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Micronesia

Background

The Federated States of Micronesia boast some of the clearest-blue seas you'll ever see, with white, crumbly sand shores. In islands like Chuuk are shallow and vast lagoons of monumental beauty, filled with shipwrecks and kaleidoscopic corals. The islands are a paradise for divers, and many argue that the area's diving and snorkelling ranks among the best in the world.

The Micronesians combine a profusion of languages, customs and folklore. On the island of Yap, islanders still trade using the ancient stone currency. Micronesians may still be glimpsed in traditional garments. Throughout, you are likely to stumble across snatches of unique island music and witness zesty, time-honoured dances.

The area became a US-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. This followed colonisation by the Portuguese, Spanish, Germans and Japanese. In 1986, the Federated States signed a Compact of Free Association with the USA, allowing for near-independence with US defence support.

The islands suffer from remoteness and lack of industry and infrastructure. There is development potential, but as yet Micronesia remains dependent on US aid. Tourism is one industry that could potentially boost the island's fiscal situation. However, even if tourism takes off, with over 600 islands to this country's name, finding some desert island bliss of your own here shouldn't be hard.

Highlights

Micronesia means "small islands". These beautiful tropical islands are situated 5,150 km west-southwest of Honolulu in the North Pacific Ocean, and about three-quarters of the way between Hawaii and Indonesia. Micronesia is spread over 3 million miles of the Pacific and includes over 2000 islands. The distance from one end of Micronesia to the other is 2,040 nautical miles.

Yap is a wonderful tropical island. It is surrounded by lucious, green coconut trees and sandy beaches. The beaches are privately owned, and you may rent one for a low price. These beaches are exclusive and perfect for birthday parties(this from past experience)or any other parties.

There are ten major municpalities on Yap. In these, ten municpalities throughout the island, you may find well tended gardens as well as taro patches and clean roads throughout the island. Sometimes bikers are a common site, which would usually be teenagers who view their bikes as a way to get away from it all.

Yap is a host to a friendly, hospitable people. There will be smiles all around and the view from any high spot is breathtaking. The ocean water is just the right temperature and many children find that they like to romp with the waves of a passing motorboat. All in all, Yap is a great place for a vacation or a permanent home and you will always feel welcomed.

Chuuk is a very beautiful, friendly place, and I know this from past experience. I have a family member who went there to school. Like Yap, Chuuk is a diver’s paradise. It’s pristine and unique waters are a treat to anyone who dives for a profession or for someone who just likes to swim and snorkel and play in the waters. Chuuk has a big lagoon surrounding its many islands and atolls. Even up to today, it is called “Truk Lagoon.” It is within this lagoon that ruins or a hundred or more WWII Japanese vessels and planes can be found.

On Weno, the main island, there used to be a Japanese lighthouse and a Japanese communications center. The Japanese communications center is now known as Xavier High School. A school of high prestige, Xavier High School is one of the schools in Micronesia that many favor. Teenagers come from all over Micronesia just to attend school there, from as far away as the Marshall Islands, to as close as Chuuk’s own inhabitants, which is to be expected. I myself regret that I have not attended that school, for everyone is closely united, and everyone knows almost everything about the other, something that might at times become inconvenient.

Kosrae is very beautiful. Kosrae’s reef flats that surround the island are said to be the most pristine in the whole world. I myself have not been to Kosrae, but many that have been there tell me that their experience was worth everything they invested in it. There are several sandy beaches among the mangrove trees and these are exquisite.

Kosrae is made up of seventy percent of mountains. This means that most of the population lives in coastal villages, and indeed there are five of such villages. Hoping that I am not mistaken, these five villages are: Tafunsak, Walung, Utwe, Malem, and Tofol. There is also a little island right beside the big main one and the largest village is on this one, named Lelu (the island is the one named Lelu). There are ruins there, the Lelu Ruins. This island is connected to the main one by a seven hundred thirty-meter long causeway. 

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