How to Spend Your Week in Yap
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consists of a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean situated between the Philippines and Hawaii, and Yap is one of four states in the FSM. Yap is stunning, has plenty to offer and it’s in one of the least visited regions in the world. ;
If you’re planning on visiting Yap plan on at least a week on island to visit this gorgeous state. A four-day minimum is required due to the flight schedule, but you’ll want ample time to see all that Yap has to offer.
From snorkeling among beautiful coral reefs to immersing yourself in the state’s unique culture, you’re sure to have a memorable vacation in this traditional society that’s both family-friendly and has strong community values.
Diving and Snorkeling
One thing that you absolutely have to do during your week in Yap is to both dive and snorkel. The reefs surrounding the islands of Yap are home to a rich and diverse marine life. Most individuals also flock to Yap to catch a glimpse of the manta rays. There’s a high chance that you’ll be able to spot them since they’ve got a designated protected area around Yap Island, and it’s one of the few places in the world where a manta ray sighting is guaranteed at almost any time of the year.
The coral reefs are also colorful and teeming with an abundance of other marine life from sharks to mandarin fish and even trevallies. Learning to dive in Yap is an amazing experience, there are dive classes and snorkeling tours to get you started. The waters of Yap are also easy to dive so beginners can feel comfortable right from the start. Some diving sites to head to at Yap include Yap Caverns, Vertigo, and Valley of the Rays.
Try Riding a Traditional Sailing Canoe
While in Yap, you’ve got to try riding on a traditional sailing canoe. and you’ll be able to explore the lagoons of Yap on this traditional ancient craft. These traditional sailing canoes have traversed the Pacific Ocean over the centuries, and you wouldn’t want to miss experiencing this method of transportation.
Visit The Yap Living History Museum
With Yap being a colorful and beautiful island, it has its own set of traditional values. The people of Yap hold their traditional skills and ideals close to their hearts, and this unique museum will provide you with deeper insight into the lifestyle, skills, values, and ideals of the Yapese people.
Head on a Village Tour
Visiting a village means you’ll be able to participate in a plethora of Yapese activities from traditional dances to reenactments, weaving, handicrafts, and more.
If you’d like to experience more of Yap’s culture, you can reserve a village tour. During this tour, you’ll be able to gain further insight into the Yapese village life and experience local food.
Other things you’d get to do during your tour include meeting with a renowned island local doctor that’s well versed in the Yapese culture along with learning about the traditional canoes indigenous to the island as well as local navigational skills.
Trekking the Tamilyong Trail
This 5.5km trail will take you from the east of the island to the west. While you’re trekking the trail, you can also stop by a lookout point that will provide you with lovely views over the island. Along the trail, you’ll also get to soak in magnificent views of hills and the sea, and the hike will take you a little over an hour.
If you’re attempting this hike, remember to bring water and some snacks as there are no services over the trail. You’ll also be traversing through an overgrown jungle so you should be sporting the right attire and shoes.
Road Trip Around The Island
The best way to explore Yap is to rent a car and drive around the island at a leisurely pace. Driving around all of the roads and paths in Yap should take you less than a day. Start by grabbing some packed lunch from your hotel, and don’t forget to bring your swimsuit. While driving through Yap, remember that all of the lands in Yap are privately owned so you’ll want to get access from the locals if you’re entering private property.
While driving around Yap you’ll have to keep an eye out for stone money. In Yap, stone money is still used as a form of currency and the value in the community is priceless. the original disks were rugged and carved with stone tools. Village sites, houses and community centers are where stone money is displayed at what’s called a stone money bank.
While in Yap, you’ll have to explore the island’s ancient Pacific culture and traditional ways of life. It’s one of the few places in the world where people have traditional values while still living in harmony with nature and a modern lifestyle.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Yap during the first weekend of March, you can celebrate Yap Day. During this time of the year, Yap will burst with color and vibrancy as locals come together to bring culture and folklore to life. You’ll get to see traditional dances, watch bamboo rafts being made, and more.
Other festivals to check out include the Homecoming festival that celebrates the history between Yap and another island, Palau along with the Canoe Festival that celebrates traditional navigation and Yapese sailing canoes.
There you have it, some of the activities you can do while you’re in Yap. From being amazed by the island’s ancient stone money to admiring the thatch-roofed meeting houses that dot the villages, there’s plenty to do for all ages and experience levels. Content happily contributed by, Eldrid from Trip101