made up of two main islands, Upolu, the capital and Savaii. You'll find the international airport on Upolu. Flights come in regularly from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia and once you have arrived getting around by taxi is very easy. English is widely spoken in the main towns though you'll find this much less so in the villages as you explore off the beaten track. You can explore one of the many national parks to be found on both the main islands, each with lush vegetation and wildlife.

The Rainforest Preserve on Savaii also features a canopy walk and you can stay overnight in the trees if you are feeling adventurous. As the islands are the result of volcanic eruptions, the last being in 1911, you can see some incredibly beautiful rock structures, as well as experience the excitement of blowholes created in tubes in the rock. If you want to get into the traditional side of Samoan life, many traditional villages can be found, though do respect their local customs and visit only when welcomed.

If you're used to the body to body crowding on Bournemouth beach on a sunny day, you may find you get culture shock in Samoa. The islands have miles and miles of stunning empty beaches to discover and you certainly won't need to leave your towel out overnight! Be warned though, rainy season runs from November to May so you can expect some tropical storms that might not lend themselves to sunbathing.

Samoa is definitely a far cry from your local on New Year's Eve and a trip here will certainly be something to talk about with your colleagues at work on the first day back in the New Year!


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