In 2017: In addition to Pohnpei, we visited another FSM state - Yap. The third-largest state in the country, Yap by area and population, is located closest to Asia (about 1 hour and 20 minutes fly from Palau - 650 km to them). Yap is small, and you can quickly discover the island in a day by car. There is not much to do if you are not a diver).
You can not spend less than three days on the island, as flights are not frequent. There are simply no other flights than United Airlines, flying around the islands with a stop at Yap.
Yap's is 118 sq. Km., The population is about 11,000. The state also includes atolls to the east and south for approximately 800 km. The next federated state, Chuuk, is 1440 km east of Yap.
It's funny that the capital of Yap is called Kolonia, like the capital of Pohnpei. It is a small town with a lagoon bay, several hotels, an administrative center, and a port. The bulk of the local population comprises ethnic Yapis; their number is estimated at 500. The total population is about 5,000 people, including mestizos. The main food of the islanders is breadfruit, sweet potatoes, and coconut. The primary source of protein is fish, crabs, shellfish, and pork. Yap is a few islands, between which channels resemble rivers (in reality, these are such straits) - Yap itself 56.15 km², Gadgil-Tamil 28.82 km², Maap 10.64 km², Rumung 4.30 km².
The islands are surrounded by a barrier reef, separated from the island by a shallow strait. The island's waters are abundant in fish and are popular with divers (especially manta rays, but due to climate change, stingrays are rarely seen in recent years).
Prices for local hotels are surprisingly expensive; nothing but greed and price collusion can explain this (against the background of the same Palau or Pohnpei): They presume that the divers who flew here are all rich people.
There are several cafes and restaurants: something is always open, and food prices are average. Unfortunately, there is no cellular communication; but satellite communication: the Internet is of poor quality.
The most famous tourist attraction of Yap is the "stone money" (Rai stones). These are large stone discs, usually of calcite (originally white and sparkling - that is, to return them to their original appearance, they must be "washed"!), up to 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter with a hole in the middle. There are five main types: Mmbul, Gaw, Ray, Yar, and Reng, the latter of which is only 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter. Their value is based on size and history, many of which were brought from other islands in New Guinea, but most of them originated from Palau.
Approximately 6,500 of these are scattered throughout the island. They often stand near the house or belong to the entire village. They still play the role of a symbol of honor and respect; they can be used in some cases (for example, to atone for some intense guilt, etc.). Often, even when the owner changes (the name is written on the stone), the new owner of the "rai" usually leaves them in the same place. That is because they are not afraid of theft here - everyone already knows whose money it is.
A funny story is connected with their exit from more everyday circulation. At the end of the XIX century, Irishman David Dean O'Keefe arrived on the island, who fled from Europe from the court. In 1871, O'Keeffe's ship crashed on the reefs near Yap Island. Having become acquainted with the strange customs of residents and their system of means of exchange, O Keefe decided to organize the transportation of valuable discs from Palau (there is no such mineral in Yap). To do this, he went to Hong Kong, bought a modern ship there, and offered his services to the Yapis, setting up a stream production of money in Palau. Soon, "O Keefe's money" flooded the island, the centuries-old hierarchy of values of residents began to collapse before our eyes, inflation began. In exchange for the money, O Keefe received copra and trepangs, highly valued in Hong Kong. In the end, Oh Keefe even proclaimed himself the local king. But in 1901, he had problems with the German administration (in 1899, Germany bought the islands from Spain) because instead of the German flag, he raised his own on the ship. As a result, he had to leave the island, and a few days later, he died during a typhoon.