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Pohnpei

Travel Guide Oceania Micronesia Micronesia Pohnpei

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Introduction

Sohkeh's skyline

Sohkeh's skyline

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Pohnpei is largest island in the island-nation of Micronesia. It is home to the capital, Palikir, and also the main island in the state of Pohnpei, which also includes numerous outlying atolls, some of them hundreds of kilometres away from the main island. An estimated population of 35,000 calls the island home.

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Geography

Pohnpei is a large volcanic island, surrounded by 8 nearby small atolls. It covers a total area of 344 square kilometres. Most of the island's coastal area is covered with mangrove swamps. The nice beaches are found on the small islands situated within the reef.

The interior of the island is rugged and mountainous. At its highest, at Mt Nahna Laud, it is 798 metres. Owing to a high annual rainfall, there are numerous streams flowing towards the ocean with some spectacular waterfalls along the way.

Pohnpei is located just about 5,200 kilometres southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii and about 1,700 kilometres southeast of Guam.

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Towns

  • Kolonia is the largest town on the island and the hub of activity
  • Palikir, although only a small settlement, is Micronesia's capital and the location of all government buildings.

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Sights and Activities

  • Nan Madol is a city in ruins built on numerous small artificial islands, earning it the nickname Venice of the Pacific. It was the capital of the Saudeleur dynasty until roughly 1500 AD. Construction of the islets is estimated to date back to the 8th or 9th century.
  • Surfing - In particular Palikir's Pass is a hotspot for adventurous surfers. The season runs from October to April. A surf camp was opened in 2004, which has seen a dramatic increase in exposure.
  • There are numerous waterfalls on the island of Pohnpei, offering a great destination for short hikes and a nice place to cool down on the invariably hot days.
  • Sokeh's Rock, the prominent rock feature visible from Kolonia can be climbed if you feel energetic. It offers some nice views of Kolonia and the island.
  • The Spanish Wall is what remains of a Spanish fort that was constructed in 1899.
  • There are several spectacular waterfalls on the island owing to its extraordinarily high annual rainfall. The most popular ones include Kepirohi, Lehnpaipohn and the Liduduhniap Twin Waterfalls.

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Weather

The weather in Pohnpei is invariably hot and humid, with temperatures throughout the year hovering around 80 °F. Pohnpei is one of the wettest places on earth, with an average rainfall in excess of 400 inches a year. [1] Don't think you have had bad luck if it is raining every day. It is in fact unusual to have a dry day on Pohnpei.

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Getting There

By Plane

Continental Micronesia provides flights from Guam and Honolulu, touching down in Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap and Chuuk several times a week. Departure taxes are US$10.

By Boat

There are no regular boat services coming into Micronesia. The most likely reason to arrive in Micronesia by boat is if you own your own yacht.

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Getting Around

By Plane

There no scheduled flights within Pohnpei.

By Boat

Irregular boat services run from Pohnpei to the outlying atolls. It is not uncommon for these boats to only run once every few months, depending on whether or not the boats are in a good state of repair.

By Car

Cars drive on the right in Micronesia. Interestingly though, many of the cars on the road also have the driver's seat on the right. Roads are generally in a poor condition and driver education leaves a lot to be desired. It is not uncommon for cars to stop suddenly in front of you to take on passengers or for pedestrians to practically leap in front of the car. Fortunately, speed limits are very low (40km/h, about 25 miles an hour), ensuring a reasonable level of safety. Nonetheless, drivers are well advised to be alert at all times.

Taxis are abundant, particularly around Kolonia and are a convenient way to get around town.

By Bike

Bicycles can be a very convenient way to get around due to the relatively slow traffic and small distances. Some hotels may be able to provide a bicycle for your use. Alternatively, buying a cheap one for use while there may be an option.

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Sleep

High End

  • The Village Hotel is a high end eco-tourism hotel that can arrange tours around the island and diving. They can also offer good tours to Nan Madol. The starting rates for a room or cabin is US$113 a night.

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This is version 13. Last edited at 2:11 on Dec 4, 10 by westbrook. 8 articles link to this page.

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