The Federated States of Micronesia is an island territory located in the Pacific Ocean and is a sovereign state in a free association with the United States. The island is located in a region known as Micronesia, which is comprised of hundreds of small islands which are divided into eight territories. The country recognizes seven official languages; English, Ulithian, Yapese, Chuukese, Woleaian, Kosraean and Pohnpeian. Each of the four states has its own cultural values and beliefs, but share common traditions and economic bonds that are hundreds of years old.
Diving in the Chuuk Lagoon is a very popular attraction. The lagoon is home to World War II shipwrecks that through the course of time have been converted into shipreefs. There are incredible corals which provide a unique kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. The outer reefs provide a vast array of tropical fish and the reef is considered a Mecca for divers from all over the world.
Pohpnei offers some of the most diverse scenery on the island and is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the islands in Micronesia. There is a tropical rainforest that covers some of the island which has over forty bird and reptile species. Of special interest in this are is the 700-year old ancient city of Nan Madol. There are canals, stone towers and bridges that give this location a Venice-like feeling, and offers tourists some fascinating views of some of the oldest ruins in Micronesia.
Yap is best known as the Land of Stone Money. The massive stone discs can range in up to 12 feet in diameter and are known as the largest coins in the world. The stones or Rai, as the natives call them, are not quarried on the island but instead the Yapese natives travel by canoe to the island of Palau to a quarry north of Babelthaob. The coins are hewed out of rock with primitive tools and then brought back to the island of Yap. The size of the stone, the shape, quality and texture all add to the value of the coins which are still used between villagers as a form of island currency when purchasing land or paying a dowry. In observing tradition, once the Rai are places, they are never moved so visitors can view many “Stone Banks” at the different villages on the island of Yap.
Micronesia is home to numerous caves and the most popular one is the magnificent Wiya Bird Cave. The cave is a natural formation and is home to the thousands of swiftlet birds on the islands. The mouth of the cave is a 60 foot opening and connects to the other side of the island through a tunnel. A local tourist guide can take visitors on an exploration tour of the cave and provide information about the many types of birds that live there.
The Carp Island resort is the only beach resort on the island of Palau. The resort is located on a private island which is located to some of the most pristine dive sites and beautiful white sand beaches. The resort offers guests a choice of fifteen rustic style cottages and seven dive house rooms which are shared facilities. For a family-owned establishment, the Storyboard Beach Resort is a beachfront property with cozy cottages complete with spectacular views of sunsets on the shoreline. The structure was originally designed to be a dive destination, but now the resort is private and cut off from the rest of the world, with no TV, internet or email, this only adds to the seclusion and privacy for those who want to relax and unwind from the outside world. The islands of Micronesia have a slower pace of life and offers tourists the chance to live a life close to nature, land and sea.