The infamous Faichuk Islands, Chuuk

The infamous Faichuk Islands

I’d heard that the roughest and toughest Chuukese come from the Faichuuk Islands but I never really understood why.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit a very interesting place in Chuuk called the Netutu Canal in the Faichuk Islands – a group of four islands in the western part of Truk Lagoon, and a potential visitor destination in Chuuk.

According to local history through stories that were shared amongst families, the canal was built by locals under extreme conditions of forced labor during the Japanese occupation around the 1930s.

These people endured very difficult times but learned how to survive. They had to be strong and resilient.

They had to have the will power to push and get through. They had to have the wherewithal.

And they did…

The Japanese wanted to use the canal as a pathway through thick mangrove swamps to get to the nearby islands of Paata (Pata), Polle, Wonei (Onei) and Tol without having to circumnavigate the ocean.

To get to the Netutu Canal, I travelled west on a small boat for about 40 minutes from Weno – the Capital of Chuuk State of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

It was a beautiful day, the ocean was calm and I had a great captain and crew.

As we approached the canal, I witnessed some women in chest-high water. They were line fishing—a local practice carried out only by the womenfolk.

It appeared to be safe, fun, easy so relaxing that I suggested that it might make for a great tour excursion for visitors who may want to experience such activities.

After arriving at the dock, we went on a short easy hike to the village.

No traffic…

No cars…

No noise…

The only means of getting around was on foot. It was quiet, beautiful and very peaceful.


We were greeted by some childhood friends of my guide who welcomed us with an imported drink and locally grown fruit.

As the friends caught up, I made my way around the area. The place was very clean and the grounds well looked after.

And then there I was, in the midst of beautiful botanical gardens in the most natural tropical environment.

There were bright and colourful flowers everywhere.

And fields of thriving local vegetables such as taro and coconuts.

So as one can see, contrary to its reputation, the Faichuk Islands also have a simple, gentle, quiet, bountiful, beautiful and peaceful side.

In addition to diving the world renowned Truk Lagoon, visitors may also kayak the mangroves, hike interesting trails, and fish the local way.

Venturing to the Faichuk Islands of Chuuk was a great experience to see what they had to offer.

I am looking forward to the day it will have things set in place to welcome visitors to its unique shores to experience their way of life.

Hearing what had happened there in the past allowed me to understand why they have such a notorious reputation of being rough and tough.

Here’s to our new found Faichuk Friends! Good Luck & Kinisou Chapur!


Get inspired, or browse by interest