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Micronesia

Micronesia is the northwestern region of Oceania and is home to many tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean islands.

Regions

Cities

  • Hagåtña
  • Koror
  • Majuro
  • Melekeok

Other destinations

Understand

Micronesia is a vast area that mainly consists of water. Transport can be a major issue because of the lack of an organized highway or byway, found in larger and more vast countries. Due to the lack of space on the islands, most activities are nautical, scuba diving etc.

Talk

English is the official language of all countries and territories here.

Get in

Palau and Guam have the best connections from outside Micronesia. The US territories, insomuch that civilians are allowed to enter, are connected to the US. As the airports often aren't large enough to accommodate large airplanes, expect flights to be of the island-to-island type which often means several landings and takeoffs before you're at your destination.

Get around

See

There are only three world heritage sites in Micronesia:

  • The Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site, Ralik, Marshall Islands
  • The Rock Islands outside Koror, Palau
  • The site of Nan Madol outside Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Do

Eat

Drink

Stay safe

By using general common sense, most tourists and travelers will not have any difficulty around the islands.

Cope

Micronesia does not host many foreign embassies.

Go next

Hear about travel to the countries of Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru in Micronesia as the Amateur Traveler talks to Stefan from Rapid Travel Chai about these small difficult to reach island nations. 

MARCH 1-3 was Yap Day, the biggest cultural celebration in Yap and its most colorful days of the year, with traditional dances, crafts, tattoos, competitions, and demonstrations in ceremonial dress. Everything Yapese — Micronesia’s most intact traditional culture — is celebrated. On March 1, the 49th annual Yap Day kicked off, with a conch-shell blowing, a parade, a presentation of colors, a blessing, stone money transfer and presentation, plus opening remarks and speeches by members of traditional and governmental leadership. 1

Sitting dances

Each Yapese dance tells a different story. Sitting dances typically are more somber.

2

Tattoos

Many Yapese decorate their bodies with intricate tattoo patterns, often denoting high social status, expertise in fighting, or master navigation skills.

3

Traditional dances

Bamboo and standing dances are physically taxing and usually reserved for the young. The Yapese start dancing as children and often dance well into advanced adulthood when hysical fitness required for dancing starts to wane.

Intermission

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4

Ornamental dress

Even the youngest dancers wear beautiful costumes, like multicolored hibiscus skirts and ornamental headdress. Their bodies are often decorated with flowers, coconut oil, and yellow turmeric powder.

5

Traditional boats

The art of canoe construction and traditional navigation are still practiced in Yap, although many of the magic rituals and initiation rites have been forgotten or abandoned. Here, Yap Day guests are given a taste.

6

Fighting dance

Men of Ma’ap village in a traditional dance showcasing fighting prowess.

7

Youth parade

The first event of Yap Day is a youth parade and dance, seen beginning here at the Yap Living History Museum in the heart of Colonia.

8

Crafts

Traditional weaving of Yapese arts and handicrafts is always a hit with guests at the event.

9

Picnic in the park

For many Yapese, Yap Day is just another picnic at the park.

Intermission

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10

Up next

Youth awaiting their first dance performance in Ma’ap.

11

Learning traditional navigation

Students of traditional navigation getting ready to take Yap Day guests out into the windy lagoon.

12

Palm wine

When in Yap, you do as the Yapese do, deliciously so with tuba, the local palm wine. This gentleman was feeling it in Ma’ap.

13

Rhythm

It begins with a thunderous clap, repeated over and over by a line of solemn dancers until a simple rhythm is firmly established. From the center of the line a solitary voice emits a powerful rasping wail introducing a story told in a forgotten tongue.

14

Navigational tools

Traditional navigators crossed the treacherous waves in search of adventure without the aid of modern navigational tools or even a simple compass. Their tools were the celestial compass – a system of 32 stars whose positions and movements they memorized – and directional messages from the crisscrossing swells of the ocean.

15

Coconuts

Like everywhere in the tropics, coconuts are vital for survival. During Yap Day, coconuts were offered for thirstquenching—and for life.

WE KNOW our planet is in bad shape, but there’s no point reiterating the same ominous numbers and catastrophic scenarios — we all know what they are and what the future holds for us if nothing is done quickly. This is why, this Earth Day, Matador Network would like to focus on a more positive outlook and showcase the creations people are coming up with to help our world be more sustainable. Below are 11 amazing inventions that can dramatically reduce our plastic pollution, our green gas emissions, our fossil fuel consumption, and our water usage to help our planet recover from all the hardship we put her through.

1. The edible water bubble

Ooho! is a bubble made of seaweed extract containing 250 milliliters of water. It is entirely biodegradable and natural so you can eat/drink it whole (if not, the membrane decomposes in 4 to 6 weeks). It is a brilliant alternative to plastic water bottles, not only because it reduces the amount of plastic produced and trashed but also because it is much cheaper (it costs only around two cents to produce according to Onegreenplanet). The good people at Skipping Rocks Lab, the brains behind Ooho!, are well on their way to crush plastic pollution. For more about Ooho!, follow the project on Facebook.

2. The Seabin

Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turto invented the Seabin, an amazing floating trash can. Although the world’s oceans need a thorough clean-up, Ceglinski and Turton decided to start by taking care of the waters of marinas, private pontoons, inland waterways, residential lakes, harbours, waterways, ports and yacht clubs. Not only are these areas often heavily polluted, but they are also protected from ocean swells and storms, which makes it easier to collect floating rubbish, oil, fuel and detergents.

The Seabin is automated and works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the process is quite simple. The trash can stays on the water’s surface but is connected to a dock via a water pump. Water gets sucked into the Seabin, carrying floating debris and floating liquids inside. The waste gets caught inside a net in the trash can and the water flows out into the pump on the dock. An oil/water separator can be installed in the pump to clean the water before it is sent back into the oceans. To know more about the Seabin, visit the project’s Facebook page.

3. Beeswax food wraps

Bee’s Wrap is made of organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. It is a sustainable alternative to the nasty single-use plastic cling wrap and a healthier option to store your food. It can last up to a year if used several times a week. Vermonter Sarah Kaeck is another entrepreneur who is kicking plastic pollution in the butt. For more about Bee’s Wrap, check out this website.

You can also attempt to make your own beeswax food wrap following the instructions in the video below:

4. Waterotor

Waterotor is a water turbine that uses the slow current of any body of water to produce high energy. According to Waterotor’s website, “Water has 830 times more energy than wind thus a small device in water can economically harness a large amount of energy around the clock”. It’s an alternative to polluting fossil fuel generators that are currently supplying power in most of the world. To know more about waterotor, visit this website.

5. WaterSeer

WaterSeer is a brilliant invention that allows anyone to have access to clean, safe drinking water without electricity, labour, or damage to the environment. The device extracts water from the atmosphere by a condensation process and can collect up to 37 liters of water a day. For more about waterseer, visit this website. If you are interested in helping to finance WaterSeer, visit the Indiegogo campain here.

6. Transparent solar panels

A team led by Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University invented a transparent solar panel that could replace windows and produce enough electricity for entire buildings. The technology also works for any sheet of glass, so your cell phone screen could be covered in one of these panels and be powered by the Sun. For more details about this project check out this article by Extreme Tech.

7. Banana leaf leather

Here is an ethical and ecological alternative to leather that is not only durable but also water resistant. Using the green waste from the 200,000 banana trees growing on the island of Kosrae in Micronesia, a small team created a fibre that resembles leather. To support this community-oriented, sustainable project, check out the kickstarter campaign here.

8. Homebiogas

Homebiogas turns your food waste into cooking gas. You simply set up biogas in your backyard where you would have a composter and hook it to your stove’s gas supply. You get to create you own clean energy and reduce the waste that would otherwise end up in the landfills. Check out Homebiogas’ website here for more details.

9. Mycofoam

Mycelium technology is on its way to take over styrofoam and we could not be happy enough — styrofoam is a petroleum product that is incredibly polluting and very dangerous for wildlife. Mycofoal is a mushroom packaging that is renewable, biobased, and compostable. Mycofoam protect products just as well as styrofoam and is cost competitive. This packaging product is already used by Dell, and Ikea is on its way to adopting it. Learn more at www.ecovativedesign.com.

10. Nebia shower

Nebia showers use 70% less water than a regular shower, so you not only save money, but you also reduce your water footprint dramatically. For more information about Nebia showers, visit their website here.  

If you know of more amazing creations that could benefit the environment, let us know in the comment section. More like this: 6 steps you can take today to become a zero waste traveler

Tinian is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands which is a group of islands in Micronesia between Japan, Palau, and the Philippines. From Tinian, the bombers carrying the atomic bombs which were [...]

The post MARIANA ISLANDS – Tinian day trip: tracing WWII’s end & the start of the Atomic Era appeared first on Chris Travel Blog.

Micronesia and Palau (Other Places Travel Guide)

Ben Cook

Micronesia and Palau have long been known to diving enthusiasts for some of the most intriguing and spectacular dive spots on earth. Yet as the reputation of these islands spread, more travelers are looking to escape the modern Western world and become transported to a calmer, slower pace of life. The writers of this guide all lived, worked and played on the islands which they write about. First-hand knowledge, cultural insight, and personal recommendations allow visitors to feel like locals while enjoying the indisputable beauty of these islands and people. - Learn the history and culture of the islands from writers who have each spent years living with local residents.

- Explore off-the-beaten-track locales relatively unknown to foreign visitors.

- Navigate on the islands and among islands, enjoying the best of Micronesia and Palau.

- Dive, surf, snorkel, and swim in some of the most stunning marine environments in the world.

- Choose the best places to eat, sleep, shop, and visit based on reviews of all the major islands.

Lonely Planet Micronesia

Kate Galbraith

The fourth edition of Micronesia provides information on the whole of the region including Kiribati and Nauru. It also includes information on local customs, culture, arts and languages and tips on the best diving & snorkelling spots.

Micronesian Blues

Bryan Vila

His plane nearly crashed, the cops he'd been hired to train almost killed him, and he ingested a substance that bore a close resemblance to elephant snot -- all during his first two days on the job.Micronesian Blues tells the true story of former L.A. street cop Bryan Vila's hilarious road to cross-cultural enlightenment as a police chief in the far Pacific islands of Micronesia. Through lively narrative laced with wry humor, it chronicles his adventures and misadventures on Saipan, Ponape (now Pohnpei), Truk (now Chuuk), Palau, Yap, Kosrae, and Kwajalein.Trial and error was the name of the game in this dubious paradise, where Bryan had to learn the rules -- or make them up -- as he went. Yet he embraced island life, succeeded in his new role, and ultimately found himself profoundly changed by his experiences in Micronesia and the lessons he learned there.

Nowhere Slow: Eleven Years in Micronesia

Jonathan Gourlay

The Bygone Bureau presents Nowhere Slow: Eleven Years in Micronesia, Jonathan Gourlay's memoir of cultural confusion, hilarity and tragedy, and a decade of soul-searching.In 1997, Jonathan Gourlay travels to the island of Pohnpei, in the western Pacific Ocean, to teach English at the College of Micronesia. He is a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with the language, the intricacies of Pohnpeian social life, and most of all, the mildly psychotropic drink sakau. But the society that he blunders into eventually becomes his adopted home for the next eleven years. Along the way, Gourlay endures plenty of minor embarrassments and one major heartbreak: his whirlwind marriage to a Pohnpeian woman comes apart and ends in tragedy, leaving him to pick up the pieces of his life and to raise his daughter alone. The Bygone Bureau (www.bygonebureau.com) is an online arts and culture magazine, winner of Best New Blog at the SXSW Interactive Web Awards in 2009.

Micronesia in Depth: A Peace Corps Publication

Peace Corps

The name Micronesia is derived from the Greek words mikros, “small,” and neso, “island.” Until recently, the many distinct languages of the Micronesian islands existed only in oral form. Thus, much of the early history of these islands had to be derived from archaeological artifacts. It is thought that more than 3,000 years ago, Austronesian speaking Micronesian people entered the Pacific from Southeast Asia. These seafaring people probably first settled in the Marianas (Guam and Saipan) and then the Western Carolines, including Palau and Yap. Later, migrations from the southern Melanesian islands brought settlers to Kosrae, Chuuk, and Pohnpei. The “outer islands” of Micronesia were likely settled later, as their languages are dissimilar to those of the main islands. Micronesians are known as great sea voyagers and sailed huge outrigger canoes over distances of thousands of miles, using traditional navigation techniques, dependent on knowledge of the movements of currents, swells, winds, and birds. Early Micronesians lived a subsistence lifestyle based on fishing, gathering, and agriculture. Legends of ancient civilization in the Caroline Islands tell of an ancient empire, about which little is known. The remnants of magnificent stone fortresses constructed from basalt pillars in Pohnpei (Nan Madol) and in Kosrae (Lela Ruins) are thought to date back to A.D. 400. Yapese stone money (stone discs as large as 12 feet in diameter that can weigh up to 12 tons) was mined as far away as Palau and transported by canoe to Yap. Islands in the archipelagoes known as Micronesia were among the first in the Pacific to be “discovered” by European explorers of the 16th century. The islands were grouped into three categories: the Marshall Islands, the Eastern Caroline Islands (Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Chuuk) and the Western Caroline Islands (Yap and Palau). The first known European contact dates back to 1521, during Ferdinand Magellan’s quest to find a trade route to the Spice Islands of the east, traveling west from Spain. The Spaniards developed an indirect trade route to Asia: across the Atlantic to South America, across South America via land, and onward into the Pacific. In the 18th and 19th centuries, whalers, traders, and missionaries found their way to the islands. The missionaries succeeded in creating what are today entirely Christian societies on all the major islands and some outer islands. Micronesians retain little memory of earlier belief systems. The islands of the FSM and Palau share similar colonial histories under Spain, Germany, Japan, and the United States. Spanish influence in Micronesia expanded in the 19th century, but following its defeat in the Spanish- American War, Spain sold Palau and most of the Caroline Islands (which later became FSM) to Germany in 1899. The Germans were interested in the islands to support trade in coconut products. Their use of forced labor on the island of Pohnpei culminated in the assassination of the German governor by a young Micronesian. Many Pohnpeian men were then exiled to Palau; other Micronesian men were transported from the outer islands of Pohnpei and Chuuk. The Germans deserted Micronesia in World War I, which allowed an easy takeover by the Japanese. Japan built large military bases on some of the islands and developed sugar mills in the Marianas; bauxite and phosphate mines in Palau; and fishing and shell production throughout the region. The Japanese encouraged emigration to Micronesia, and Micronesians were used as low-level manual laborers.

The Edge of Paradise: America in Micronesia (A Kolowalu Book)

P.F. Kluge

Paper edition reprint of a 1991 publication (Random House). The author, a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia in 1967, recounts his journey back a generation later, providing an intimate view of the paradox of cultural imperialism. No scholarly trappings. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portlan

Reference Map of Oceania: The Pacific Islands of Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia

James A Bier

A comprehensive Pacific map, including a main map and 52 inset maps of the major parts of the region. Principal cities, towns, and villages are shown along with roads, topography, and population figures where available. Time zones for the Pacific and individual countries are also included.

Micronesia: Island Wilderness

Kenneth Brower

Micronesia: Island Wilderness, by Brower, Kenneth

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

Petty crime occurs, particularly house break-ins. Ensure that doors are locked while you are away, and that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Women’s safety

Women should avoid walking or jogging alone at night or in the early morning. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.

Transportation

Most roads are in poor condition. Roads outside towns are often unpaved. Street lights are rare. Many drivers do not follow safe driving practices.

There is a public bus system on the island of Yap and rental cars are available. Shared taxis are available; however, most cars are poorly maintained, and services on the weekend and in the evening can be sporadic and unreliable. Travel between islands is done by boat.

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

You are encouraged to register with the Embassy of Australia in Pohnpei in order to receive the latest information on situations and events that could affect your safety.

Tourist facilities and services are limited.

Exercise caution when swimming offshore due to dangerous currents.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and malaria.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.

Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are adequate for routine services. All public medical services are provided from the local hospital. There are few medical clinics. Services are limited and should be used only in an emergency. Specialist services are extremely limited. In the event of a major accident or illness, medical evacuation is often necessary. Medical transport is very expensive and payment up front is often required. Decompression chambers are available in Yap and Chuuk.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Laws

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict.

Homosexual activity is illegal.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Money

The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD). Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels and tourist facilities. There are few automated banking machines. U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at branches of the Bank of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Climate

The rainy (or monsoon) and typhoon seasons in the South Pacific are from November to April. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services. Disruptions to air services and to water and power supplies may also occur. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

During a typhoon or monsoon, hotel guests may be required to leave accommodations near the shore and move to safety centres inland. Travel to and from outer islands may be disrupted for some days.

Consult our Typhoons and monsoons page for more information.