FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
This is the largest island in the Eastern Caroline group and the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). It fits the typical South Sea island image with its lush vegetation and abundant rainfall washing into streams, rivers and tumbling waterfalls. Unlike other Micronesian islands it has tropical jungles, mist covered mountains, mangrove swamps and exotic flora.
Situated in the Western Pacific, it is 2,900 feet high, 13 miles wide and shaped somewhat like a circular tent.
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Aerial view of Pohnpei
Called the Garden Island of Micronesia, its boldest landmarks are Sokehs Rock, a steep cliff face which you can scale with a guide if you are fit enough and Nan Madol, an ancient stone city built on 100 artificial islets off the south-east coast.
Sailing in Pohnpei
The first European to visit the island group was Spaniard, Diego de Rocha, in 1526. The islands were originally called the New Philippines until 1696 when they were renamed the Caroline Islands.
Stick dance, Pohnpei
Occupied by Spain, Germany, Japan and the USA, Pohnpei experienced 100 years of foreign rule because it proved to be an ideal supply stop for the Pacific expedition.
English is the predominant language spoken, though English and Pohnpeian are used in business.
Archaeologists and engineers are attempting to discover more about the race which constructed the island city of Nan Madol, the stone fortress built on a reef southwest of Temwen Island, by the rulers of Pohnpei beginning around 500 AD until it was taken over by Isokelekel, the warrior who installed the present traditional system in the 1520s.
Nan Madol, Pohnpei
The ruins consist of immense basalt rock logs brought to the islands by raft to construct steps, paths and a temple.
Nan Madol is reached by boat from the main town of Kolonia about 45 minutes away. It's a full day boat tour which includes a visit to the spectacular Keprohi Waterfall and snorkelling amidst the vivid marine life inside the lagoon.
A 20 minute ride out of Kolonia takes you to the Nanpil River and a large natural pool where the river temporarily slows down. Further along the same river are the spectacular Liduduhniap Twin Waterfalls complete with thatched huts where you can rest or picnic in a natural jungle setting. A day trip to privately owned Black Coral Island in the lagoon is the perfect way to safely snorkel the reef and for a family day visit, Lager Island with its simple cottages where visitors can stay overnight.
In Kolonia you can see the Spanish wall, built in 1889 as a boundary or Fort Alphonso XII. Nearby is a Catholic Mission bell tower, all that remains of the old German Church torn down by the Japanese during World War 2. Also take a stroll into the Polynesian village and watch the craftsmen whittle ornaments from the ivory seed which grows locally.
Most tours to Nan Madol ruins, the Keprohi Waterfalls, diving and hiking expeditions, operate from Kolonia, and most of the waterfalls and areas of historical and ecological importance can only be reached by guided tour.
Accommodation is both traditional Pohnpeian which is thatched roofed bungalows with garden showers, and western styles hotels, most of which are in Kolonia within fifteen minutes from the airport. There is no public transport, only taxis and rental cars, but most hotels will offer shuttle services. Tourists facilities are clean, comfortable and the service is friendly.
A visit to the Pohnpeian cultural centres is a must for anyone wishing to experience traditional Pohnpeian life and culture. There are two, set in authentic surrounds which perform an array of traditional Pohnpeian activities. Each centre has a distinctive programme and performs on scheduled days during the week. Performances include traditional dancing, singing, music, ceremonial sakau making, handicraft arts, and food preparation. Cooking and weaving are often included.
The village shops specialize in handicrafts and popular items include carving of sharks, fish, dolphins and canoes. When it comes to relaxing, try a drink of sakau, the numbing local drink which is used in ceremonies and is also sold in bars. The local custom of chewing the beetle nut with coral lime powder is commonly practised.
Pohnpei is a maze of coral passes or channels leading from the outside sea into the inner lagoon which provide great diving, and offer superb coral formations, including deep gorgonian fans that grow up to six metres in height. This shallow water is also the place to see barracuda, mantas and several varieties of curious reef sharks.
For More Information:
Aspects of Pohnpei
Micronesia Postcards and Picture Galleries
Oceania Postcards and Picture Galleries
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