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- One more route across Pacific      Text & photos: Wojciech D¹browski ©

          For some people (like me) travel is a passion of their life. They are working hard and spending for travel all their savings, going year by year farther and farther. Finally they start dream about taking the longest way: around the world. There a lot of different options how to pass Asia, Africa and the Americas during such travel. But if you come to plan how to cross Pacific you the choice become limited, especially if you travel on a budget.  

It looks that there are three basic routes:

1. Northern - the simplest one: from East Asia (Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila) to US West Coast, usually with only one stopover - on Hawaii.

2. Southern - from South East Asia via Australia, New Zealand and Polynesia to US West Coast with many possible stopovers on the islands.

3. Central - from US West Coast via Hawaii and Micronesia to East Asia (Manila, Taipei) - also with stopovers on Micronesian Islands

Few years ago during my first round-the-world journey I did the most interesting variant of the southern route flying Singapore - Australia - New Zealand - Fiji - Cook Is. - Tahiti - Los Angeles. Last year I travel around the world for the second time (now in west direction) on central route. Continental - Air Micronesia are flying this route and offer some interesting fares e.g. circle fare to Guam and back from Los Angeles or Honolulu. Please note that there are US military installations on Johnston and Kwajalein islands and you cannot leave the plane there without special permit.

My general impression is that Micronesia is beautiful, free of tourist crowd but expensive. Here are some travel tips from my diary.


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for those, who needs a visa: T-1 visa is issued free of charge on arrival

at the arrival hall of the Majuro airport you will find people who are ready to take you for free to the hotel of your choice. It is also common, that hotel owner will drop you to the airport at the departure. They increase departure tax to 15 USD

I stayed at Majuro Hotel, it is probably cheapest hotel on the island: they charge 29 USD for the single room with fan and shower and 37 USD per night in the a/c room. “Capital Terrace Hotel” charges 55 USD for the cheapest room.

ground communication on the atoll is inexpensive: taxi ride anywhere between Majuro Bridge and Rita costs 30 cents, minibus from Majuro to Laura - 1,50 USD

all people older then 12 must pay 1 USD entry fee entering Laura Beach - best on Majuro. There is toilet and shower

do not try to photograph president’s house - security guard is very strict, it is also forbidden to picture the coastline around this place.




hotel representatives awaits tourists at the airport. Former Kosrae Hotel - closest to the airport is at the moment fully rented by Taiwanese fishermen. I stayed at Sandy Beach Hotel. They charge 40 USD + 5 USD tax for a/c room with shower. (I paid 40 after bargaining). They offer snorkeling tour for 25 USD and tour to Walung village for 35 USD

they have already few taxis on Kosrae (charging 1-2 USD for the ride). Private cars do not stop to give you a lift unless you will halt them.

tourist information center on the outskirts of Tofol is still not ready and I cannot see a chance that it will be ready soon. Try to find Division of Tourism on the first floor of the government barrack - it is not so easy. Their information on the trails is not updated.

I took Mt. Oma trail from Malem. They mentioned at the Division of Tourism that it is 1,5 hour walk from Malem to the summit. In fact it is easy to follow only to the waterfalls and Japanese shelter holes. No signs at all on the path to the summit. If you want to be sure that you will reach Mt. Oma ask for a guide at the last house on the way.

there is 3 USD entry fee at the entrance to the Lelu ruins - payable at the museum. When museum is closed (it was on Saturday and Sunday) you can see ruins for free.

departure tax at Kosrae is 10 USD now, visa is not required.



Iet Ehu Tourist Agency is worth to recommend. They charge 20 USD for the climbing Sokehs Rock with you and 40 USD for the boat trip to Nan Madol with snorkeling on the way and stopover at Kepirohi Falls. Light packed lunch is included in the price.

Iet Ehu offers also round the island tour for 50 USD, and diving at the reef for 65 USD (lunch and 2 tanks are included)

the view from the Sokehs Rock towering the harbour is breathtaking. But it is not easy (if you have not a guide) to find the beginning of the path. The trail itself is not well maintained - there are concrete steps, but at the first part only. Then there are fallen trees on the path and a segment where you must just climb the tree to follow the trail. Round trip took me 1,5 hour including 15-minutes stopover on the summit

When planning a trip to Nan Madol ruins - the “Venice of the Pacific” it important to know the time of the high tide. If you will not come to the ruins at the high tide you will be not able to go through the channels - you will see only the main building in the complex. If you will come to the ruins at low tide sometimes it will not be possible to pass over the wall to the complex. We have been there 3 hours before the high tide. We visited Nan Douvas, but the rest of the complex at this time was accessible only by small boat (local people with a canoe are waiting there, but they asked 20 USD for the short trip around ruins).

Kepirohi Fall is worth to see. At the beginning of the path there is announcement, that you must pay 3 USD to enter the place. Swimming in the pool is refreshing, but to get into the pool you must cross the river: stones are very slip. There is the rope - very helpful.

In Palikir - the FSM capital there is nothing special to see except the architecture, especially on weekends, when everything is closed.




It looks, that rental of the car is the best way to go around the island. Avis, Hertz, Budget and other companies have theirs desks in the arrival hall of the airport. They charge about 50 USD per day for the compact car plus 12 USD insurance. It is worth to make advance reservation from abroad to get a better rate. (I did, and I got same car for 35 USD). Two days is enough to see all places of interest on Guam.

”Plumeria Garden Hotel” charges 56 USD per room now. I stayed at “Micronesia Hotel and Apartments” at Maite. They charge 29 USD per night in the room with a/c and shower and it is probably the best deal in the area. But do not agree to take the dump and small room close to the reception.

In the northern part of the island there is nothing special to see except South Pacific Memorial Park - it is small and empty. Well paved road goes down to the peaceful Tanguisson Beach. Two Lovers Point gives you nice view but is crowded (every tour bus comes here), there are also stalls with souvenirs and T-shirts.

There is new tourist office in Tumun, but most of maps & pamphlets they offer is in Japanese or Korean languages - bring your English literature with you.

The most picturesque part of the island is area south of Nimitz Hill: green mountains and palm - fringed coast. Old Taleyfac Bridge located there looks much better than San Antonio Bridge in Agana.

Talofofo Fall is well worth the detour from the main road. Last part of the road is dirty and bumpy. There is 5 USD entry fee at the gate. After a gate there is a parking lot, but if your car has a strong engine and good brakes you can go by car further down - to the falls. There are two of them and the lower looks more impressive.




Taxi from airport to Colonia costs 2,50 USD, but you will probably find somebody to take you there for free.

Tourist office in Colonia is very helpful: they will book your overnight Bechiyal Cultural Centre and keep your luggage while you are walking around

Walking from Colonia to Balabat you will find stone money along the road. There is more of them at pebai, but the caretaker will charge you 2,50 USD there.

School buses depart from Colonia at about 3 pm. Fare is 50c. Bus stop is located in front of the farmers market. At the market they serve coconut drinks for 50c.

From the bus stop in Wanead there is about 30 minutes walk along the coast to the Bechiyal Cultural Center, you will see stone money on the way.

Only two families live at present at Bechiyal. Big pebai is partly destroyed and as they said there is no money for the restoration. Other buildings: chief’s house and faluw are OK. If you wish to spend a night at faluw bring plenty of mosquito repellent. Second solution is to sleep in the small guesthouse (small cottage can accommodate 4 persons). Second cottage is converted into museum and souvenir shop. They charge 15 USD for the night at the guesthouse, 10 USD for the night at faluw, 4 USD for the dinner and 3 for lunch or breakfast (all local food with coconut milk)

Entry fee to the center is 2,50 USD. Taking pictures and video recordings at Bechiyal Cultural Center is allowed with no extra fee.



there are car rental booths in the airport, but the cars are not always available - book in advance!

If you are in a hurry - rent a taxi by hours - I paid 30 USD for a half a day.

I stayed at DW motel - they were waiting in the airport for the tourists. They charge 35 USD per single room and 45 for double with a/c and shower. Coffee and tea is free for the guests and they will drop you back to the airport at the departure.

at the old bai at Arai the caretaker is charging 10 USD for the usage of still camera and 50 USD for video camera - just look around and buy a bai postcard at the supermarket

Palau museum disappointed me - there is not much to see. They charge 2 USD for entry. In front of the museum there is another bai and they charge again 50 USD for video recording, but still pictures are free

Interesting shell museum on the main street of Koror charges 1 USD and there is also souvenir shop

Marine Center on Malakal Island is a must, if you wish to see giant clams. They charge 2 USD for entry and you can buy there small clams shells for 10 or 20 USD depending of the size

Paradise Air offers round trips over the Rocky Islands to Pelieu. From the air you will see the best view of Palau and emerald Rocky Islands - it is really worth the price (58 USD round trip)


They charge 10 USD of departure tax on Palau at the moment, visa is not required




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                                                                                                                                   Wojciech   Dabrowski

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