Micronesia

From Eco Friendly Travels


Home / Oceania / Micronesia

Eco-friendly travel guide to Micronesia advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Micronesia, Oceania.


  • Air quality: 2.0 - 2.5 / 5
  • Bus connections: 2.0 - 2.5 / 5
  • Train connections: 1.0 - 1.5 / 5
  • Hitchhiking: 1.0 - 1.5 / 5
  • National parks: 2.0 - 2.5 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 2.5 - 3.0 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 2.0 - 2.5 / 5
  • Safety: 2.0 - 2.5 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$50 - $200
  • Budget per day: US$80 - $250

Responsible Travel

Micronesia is one of the most luxurious places to visit if you are an adventurous soul. Of course, it is not one of those locations that appear on the top 10 places lists, making it an offbeat place of wonder. As it is quite removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life and entrenched in the beauty of nature and all it has to offer, you will be able to soak in the natural beauty of this place. Oceania is composed of thousands of smaller islands and islets on the western Pacific ocean and is organized as a sub-region in Oceania. This place shares its cultural heritage with the surrounding regions, including the Philippines, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Micronesia consists of four archipelagos, including the Gilbert Islands, the Caroline Islands, the Marshall Islands, and the Mariana Islands.

As you can understand, Micronesia being part of the oceanic realm is very close to nature, which means that you have to be very careful when you visit this place. You need to follow many responsible and sustainable travel principles to respect the place you are visiting and create an as little impact as possible. Some of the most important things to mind when traveling responsibly are as follows:

  1. You need to understand the impact that pollution has on oceanic animals. Most of these aquatic animals are being threatened and almost have reached extinction because of the accumulation of plastic waste in the water. When you are in Micronesia, you must avoid using plastic at all costs. You must be very careful about where you throw your garbage, and you cannot litter the streets or throw any waste material into the ocean. This has an extremely Deep impact on the ecosystem of the critic animals and is threatening their existence.
  1. You must consider that the air in Micronesia is extremely pure, and you must try to keep it that way. One of the best ways to make sure of this is by using public transportation for traveling around the city. While options may be limited, there are ample opportunities for you to find the rights from one part of the country to another. You are trying to travel within an island, one of the best things you can do is travel by hiring a bicycle. This is a great and sustainable way of moving around the city without causing any harm to nature.
  1. When you are in Micronesia, it is important for You to be respectful towards the city's culture and people. It is encouraged that you understand their life and lifestyle without being too intrusive or annoying. Every part of the world has interesting customs and traditions that you must be respectful towards. This is a great way to learn about the various practices worldwide and become a part of a global world.
  1. While you must be very respectful towards Micronesia's people, you must also show similar respect towards the aquatic animals here. Be aware of where you can swim and which other regions are not permitted for such activities. You must never touch aquatic animals or try to feed them food. It is always advisable that you have a tour guide or a specialist who will make you understand these animals' ways and develop more interest regarding them.


Air Quality and Pollution

Micronesia's air quality index sits at around 38 AQI, while it may vary depending on which part of the country you are in. This air quality index is fair and healthy for most individuals, but you may want to take some precautionary measures if you have sensitivity towards the particulate matter. One of the best things about the air in Micronesia is that the air quality varies from one place to another. This is particularly true for such regions where human life and human activities are generally less. For those parts of the isolated islands and are not visited by people very often, the air quality gets even well.

While it is advised for most people to enjoy themselves outdoors and spend time performing various outdoor activities, it may not be true for those who are a little more sensitive. If you are sensitive to air pollution, you must carry a mask around as a precautionary measure.


Respect the Culture

While being one of the most visited places globally, Micronesia has many cultural aspects that you must respect and learn while visiting the country. The traditional art of Micronesia was initiated within the Lapita culture, and the most remarkable works of the time are the floating city of Nan Madol. Even when the country was under colonial powers, art flourished in this beautiful country with some of the most beautiful houses that you will find in Belai, along with canoe ornaments, decorated bowls, sculpted figures, and ceremonial vessels that men made. Women, on the other hand, was more into creating ornaments and textiles. You will also be able to find some influences of Japanese and western art in Micronesia's culture.

Palau has some of the most beautiful Micronesian architecture within the country that dates back to the pre-colonial era. It consists of stone carvings, sculptured heels, and watches more. Even after the colonial influences, most of the archaeological traditions native to the Yapese people remained the same. The music of the landers very important to Micronesians and forms a very important basis of mythology and rituals. It is believed that music comes to people in a trance and dream state, rather than being composed. It has a deep Polynesian influence in the songs.

When you come to Micronesia, you must pay respect to the land's rituals and customs. You need to pay attention to the people as well as their livelihood to support them. You cannot be racist or practice cultural appropriation when in Micronesia.


Top 10 Places to Visit

There are a number of places of interest in Micronesia that you simply cannot miss out on. These locations are extremely special in their own ways, and nothing like you have seen before. On the one hand, you will be able to find natural beauty untouched and in its true form, while on the other hand, you will also be able to visit historical monuments that date back in time. It would help if you planned your vacation to accommodate all of these places of interest in your itinerary. It is best to visit Micronesian during the winter and spring months.

Some of the most exciting places in Micronesia include:

  • Nan Madol: This Suadeleur city is over 1,000 years old and has been called the "Venice of the Pacific." It has one of the most intricately designed canals that bridges over 100 artificial islands on Pohnpei's southern coast. This is truly an architectural Marvel where the temples and the roads were all built from giant Rock made of basalt. The logs were transported into the city with a raft's help built as a floating City. Can you believe that these gigantic basalt pillars can sometimes be as big as 26 feet from the ground? This is one of the most ethereal places of Micronesia, and it is recommended that you spend an entire day exploring this beautiful city. The eastern side of this city was used for religious and spiritual ceremonies, while the western part of the city was where business and administration took place.
  • Kosrae: This is one of the most important tourist interest cities in Micronesia. It has some of the best diving sites in the world, along with a thick forest as well as some of the most interesting historical sites in the country. As already mentioned, the ruins of Lelu, from where most of the administration was handled, are located here, making this city extremely interesting. Other important attractions in the city include the State Museum, where you will find restored pictures of the original state of Kosrae and various artifacts. There are also beautiful waterfalls as well as the hiking trail to mount Finkol.
  • Fujikawa Maru: If you have a scuba diving license or are extremely passionate about finding treasures under the sea, this is one of the most exciting places. You will explore the ruins of the shipwreck Imperial Japanese Navy first hand under the water. Those associated with the scuba diving community have listed this place as one of the top 10 shipwreck dive sites worldwide. This place was initially built in 1938 and was used as an aircraft ferry during the Second World war. The ship had taken numerous blows before drowning in the water, where it has been lodged since the Operation Hailstone Battle in 1944. This site also has retrofitted Japanese bow guns along with the ruins of four fighter aircraft.
  • Pohndollap: This is the perfect place for those seeking some outdoor adventure as well as history buffs. You will have to make a 2 hour Trek through the beautiful tropical forests filled with relics and ruins from the Second World war. At the end of the trip, you will reach the peak of Mount Sorekh, which offers one of the most breathtaking views that you will ever experience in your life. This has been known as one of Micronesia's most beautiful natural landmarks, and for a good reason. You will be able to find Japanese weapons from the times of the Second World war on your way up to the mountain. The summit of the mountain will provide you with one of the most impressive and exhilarating views, and you can enjoy your time here feasting on fresh pineapples. This place also has some historical significance being a place where Sokehs rebelled against the Germans in 1910. You can also go to Palikir Pass from here.
  • Mount Finkel: The highest peak of Kosrae is one of the most challenging mountain peaks that hikers from all around the world try to reach. However, only a few people survive and can reach the summit of this beautiful mountain. Mount Finkel, which is the highest peak of Kosrae, stands above 2000 feet and is located in one of the world's rainiest regions. If you want to climb this beautiful mountain's summit, you must take a long time in preparation and have a guide along with you. When you try to reach the summit, the sudden rainfall can make your journey very difficult, and you must be prepared for such a situation. You will be able to witness some of the most beautiful sceneries ranging from coral reef reviews as well to Banyan trees all around you.
  • Lelu Island: This island of extreme historical significance in Micronesia. This Island was once home to some of the biggest world cities of Micronesia. Over 6000 people live on this beautiful island, and generations of the royal family of Kosrae need this city as their home. The walls were first built between the 13th and 14th centuries in order to start a civilization there. However, the place was abandoned after the 19th century when colonialism started to take over the Islands. The present scenery of this Island depicts something out of a movie with tropical vegetation that covers all of these buildings. While the majestic walls are still visible, it is covered in thick vegetation, giving it a unique look and feel.
  • Weno: Many travelers consider the city to be one of the best in Micronesia, located in Chuuk Lagoon. It is the capital of the state and the second-most populous island in Micronesia. A beautiful mountain hair rises to 364 above sea level and is known as Mount Teroken. It is a beautiful city where you will contact the local people and have a close look into their lifestyle. While the International Airport of Micronesia is located on this Island, the island itself is not fully developed.
  • Yap Island: Yap Island overlaps into Chamarro Bay, making it possible for you to get an oceanic view no matter where you are on this Island. This has been known as one of the most beautiful cities and Micronesia, where you will be able to explore the beauties of nature. The town of Balaban has a historic stone cash bank, or you can also visit the ethnic art village where you will be able to admire the indigenous handicraft industry. The village has been protecting and celebrating the indigenous market of handicrafts over the years and is one of the most exciting places to visit in the silent world. On the northern side of the island is the village of Bechiyal, along the beaches that have historical significance.
  • Etan Islands: This is one of the most well-known islands in Micronesia that was once an important Japanese airbase during the Second World war. You will find here remains of airplanes and the airbase that was destroyed during the Second World war. You can still spot the runway that the Japanese Empire built, but it is now covered with palm trees. This island was almost at a state of destruction during the American bombings, and all that remains are some of the Japanese command centers and some buildings here and there. Among these, the strategic communication center, a three-story building built during the colonial period and an aviation base, remains intact and is very popular among tourists. Mount Uinku is an extremely exciting place for hiking where you can reach the summit and enjoy an exceptional view from here. The beaches here are extremely rich in marine life and offer a great site for diving.
  • Ulithi: This is an atoll in the Caroline islands situated in the western Pacific Ocean. This is a volcanic peak with some of the most beautiful Sand beaches and a coral reef that will take your breath away. This place is also of historical significance, being one of the most important staging areas for the US Navy during the final years of the Second World war. Divers often find many sunken shapes at the bottom of the lagoon, making it an important driving sight.


Explore

Being one of the most beautiful places in the world, there is much to see and venture out when it comes to Micronesia. It would help if you took some time in order to venture out into these beautiful places before coming back home. These are truly some of the most enjoyable and exciting places in Micronesia.


City Parks

Unlike other places worldwide, most of the parks are diverse and are aquatic parks in nature. They provide you an excellent opportunity to enjoy the marine life up close and personal. Some of these places include:

  • Utwe-Walung Marine Park: This is one of Micronesia's biggest Marine parks and is located in Korsae. It is on the border of two villages, Utwe and Walung. You will be able to enjoy a soothing come tour in the backwater with a mangrove channel that links the two villages. This is one of the most exciting activities that you can enjoy in this beautiful city and is one of the Pacific Ocean's first regions to receive the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve's title. You can also get to smaller Islets with the mangrove channels leading to them.
  • James Palais Marine Park: This Marine Park is also situated on the island of Kosrae and is present in the junction of the two villages Walung and Tafunsak. You will be able to enjoy your day with a barbecue and a picnic here. Most of the beaches here are almost deserted and can only be accessed by boat. For the adventurous ones, the beaches can be reached through the Jungle trails that are extremely challenging and have wild boars. However, when you reach the beach, you will be awarded a colorful coral reef as well as crystal clear water to enjoy.


National Parks

There are no national parks in Micronesia.


Beaches

Being an island in the oceanic realm, Micronesia has some of the most beautiful and exhilarating beaches in its store. Even if you are not into aquatic sports or scuba diving, you can simply enjoy your time basking in the sun and listening to the waves crashing at the shore. These beautiful and deserted Sandy beaches provide you the best opportunity to relax and get in tune with nature. Here are some of the best beaches and Micronesia:

Guam: The average maximum temperature on this beach is around 30 degrees, making it perfect for sunbathing. Even the water temperature remains at around 29 degrees, which is ideally warm and relaxing for you to swim in the water. Along with the beautiful sand beach, the warm sun will allow you to get completely relaxed and unwind from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Palau: Palau Beach offers beautiful landscapes as well as some of the most beautiful sand and water that you can get refreshed in. The best part about this beautiful beach is that it extends over your area where you can completely submerge in nature and enjoy the sun.

No matter where you go in Micronesia, you will be able to find Islands almost like an unbroken string on the eastern and southern coast. While there are a number of beaches here, you must understand that not all of the beaches are ideal for swimming. Be sure to ask the local inhabitants before you spend on a beach.


Landmarks

Micronesia's most famous landmarks have already been discussed as these are also the most important places of a visit here.


Museums

As already mentioned, Micronesia has a very rich cultural and historical background, which makes it a traditional importance place. For those interested in the history of the place and want to know more about civilization, some museums in Micronesia will provide the answer to all your queries. The most popular museums of Micronesia are as follows:

  • Kosrae State Museum: This museum is located at Tofol in one of Micronesia's most important islands. When you come to visit the island of Kosrae, this Museum is a must-visit spot for you. You will learn much about the rich history of Micronesia and even take part in a guided tour. This Museum has a number of archeological facts and photos that will give you a glimpse into the world that used to be.
  • Yap Living History Museum: This museum is located in Colonia on Yap Island. Yap Island has a number of attractions, and this is surely one of them. When you visit this museum, you will notice that it is an ethnographic museum that has been built with much attention to detail. An interesting thing about this Museum is that it was made in cooperation with France, making it even more interesting.
  • Lidorkini Museum: This museum was located in Kolonia at the Pohnpei island but closed in 2012.


Eat

The Micronesian cuisine is truly something of its own. Although it shares some aspects with Polynesia's neighboring islands, it has something truly unique about it. Micronesian cuisine heavily depends on breadfruit, taro, coconuts, and banana. You can obviously expect that when you come to Micronesia is sea fish are found in abundance here. It includes a wide variety of pelagic and reef fish and shellfish, crabs, prawns, and more. Chicken and pig are also consumed here.

Some of the most famous traditional dishes of Micronesia that you simply cannot miss out on include Pihlohlo mwehng, a traditional dessert made with taro coated in coconut. The taro used in this dash resort is a traditional one that is harvested here. A very popular porridge-like dish that is very native to Micronesia is called Koahpnoair koakihr. It is typically made in a special iron pot and consists of yam that has been mixed in coconut milk. If you want to taste the delicious curry here, you must try the Micronesian Coconut Chicken Curry, which is extremely creamy and packed with flavor. Micronesia's popular breakfast dish is Uht sukusuk, which is basically mashed banana in special coconut milk.

There are a number of vegetarian dishes that are part of Micronesian cuisine. Some of these dishes are also friendly to the vegan lifestyle, such as Kón, which is exclusively made up of coconut milk, fruit, and taro. Another interesting vegetarian dish is Mahi UMW, where Mahi and breadfruit are cooked over a hot-cold and coconut husk.

With more and more travelers visiting the Islands, there are a number of westernized restaurants where you will be able to have a fine dining experience. While they do serve the Micronesian staples, you will also be able to find dishes that you are more familiar with. There are also some fusion food restaurants near that will blow your mind. Food in Micronesia plays an important role in building bonds with tourists. One of the most exciting things about food in Micronesia is that everything is fresh and grown on organic farms. From the beautiful fish to the fresh taro, everything is a natural harvest product, which provides freshness and an amazing taste to the food here.


Drink

When it comes to local drinks of Micronesia, mention has to be made of Kava, which is the drink made from the roots of a local shrub. This drink has been known for its intoxicating power, and it is very famous, especially on Pohnpei island. The roots, when ground against hibiscus bark, produces a mild juice. You will find the number of Sakai (as known in Pohnpei) bars on this Island. You can sample this drink but be very cautious because it is known to have quite an intoxicating effect. Besides this special drink, alcohol is quite available all around the Islands. Alcohol has made itself part of the social fabric of Micronesia and is rarely drunk alone. Along with this, you will also be able to find fresh fruit juice stalls and sweet or salty lime juice that will rejuvenate your soul.


Tap-water

Tap water and Micronesia is not suitable for drinking. You must buy a bottle of water or look for filters where you can fill your bottle.


Activities

Micronesia is a safe place for your to enjoy and explore. It is a place teeming with adventures and opportunities and has some of the most beautiful places for you to explore. Some of the most enticing activities include:

  • Take a shower beneath the majestic waterfalls that are found on the island of Pohnpei. The two plunge pools here, namely, Sahwartik and Kepirohi, are the best places to be.
  • If you have a great interest in scuba diving, this is the place for you. Along the shorelines of Micronesia are the sites of some of the biggest shipwrecks, which makes this one of the best spots for divers all around the world. There are a number of diving spots on the island for you to choose from. While marine life is amazing and will put you in a calm headspace, if you love to explore something Mysterious, the ruins of these second World war shipwrecks will blow your mind.
  • Almost all the island in Micronesia has some mighty peaks that you can get to the summit of. This is a great place for you to put your hiking boots on so you can get to the top and breathe in fresh air while marveling at the beautiful scenery. It is advised that you speak to a guide before going for a hike to make sure that you are well prepared.


Accommodation

Micronesia has become one of the most peaceful places of tourist visit and has gained quite a lot of traction from people worldwide. Hence, Micronesia has come up with a number of accommodation options that will help you have a wonderful stay here. Most of the accommodations are along the shorelines, which will welcome you to the beautiful scenic beauty here. One of the best things about staying in Micronesia is that it is an extremely calming and peaceful place without much tourist activity. You will be able to unwind yourself completely and feel rejuvenated by the end of this trip.


Green Hotels

Micronesia does not have a number of Green hotels where you can lodge. However, You need to take into account sustainable means of living no matter where you stay. Always make sure to switch off all the power switches before leaving the hotel and make sure you do not waste energy. It is best if you reuse and recycle goods here and avoid plastic as much as possible.


Hostels and Guest Houses

If you are looking for affordable means of accommodation in Micronesia, some shared spaces such as hostels and guest houses will not burn a hole in your pocket. These are surely great places for You to stay without spending too much money on your vacation. The best part about these hostels and guesthouses is that you will spend them on your other adventures because you save a lot of money on your accommodation. Since Micronesia is recently expanding its hospitality business, there are not many such establishments here. However, some of the popular hostels and guesthouses include:

  • Kosrae Nautilus Resort
  • Deja's Guest House
  • Pirate Diving Service & Guest House


Apartments

If you want to spend some more time on the island of Micronesia, you might want to book an apartment for yourself. This is the perfect way of staying for a good chunk of time without spending a lot of money. If you want to rent an apartment in Micronesia, make sure to do so in advance. Some of these apartments include:

  • Nantaku Heights Apartments
  • Tiny Bubble Apartments
  • Black Sand Apartments
  • Pohnpei State Capital Building


Couchsurfing

One of the most inexpensive ways to find a place to stay in Micronesia is at www.couchsurfing.com. You will be able to find quite a number of listings here.


Camping

If you want to have a subversive experience and be one with nature, camping is one of the best ways to stay in Micronesia. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and something that you will be able to keep in your memories forever. However, camping in Micronesia is not easy, and you will have to make a lot of preparation before you reach the campsite. There are not many such places allocated as campsites in Micronesia, and you will have to find one yourself. Without a proper campsite, it might get very difficult for you to camp for a long time. However, it might be a possibility for a night or two for you to get up close and personal with nature.


Regions

Micronesia itself is a small region in Oceania and, in general, consists of four main archipelagos, which are the Gilbert Islands, the Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, and the Caroline Islands. When it comes to political governance in the Federated States of Micronesia, it has been divided into six sovereigns, and the governance depends on these regions.


Cities

Before you visit Micronesia, you need to know which the most important cities are in this federation. The popular cities of Micronesia are:

  • Kolonia in Pohnpei
  • Colonia in Yap
  • Palikir in Pohnpei
  • Tol in Chuuk
  • Lelu is Kosrae


Getting There and Moving Around

When you come to Micronesia, you need to understand that it is a cluster of islands far away from the latest technology development. It takes much labor and capital in order to transfer resources for development on this Island. Hence you cannot expect to find the amenities you are used to living in a metropolitan city. However, there is much to enjoy all around the Islands, and you must make the most of it. One of the most important things that you must keep in mind when traveling in and around Micronesia is keeping sustainability in mind. Human involvement in nature has already threatened the Micronesian ecosystem to a great extent, and you must try to balance your actions by being environmentally conscious when you visit Micronesia.


Air

While Micronesia might be moving towards development, This small group of islands has already presented 4 international airports, making it very easy for travelers to access this country. The most important international airports are Pohnpei International Airport, Kosrae International Airport, Chuuk International Airport, and Yap International Airport. These four international airports make it very easy for people from outside the country to reach any of the four states in Micronesia's federation. The Ulithi Airport is also useful as it makes traveling between this city to the others extremely easy. While traveling by air is fast and quite reliable, you must bear in mind the amount of pollution it causes and make a conscious effort towards understanding the problems associated with air travel.


Bus

Public bus services are not an accessible way of transportation in any of the states of Micronesia. You will not find a scheduled bus system in Micronesia, but some buses can be chartered or hired. One of the only scheduled bus services is available on Yap. It is a school bus that runs two times a day from Colonia to the other villages. Some hotels on the island also offer private bus services to and from the hotel.


Train

None of the states of Micronesia have rail services.


Hitchhiking

As there is a lack of public transportation modes in Micronesia's federation, hitchhiking is not recommended.


Others

There are no other sustainable means of transportation in Micronesia.


Sustainable Shopping

When you travel to a foreign destination, you would always want to pick some things as souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones at home. However, you must understand that you must always shop in a way that prevents any harm to the environment. This practice of eco-friendly shopping is called sustainable shopping. Sustainable shopping makes use of the principles of recycling and reuse. One of the best ways to make sure that you are shopping sustainably is by actually buying from thrift stores or second-hand stores. You will be able to buy great items here, and the best part is that they are much less costly than first-hand stuff.

You must always bear in mind when you are shopping in Micronesia because you must shop from the local sellers that you will come across down the streets or even in the protected handicraft villages. You will be able to buy the best things made by the island's local inhabitants and get something traditional that has been made with love and care. Shopping locally helps the livelihood of the people who live in Micronesia, uplifting them in their life.

You need to buy fresh and organic things when you are in Micronesia. Organic sellers do not use harmful pesticides that cause harm not only to the product but also to the environment. Try to eat locally sourced fish and Vegetables and make sure that the suppliers take care in their business to make nature thrive.


Recycling

Waste management and disposal have become a serious topic of conversation in the federal state of Micronesia. Every tier of the government has taken sustainability seriously and is working towards making sure that they can benefit nature. Recycling units are in the talk and will soon be available widespread in all of Micronesia.


Waste

Waste management is being developed from the core and is being remodeled in Micronesia.


Work and Study Abroad

Many people come to Micronesia for job opportunities because it is a small island that does not have many employment opportunities. There are some universities here, but they are not world-class.


Exchange Student

Micronesia has some students coming from outside as exchange students.


Au Pair

Au pair services are not so developed in Micronesia.


Volunteering

Volunteering opportunities in Micronesia include:

  • Developing educational systems.
  • Providing education to the minors, uplifting and helping the poor.
  • Helping in overall development.


See Also