Every year you can see pictures on the internet of the first people who get to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Often these images come from Samoa, with people enjoying the warm climate, and clear waters, and people cheering in the new year in their shorts.

For a long time the island nation was actually the last country the greet the new year, because the dateline ran to the west of them. This was so that trade with America would be easy in the same time zone, because there is and area called American Samoa which is a US territory.

But in 2011 they decided to move the dateline to the other side of the island, and therefore they become one of the first countries in the world to see in the new year.

In 1962 Samoa became independent from New Zealand, but it still has close ties to it.

Samoa is becoming a popular tourist paradise. It has a tropical climate, crystal-clear water with lots of coral and fish. You can also find fancy resorts here, as well as smaller hotels.

A tour of Samoa can easily be combined with a visit to Tonga, and of course American Samoa.