The green hills of Kosrae

Micronesia (FSM) - in a Nutshell

Author: Sue Rogers
Date: 1st January 2018

Where is Micronesia?

  • The Federated States of Micronesia (literally Small Islands) is a country spread across 1500 miles of the western Pacific Ocean. It comprises more than 600 of the Caroline Islands, but only 65 are inhabited.
  • FSM sits just north of the Equator around 7 or 8 degrees.
  • The Federated States of Micronesia is commonly known as FSM
  • The total population is around 100,000 people

Who Colonised Micronesia?

  • The islands, inhabited by Micronesian and Polynesian peoples, were colonised by Spain in the 17th century. Germany purchased them from Spain in 1898.
  • The four island states: Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap, which form the FSM, became an independent country in 1986.

Is Micronesia a Part of the United States?

FSM is an independent country, but has an association with the U.S.A, who administer the country. The U.S.A. is responsible for the defence of the FSM and the currency is the U.S. dollar.

Is Micronesia Safe to Visit?

The islands of Micronesia are generally considered to be safe. However, women are particularly advised to exercise caution when travelling alone in secluded areas. specially in Chuuk, where crime rates are higher than in the other states; the advice is stay off the streets after dark on Weno (the main island). But I didn't have any problems.

As in many of the poorer Pacific islands there is a lot of litter.

Where to Visit in Micronesia?

All four states have different attractions:

  • Kosrae is wild and very beautiful
  • Pohnpei is great for surfing, snorkelling and the ruins of Nan Madol
  • I was warned to be careful in Chuuk. The urban areas are not very atractive - and there is heaps of litter on, especially on some of the island beaches. but the wreck diving is world renowned
  • Yap is culturally the most interesting with its pointy roofed houses, enclosed, villages and stone money. There are also world war relics, great snorkelling and visits to see the manta rays.

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