Micronesia or officially the Federate States of Micronesia is an island state in Oceania located on the Caroline Islands. Micronesia comprises four island states: Kosrae, Ponape, Yap, and Chuuk. The capital city is Palikir.
The climate in Micronesia is equatorial gradually changing to sub-equatorial. The average monthly temperature is +25°C - +32°C. Heavy rains often occur on the islands. Sometimes, typhoons and hurricanes occur reaching 240 km per hour. It is better to come to Micronesia during the period from December to March.
The majority of the population is the people of the chuuk tribe (49%) and ponape tribe (24%). There also a few Polynesians and Asians in Micronesia. English is the official language.
Micronesia is the destination mainly for divers, lovers of snorkeling, and underwater hunting. The waters around the islands are a habitat for many animals such as a giant clam Tridacna. Fantastic soft corals and sea flowers made the Micronesia waters a truly beautiful underwater garden.
Hiking is also very popular in Micronesia and the ruins of the ancient cities will attract the lovers of history and architecture.
If you are adventurous enough, you will be offered scuba diving in the Truk Lagoon where you will see the Japanese fleet of the Second World War.
He Yap Pacific Dive Resort on the Yap Island is an ideal place for romantic honeymoons.
The capital city of Micronesia Palikir is located between the two extinct volcanoes on the Pohnpei island. Divers and everyone who prefer beach resorts will be delighted by a well-groomed coastline of Palikir changing into the mangroves.
A quite tropic island Kosrae has virtually not been touched by the civilization. Kosrae is chosen by families with children and elderly people.
The most convenient way to travel to Micronesia is a flight.
There are no direct flights to Micronesia from CIS countries. The tourists will have to take a transit flight with a transfer in the hub airports in Tokyo, Manila, Honolulu or Guam.
It is very convenient that each island of the Federate States of Micronesia has its own airport. Besides, there is a ferry running between the islands.
There are international ports on the islands Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap and cruise ships can arrive there.
The tourists from CIS and EU countries can travel to Micronesia without a visa and stay there for 30 days. For a longer stay on the islands, a visa is required.
The travelers from the USA, Palau, and the Marshall Islands visa is issued for a year. For the other tourists, a visa is valid for 60 days.
If the purpose of your visit is tourism, then you can receive a permit right on arrival. In other cases, a visa must be obtained beforehand.
The citizens from CIS and EU countries traveling to Micronesia must have a valid international passport. The travelers from the USA, Palau, and the Marshall Islands can have a birth certificate instead.
The Customs of each state performs its own inspection.
Customs legislation of Micronesia does not restrict the import or export of currency. However, the sum exceeding 5.000 US dollars must be declared.
The travelers can bring in alcohol, tobacco, and perfume.
It is prohibited to export from Micronesia plants and animals protected by the State. It is not allowed to export seashells, corals, and objects made of birds feathers, bones or skins of rare animals.
The national cuisine of the Federated States of Micronesia is rich in seafood. The locals prepare and eat shrimps, clams, lobsters, crawfish, and oysters. They also cook vegetables, grains, and fruits.
Different islands have their own unique cooking traditions. On the island Yap, the main grain is taro root and on all the other islands, yam is more popular. On the islands, people eat pork and sometimes poultry. On the Pohnpei Island, the locals will serve the tourists the meat of a dog.
The specialty of the Micronesian cuisine is the sauce Opot which is prepared for 2 years! To make the sauce, palm leaves and breadfruit are buried for fermentation.
Fresh lemon juice is the most popular drink to quench thirst. Do not miss a chance to try Sakua, a traditional alcoholic beverage with hibiscus juice. On the Chuuk island, you will not be able to try Sakua as it is strongly prohibited to drink it there.
The official currency in Micronesia is the US Dollar (USD). However, on the Yap Island, the locals still use stone money or Rai.
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks and in exchange offices in Pohnpei and in other large cities. The banks work 6 days a week.
One can cash traveler’s checks at banks.
Credit cards are accepted in Palikir and other big cities.
Details of interest
Exotic holidays in Micronesia will long be remembered by the tourists.
The local people managed to preserve their ancient customs and traditions. The people from the Yap Island are believed to be the most conservative. The girls from this island still cannot get married to a man from another tribe or a foreigner.
Sightseeing in Micronesia
In the Federated States of Micronesia, there are several UNESCO candidate sites.
- On the island Yap in the Va’a-o-Fonoti district, there is a unique Fagaloa Bay and Uafato Tiavea Conservation Zone. The tourists who like to study natural sights can see the Disks of Yap or Rai. These are limestone disks which served as a means of payment in the earlier times. The largest disk is 4 tons, it is 0.5 meters thick and 3 meters in diameter.
- In Aiga-i-le-Tai, the travelers can see the Cultural Landscape Nuulopa, Manono and Apolima.
- The Nan Madol Ceremonial Center is to the southeast of the Pohnpei Island. This is a half-destroyed ancient city covering 92 islands. Its nickname is Pacific Venice because it has a system of artificial canals throughout the islands. On the smaller islands, there are stone buildings where the warriors and the chiefs of Micronesia are buried. Before, the foreigners were not allowed to visit this sacred place.
- In the capital city of Palikir, the travelers should visit the Sohes Rock with a human face. In Kosrae,
the tourists can take a walk along the beautiful coast or go hiking across the wild tropical forests. Civilization has virtually not touched this paradise.
- On the Lelu Island, the ancient ruins of the Royal Castle of the 15th century are still preserved. The highest peak is the Lelu Hill with numerous natural tunnels and caves. During the Second World War, the Japanese hid there. Today, this is the place where the divers usually gather. Near the Hiroshi Point Island and Chuuk, there is a Japanese fleet. In Kosrae, anyone can see magnificent Sipan waterfalls and Saolong waterfall.
Souvenirs in Micronesia
The traditional souvenirs in Micronesia are crafts from sea shells and pearls. The tourists usually buy special tools for map making and rugs decorated with sea shells.
Various wooden figurines used in religious and mortuary ceremonies can be a nice element of any interior. In the capital city, anyone can buy magnets, keychains and T-shirts.
Woven baskets and sea shell necklaces are sold on all the islands.