Likes & Dislikes

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This may be obvious from the location of the islands, but what amazed me most was the beauty of the beaches – especially because I found most of them practically deserted. The beaches of Saipan and Tinian are not particularly famous, even though ‘most beautiful beaches in the world’ and similar lists are always popular on the internet, and these could easily make the top ten. This only exception is the beach on a tina island called Managaha, in the middle of the Saipan lagoon (the whole island is surrounded by white, sandy beaches), which is popular with tourists. Few, however, actually go into the water (few people from Asian countries like to stay out in the sun for extended periods) and tourists generally clump together in groups, so it’s easy to find a spot where you’re alone.

Western Pacific Ocean - Micronesia - huts - Elter photo

Micronesia - traditional house -Elter photo

Micronesia - landscape - Elter photo

Practicals

Transport

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Micronesia - view - Elter photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Weekday traffic on the main street of the capital, Kolonia - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap - International airport - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap island - American school buses play a role of public transport - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap island - country road - k.a. photo

Accomodation

In Kolonia of Yap the second-largest hotel, the Pacific Dive Resort is owned by the Chinese.



Shopping

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Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Kolonia - local garment - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Kolonia - strip mall - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yapi Island - Kolonia - ATM - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap island - Kolonia - greengrocery - minimalist presentation style - k.a. photo

Fun

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Micronesia - show - Elter photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Kolonia -Cinema - k.a. photo

Public safety

Serious crimes are rare Micronesia, but there are regular reports of petty crimes against travelers in Chuuk, Yak, and Pohnpei, including non-violent theft.

Health

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Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - propagating cleanliness - k.a. photo

Others

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Federated States of Micronesia - Yap - The Church of St. Francis of Assisi - Elter photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Kolonia -Roman Catholic Church - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Kolonia - Protestant Church from 1930 - k.a. photo

Background

Federated States of Micronesia - national flag

Destination in brief

The Federated States of Micronesia in the Western Pacific Ocean made up of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. 

Size: 702 km² (271 mi²) -

Population (in 2020) : 548,000

Capital city: Palikir (on Pohnpei Island), but the largest city is Weno (Chuuk Atoll)

Language: English is the official language of the government and business. Eight significant indigenous languages are spoken

Religion: Roman Catholic and Protestant

What does it mean that The Federated States of Micronesia is,, in free association with the U.S.”?

  • The U.N. recognizes it as an independent nation, even as it has significant ties to the U.S. The country has its own citizenship law. Thuswise, Micronesia is close to called a sovereign federation.

Currency: US dollar (USD)

Average net monthly salary (2020): 1640 USD

Most common surname: Mori (Japanese origin)

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Geography

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Micronesia - landscape - Elter photo

Micronesia - coast - s.v. photo

Micronesia - North of Yap - s.v. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island, one of the for states, and main islands - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Sokens Rock - k.a. photo

Climate

In FSM the climate is humid and warm; the driest months are March-April (although it still rained every day).

History

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Micronesia - WWII wrecks - Elter photo

Micronesia - Yap huts - s.v. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap Island - Kolonia - memorial to fallen American soldiers - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Kolonia - Japanese tank from WW2

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - International airport - Ruins of the German Bell Tower - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Church of the German cemetery - k.a. photo

Nowadays

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Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - locals are sincere and friendly - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - locals celebrating 1st of Mai, for them The Day of Constitution - - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - The main street of the capital, Kolonia - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - somewhere in a poor outskirt - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap Island - Kolonia - k.a. photo

People

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Western Pacific Ocean - Micronesia - Elter photo

Micronesia - father and son - Elter photo

Micronesia - boy - Elter photo

Micronesia - mother and her child - s.v. photo

Micronesia - Yap Island - a local woman - s.v. photo

Micronesia - young islander - s.v. photo

Attractions

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Western Pacific Ocean - Micronesia - directions - Elter photo

Micronesia - stone money - Elter photo

Micronesia - stone money - size - Elter photo

Micronesia - Weno - Catholic Church - s.v. photo

Micronesia - Weno Island - s.v. photo

Nan Madol archeological site on the island of Pohnpei

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - ruins of Nan Madol, an ancient, mysterious city, nicknamed as the Venice of the Pacific Ocean - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - ruins of Nan Madol, an ancient, mysterious city, nicknamed as the Venice of the Pacific Ocean - k.a. photo

Kepirohi Waterfall

Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei Island - Kepirohi Waterfall - k.a. photo

Yap

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.






Federated States of Micronesia - Yap - welcome sign - The Island of Stone Money - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap - plenty of stone money along a road - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap - stone money - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap Island - Kolonia - History Museum - k.a. photo

Federated States of Micronesia - Yap island - Maap island - the only tolerable beach - k.a. photo

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