Kosrae is unique among the Micronesian Islands because it is a solitary island surrounded by a reef, whereas the other islands have small islands in close proximity.
The second largest island in the FSM, Kosrae is a sleepy backwater paradise for active travellers who enjoy tramping through rainforests, paddling through mangroves, or snorkelling coral reefs.
Kosrae's greatest attraction is the clear, clean ocean and living coral reefs that completely encircle it. The island is somewhat triangular in shape and good dive sites can be found on all three sides.
Offshore, the coral reefs slope steeply into clear blue depths. At some spots there are vertical drop-offs, while other areas have undulating profiles of cascading corals.
Young boy from Kosrae performing a stick dance
The teeming reef life has attracted all kinds of Pacific reef fish and there is a large population of turtles, particularly during the mating season in December, and a school of Spinner Dolphins.
Scuba divers can explore the many World War 2 wrecks and there is swimming, fishing and sea shelling for those who enjoy relaxing by the water.
The tip of a submerged mountain peak that rises from the abyssal plain thousands of feet below, the island's highest point is Mount Finkol, 2,064 feet above sea level and it is possible to hike to the summit for a panoramic view of Kosrae.
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The locals believe that in ancient times, the Gods became angry with Kosrae and laid her on her back where she bacame an island. The view from the causeway makes it easy to see why Kosrae was called the "Land of the Sleeping Lady" and from the top of Mount Finkol, all from Lelu Harbour you can still see her head, hair, stomach and breasts outlined against the sky as per picture above.
Legends are told that the King of Micronesia ruled from Kosrae and that the first settlers arrived from canoes from East Asia and other islands in the South Pacific. They were followed by whalers in 1766 and missionaries from Boston in the 1850s, who educated the people and produced the island's first written version of the local language.
The pirate William "Bully" Hayes lost his ship the Leonora in Utwe Harbour during a storm in 1874. He buried his treasure after his ship sank. The ship still lies in the harbour mud, but the treasure has never been found.
If you planned to stay on Kosrae, you can either rent a car or use taxis though if you are walking, locals will often offer you a ride in the back of their trucks.
Taxis are now plentiful in Kosrae and cable television went to air last October, 2001. Driving conditions around Kosrae have been greatly improved as the new road pavement has reached half way between Malem and Utwe where the old road has been totally replaced.
The U.S. dollar is the only currency used, though banks and most hotels will accept well known credit cards. If waiting around for them to open leaves you thirsty, try the local drink, fresh lime juice and water, it's delicious. The best way to see Kosrae is to take a drive from the main town of Lelu which also contains the archaeological ruins of Lelu, to the outlying villages of Tafunsak to the west, and to Utwe village where the state conservation area is located. There is excellent snorkelling in the coral reefs outside of Lelu, Malem and Tafunsak. Near Utwe, to the south, you can swim in the pool formed by the Sip Yen Waterfall. A fairly good road connects the four villages and there are pristine beaches along the way where you can enjoy walking for miles.
Balmy all year round, Kosrae remains an unblemished garden of flowers and citrus trees, a place to explore a verdant dot in the Pacific with beautiful white sandy beaches, blue waters and dense, green tropical jungle.
Kosrae has consistently good diving conditions due to the triangular shape of the island. The great attraction here is the clear, clean water and live coral that encircles the island. August is usually the best month when visibility is up to 65 metres. Kosrae has a large population of turtles and during the mating season their numbers escalate. Another great attraction is provided by the 150 dolphins which reside outside the reef.
For more information:
Aspects of Kosrae
Jane Resture's Oceania Page
Micronesia Postcards and Picture Galleries
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|Federated States of Micronesia Home Page|
|Postcards from Micronesia|
|Jane's Oceania Home Page|
Welcome everybody to Micronesia Music Anthology which is available on
The anthology can be accessed by clicking on the 'Broadcast Schedule' after logging in to Micronesia Music Radio. This should allow you to determine when the anthology is available in your part of the world. For example, in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Australia, the anthology is available at 12 noon each Saturday. In Kiribati, the anthology is available each Saturday afternoon at 2 pm; California at 7 pm each Friday evening; New York at 10 pm each Friday evening, along with Florida and Boston, Massachusetts, USA, etc.
The anthology runs for 90 minutes in which the traditional chants are introduced, including many from the Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap), followed by the beautiful songs of Micronesia. Thank you!
The schedule can also be accessed here
Pacific Islands Radio Stations