Federated States of Micronesia

For the region of Micronesia, please see Micronesia (disambiguation)

Capital Palikir
Currency US dollar (USD)
Population 108,105(July 2006 est.)
Country code +691
Time zone UTC+10 to UTC+11

The Federated States of Micronesia is a country in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It is composed of four major island groups totaling 607 islands that lie just north of the equator about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Indonesia, to the north of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and to the south of the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.



Tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage; Natural hazards : typhoons (June to December).


Islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Truk

Highest point: Dolohmwar (Totolom) 791 m


National holiday 
Constitution Day, 10 May (1979)
10 May 1979

In 1979, the Federated States of Micronesia, a UN Trust Territory under US administration, adopted a constitution. On 3 November, 1986, independence was attained under a Compact of Free Association with the US; economic provisions of the Compact are being renegotiated. Previously, the area had been colonized by the Japanese, the Germans, and the Spanish

3 November, 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)

Present concerns include large-scale unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US aid.


Each of the four states has its own culture and traditions, but there are also common cultural and economic bonds that are centuries old. For example, cultural similarities like the importance of the traditional extended family and clan systems can be found on all the islands.


There are 4 states:

Chuuk (Truk)
Pohnpei (Ponape)
Kosrae (Kosaie)


Ports and harbors

Other destinations

The remote atoll of Kapingamarangi is the southernmost island group in FSM.

Get in

If you are going to be in the FSM for less than 30 days you do not need an entry permit. Anyone who will be staying longer than that needs an entry permit. For citizens of the United States, Palau, and the Marshall Islands, this entry permit lasts 1 year. For everyone else, it lasts 60 days. You can get your entry permit on arrival, but if you're traveling for a purpose other than tourism, you need to apply for it in advance.

Most people will need to prove their citizenship with a passport that has at least 120 days of remaining validity, but if you're from Palau, Marshall Islands, or the United States, you can use your birth certificate or an FSM entry permit in lieu of a passport (but a passport still works, too).

If you need to apply for an entry permit on arrival, you must present an FSM Arrival and Departure Record. This is furnished by a carrier before entering the FSM. You will need a completed application form in addition to this.

By plane

United Airlines operates a thrice-weekly "island hopper" flight (CO956 eastbound, CO957 westbound) traveling HonoluluMajuroKwajaleinKosraePohnpeiChuukGuam and vice versa. The full flight is fourteen and a half hours, leaving in the early morning and terminating in the evening, with a stop of about one hour on each island. There are also nonstop flights from various islands to both Honolulu and Guam.

Honolulu is the most direct gateway into the islands from North America. Guam is the most direct gateway from most places in Asia and Australia, although it is also possible to fly into the islands from Manila via Palau.

By boat

The major international ports are; Chuuk,Pohnpei and Yap. There are inter-island trading ships based in these major ports which visits the outlying islands.

Get around

By bus

Even though there are no bus scheduled service on the island, some buses are available to hire or charter. Also, on Yap there is a school bus that runs twice daily from Colonia to the villages.


Taxi service is available throughout the islands and are inexpensive.

Car Hire

There are self-driven cars available in the major towns of the islands. However, It is required to have a National Driver's License or International Driving Permit.


English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi


ruins at Nan Madol
Some pieces of stone money are meters high and require 20 men to move it

The countless islands are largely undeveloped and their sheer remoteness and Robinson Crusoë like-atmosphere are a major draw for visitors. There are gorgeous sea views all around, and the islands' scenery treats vary from beautiful beaches to lush jungles. There's world of colour under water and if you're willing to dive, there are some great opportunities to see under water life.

The ruined city of Nan Madol on Pohnpei is a true highlight and the site of ancient rituals, politics, and royal dwellings of the Saudeleur dynasty. It's a collection of 92 man-made islets connected with tidal canals, which gained it the obvious name of Venice of the Pacific. It's a magnificent archeological attraction, covering 18km2 partly reclaimed by nature. There are huge basalt pillars and stone structures which create an image of the temples, bathing houses, vaults and pools that once formed the centre of life here for centuries.

Of later date but still quite old are the ruins of Lelu, connected with a causeway to Kosrae. Constructed in the 13th and 14th century, this was the centre of the local royalty. Today, it's the stuff of adventure movies: tucked away in tick jungle and largely overgrown. The original purpose of several of the remaining structures is known, and on-site signs help to get a good idea.

The main island of Yap is famous for its stone money, which is still used for ceremonial gifts or payments. Sometimes huge in size, these stone "coins" are a sight in itself. Stroll to the village of Balabat to see the stone money bank and keep your eyes out for traditional houses. Although available on most islands, the village Bechiyal is home to Yap's oldest faluw (or men's house). Yap is also the place to see the best of the region's indigenous arts, as it houses the excellent Ethnic Art Village.


Some popular activities are:

Diving, Viewing, Traditional culture, Swimming


The ancient Yapese may be known for their rai stones ("stone money"), but the official currency of the FSM nowadays is the US Dollar.



U.S. citizens may live and work freely in Micronesia.

Stay safe

The Federated States of Micronesia is generally one of the safest countries to visit. However, there has been some reports of crime in Weno, the capital of Chuuk. Crime is certainly a problem in Weno.


Some islands are very traditional, especially Yap state. Be sure to respect their culture.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, August 13, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.