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Micronesia Yap Holiday Hotels Yap

Micronesia, Pacific

Part of the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap is situated in the Western Caroline Islands, between Guam and Palau. It is made...

string(3199) "Part of the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap is situated in the Western Caroline Islands, between Guam and Palau. It is made up of four main islands, Yap South, Gagil-Tomil, Maap and Rumung. The landscape consists of rolling hills with lowlands covered in thick jungle-like vegetation. Most of the coastal areas are mangrove with occasional coral beaches. Like other FSM islands, there is a coral reef, so snorkelling is popular as is diving in the clear lagoon with the giant manta rays which appear throughout the year. The town of Colonia on Yap Main Island is the capital and is more urbanised than the village areas. Yap also has about 130 outer islands stretching nearly 1000 kilometres east of Yap Main Island. Most of the outer islands are coral atolls and are sparsely populated by a people that differ from those from the Yap Main Island both in culture and language. Four indigenous languages are spoken. These are Yapese Main Islander, Ulithian, Woleaian and Satawalese. English is the official language spoken every day, though some local government organisations still conduct business in their own vernacular. Because of its position, Yap was minimally affected when the Spanish colonised Micronesia in the 1500s, and again during German occupation from the end of the 1800s to the beginning of the First World War. The same thing occurred during the Japanese occupation, so by Micronesian standards, Yap remains relatively unaffected by modern society and influence. Most of the lands outside of Colonia downtown are privately owned properties so visitors are asked not to litter or to take any pictures of people without securing their permissions first. The stone money of Yap (largest in the world), though not legal tender in the international currency marketplace, is still used as legal tender on the island. The value of these limestone, disk shaped coins varies, though not according to size but to the stories behind them. Today, the money is still owned but not moved, even though ownership may change. Visitors can still see some of the traditional houses in the villages. The villages of Yap Main Island still retain the foundations of meeting houses and platforms used by the elder male residents to discuss community matters. Only a limited number of tourists visit Yap each year, and the locals, who are naturally warm and friendly, are more responsive to those who respect their culture and customs. All land and beaches on Yap Main Island and the outer islands are privately owned by the traditional leaders and chiefs. If you want to get off the beaten track, request to explore further by asking permission from the village/island elders. You may also have to pay a small fee for the privilege. Yap remains a distinctive destination because of the way the people value their culture, custom and history. The traditional dress is brightly coloured loin cloths for men and colourful grass or woven hibiscus skirts for women. The official currency is the US dollar and credit cards are not widely accepted. Therefore traveller’s cheques and cash are recommended for hotels, restaurants, shopping, diving and all other purchases. "
Lombok

Indonesia, Asia

With its pristine white-sandy beaches, the magnificent Mt Rinjani volcano, and spectacular marine life to discover, the island of ...

string(4120) "With its pristine white-sandy beaches, the magnificent Mt Rinjani volcano, and spectacular marine life to discover, the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara has no shortage of attractions both in, and out of the water. Lombok is located to the east of Bali and is geographically the same size. A wide range of destinations is guaranteed to suit even the most discerning visitors. Whether you wish to surf the massive breaks on the south coast, challenge yourself with a trek up steep volcanic peaks, or hire a bike and cycle through lush, abundant rice paddies, you won’t be disappointed with the spectacular natural beauty of Lombok. The island enjoys a tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round with a temperature range of 21°C to 32°C. The wet season starts from November through to May and the dry season starts from May through to October. The island has a population of about 3.1 million and the local inhabitants are called Sasaks who comprise 70 percent of the population. The remainder consists of other predominant ethnic groups such as Balinese, Chinese, Arabian, and Javanese. Bahasa Indonesia is the national language but English is widely spoken. Lombok has three distinct districts with three main cities. Mataram, the centre of commerce and the capital city, is in the west, Praya is in the centre and Selong is located to the east of the island. Popular tourist resort area, Senggigi, is a township that is positioned on a sweeping bay providing magnificent views of a rich, fiery red sunset over neighbouring Bali. Visitors to Lombok also flock to one of the three Gili islands- Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. These picturesque tropical islands are just a short 40-minute boat ride from Senggigi. The majority of the population is Muslim with most worshipping in the mosques on Fridays, their holy day. If you are planning on travelling around the island and visiting small villages, be respectful and considerate of the Islamic beliefs and wear or knee length shorts, a shirt with sleeves or a sarong. If you happen to visit during Ramadan, which is the Muslim month of fasting from sunrise to sunset avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public places during this month-long fast. Lombok has a reputation for amazing, woven textiles. Songkets (hand-woven textiles) and ikats (intricate dyed fabric) can be used, amongst other things, as sarongs, wall hangings, or tablecloths. The design woven is unique to each weaver and it is passed down through the generations. There is a traditional handweaving village in Puyung in central Lombok where visitors can try on a traditional Sasak costume, and the village of Sukarare is a must visit for kain ikat or handwoven textiles. Lombok is also known for its magnificent South Sea cultured pearls, and its pottery has gained in popularity and is now shipped all over the world. There are many other traditional handicrafts that make perfect gifts or souvenirs including wooden masks, baskets made out of ketak grass and wooden boxes decorated with shells. Visit the village of Banyumulek where arguably, some of the best pottery is produced. Public transport in Lombok comes in the form of buses and bemos (a small minibus). The main bus terminal is Mandalika at Bertais. Hiring a car or motorcycle is a convenient way to explore the island. Hotels and travel agencies offer the most competitive rates for car and motorcycle hire. To get to Lombok, you can travel by air, ferry or fast boat. There are daily flights between Denpasar, Bali and the capital of Lombok, Mataram. The public ferry travels between Padang Bai (Bali) and Lembar (Lombok) multiple times a day, and the trip takes roughly two and a half hours. Both motorbikes and cars can be taken on the ferry. Ferries also travel between Labuhan Lombok and Poto Tano on Sumbawa several times a day, and this trip takes one and a half hours. However, if you are prone to seasickness, the trip can be rough. Another option is by fast boat Blue Water Safaris run express boats from Bali to Lombok, the Gili islands and Lebongan Island. "
cook islands aitutaki the vaka lagoon cruise Aitutaki

Cook Islands, Pacific

Aitutaki, the second most visited island in the Cook Islands group, is geologically part volcanic and part atoll. Just 220 kilo...

string(2700) " Aitutaki, the second most visited island in the Cook Islands group, is geologically part volcanic and part atoll. Just 220 kilometers north and an easy 45 minute flight from Rarotonga, its lagoon is considered one of the most magnificient in the world. Local legend claims that its highest hill, Maungapu, is said to be the top of Rarotonga’s Raemaru mountain that was chopped off and brought back by victorious Aitutaki warriors. Polynesian myth holds that beautiful Aitutaki is a giant fish tethered to the seabed by a vine from the air. The light turquoise lagoon looks like a huge pale oyster against the vivid blue ocean. Captain Bligh discovered Aitutaki in 1789, only 17 days before the notorious mutiny on the Bounty. Christian missionaries followed which meant it was the first island in the Cook Islands to receive Christianity. Today the people live in villages along the coastline and island interior. Most roads are tar sealed and transport is mainly by motor scooter, although bicycles and cars are also used to get people around. The low rolling hills of the island are flanked by banana plantations and coconut groves. A triangular barrier reef seems to catch the exquisite turquoise Aitutaki lagoon like a giant fishhook. The crystal clear water in the lagoon is ideal for sailing, swimming, snorkeling, kitesurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and scuba diving and beneath the blue surface is a world of sea creatures that will leave you fascinated. There’s also the elusive fighting bonefish which is favoured by anglers. To reach the summit of Maungapu, take a leisurely half-hour walk to the west side of the island. At its peak you’ll discover a breathtaking view of Aitutaki. The shopping and business district is between Amuri and Ureia and also clustered near the wharf at Arutanga. Aitutaki offers a range of accommodation for any budget and there are a few restaurants and cafés on the island for your dining pleasure. Live entertainment can be found at hotels or local watering holes. Be sure to book a full-day lagoon cruise. There will be plenty of snorkelling opportunities and you can even hand feed schools of tropical fish and see giant clams up close. Some operators offer snorkelling gear and towels and serve a barbecue lunch when you arrive on an island. A cultural day tour is an opportunity to discover, and interact with a culture that was hidden for 200 years as a result of the inf luence of the new culture that was adopted in 1821. Punarei Culture Village offers visitors the experience of engaging in some cultural practices such as making umukai, sharing stories of the ancient past and visiting sacred and scenic sites. "
Kosrae Strand Kosrae

Micronesia, Pacific

The State of Kosrae is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia and, as well as the island of Kosrae, consists of ...

string(2972) "The State of Kosrae is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia and, as well as the island of Kosrae, consists of several islands and islets, the most significant being Lelu Island. Roughly triangular in shape, Kosrae covers an area of approximately 110 square kilometres. The most eastern of the Caroline Islands, Kosrae has a population of approximately 7000 people and is located north of the equator between Guam and the islands of Hawaii. The coral reefs that surround the island are kept in a pristine condition through an extensive mooring buoy system and the area is becoming a favourite destination for scuba divers from all around the world. The island’s interior is covered with deep vegetation and steep mountains that keep it largely undeveloped. European contact with Kosrae in 1824 reported a highly stratified society that was typical of the surrounding islands at that time. Its cultural features included matrilineal lineage and clans with a feudal structure of nobles who controlled the land that was worked by commoners. The settlements consisted of small groups of relatives who shared a single cookhouse, usually with at least one earth oven. The first missionary post was established in 1852 after American missionaries felt the need to protect the people of Kosrae from the large numbers of whalers and beachcombers who had made the island, which they considered a paradise, their home. Even today religion plays an integral role in the culture of Kosrae. Sunday is considered a day of rest and most stores and shops are closed on that day. In 1874, the pirate Bully Hayes was shipwrecked on Kosrae when his ship, the Leonara, was stuck in Lelu harbour during a storm. During his stay of several months on the island, Nully terrorised the local people. He was finally arrested by Captain Dupuis aboard the HMS Rosario but managed to escape on a boat built of timber from the wrecked Leonara. Traditional foods on the island include breadfruit, coconut, banana, taro, yam and sugarcane. Woodcarving, traditional canoe and cottage construction, fishing, farming and fine weaving using hibiscus, pandanus and coconut palms continue to be an integral way of life on the island. The weather in Kosrae is warm and humid throughout the year with an average temperature of 25℃ and rarely exceeding 32℃. It has two distinct seasons, dry and rainy and during the rainy season, November to April, be prepared for showers everyday. Casual and summer clothing is worn throughout the year although swimsuits and shorts are not acceptable in the villages. Be respectful—cover your shoulders and knees, and don’t forget a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Kosrae is a wonderful gem, yet to be discovered by most modern travellers. A visit guarantees the experience of a lifetime—from the unhurried, friendly lifestyle and warm, island hospitality that are as unforgettable as the magical Micronesian sunsets. "
Pacific Cook Islands Rarotonga 001 Rarotonga

Cook Islands, Pacific

Surrounded by a clear, turquoise blue lagoon, Rarotonga is 32 kilometres in circumference. The lagoon often extends more than a...

string(3032) "Surrounded by a clear, turquoise blue lagoon, Rarotonga is 32 kilometres in circumference. The lagoon often extends more than a hundred metres to the reef and then slopes steeply to deep water. The reef fronts the shore to the north of the island, making the lagoon there unsuitable for swimming and watersports, but to the southeast, particularly around Muri, the lagoon is at its widest and deepest. This part of the island is the most popular with tourists for swimming, snorkelling and boating. Agricultural terraces, flats, and swamps surround the central mountain area. Rarotonga is the main island of the Cook Islands and caters to almost 90 percent of the country’s tourist accommodation and offers many activities. The population is approximately 13,000, mostly indigenous Cook Islands Maori and almost half living around Avarua on the north coast. The Maori ancestors landed on the Cook Islands in their magnificent, giant double-hulled canoes that are still proudly part of the traditional way of life. They were guided by their knowledge of the stars and the famous power of Polynesian navigation. Rarotonga is a small volcanic island with a landmass of only 26 square miles. It is dotted with pretty villages, a friendly atmosphere, lovely mountain views and hiking trails. It has a reputation for excellent snorkelling off the beaches that line most of the coast. Rarotonga enjoys a climate that is warm and sunny all year round. There is more rain and higher humidity between the summer months of December to March. The high season for tourism is during Christmas when New Zealanders and Australians visit during their summer school holidays. Tradition and a cultural heritage are trademarks of the island. Music is an integral part of the culture and part of the islander’s daily routine. Stunning chants and hymns emanate from the churches and local string bands use a combination of electronic and traditional ukuleles made from coconut shells to entertain. Visitors will often be invited to join with the hip-swaying dancers when the music begins. Fishing, paddling, sailing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling and swimming are just some of the activities that abound in this tropical paradise. If you feel like more adventure, take a trip into the hinterland and experience the unique flora and fauna of the lush rainforests. Take time to listen to the legends of ancient wars and love affairs that stretch far back into an almost forgotten time. Getting around Rarotonga is easy. With no traffic lights to be seen, relax and meander on a bus around the island. Buses uniquely travel both clockwise and anticlockwise on the road that circles the island and obliging drivers will pick-up and drop-off at will. Scooters are also a popular mode of transport. While nurturing its culture and tradition with sensitivity and pride, Rarotonga is also very much part of the present and offers everything today’s visitors expect. Experience Rarotonga and you will not be disappointed. "
Sulawesi

Indonesia, Asia

Known for its dive sites teeming with pristine reefs, nature parks and volcanic mountains, Sulawesi is one of Indonesia’s most f...

string(1981) "Known for its dive sites teeming with pristine reefs, nature parks and volcanic mountains, Sulawesi is one of Indonesia’s most fascinating islands. Sulawesi’s main port of entry is Makassar, which has frequent flights throughout the archipelago. Manado acts as a secondary hub. Both airports are international airports with international flights to Kuala Lumpur from Makassar, and to Singapore from both airports. The south is home to Sulawesi’s capital, Makassar with a population of 15 million inhabitants. The southern plains rise to the mountains of Tanah Toraja, with beautiful scenery, unusual architecture and vibrant festivals which are among the island’s chief tourist attractions. Those after a more unhurried experience can soak up the tropical sunshine on the Togian Islands, one of Indonesia’s best-kept secrets. Manado, the largest city and main gateway to Northern Sulawesi, enjoys views to the emerald hills and the azure sea. The city has a European feel with the fun loving and extroverted Minahasa people living in neat, wood framed houses with fences and flower gardens. The city’s numerous shops and markets are filled with an abundance of consumer goods and agricultural produce and those with an adventurous palate should try the famously hot and spicy Minahasa cuisine. Manado offers easy access to some of Indonesia’s best diving and snorkelling. Of these, Bunaken National Park draws visitors from all over the world. It has warm water and visibility up to 30 metres with a myriad sea life, underwater volcanoes and coral reefs. A trip inland will take you to the Minahasa Highlands where you can visit intriguing prehistoric above ground burial sites, volcanoes and hot springs. There are breathtaking panoramas of lush mountains, coffee and coconut plantations, orchid gardens and terraced hillsides. Also, be sure to visit the Dua Saudara Nature Reserve at Tangkoko that is home to birds and wildlife unique to Sulawesi."

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