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Archive for micronesia

The Redwoods of Micronesia

By Linda Tancs

Yela Ka Forest is a conservation area of “ka” trees (Terminalia carolinensis) on the island of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia and represents the last stand of such trees in the world. The dense vegetation in the island’s interior, with almost no invasive species, is likely the reason for the trees’ preservation there. Their immense size strikes comparison with California’s redwoods, leading to the moniker “Redwoods of Micronesia.” Be sure to take an interpretative nature tour with an experienced guide. You can reach Kosrae via flights from Guam or Honolulu.

Experiencing the Hemispheres

By Linda Tancs

Kiribati is an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Nations located in the central Pacific Ocean about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. In addition to boasting the biggest water-to-land ratio in the world, it bears the distinction of being the only country to fall in all four hemispheres. It comprises 33 coral islands, all but one of which are atolls. The majority of the atolls are surrounded by barrier reefs, creating picturesque lagoons for world-class fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming and other water sports. You’ll also find a fair share of historical and cultural experiences, like artifacts from the Battle of Tarawa during World War II and a demonstration of toddy cutting (a sap that comes from the blossom of the coconut before the spathe that contains it bursts). Fiji Airways serves the area from Nadi or Honolulu.

The Island of Stone Money

By Linda Tancs

You’ve heard the expression about money burning a hole in your pocket. Well, the centuries-old currency on the Micronesian island of Yap would do a lot worse than that. It does, after all, weigh more than a car. That currency comprised colossal stone discs made of limestone. Needless to say, it never changed hands (in a literal sense), or even villages. Nonetheless, the villagers knew who owned what. Of course, nowadays modern currency (the U.S. dollar) prevails, but you’ll still find some trading the old-fashioned way.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Pristine Paradise in Micronesia

By Linda Tancs

Located in the western Pacific Ocean, Palau is a pristine paradise, and the locals intend to keep it that way by implementing the Palau Pledge. It’s the world’s first conservation pledge that is stamped in passports; visitors sign a declaration to protect the local environment and culture for the next generation. That environment includes native forests and mangroves that are the most species-diverse in Micronesia with 1,400 species of plants and an estimated 194 endemic plant species, including 23 endemic species of orchids. You’ll also find phenomena like the Rock Islands (collections of largely uninhabited, mushroom-shaped islets housing one of the world’s greatest concentrations of coral and marine life) and Jellyfish Lake, where two types of resident jellyfish have completely lost their sting because they have not had to fight off predators.

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