As president of Sea for Yourself snorkeling tours, I'm obligated on behalf of my clients, to stay informed about the destinations we visit. Although we've been operating programs in Tonga for many years that allow snorkelers to actually swim with humpback whales, we keep a copy of David's Tonga/Samoa Handbook in the office in order to answer questions from clients about areas other than Tonga. In addition to Tonga, this book has extensive coverage of Samoa, American Samoa, and Niue.
In this book, the reader will find all the practical info (that continues to distinguish all of David's books) including travel tips, accommodations, meals, etc. I also appreciate the special attention given to cultural background, political and economic elements, and particular vignettes (such as the explanations of coral reef ecology and the palolo worm). However, the sections I personally find most useful include the pages on Internet sites, email addresses, and the bibliography.
I started using David's books (South Pacific Handbook) in 1982, and they have always been valuable and trusted travel companions. We always take this book with us on our programs to Tonga because it makes a useful reference for both staff and participants. Plus, since this book is easily available, I'm always happy to refer our clients to David's Tonga/Samoa Handbook when they are seeking to purchase a single accurate source of both practical and background information about this section of the Pacific.