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Micronesia Driving Guide

Micronesia is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-07-30 · 9mins.

Also known as the Federated States of Micronesia, Micronesia is a country in Oceania that is composed of more than 600 islands. This country might occupy a small area of land, but it occupies 2,600,000 km2 of the Pacific Ocean, making it the 14th largest exclusive economic zone in the world. Thus, the Federated States of Micronesia is an ideal place for travelers who are seeking an adventure and want to escape the busy life of the city.

The country has four states, namely Yap, Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Kosrae. What’s more impressive is that each state has various attractions and adventures waiting for you! No matter where you are in the Federated States of Micronesia, you’ll never run out of things to experience for your bucket list! Driving in each of the states is possible if you want to enjoy the islands fully. Driving in Micronesia island fully will require you to have an International Driver's Permit so, make sure you have one.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Traveling to a foreign country, especially for the first time, can have you worrying about the things to consider before going there. You probably already tried searching on the internet about this, and congratulations! You just landed on the right website. In this comprehensive guide, you will be reading about all the things you need to prepare, consider and keep in mind when driving in the locations of Micronesia.

So, sit back and relax because everything you need to know for the journey of a lifetime will be provided here.

General Information

Micronesia, known as The Federated State of Micronesia, is a country that can be found in the Pacific, and it is associated with the United States. It is composed of four states with many islands surrounding it. The country’s capital is Palikir which is on the island of Pohnpei. Now, it has a seat in the United Nations and is part of the Pacific community.

You may think that this country is far from other countries where you can experience the city life and enjoy different infrastructures, which is true. But, The Federated States of Micronesia can offer you the escape you always wanted! From its clear waters to its mountain peaks with the majestic views, you’ll truly experience the calmness and comfort you’re looking for.

Geographic Location

The Federated States of Micronesia is a country that is composed of 607 islands which are divided into four states. These islands are spread across the Caroline Islands, which can be found in the Western Pacific Ocean. It has its seat on the east of the Philippine Islands and north of the island of New Guinea. Its capital, Palikir, is in the state of Pohnpei.

The Federated States of Micronesia lies near the equator so expect that the climate in the country will be tropical, sunny, and rainy throughout the whole year. It has a minimum of 22°C to 25°C and maximum of 30°C to 32°C. Its Mt. Nahnalaud, a mountain located on the island of Pohnpei, is known as the rainiest place on earth, for it receives almost 10,160 mm of rain.

Storms are short but intense in the islands, so make sure to watch out for the weather if you have plans on driving around the areas of Micronesia. January and February are the driest months and the perfect time for you if you want to experience the hot sun in the country.

Languages Spoken

Languages that are spoken in The Federated States of Micronesia are a mixture of Micronesian and Polynesian languages. But, throughout the whole country, the most commonly spoken language is Chuukese, also known as Trukese. There are also other major indigenous languages spoken in the country, namely Ulithian, Yapese, Kosraeans, Woleaians, Pohnpeians, Kapingamarangi, Nukuoro.

Have plans on driving in the regions of Micronesia but doesn’t speak any of these languages? Don’t worry! English is still the primary language used for instruction and education purposes, making it easy for you and the Micronesians to understand each other. Most of the older people in Micronesia are also fluent in Japanese.

Land Area

The Federated States of Micronesia has a total land area of 272 square miles that is spread across the Caroline Islands. Although its land area is only 272 square miles, its exclusive economic zone or scope of the sea, including its resources, is 1,156,924 square miles. Due to this, The Federated States of Micronesia ranks 14th among the countries with the largest economic zone.

History

The Federated States of Micronesia boasts its rich history. The earliest archeological evidence indicates that the first people came into the country between two to three thousand years ago. These first people are known to be Austronesian that has high maritime skills and knowledge used for survival. These early people migrated to other countries like Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and the Marshall Islands.

Later on, different countries from Europe and Asia started to settle in the country. First, the Portuguese and were followed by the Spaniards. The Spaniards claimed sovereignty over the Caroline Islands then sold it to the Germans. The Germans ended their administration when the Japanese took over.

Independence was achieved when the Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States

Government

The politics of The Federated States of Micronesia is very similar to that of the United States of America. The citizens themselves vote for their government, and the government powers are separated into three branches, the Executive, Judicial and Legislative.

The Federated State of Micronesia’s Congress is unicameral and consisting of fourteen Senators, 4 of them (1 each state) will be leading for four years, and the others will lead for two years. The number of senators will vary on the population for each of the states. Currently, Chuuk has the most number of senators in the government (6 seats), Pohnpei has four seats, Yap and Kosrae have two seats for senators.

The President and Vice President are also elected by the people to lead for a four-year term.

Tourism

Aside from its rich history, The Federated States of Micronesia is very popular with the tourists because of its perfect geographical location. There are many things that tourists can do in this country like scuba dive and surf in its numerous atolls, refresh in its waterfalls, dive into its history by visiting the ruins, feel the wind in its mountain peaks, and a lot more!

International Driver's Permit FAQs

Due to the enchanting views and attractions you’ll experience when driving in Micronesia today, self-drive is on top of every tourist’s to-do list. In this section, you’ll be knowing everything regarding driving license in The Federated States of Micronesia, which you’ll be using for going around the country.

Is a Local Driver's License Valid in Micronesia?

Before you can start following the map of FSM and start driving in Micronesia, you must first have both your local driver’s license and an International Driving Permit. You must also bring it with you no matter wherever you’ll be driving in the Micronesia region. Having this is important to avoid getting fines by violating the Micronesian law.

How Do I Get an International Driving Permit in Micronesia?

International Driving Permits are essential when going out of your country, and you want to travel by car in a foreign one, particularly Micronesia. An IDP is a translation of your driver information from your driver's license and can be a valid form of identification. Having an International Driving Permit will save you from many hassles and stress when you are outside your country, especially when dealing with local officials. Getting an International Driving Permit is already made easy for you!

To get an International Driving Permit, simply go to our application page, where you can directly apply and provide your driver details like name, address, contact number, and zip code. Driving in Micronesia with your International Driver's Permit will make your journey hassle-free! Just make sure that all encoded information are deemed correct and proceed with the process.

Is an International Driver's Permit Required in Micronesia?

An International Driver's Permit is required in Micronesia, especially if your driving license is not written and understandable in the English language. Although, if you have a US Driver’s license, you can drive around the country. Other than that, IDP is required.

Having your driver’s license gives you permission to drive a vehicle in your local country. Meanwhile, having an International Driving Permit gives you the permission to drive in any country because it serves as the translation of your local driver’s license to different languages, so the Micronesian authorities can understand you better and avoid having unnecessary misunderstandings.

How Long is an International Driver's Permit Valid in Micronesia?

Your International driving permit will be valid in Micronesia for only 3 months. If you have plans on experiencing the most out of the country by long-term driving around the Micronesia map, you will be required to acquire a Micronesian driver’s license already.

However, your International Driver's Permit will be valid for 1 to 3 years in which you can use for over 150 countries.

Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?

Your International Driver's Permit will never be a replacement for your local driving license. The driver’s license will be the primary requirement before you can apply for an International Driving Permit. Your International Driving Permit will only serve as the translation of your local driver’s license to different languages so that wherever country you plan to drive, the authorities will understand your driver’s details better.

Having an International Driver's Permit will also save you from a lot of misunderstandings in that certain country, so make sure to secure one.

Renting a Car in Micronesia

Driving a car in a certain country can be a bit confusing, exciting, and mind-blowing at the same time. But, to experience it, you must have a vehicle to use in going around Micronesia. But what if you don’t have a car for driving in Micronesia today? Worry no more! Here, you will be provided with the knowledge about renting a car in Micronesia!

Car Rental Companies

In the Federated States of Micronesia, renting a car can be a practical way if you are driving in groups or with family to avoid hassles and enjoy the moment of having to explore the island anytime you want. There are several car rental companies available in each state of the country. Some of the hotels also offer car rental services which is better because it will serve as your one-stop-shop on the island.

However, you must understand that most of these companies are only available in the major islands. In Chuuk, there’s a famous car rental company called Truk Stop Car Rental that can offer you the services you want. Yap Island also has a number of car rental companies like 7D Rental Co. and Yoruw company.

Kosrae and Pohnpei have more number of car rental companies you can choose from, like KNS Car Rental and Hairom Car Rental available in Kosrae. If you are only driving around Pohnpei, you can enjoy some international car rental companies like Budget Car Rental and Micro Car Rental.

Documents Required

There are several documents required before you can rent a car for driving around the map of Micronesia. A driver’s license is the main requirement for you to rent a car, and you must also have a valid government ID to show the company. If you don’t have a Micronesian driver’s license or a US driver’s license, you will be required to show an International Driver's Permit.

Vehicle Types

Most of the roads in the Federated States of Micronesia are not as paved as in the United States, so the vehicles that are used in the country can adapt to the type of road this country has.

You’ll see that the usual brand of vehicles available for rent in the country are Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Chevrolet. The typical type of cars available are sedans, SUVs, and vans. The popular type of car available for rent is SUV, and the most common cars are Ford Explorer, Kia Sportage, and Nissan Juke.

Car Rental Cost

The cost of car rental in The Federated States of Micronesia will always depend on the type of car, state you’ll be driving, number of days you’ll be renting, and the current season in the country. Most car rental packages also include insurance which is an essential part of renting a car because it will be helpful for you when something terrible happens while you’re driving in the islands of Micronesia.

The cost of the cars varies from 40 USD to 200 USD per day. It will also depend on the distance of your driving in Micronesia.

Age Requirements

The minimum age requirement for a Micronesian who plans on driving in Micronesia is at least 18 years old and above. But, if you are a tourist and are planning to rent a car, you are required to be at least 21 years of age and must obtain a driver’s license that is already valid for about two years. This is to ensure that you are fully capable and responsible enough to drive a car on the road of Micronesia. There's no maximum age requirement stated when it comes to renting a car.

Car Insurance Cost

As stated earlier, having car insurance included in your package is important, especially if you rent a car in Micronesia. This will lessen your financial liability if something happens that can heavily damage the parts of the vehicle or lose some parts of it. Car insurance will also give you and the company owner peace of mind wherever you drive on the island.

It is also essential to have accident insurance yourself to make sure that you’ll be able to pay up for your recovery no matter what happens.

Car Insurance Policy

Knowing the different insurance policies included in the package is also important. You should know and understand the different policies to avoid having misunderstandings with the car rental company. The usual car insurance involved collision damage waiver, which covers the financial obligation if ever the car rented got stolen or damaged due to an accident.

There are other insurance policies involved in the package depending on the company you’ll be renting with. Always remember to ask the company regarding this and let them explain to you the details to further understand how it will work for you.

Micronesia Photo by Philip Davis

Road Rules in Micronesia

Wherever you plan on driving in the world, you’ll need to follow some rules for driving. These rules are there for a reason, mainly to protect everyone on the road or streets of that certain country. Like any other country, The Federated States of Micronesia also has its own set of road rules in which everyone driving in Micronesia, whether a Micronesian or not, should follow no matter what.

So, here are the road rules you should know when driving on the Federated States of Micronesia roads.

Important Regulations

Having a knowledge about the different rules and regulations in The Federated States of Micronesia is vital when you are driving in the country. You should know these and respect them because these rules will help you be safe throughout your journey in the country and help you avoid unnecessary problems.

Always Bring Your Driver’s License With You

Your driving license will serve as your permission to drive within your country. Having this license means that you are already capable and responsible enough to drive a vehicle on the road. In The Federated States of Micronesia, the same rule applies. Your driver’s license should be brought while driving in Micronesia to any location.

If you are a tourist, you’ll be required to have an International Driving Permit alongside your local driver’s license. This will serve as the translation of your driver’s license to numerous languages so that the Federated States of Micronesia’s local authorities will better understand your driver’s details.

Getting your International Driver's Permit is very easy! Apply on our website: https://internationaldriversassociation.com/checkouts/ and just provide your driver’s details like name, address, number, and zip code! Driving in Micronesia with your International Driver's Permit will give you a hassle-free journey.

Always Park Your Car in the Proper Places

There might be times when you need to go out of your car and grab something or do something in a particular place or destination, and parking your car is a must. In The Federated States of Micronesia, you must always be aware of where you park your car. It must always be parked on a parking lot or as far to the right of the road.

As much as possible, your car should not be parked at any place that will only serve as an obstruction. It could be like in the front of a driveway, on a sidewalk, or in an intersection. It should not also be placed within 30 feet of the official stop sign. Violating this rule is a category 4 misdemeanor.

Regarding Motorcycle Driving

If you are driving a motorcycle within The Federated State of Micronesia’s roads, you should always keep in mind to wear a helmet all the time. It is written in Micronesia’s law that every passenger, not just the driver, should wear a helmet to protect your head from any accidents that may occur while traveling. This will help you avoid further complications when an accident happens.

It is also illegal to carry more than one passenger when driving a motorcycle. This may cause a serious accident involving everyone, including the cars within the road. Although, you are allowed to carry a child not exceeding the age of five to sit on the passenger’s lap.

Do Not Overload the Car

Car overloading in the Federated States of Micronesia happens when there are more people inside the car than the average capacity of passengers intended for it. Car overloading may also mean having more than two people, including the driver, in the front of the car. Loaded vehicles become an obstruction to the driver’s view, making it hard for him to look at the front, rear, and side mirrors

This can cause an accident that may lead to bodily injuries, and worse, death. Be careful and do not violate this law. If possible, get a car that can carry the number of passengers you’ll be bringing with you. Violating this is a category four misdemeanor .

Do Not Operate an Improperly Equipped Vehicle

Before driving on the roads of Micronesia, make sure that the vehicle you’ll be using is equipped and well managed enough to travel on the road. Are the brakes working? Are the side mirrors good? How about the lights? The signals? You should always be aware of these because ignoring these can lead to serious fatalities.

You must always put safety first at the top of your mind when driving in Micronesia, no matter the distance of your destination is.

Minimum Age

Micronesian residents who want to acquire a driver’s license must be at least 18 years old and above. This age limit for those allowed to drive on the roads gives the authorities a peace of mind that license holders are already capable of being responsible and already know the dos and donts when driving. For tourists like you who want to see and experience the adventures that Micronesia can provide, you must be at least 21 years of age and is already driving for not less than two years.

Don’t Drink And Drive

Party nights or nightlife may be tempting, but if you are the driver assigned to drive the car going home or in any other place, be careful on the amount of alcoholic drink you’ll intake. Like in any other country, Micronesia also has a rule that you should not drink and drive or at least have a lower blood alcohol content than the minimum prescribed amount. The maximum blood alcohol content in this country is 0.05%.

It is clear that drunk driving is illegal in this country, and you should always be responsible for it if you want to be safe and don’t want to violate any law. If you are going out for a drink, it's better to call a taxi service.

Wear Your Seatbelts At All Times

Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory while driving on the roads of Micronesia. Most of the roads in the country are still not paved, and you’ll encounter challenging roads along the way, especially when going to the sites of the attractions. Due to this, wearing a seatbelt must always be done.

General Standards of Driving

General standards of driving should also be considered when you are planning to drive towards your destinations there. It is usually the norm of the people in Micronesia when it comes to driving within its borders. In the country, most of the cars you’ll see are automatic, though there are also manual cars, but it will be the minority of it.

There are pros and cons to driving a manual and automatic car. You just have to make sure that the type of car you’ll use is in accordance with your skills. You will also certain with your driving skills as you’ll be facing challenging roads in the rural areas, for the roads there are not as paved as the ones you’ll be driving in the city of Micronesia.

Speed Limits

In terms of speed limits, the Federated States of Micronesia is strict when it comes to implementing them. When passing a school, especially during school hours, you should not drive at a speed greater than fifteen miles per hour. You should not drive for more than twenty miles per hour in residential areas or places used mainly for businesses.

For any other areas in the country, you should only be driving at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour. It is also illegal to drive recklessly at more than the recommended speed, especially on roads that are not concrete or during bad weather. So, always follow the speed limit of every road.

Driving Directions

The vehicles on The Federated States of Micronesia drives on the right side of the road. It is important to keep in mind the direction of driving within the borders of Micronesia. Passing through an intersection using the left lane of the road is already a violation of the Micronesia traffic law. So if you are from a country that drives on the left side of the road, you must be mindful of this at all times.

If you’re from a country that has the same driving direction as in Micronesia, you’re in luck! Driving in the areas of Micronesia will be just like driving in your home country.

Traffic Road Signs

Most of the roads, especially those outside of the city, is in poor conditions. Sadly, there are no traffic signals in the country, and you’ll see only a few of road signs. The reason why you must be extra careful when driving in the country.

Most road signs you’ll see are stop signs and school zone signs. You’ll also see signs where the road is under maintenance, or there are men at work on the road you’ll be passing by. Thus, you must always know your way before going to a particular destination.

Right of Way

As mentioned earlier, there are no traffic signals in the country of Micronesia. Due to that reason, giving the right of way is very crucial for drivers like you. In the intersections, make sure to give way to the vehicles that are already inside or ahead of you. This will help avoid further accidents.

Roads in the country are quite small, especially when you’re driving in Micronesia outside the city or by the outskirts. Always give way for the emergency vehicles and keep in mind about the pedestrian crossings on the road.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking in the roads of Micronesia is highly discouraged. Due to its small and unpaved roads, overtaking might be considered a risky thing to do. But, if you cannot avoid this situation and have to overtake another car, there are certain things that you have to consider.

Before overtaking a vehicle, make sure that the other side of the road is clear and there is no traffic ahead of you. Assure that the vehicle behind you is not trying to overtake also to avoid causing accidents and never overtake when the road is not clearly visible.

Driving Side

Everyone is expected to drive on the right-hand side of the road when in Micronesia. If you're not used to driving on the right, it's best to practice on less crowded roads first. Also, it's still manageable to drive vehicles in Micronesia although you're used to driving right-hand drive vehicles.

Driving Etiquette in Micronesia

Having the chance to drive around a different country is indeed an exciting experience. You’ll meet a lot of people, go to different places anytime you want and do the activities you wanted to without asking anyone’s permission. But, understand that driving is also a responsibility and knowing the things you need to do in different situations is also a must. You’ll know everything about that in this section.

Car Breakdown

A car that is not well-maintained or just had a small problem can experience breakdown anytime and anywhere. Being in this situation in a foreign country can be scary, especially when you have no idea what to in such times.

If this happens to you in Micronesia, the first thing you should do is to turn your hazard signals on to notify the other drivers on the road of what is happening to you. Doing this will avoid them having to misunderstand you or getting mad at you on why you are stopping in the middle of the road.

Try to put your car on the side of the road. If this is not possible, put your warning triangle to aware other drivers. Call 911 immediately if you are in the states of Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae. If you are on Pohnpei, call 320-2221. Give your name, contact number, and exact address and wait for help to arrive.

Police Stops

You might encounter police stops in The Federated States of Micronesia, especially in the city areas. This is only to ensure that you are following the traffic rules accordingly and have the right documents for driving in the country. If a police officer happens to stop your while you are driving within the map of Micronesia, don’t panic.

They might have something important to tell you, or you have violated something. In cases where they have something to say to you, roll down your windows enough so you and the officer can hear each other. Be respectful in conversing with them and assure that the instructions they are telling you will be followed if it applies to your direction.

If you have violated something, whether intentional or not, stop the car and be honest about the violation. Micronesians are friendly people, and admitting your flaw will avoid having more serious penalties.

Asking Directions

While driving in Micronesia, there may be times when you think you are lost or have no idea what road to take going to your destination. In this kind of situation, help from the local people will already be needed. Micronesian are friendly people, and they will be delighted to help you with anything you need.

Remember to be respectful and don’t act rude in front of the locals, some of them might find it hard to understand English. Do not approach an opposite gender directly, for this will be taken as a romantic advancement, always approach a same-sex person first. Here are some phrases you can use when talking to the local people:

  • Hello - Ran annim
  • How are you? - Ifa usum?
  • What’s your name? - Ifa itom?
  • Where are you from? - En chon ia?
  • I’m from… - Ngang seni …
  • Good Morning - Nesor annim
  • Good Afternoon - Neonowas annim
  • Good Evening - Nekkunion annim
  • Good Night - Nepong annim
  • Goodbye - Kene nom
  • Yes - Ewer
  • No - Aapw
  • Do you understand? - Ka wewe?
  • I understand - Ngang mei wewe
  • I don’t understand - Use wewe
  • Please Speak more slowly - Kose mochen amanga omw kapas
  • Excuse me - Tirow
  • Please - Kose mochen
  • Thank you - Kinisou chapur

Checkpoints

You’ll be experiencing some checkpoints in the city areas but, in the rural areas, there might be fewer or almost no checkpoints. If you are approaching a checkpoint, don’t get nervous, and make sure that you have all the required requirements for driving in Micronesia. Checkpoints are there to ensure that you are not disobeying any traffic laws, so you don’t have to feel worried.

Slow down your speed, and if the officers have something to tell you, roll down your windows enough so you can both hear each other. Follow the officer’s orders if it applies to you, and if there are no problems, you can head onto your destination.

Remember to be careful on giving your documents. Do not hand it to someone who is not authorized to do so.

Other Tips

There might be times when unpredictable things like emergencies and accidents may happen while you are on the road to Micronesia. This can be scary and not fun to experience with especially when you are in a foreign country with no knowledge ion what to do. Here are some tips on how to act when an accident or emergency happens.

What To Do If Accidents and Emergencies Happen?

If ever you got involved in an accident while driving in Micronesia, whether it be in the city or the rural areas, you should call the emergency hotlines immediately. When in the state of Yap, call 2132 for calling the police and 3446 for medical assistance.

If you are in Kosrae, call +691-370-3333 for police and +691-370-3199 for medical assistance. For the state of Chuuk, 911 for police assistance and +691-330-2444 for medical assistance, and if you are in Pohnpei, call +691-320-2221 for police and +691-320-2213 for medical assistance.

Hand your details like name, exact location, and contact number to the authorities and wait for help to arrive.

Driving Conditions in Micronesia

There are different driving conditions in The Federated States of Micronesia depending on what state you are in. Knowing these can help you avoid unnecessary inconveniences during your trip making it a road trip of a lifetime! Here are the things you need to know regarding the driving conditions in Micronesia.

Accident Statistics

Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, mainly due to reckless driving. However, statistics show that driving in the states of Micronesia, whether in Chuuk, Kosrae, Yap, or Pohnpei, is known to be one of the places with the least road accidents in the world. You are lucky if you are trying to avoid any road traffic accidents while driving in Micronesia because statistics show that they have one of the least globally.

According to World Health Organization, the Federated States of Micronesia only caused three deaths in the year of 2018. Because of this, the country ranks 170 among all the other countries with the highest number of road traffic accidents in the world. Even with the unpaved roads, Micronesians surely are cautious when it comes to driving.

Common Vehicles

Common vehicles vary on where you are taking them. You may experience some challenges when driving on the roads of Micronesia, especially when driving outside of the city. Because of that, the vehicles that they usually use are those that can withstand the conditions of their roads. Most of the country’s vehicles are SUVs because these kinds of vehicles can handle severe road conditions and weather.

There are also vans available in the country if you plan to travel with more than ten people. Avoid taking cars that are lowered to avoid having difficulties when driving on unpaved roads. Boats are also commonly used, especially when going to the other side of the island. Using boats will lessen the time needed for reaching the destination compared to going around the whole island by following the road.

Toll Roads

The Federated States of Micronesia is made up of many volcanic islands. Traveling across these islands may need a boat or ride a plane already. Cars are nearly impossible to cross the ocean, and because of that, toll roads are not available in the country.

Roads in the country are still underdeveloped, and some still travel by boat just to get to the other sides of the island. Each states have only a few kilometers of road available, and there is almost no traffic, the reason why toll roads are not really needed as of now.

Road Situation

There are a total of 388 km of road in the whole Federated States of Micronesia. These are divided into four states, namely Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae. In Kosrae, there’s a 70 km of road available wherein 37 km are paved, and the rest are unpaved. All throughout the country, there are a total of 184 km of paved roads and 204 km.

You’ll usually encounter the paved roads in the cities where most of the Micronesians live, and unpaved roads will be encountered outside the cities. Expect that the unpaved roads could get muddy and oily during rainy seasons all throughout the year, considering that the unpaved roads are mostly made of corals and asphalt. The driest months are January and February, which could be the ideal months for you to drive in the islands of Micronesia.

It is discouraged to drive during nighttime because the roads are not well lit and are in poor condition, especially country roads. To avoid causing accidents and problems when driving in the country, consider your night times as your time to rest so you can fully enjoy your drive the next morning.

Driving Culture

Micronesians are friendly and respectful people. That’s why you can expect that the driving culture in this country would be the same. They’ll respect your right of way and give you the space you need on the road. They’ll even be happy to help you out whenever you are having problems with something while driving in their country!

Other Tips

Knowing the Road situation is a thing to consider but, you should also know if your car situation is perfect for driving on Micronesian roads. You should always check whether your car is properly functioning before driving on the roads to avoid causing problems in the country.

What To Do Before Hitting Micronesia’s Roads?

Before hitting the roads of Micronesia, check the car’s situation first if it will be fit for driving with the current weather and road you’ll be driving towards your destination. Are the brakes working, or does it have enough gasoline for the trip? How about the wheels? Are the lights properly working? These are just some of the things needed to be checked to ensure safety in your journey to Micronesia.

Things To Do in Micronesia

Because of the country’s beautiful ocean, rich history, and friendly people, The Federated States of Micronesia is a magnet to adventurous and nature enthusiasts! Some people even decide to live and stay in the country to maximize the most out of it! You might be thinking, what other things can you do in the country? Don’t worry! We listed all of these for you.

Drive as a Tourist

One of the most exciting and thrilling things you can do in Micronesia is to self-drive around the different states of the country. Although you must understand that you cannot cross the islands using your car. You must ride a boat or an airplane to jump from state to state in Micronesia.

There are many car rental companies available in the different states of the country that you can use for your travel. Make sure to have an International Driver's Permit so the authorities can allow you to drive in the country. Your IDP will serve as the translation of your local driver’s license so that the locals in the country can understand your details better.

Work as a Driver

Islands in The Federated States of Micronesia that have available roads for driving are only a few. Because of that, the opportunity of working as a driver in the country is also uncommon. If you really loved the experience of having to drive on the roads of Micronesia, you can apply as a taxi driver or as a driver for travel and tour companies.

The second one is much encouraged, especially if you are working there as a foreigner. Before you can work as a driver in the country, a work permit and a Micronesian driver’s license must first be applied. This permit will allow you to be employed in the country even though you are a foreigner and is not a citizen of Micronesia.

Work as a Travel Guide

If you fell in love with the wonderful adventures this country can provide and would want to share it with tourists like you, you can work as a travel guide in the country! Working as a travel guide means that you’ll get to enjoy the places in the country, share its history and earn money at the same time! This is a dream job for most adventurous people who don’t like sitting on their office jobs.

But, remember that a working permit is still needed before you can work in the country. Make sure to secure this, so you can enjoy the thrill of being a travel guide fully.

Apply for Residency

You could apply for residency if you wanted to stay in the country permanently. But, before you can apply, you must first be residing in the country for at least five years, competent in one of the languages of the country, and you must have already renounced previous citizenship.

Dual citizenship is not allowed in Micronesia. Only those people who possessed dual citizenship before May 10, 1979, are allowed to be classified as dual citizens. So, if you are serious about staying in the country, you must first say goodbye to the old country you first lived in. After that acquiring all the needed prerequisites, you can now be a Micronesian citizen.

Other Things to Do

Aside from working as a driver or travel guide in the Federated States of Micronesia, there are other jobs you can apply in this country.

What Jobs Can I Apply?

There are many jobs you can apply for in the Federated States of Micronesia. You can apply as a diver, teacher, health worker, and a lot more. Technicians and sales workers are the popular jobs in the country. If you enjoy these jobs and want to explore Micronesia, these options are open for you.

The Top Destinations in Micronesia

From its clear ocean waters, rich history, ocean adventures, and friendly people, this country is a paradise for ocean lovers and people who love adventures! Micronesia looks very far from most of the busy countries in the world, and more than that, you have four states to choose from!

In this section, you will know the top destinations in The Federated States of Micronesia and the activities you can do in each destination.

Kosrae

Kosrae, known as the island of the angels, is one of the states in The Federated States of Micronesia. It was given that nickname because when Christian missionaries came to the island, all people living there were converted to Christianity. The whole island’s culture revolves around the church, and as a tourist, it is important to respect that.

There are many activities you can do on the island, and most of them involve hiking, fishing, surfing, and diving. Be careful when socializing with the opposite sex and don’t approach them directly, for this will appear as a romantic advancement. Although socialization may seem conservative on the island, Kosraeans are respectful and friendly.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Kosrae International Airport, head north.
  2. After 4.6 km, turn right.
  3. Once you haved reached 1 km, turn right.
  4. After 7.7 km, turn right.
  5. You’ll reach your destination after 230 m.

Things to Do

There are so many activities you can do in Kosrae and here are some of them:

  1. Get Mesmerized at the Lelu Ruins
    The Lelu Ruins took four centuries to build, making it a wonder in the ancient world. The old city was built to house the kings and his family and its high chiefs. It also used to have transportation going to its residences, temples, and tombs. What’s more impressive is that it still stands until today! Don’t miss having to experience the ancient world by visiting this site!
  2. Hike Mt. Boro in Lelu Island
    This is an excellent opportunity if you want to hike and see the best of Kosrae! This mountain is located on Lelu island, and the best thing about it is it doesn’t require a lot of effort to hike. Yet, you’ll see WWII bunkers and tunnels, and you get to enjoy the beautiful view of the Sleeping lady.
  3. Experience Cultural Traditions in Mt. Ohma
    This seven-hour hike may be long, but it is one of the best hikes you’ll take in Kosrae! It doesn’t just offer the best view from the top, but it also allows you to have a glimpse of the culture and traditions of Kosrae. You’ll see wild pig skulls showing hunter’s skills at the base of the mountain. Along the way, you’ll also see the caves that the Japanese used in WWII.
  4. Dive in the Waters of Kosrae
    Kosrae is a paradise for people who love to dive. The island lies outside the typhoon belt, making its ocean resources intact and never gets disturbed by storms. Its ocean waters are one of the most pristine on earth! You’ll see lots of underwater creatures which you’ll fully enjoy.

Yap

Yap is known to be the most traditional state among the four states of Micronesia. Its distinct traditions are what makes Yap interesting. They pass down their stories and traditions through dance. It consists of 134 islands and atolls, and it is famous for its stone money.

There are numerous things that you can do on the island of Yap. You can hike, go fishing, swim, and relax in its unspoiled beaches. One of the best things you can do on the island is snorkel or dive in its clear ocean and see the beauty of the underwater world.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Yap International Airport, Head east.
  2. Turn Left after 350 m.
  3. Continue straight for 8 km.
  4. You’ll reach Rai Stone, your destination.

Things to Do

Aside from the ancient stone money bank in Yap, you can also enjoy a lot of activities on the island:

  1. Dive with the Manta Rays in Yap
    One of the most exciting things that you can do in Yap as a tourist is to explore its underwater world. Many tourists from all over the world visit this island because many manta rays and sharks can be seen here. 60-70 manta rays can be seen on this island almost every day! Just make sure that you have a piece of knowledge about diving and have a guide to take you to the spot.
  2. Be Amazed with the Ancient Stone Money Bank
    You’ll be surprised when you see how big the money is in this bank which can be found on the island of Yap. It is ancient money used to exchange goods between Palau and Yap in the ancient days. And now, it became an attraction for tourists due to its history. Who would have thought that money in the old days was this big? So, don’t miss your chance to visit this bank!
  3. Glance Over the Meeting Houses in Yap
    These meeting houses were all over the island of Yap and are own by different tribes. This is the place where the whole village meets and discusses things with its chief sitting at the throne. It is also surrounded by oval-shaped stones where the villagers sit during meetings.
  4. Hike Through the WWII Wrecks
    The WWII wrecks were found by Patrick Ranfranz in 1944 while looking for his uncle, who died during the WWII. This led to discovering over 40 of the wrecked aircraft, avengers, and many more. Now, it became a popular site where people can hike and see commemorative plaques remembering those heroes that died in them.
Chuuk Photo by Marek Okon

Chuuk

Chuuk has a rich history, especially during WWII. This island is where the Japanese are stationed in the country. During the war, the US attacked the place, killing many soldiers and sinking many ships, aircraft, tankers, and many more.

These attacks made the underwater world of Chuuk an interesting place where tourists can discover the remnants of the attack during WWII. This made the island a popular place for curious divers who want to see how the sunken wrecks look like.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Chuuk International Airport, head southwest.
  2. Continue straight.
  3. In 2.4 km, you’ll reach your destination.

Things to Do

It’s not only the lagoons in Chuuk are what’s making the island interesting, here are more of the activities you can do during your stay here:

  1. Dive in Shinkoku Maru
    Shinkoku Maru is one of the best diving spots on the island of Chuuk. Here, you’ll see many remnants like operating tables and wheelhouse, which can be found on the deck of the sunken ship. You will also discover a set of plates and urinals that even have a visible brand on them. What makes them more beautiful are the corals, sea anemones, and creatures surrounding this wreck.
  2. Snorkel in Chuuk Lagoon
    Most of the wrecks are available for people who know how to dive in deep waters but don’t worry! There is also an available activity for you if you want to see some wrecks but don’t know how to dive. You can snorkel in the Gosei Maru wreck, where it’s just 2.5m deep, and you’ll see remnants like a gunboat and small cargo ship.
  3. Relax at Fonomu Island
    This island is perfect for tourists who want to relax and just forget the busy side of the world. Calmness and tranquility are what you’ll experience on this island. Feel the warm breeze of the sea, play with the white sands, or simply take a nap under the shades of the palm trees while listening to the sound of crashing waves. This will be your best spot for relaxation on the island!
Pohnpei Photo by Adrian Smith

Pohnpei

Pohnpei is the Federated States of Micronesia’s capital and is the highest and largest island in the country. This island is blessed with natural gifts like mountains, rainforests, and waterfalls, making the activities on the island an exciting one for adventurous tourists.

From its mountains, rainforests, jungles to its pristine ocean waters rich in numerous ocean creatures, you’ll never run out of things to do on this island! You’ll also get to see the impressive waterfalls that this island has to offer. So buckle up!

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Pohnpei International Airport, Head south on Deketik Causeway.
  2. Continue onto Dekehtik Causeway, then continue onto Kapwar E Sou.
  3. After that, continue onto Nett Cir Island Rd then Nett Cir Island Rd turns slightly left and becomes Cir Island Rd U after 5.4 km.
  4. Cir Island Rd U-turns slightly left and becomes Cir Island Rd U after 7.7 km.
  5. Continue onto Madolenihmw Cir Island Rd, and after 18.6 km, you’ll reach Kepirohi Waterfalls.

Things to Do

There are lots of plant and animal species you’ll discover on the island, and here are some ways you can enjoy more of them:

  1. Hike Through PahnTakai Cave and Falls
    To reach the PahnTakai Cave and Falls, you’ll be needing to hike for 30 minutes. This waterfall is 150 feet high, and its cave reaches 900 m across. Its name means ‘’Underneath the rock’’ because you’ll discover some relics from WWII behind the rocks of the waterfalls.
  2. Explore The Most Famous Kepirohi Waterfall
    Kepirohi Waterfall, the most famous waterfall in Pohnpei and is just a 5-minute walk from the main road. It is the most photographed waterfall in Pohnpei because of the beautiful water flow that these falls make. You can also have a picnic near the waterfalls for a much fantastic experience!
  3. Enjoy Pohnpei’s Cultural Experience
    Locals in Pohnpei live an island-style of life, and they are more than happy to let the tourists experience this kind of life as well. They are also famous for their traditional dances because it was their way of passing down their traditions ever since the ancient days. Don’t forget to try the Sakau drink, which is popular during ceremonies and is also available in the bars.
  4. See The Sharks in Palikir Pass
    There are numerous underwater species that you can see here in Palikir Pass, but the most famous ones are the gray reef sharks. There are up to 100 gray reef sharks in this area, and if you love sharks, this could be the best diving spot for you!
  5. Observe The Beautiful Corals in Mwand Wall & Pass
    If you wanted to see colorful and fantastic coral reefs, Mwand Wall & Pass could be the perfect spot for you! Numerous coral trees can be seen here. With all that coral, many species of underwater creatures can also be seen here.

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