With pristine coral reefs, ancient traditions handed down generations along with giant stone currency, dense mangrove forests and great diving, Yap holds a place of pride on the Micronesia’s tourism map.
The Yap Islands are arguably one of the most fascinating travel destinations in South Pacific and the world. Here, travellers will find a culture undiluted over the centuries, a rich tapestry of history and a wealth of natural wonders. This FSM state consists of four main islands (Yap proper, Maap, Gagil-Tamil and Rumung) surrounded by a common fringing reef.
Compared to FSM’s other states, Yapese people have held on to their culture and history very strongly. For example, besides the American dollar, they still hold the traditional Yap currency of giant stone disks, shells and turmeric as proper tender!
The Yap Islands have one of the most riveting and interesting cultures, history and existing traditions as compared to any nation on earth. The people of Yap have always been phenomenal sailors and ocean navigators. The concept of denominating the value of a carved stone disk was measured by how far it was mined from the island and how much effort it took to sail it back. Some of the disks measure as much as 10 feet across and need about 20 men to lift it!
Along with the rest of FSM, it also saw Spanish and Japanese rule over the centuries. During WWI, YAP functioned as a critical German naval communication centre. It was only at the end of WWII that Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Yap came together and formed the Federated States of Micronesia on 1986.
Travellers can learn more about Yapese traditions and history over the ages by just walking around the island and talking to the friendly locals – it’s that kind of island paradise!