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Marshall Islands

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Marshall Islands Resort
Marshall Islands Resort - dream vacation

Mieco Beach Front, Amata Kabua Blvd, Majuro

The Marshall Islands are a group of atolls and reefs in the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between Hawaii and Australia.

Understand

After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962. The Marshall Islands have been home to the US Army Post Kwajalein (USAKA) since 1964. A number of islands are off-limits to tourism (and even to locals) due to US military presence or the residue of nuclear testing.

Climate

Wet season from May to November; hot and humid; islands border typhoon belt.

Landscape

The Marshall Islands consist of two island chains of 30 atolls and 1,152 islands, of low coral limestone and sand. Bikini and Enewetak are former US nuclear test sites; Kwajalein, the famous World War II battleground, is now used as a US missile test range.

Regions

The Marshall Islands consists of 29 atolls and 5 isolated islands, of which 24 are inhabited. They can be grouped into two island chains:

Cities

  • Majuro
  • Kwajalein
  • Ebeye

Other destinations

Get in

Visas

Everyone is required to possess a valid passport.

United States and all its territories, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Schengen area, Pacific Islands Forum Countries including Australia and New Zealand passport holders are exempted from the requirements of entry visa.

Entry visa will be issued upon arrival to citizens of Japan, Korea, Republic of China (ROC), Philippines and some others provided the duration of the intended visit is no more than 30 days, the visitor have a roundtrip or a transit ticket and a passport valid for at least six months.

Citizens of all countries not listed above must present a passport valid for at least six months with an entry visa, a roundtrip or transit ticket before boarding and travelling to the Marshall Islands. The entry visa to Majuro is issued by our Attorney General in the Marshall Islands. It suggested that you email the Immigration Director to request for issuance of entry visa upon arrival at Majuro Airport. Send by email to agoffice@ntamar.net or agoffice@ntamar.net a request for issuance of a visa upon arrival and an attached copy of your passport, visa application, itinerary and entry visa to the next country stop. You will be given a confirmation via email on the issuance of visa upon arrival.

Visas cost $25 for a tourist visa that lasts 3 months. Business visas cost $50. Visas are valid for 30 days, but can be extended for up to 90 days once in the Marshall Islands. You must show that you can pay for your entire time in the Marshall Islands and that you can pay for a departure ticket, or demonstrate that you already have a purchased one. There is a departure tax of $20 tax, although those over 60 years old are exempt.

If you come from a country infected with cholera, you must present an immunization certificate. You must get an HIV test if you plan to work or live in the Marshall Islands, or if you will be staying for more than 30 days.

By plane

Air Marshall Islands (CW) provides regular scheduled internal flights to 10 of the atolls in the Marshall Islands and has planes available for charter. Flights are available between Honolulu and the Marshall Islands and to Fiji via Kiribati and Tuvalu. United Airlines stops in Majuro and Kwajalein on its island-hopper service between Guam and Honolulu.

Approximate flight times: from New York to Majuro is 14 hours; from Tokyo it is 11; from Guam it is eight hours to Majuro and five hours from Honolulu.

International airports: Majuro International Airport (MAJ). There are taxis and hotel transport from the airport to the town.

By boat

Get around

By plane

Air travel between the islands is provided by Air Marshall Islands. However, the company is fraught with financial and technical problems, and one or both of the two planes in the fleet are often downed for days, weeks or months at a time.

By boat

Transportation by ship is also available. Field trip ships travel throughout the islands, typically to pick up copra and deliver supplies; they usually provide passenger service as well.

To give a sense of scale, the journey from Majuro to Jaluit is approximately 40 minutes by plane and 24 hours by boat.

On Majuro There is a plethora of taxis available on the main road that travels the length of Majuro Atoll, and anywhere in the Majuro city area will cost no more than seventy-five cents. To get to Laura, on the other end of the island, there is a bus that leaves about once an hour from Robert Reimers Hotel.

Talk

Most Marshallese speak Marshallese and English. One important word in Marshallese is "yokwe" which is similar to the Hawaiian "aloha" and means "hello", "goodbye" and "love".

See

The charm of the Marshall Islands lies not in a great number of attractions. This small country, home to less than 70,000 people and comprising 1,156 (!) islands and islets, is however... quite unique. Don't expect any spectacular sights, but enjoy the pristine beauty of picture-perfect tropical islands, great scuba diving and windsurfing opportunities and the warm hospitality of the people.

Watch the sunset from your beachchair in one of the luxurious resorts or make your way to one of the more deserted beaches for a day of almost Robinson Crusoe-like tranquillity. On the far west side of the Majuro-atoll, the quiet beaches of Laura are a fine choice. If you've had enough of sun and sand, head to the capital Majuro for some shopping.

Head to the Longar area on Arno, where young women were once taught the tips and tricks for a happy sexual life in so-called love schools. This is a perfect place for deep-sea fishing too. In Uliga you'll find the Alele Museum and Public Library. Although small, it has some nice artefacts of the nation's culture on display. Note the stick charts, used by the indigenous people to help remember the complex wave patterns between the many atolls.

Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site

The Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site in the Ralik island chain is the first UNESCO world heritage site of Marshall Islands added to the list in 2010. It contains many remainders to 20th Century Cold war nuclear weapon race and destructive power of nuclear weapons. Part of the landscape are sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the explosions and a huge crater formed by 1954 Castle Bravo test.

Do

Buy

Money

The Marshall Islands use the U.S. dollar ("$", ISO currency code: USD). It is divided into 100 cents.

Eat

There are many types of different fruits that are available in the different seasons. There are also farms that produce vegetable or raise pigs. Most, if not all, the produce are: breadfruit, pandanus, coconut, corn, tomato, sweet potato, cassava, papaya, pumpkin, "nin" (noni), lime, pigs and chicken. In addition to these, there are stands that sell fruit and traditional food along the road from Ajeltake to Laura.

The Marshall Islands was once known as the world's "fishiest" place, meaning that there was an over-abundance of species of fish that dwell in Marshallese waters. However, there is great uncertainty as to whether this is still true due to concern over overfishing and destruction of natural habitat by ships' anchors, harmful chemicals & climate change.

There are several restaurants that serve international food. The Marshall Islands Resort's (MIR) Enra Restaurant, Yummy BBQ, Jitak Take-Out, DAR Restaurant, and Robert Reimers Enterprises' (RRE) Tide Table are among the most well known.

Non-Marshallese owned restaurants include Monica's (Chinese), La Bojie's (Filipino), China Restaurant (Chinese), Special Restaurant (Chinese), Won Hai Shen (Chinese), The Stone House (Japanese), Jay's Restaurant (Indian), Island Star Restaurant (Chinese), Eastern Restaurant, and Aliang Restaurant (Chinese).

Drink

Sleep

Work

It is possible for Americans to get work on either Kwajalein or Roi-Namur Islands in Kwajalein Atoll. Only citizens of the Marshall Islands and US Military personnel are allowed to work at Kwajalein Atoll.

Stay safe

Stay healthy

Respect

Connect

Mobile phone service is available from the National Telecommunications Authority. Visitors with a foreign SIM card may receive a SMS offering a local number for use with their foreign SIM card. You just need to top up the account to activate the service. Follow the instructions in the SMS. It may take a few attempts to make it work.

NTA offer internet through a chain of wifi hotspots. There are 3 ways to connect:

  • Buy a card which will give time limited connection - $5 for 50 minutes.
  • Buy a fixed amount of data online. the service will be offered when connecting to one of the NTA-UniFi hotspots. $10 give\ 100MB. Credit cards or Paypal are accepted.
  • Register for a months access at the NTA office. This costs $35 per month, plus $5 setup charge. The MAC address of your device will be programmed into the NTA system, giving access to just that device. It might take a few attempts to get this to work.

Internet speeds can be quite good, but the system is not wholly reliable.

Cope

Consulates

  • Philippines (Honorary), PO Box 79, ? +1 602 9-3490, fax: +1 602 625-3490.
  • United States, ? +692-247-4011, e-mail: MAJConsular@state.gov.

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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

Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Break-ins and thefts from hotel rooms and vehicles occur.

Transportation

Exercise caution when driving after dark. Majuro has one paved road but there are few traffic signs and no traffic lights. Be careful of animals roaming the streets. Some roads flood after heavy rains.

Majuro has a cheap shared taxi system and there are also minivan taxis that circulate on the main road.

Flights are often cancelled. 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, Micronesia, in order to receive the latest information on situations and events that could affect your safety.

Tourist facilities and services are limited. There are a few hotels on Majuro and Ebeye.

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 available only on Majuro and Ebeye, and can provide adequate service for routine medical problems. In the event of a major accident or illness, medical evacuation is often necessary. Medical transport is very expensive and payment is often required up front.

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. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Homosexual activity is illegal.

An international driving permit is recommended.

Money

The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD). Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and a few restaurants. U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques are recommended.

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.