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Mikronesien bietet einige exotische und traumhafte Reiseziele, Bild: bradlifestyle / shutterstock

South Sea Adventure Micronesia: Diving, Dream Beaches and Exotic Culture

Micronesia, officially the Federated States of Micronesia, refers to an island state whose location many may not be able to assign directly at first. The archipelago is located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean and unites more than 2,000 tropical islands and atolls. The distances between the individual islands are sometimes quite long with a maximum of 4,000 kilometers, from one to the other, and can be covered by boats or small planes. The Philippines lie to the west, Papua New Guinea and Australia to the south, and Japan to the north.

The big mass tourism has not yet arrived here. A diving or bathing holiday along the snow-white sandy beaches of Micronesia takes tourists to a true paradise of the South Seas. With a total of only around 110,000 inhabitants, the Micronesian islands are also quite sparsely populated. The best conditions for peace and relaxation on beaches that are as lonely as they are exotic. The best time to travel is from December to April, when it’s summer in Micronesia, and temperatures are around 30 degrees. There will also be hardly any communication difficulties. In addition to a number of native languages, such as Chuukese or Yapese, each of which has only a few thousand speakers, English is the official language and is mastered by the locals, at least in its basic features.

The ancient ruined city of Nan Madol

Nan Madol, Micronesia
Nan Madol, Image: maloff / shutterstock

Once you’ve landed in Micronesia, it’s best to take a round trip across several of the islands. A highlight is the ruined city of Nan Madol off the island of Pohnpei. With an area of 334 square kilometers and a good 36,000 inhabitants, Pohnpei is one of the main islands of Micronesia. In pre-colonial times, a highly developed culture existed here. Members of this culture created 92 artificial islands, each about the size of a football field. All islands were created on a coral reef and built between 1200 and 1600 AD. The subsoil consists of basalt and coral stones. The buildings on the islands are mainly temples, tombs, rulers’ houses and places of residence for priests. Narrow waterways meander between the islands, which is why Nan Mandol is also known internationally as the Venice of the South Seas. In the meantime, some of the buildings are badly damaged and overgrown by mangroves. However, this only makes the place all the more mystical and legendary for its visitors.

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Money stones, culture and dream beaches on the Yap Islands

Stone Money Yap Islands
Rai, the stone money on the Ulithi atoll in Yap, Image: Iurii Kazakov / shutterstock

The Yap Islands, which, like all of Micronesia, were once German colonial territory, consist of four larger volcanic and ten smaller coral islands, all of which are very close to each other. Only the volcanic islands are inhabited. Those who travel here in the first week of March can experience the culture of the Yap people. Every year, Yap Day takes place, which has now extended to a whole week of festivities, and honors and celebrates the local culture. There are traditional dances and canoe races, and visitors can taste traditional food and drinks.

On the atoll of Ulithi, which belongs to the Yap Islands, remains of the Rai can be found. Rai is a type of stone money that was used as a medium of exchange until 1931. The stone discs, some of which are quite large, can be found on the island, and in its houses. All stone discs stand upright and have a hole in the middle: this hole was hammered into the discs in order to be able to roll and transport them with the help of sticks. Little Raie are the size of the palm of your hand. The really valuable discs are up to four meters tall and weigh up to five tons.

The well-marked Tamilyog Trail is a great way to roam through the hilly and densely forested jungle. There are relics of the Second World War to discover, which also raged here. Crashed aircraft wrecks in particular can be visited. Local tour guides offer guided tours, including explanations. Afterwards you can relax on one of the miles of white dream beaches lined with palm trees, for example in Chamorro Bay, Wanyan or Maap Beach. The chances of having an entire section of beach to yourself are very good.

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Micronesia: a paradise for divers

If you would like to use your holiday in Micronesia for diving, you will find wonderful dive sites everywhere, for example on the Chuuk Atoll. The Chuuk Lagoon consists of 57 islands, of which only eleven are inhabited. These are surrounded by a fabulously beautiful coral reef. Off the atoll, numerous wrecks of sunken warships from the Second World War lie aground, waiting to be discovered. However, you are not allowed to dig up treasures here: the wrecks are protected by the state and nothing about them may be changed or even taken away. In addition, huge schools of fish of exotic fish species and sharks attract divers. There are also stony coral gardens with more than 200 different coral species to discover. During guided dives, the professionals can be seen feeding sharks: grey reef sharks, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks are strongly represented. From time to time, rarer shark species such as zebra or hammerhead sharks can also be seen.