Measuring up to Micronesia

by PATA Micronesia Chapter
Stripes Guam

Editor’s note: The islands dotting the Western Pacific region of Micronesia make up well over 1,000 square miles. Sure, you may be taking on all the sun, sand, surf and scuba that you can on Guam, but can you stand up to the adventures, resorts and encounters to be found on some of the region’s other islands? Here is a sampling of info the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Micronesia Chapter offers to help you measure up to the challenge. For more, check out: www.micronesiatour.com.

PALAU

• Experience the Enchanting Heritage

Culture that seems unchanged over the last thousands of years. Stroll along ancient stone paths, ponder the storyboards and paintings of the “Bai” or men’s meeting house, or marvel at the stone monoliths that mysteriously dot the hills overlooking the ocean.

• Experience the Undisputed Nature

Palau beckons to you with some of the world’s most awesome wonders such as the famous Jellyfish Lake where you can swim among thousands of nonstinging wonders of evolution or hike among the rain forest and witness the breathtaking waterfalls among the mountains of Babeldaob, where most abundant flora and fauna are found.

• Experience the Non-stop Activities on Land and Water

Visit the famous Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon that has been inscribed onto the World Heritage list of (UNESCO) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization! Explore the labyrinth channels and hidden white sandy beaches. Experience a worldclass diving or snorkeling around more than 586 islands of Palau, the World’s First Shark Sanctuary!

CHUUK

• Better known by its European name “Truk,” the island is world renowned for its wreck diving, the best of its kind in the world.

• The “Truk lagoon” is one of the largest enclosed lagoons in the world, circled by 140 miles long barrier reef, and covering an area of 832 square miles.

• There are more than 100 World War II Japanese vessels and planes which rest at the bottom of the vast, but mostly shallow lagoon.

• Divers from all over the world come to miracle at this underwater museum and “graveyard” which has been softened by time and nature. Many of the wrecks have been unbelievably beautiful living reefs of brilliant soft corals, and sea anemones where an abundance of tropical marine lives and plays.

CNMI

• Diving options abound in clear, tropical waters: shore, boat, wreck, reef, cavern. Saipan’s Grotto, Rota’s sunken ships, Tinian’s Twin Coral Paints, Eagle Ray City and more await the eager explorer.

• Visit historic WWII sites of some of the fiercest battles in the Pacific. Touch armored tanks, snorkel and dive over sunken aircraft and ships, walk through a Japanese era jail, crawl into defensive bunkers, look down into the atomic bomb pits, drive along Runaway Able where the Enola Gay took off.

• Visit awe-inspiring cultural sites, especially the unique “Latte Stones,” giant limestone monoliths that supported the structures of the ancestors of the modern Chamorros, particularly the great Taga House of Tinian. Enjoy a day at award-winning Managaha Island in the Saipan Lagoon, burial site of Chief Aghurubw, leader of the Carolinian migration to the Northern Mariana Islands.

• Catch a glimpse of the national bird of the NMI, the Marianas Fruit Dove (Philinopus Roseicapella) also known by its local name, Paluman Totut, and the Tinian Monarch, found only on this one island in the Pacific. Also, don’t miss the fantastic bird sanctuary above the majestic cliffs of Rota. See and savor the world’s largest land arthropod, the coconut crab. Watch a monitor lizard as long as your arm slither into the underbrush. Spot the Crowned Butterfly Fish only here.

• For the sporty and high activity tourist, the island of Saipan offers worldclass golfing, fabulous shopping and lively markets and festivals. Para-sailing, deep sea fishing, and trekking are all available to the adventurous visitor. XTERRA Saipan and other annual triathlons and sporting events make it an athlete’s escape year round.

• For those interested in finding peace in paradise, Tinian, Rota, and Saipan offer quiet, balmy days of rest and relaxation. Run with fun under the sun, savor starry nights and romantic strolls along white sandy beaches, or swim with turtles among unspoiled coral reefs.

• Come and take your chances at the only Gaming establishment in the Pacific on the beautiful island of Tinian.

POHNPEI

• Nan Madol Ancient Ruins
Visit an ancient stone city built in the 12th century and walk the ruins of a highly developed and skilled civilization whose origins and history are lost to the modem world.

• Diving
Explore a sea surrounded by rich mangrove forests, coral reefs and wildlife not seen anywhere else in the world. Swim among schools of sharks, sea turtles and manta rays.

• Paradise of Eden
Take a short boat trip to two neighboring atolls called Ant and Pakin where beauty is untouched and locals call this the Garden of Eden.

• Bird Watching
Look for the lorikeets, an endemic species only found in Pohnpei.

• Hiking
Hike to the falls, overnight in a tropical rain forest and watch the beautiful stars at night!

• Entertainment
Drink Sakau, a relaxing, kava-like brew at the end of a glorious day in paradise as locals preserve their culture through mesmerizing experience of dance and song.

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