Where: Pohnpei, Micronesia, Pacific
What’s in store: Fertility art carved on giant vegetables
Bag a bargain: Head to any market for examples of the art carved on gourds or in weavings
Where it’s at
Pohnpei, the “Garden Island” offers possibly the most diverse scenery among the islands of Micronesia. Situated between Honolulu and Manila, Pohnpei is considered by many to be the most beautiful pacific island. It’s one of the wettest places on earth, there are rushing rivers and tranquil fresh water pools as well as some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Micronesia due to the large amount of rainfall. The tropical forest that covers the island teems with more than 40 species of birds, reptiles and even deer.
Of special interest is the ancient city of Nan Madol. Said to be over 700 years old, this Venice-like community complete with canals, stone towers and bridges, offers a fascinating tour of Micronesia’s most famous ruins.
You’ll find that Pohnpeians love yams, but you won’t find them in restaurants. A lot of prestige is bestowed upon the person who grows them, and they are seen as a symbol of fertility. It sometimes takes up to ten men to carry them. However, to modern day Pohnpeians, yams are considered a little passé since canned food is valued as a higher prestige item.
Where To bag A bargain
You can find huge varieties of sizes and textures in any of the island’s teaming markets. You can also buy relics of yam culture, carved on wood and gourds, and decorating local craftwork like bowls and weavings.
Explore the diving terrain’s of the Micronesian islands.
Federal States of Micronesia
Micronesia’s official tourist site with a rich selection of geographic, fatual and cultural information.
By Susi O’Neill