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Travel Guide Oceania Micronesia Micronesia Chuuk

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Introduction

Chuuk (also known as Truk) is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia.

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Geography

The main population center of Chuuk is Chuuk Lagoon, a large archipelago with mountainous islands surrounded by a string of islets on a barrier reef. Chuuk State also includes several more sparsely populated "outer island" groups, including the Mortlock Islands to the southeast, the Hall Islands (Pafeng) to the north, Namonuito Atoll to the northwest, and the Pattiw Region to west. The Pattiw Region is of particular interest in that they are some of the most traditional islands in the Pacific and culturally related to outer islands of Yap.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

Chuuk is renowned for its wreck diving. The PADI Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving lists four "Meccas" of wreck diving, and Truk Lagoon is one of the four.

In 1944 the US Navy conducted Operation Hailstone, the largest surface bombing campaign in history, wiping out a Japanese fleet stationed at the island. The seabed around Chuuk is now littered with nearly 70 wrecks of ships and planes, all protected from deep sea currents by a reef system, and most within depths appropriate for scuba divers.

Although Truk Lagoon contains a number of spectacular wrecks, the Fujikawa Maru is often singled out by diving magazines and travel guides as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world.

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Events and Festivals

  • FSM Constitution Day - Each of the Federated States of Micronesia have their own constitution day holidays, but the entire island nations celebrates the date, May 10, on which the country’s national constitution was founded in 1979. This is not really a lively festival, but rather a day of rest and relaxation which Micronesians spend at shopping centers and parks on this day off from school and work.
  • FSM Independence Day - This November 3 holiday celebrates the nation’s sovereignty and accomplishments since its liberation from its colonizers. Independence Day is marked by all kinds of festive events with music, overflowing feasts and cultural presentations.
  • FSM Veterans of Foreign War - Observed November 11, this highly patriotic day in Micronesia commemorates the contributions of veterans who served in the US Armed Forces during the Foreign Wars.
  • United Nations Day - Few places celebrate United Nations Day with more fervor than the Pacific Islands of Micronesia. Fairs serving foods around the world and international cultural performances also fill this day celebrating the anniversary of the United Nations charter.
  • Liberation Day - September 11 remains a day of celebration on the Pacific Islands of Micronesia, whose citizens still associate this date as the anniversary of the United States WWII victory over Japan.
  • Tree Planting Day - As part of the forestry program in the Federated States of Micronesia, a tree-planting day is observed on June 1 each year in accordance with environmental week and Earth Day.
  • Micronesian Culture and Traditions Day - Established to celebrate Micronesia’s cultural and traditional heritage, this day is honored on March 31 every year.

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Weather

The climate in Chuuk is tropical, with temperatures relatively even at about 27 °C throughout the year during the day and rarely below 21 °C at night. In general, the wet season lasts from July to November, when typhoons can strike the islands as well. The better season for a visit probably is the dry season from December to April.

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Getting There

By Plane

Chuuk International Airport (IATA: TKK) offers flights with Air Niugini to/from Pohnpei and Port Moresby, with Caroline Islands Air charter flights to/from Fais, Houk, Onoun, Pohnpei, Ta, Ulithi, Woleai and Yap, with Nauru Airlines to/from Kosrae, Majuro, Nauru, Pohnpei and Tarawa, and with United Airlines to/from Guam, Honolulu, Kosrae, Kwajalein Atoll, Majuro, Pohnpei, and seasonal to/from Manila.

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Getting Around

There is no public transport infrastructure in Chuuk. On the main island, the two options are either take a taxi or rent a car or scooter. Both are fairly cheap, but the quality of the roads and the quality of the vehicles are about what you would expect in a relatively poor country.

Travelling between islands will invariably require hiring a boat.

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Drink

Alcohol is subject to a 50% sales tax in Chuuk, and all alcohol is imported. Accordingly, an evening at the bar can rapidly become quite an expensive proposition in Chuuk.

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Sleep

Chuuk is a very poor country, and visitors should adjust their expectations of the hotels accordingly. Although the rooms will be air conditioned and clean, the amenities will be somewhat limited.

  • Blue Lagoon Dive Resort - P.O. Box 340, Weno, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia 96942, ☎ +691 330 2727, e-mail: BLResort@mail.fm. Quiet and rustic hotel on the southern tip of Weno, with a connected dive resort ~$110. edit
  • Truk Stop - P.O. Box 546, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia 96942, ☎ +691 330 4232, e-mail: info@dive-truklagoon.com. A dive resort located very close to town, minutes from the airport

Visitors who come to scuba dive (which is to say, almost all of them) often stay on one of the two liveaboard dive vessels which operate in Chuuk:

  • Truk Odyssey, P.O. Box 340, Weno, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia 96942, ☎ +1-800-757-5396 (US), fax: +1 904 346-0664, e-mail: info@TrukOdyssey.com. High quality, but comparitvely expensive, diving liveaboard.
  • ss Thorfinn, Seaward Holidays Micronesia Inc, P.O. Box 1086, Weno, Chuuk State, FM 96942, Micronesia, ☎ +691 330 3040, fax: +691 330 4253, e-mail: thorfinn@seawave.net. More affordable diving liveaboard.

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This is version 7. Last edited at 9:19 on Jul 19, 17 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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