Where: Chuuk and Yap, Micronesia, Pacific Ocean
Happening: Diving around WWII relics and the world’s largest lagoon
Remember to Bring: Hula grass skirt to join in the dancing
With more ocean than land, some of Micronesia’s top sites are underwater. Many WWII relics lie hidden under the tropical waters; 60 Japanese ships were sunk by American forces as retaliation for Pearl Harbour. Ironically, this tragic loss of life has made Chuuk one of the best wreck diving locations in the world, a scuba lovers’ vast undersea museum of more than 100 submerged sea vessels and aircrafts. The warm tropical waters and marine life have transormed Chuuk lagoon into a beautiful coral garden and home to exotic, tropical wildlife.
Situated roughly in the centre of the states of Micronesia, Chuuk is a collection of tiny islands scattered across the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The islands are heavily forested with numerous sandy beaches, great for both walks, wildlife treks or hot bathing. The total land mass of the islands is a tiny 80 square miles.
Chuuk Lagoon, renowned for its world class diving is a small island surround by coral reef. This Lagoon once sheltered the Japanese Imperial Navy during WW II. The main island of Weno has the world’s largest lagooon and its highest peaks, the Tonachau Mountain Iras, is the home of the legendary God Souwniras and his divine son.
For centuries, Chuuk has served as a crossroads for sea traders and adventures. With fresh waterfalls, and centuries old historic sites from 16th Century Spanish explores to 20th century battlegrounds, there is much to offer a visitor.
Yap is an ancient island of legends. It’s located nine degrees north of the equator and its east side is in the Pacific and the west side in the Philippine Sea. Known as the land of stone money, where ancient monetary trading coins were carved out of stone and are still used to this today. The language of dance is fundamental to the islanders, replacing speach as a means of learning their native history. Life is traditional for Yap islanders, they wear grass skirts and loin cloths and are shy towards tourists.
Yap is an ocean eden, with clear waters and schools of tuna, wahoo, sailfish, dophins and reef fish found in abundance. The region is a prime site for seeing manta rays up close, making it a foremost diving attraction.
The Chuuk Visitor Bureau:
P.O. Box FQ
Chuuk FSM 96942
Tel: (691) 330 4133
Fax: (691) 330 4194
Diving in Chuuk
Diving and snorkeling holidays in Chuuk
Diving and Kayaking holidays and trips in the island of Yap.
By Susi O’Neill