Yap State, Micronesia
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Yap State, Micronesia

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Federated States Of Micronesia Travel Guide

Key Facts

702 sq km (271 sq miles).


105,681 (2014).

Population density

150.5 per sq km.


Palikir (Pohnpei).


Federal Republic in free association with the USA.

Head of state

President Emanuel (Manny) Mori since 2007.

Head of government

President Emanual (Manny) Mori since 2007.


120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style plugs with two flat pins (with or without grounding pin) are standard.

Scattered across the Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia is the epitome of paradise – with its powdery shores, crystalline waters and colourful coral reefs – but its lack of connectivity and relative obscurity means few travellers actually make it here.

Comprised of some 607 islands, this archipelago is not the easiest place to get to, but it certainly rewards those who do make the journey. In islands like Chuuk, visitors will find vast lagoons of monumental beauty, filled with shipwrecks, kaleidoscopic corals and sandy beaches. The islands are a dream for divers, and many argue that the area’s diving and snorkelling ranks among the best in the world.

It’s not all about natural beauty, though. The Micronesians themselves combine a profusion of languages, customs and folklore, which are captivating to witness. The archipelago is defiantly archaic too, which is wholly refreshing: on the island of Yap, islanders still trade using an ancient stone currency. Some Micronesians can also be glimpsed wearing traditional garments and throughout the nation you are likely to stumble across snatches of unique island music and witness zesty, time-honoured dances.

Though a sovereign nation now, the archipelago has been dragged from pillar to post by various colonial powers. The Portuguese, Spanish, Germans and Japanese have all laid claim to the territory, followed by the USA, which took over the administration the nation in 1947. However, in 1986, the Federated States signed a Compact of Free Association with the USA, allowing for 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 does take off, with 607 islands to speak of, finding some deserted shores to relax on shouldn't be too hard.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 30 November 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.


Crime levels are low. However, there are regular reports of petty crime against foreigners, including break-ins and non-violent theft. Take sensible precautions to protect your belongings.

In November 2010 there was an attempted sexual assault in Pohnpei against two western women during a morning jog. A similar incident happened in November 2009 in Yap when a woman was attacked and killed while jogging in the early morning. Women should take care if alone in secluded areas and be aware that standards of dress are more conservative in Micronesia than in many western countries.

Local Travel

There are treacherous channel currents and rogue waves in parts of the islands. You should wear appropriate safety equipment and take local advice at all times if you are taking part in adventure sports.

Mobile telephones

International roaming isn’t available in the Federated States of Micronesia. This means that your UK mobile phone will not be usable.