Scattered in the desolate expanse of the western Pacific, about 3200 miles southwest of the Hawaii Islands, lie the little known islands collectively known as the Federated States of Micronesia. Comprising of 4 major archipelagos including the Marshall Islands (probably the most famous) and thousands of scattered volcanic islands, Micronesia is a haven for travellers seeking remote cultures or off-beat experiences away from the hubbub of tourist-infested destinations. Indian tourists do not require a visa to clear immigration at any of the four international airports in Micronesia.
Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap the four unique island states are often grouped together under the singular banner of FSM, and touted as sharing similar cultures and traditions. In truth, the only element they share in common is their combined history of oppression & occupation under multiple colonial powers.
Kosrae is possibly the most beautiful island of the lot. A pacific paradise, the island shuts down completely on a Sunday, giving way to a day-full of Church ceremonies characterized by community singing & dancing.
Pohnpei continues retains its traditional system of clans, titles & chiefs and is a wonderful opportunity to experience a whole new culture. Similarly, Yap is considered the most resistant of the lot to western influence and retains its ancient customs, culture, architecture as well as its amusing stone money – all of which leads to a very vibrant setup.
Chuuk is a wreck-diving paradise. Wrecks and treasures from the WWII are found a plenty. It’s underwater WWII museum is touted as one of the world’s ultimate aquatic experiences.
There’s a goldmine of exotic beaches, coral reefs, atolls, diving and snorkeling spots to take advantage off. At other times, one might simply be satisfied with soaking in the excellent Oceania cuisine and experiencing this remote, unique lifestyle.
Have you traveled to places that do not require a visa? Do you know other visa friendly destinations? Please mention your picks in the comments below
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