Micronesia

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Micronesia is a region of Oceania, located just east of the Philippines, west of Polynesia and north east of Indonesia. The distance from one end to the other end of Micronesia is 2040 nautical miles and the area includes over 2000 islands.

Micronesia consists of eight different island groups, four of which make up the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The four states are Pohnpei, Yap, Chuuk and Kosrae and the other four groups of islands are; Guam (a U.S. territory), the Republic of Palau and the Marshalls (independent nations) and the Northern Mariana Islands (a commonwealth associated with the U.S.).

 

About

The islands are a result of volcanic activity millions of years ago and are huge underwater mountains, rims of sunken volcano craters or a combination of the two.

Culture: The people of Micronesia come from a diverse background of ethnicities resulting in a cultural mixture of Melanesians, Filipinos and Polynesians.

Language: English is the main language spoken but there are many variations of native languages depending on the islands.

Currency: U.S. dollars are used throughout Micronesia.

Electricity: Operates on the 110 volt/ 60 cycle current as in the U.S.

Religion: Mostly Christian.

How to get there: Continental Airlines offer flights to much of the western and central Pacific. The most common way to access Micronesia is via Guam.

From Europe: The common paths are via Manila, Seoul or Tokyo, then connecting through Guam.

From Australia: Continental flight from Cairns to Guam.

From NZ: To Guam via Cairns, Australia.

From the U.S.: Via Honolulu.

Non U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. visa.

The Islands:

Pohnpei: Pohnpei is where the capital of the FSM is located. The largest, most developed and populated island of the FSM, Pohnpei is also considered to be the most beautiful island with its array of spectacular scenery. Here, you'll find rushing rivers, fresh water pools and some of the most amazing waterfalls in Micronesia. There is diverse ecology of over 40 species of birds and reptiles not to mention all the underwater sea life. Diving and snorkelling is great, with the opportunity to see a variety of fish, turtles and manta rays. Other activities include visiting the ancient city of Nan Madol, or trekking and enjoying a picnic in the natural jungle setting of the Liduduhiap waterfalls along the Nanpil River.

Kosrae: The second largest island, Kosrae is where you'll find the most beautiful white beaches in Micronesia. Described as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, visitors come here for snorkelling and diving in the clear waters, exploring the mysterious ruins of Lelu and Menke or paddling a canoe through a mangrove forest.

Chuuk: Chuuk, also known as Truk, is a gigantic lagoon. Chuuk is almost 65 km in diameter reaching depths of 90 metres and offers all the underwater scenery a diver could wish for. Also famous as the 'greatest underwater museum in the world', Chuuk's waters are a tomb for more than 100 ships, planes and submarines from the Second World War.

Yap: Yap is the perfect place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of modernisation. The Yapese live the reserved traditional lifestyle of their culture with men still wearing bright loin cloths and women wearing grass skirts. What Yap lacks in luxury and comfort, it more than makes up for underwater with over 30 different dive sites. Yap is home to the majestic giant manta rays.

Guam: Guam is Micronesia's largest island. Guam's amazing coastline and white sand beaches are complemented by a lovely tropical climate and gentle breeze. Guam has it all, from luxurious resorts to diverse dive sites. Other activities to enjoy include fishing, golfing, greyhound racing and visiting the many historical sites Guam has to offer.

Northern Marianas Islands: Made up of 14 tropical islands, the islands are close to the world's greatest known ocean depth of nearly 10 km. Saipan is the most populated island in the Northern Marianas and offers beautiful scenery and clear waters for diving and snorkelling.

Marshall Islands: Consisting of a large number of sandy atolls, the Marshall Islands are famous for its Bikini Atoll which the famous two piece swim suit was named after in 1946. Visitors will find peace and relaxation in most of the outer islands as the majority of the population resides in Majuro, the capital. An excellent spot for sports fishermen and divers, the area offers much to see underwater.

Palau: Palau is a diver's paradise with the most extraordinary dive spots in the world. A diver will find everything here from knee deep water to depths of 300 metres or more. Ship wrecks, coral, manta rays, turtles, barracuda, dolphins and more! Palau is where the world's three major ocean currents meet. The Rock Islands are a must dive destination for anyone visiting the region.

Climate

Micronesia has a typical warm tropical climate with both a wet season and a dry season. 

When to visit: The best time to visit is during the dry season which is from December through April. The rainy season is from April to December.

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