Pohnpei is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia.
- Nan Madol
Pohnpei is the largest of the islands in the Federated States of Micronesia. It is roughly circular and about 60 miles around.
Pohnpei is the most developed of the four states in Micronesia. The development, however, is geared for citizens and ex-pats who live here.
Pohnpei is also one of the rainiest inhabited place in the world. With about 200 inches of rain per year, and no dry season, expect it to rain every day, with alternating patches of sun, clouds, and rain. However, since the temperature hovers around 80°F (about 27°C), the rain is never seen as much of a nuisance, and most people walk around without umbrellas or other rain gear. Rain can often be seen as a relief, because it cools the weather down a few degrees and keeps the humidity from feeling oppressive.
The Northern end of the island has most of the population, as well as the city of Kolonia. There are no well-defined boundaries to the city, and the townships are all quite near each other. There is a ring road that circles the island. Most people live on the ring road.
The regional language of Pohnpei is Pohnpeian. However, most people learn English as well. Outside of the capital and the college, most people only have rudimentary English skills, and once you get into the villages, only Pohnpeian is spoken, by and large. The older population has more proficiency in Japanese, the language of the occupation during their childhood.
Continental Airlines is the only airline with flights to Micronesia. They offer an island-hopper flight, which goes East to West on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and West to East on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The airport is small, and most checking on the islands is done by hand, so expect to have all of your luggage (carry-on or check-in) hand-searched. Because of this, check-in generally happens at least an hour before boarding, even though there are never huge numbers of people at the airport.
Intrepid travelers arrive on their sailboats to visit Pohnpei. There is a very nice lagoon for sailboats.
Street names are not generally used to give directions. There are no addresses. Fortunately, there is only one main road and it is pretty easy to get around. If you are lost, locals know where practically everything is and are happy to give directions.
There are some car rentals available on Pohnpei. The roads are in fair to poor condition, and potholes are common. Cars will drive on the wrong side of the road to avoid potholes. It is acceptable to pass a slow moving car anywhere there is enough space. At night many drivers are intoxicated on Sakau and tend to drive very slowly. There is little in the way of signage.
There are also taxis, which are relatively cheap. A taxi ride in Kolonia will cost $1 per person. Prices increase the farther you go outside of Kolonia.
Walking is easy, as there are few distances within the Kolonia area which are more than a couple of miles away. Many people walk around town. Dogs may nip at you if you make too much eye contact with them.
- Sokehs rock - a massive rock outcropping. a hiking trail leads to the top for a panoramic view over the island. there are some WW2 era Japanese guns at the top.
- Nan Madol - a must see. the ruins of a thousand year old royal city. the ruins are located on artificial islands, and it has been called "the Venice of the pacific"
- the Spanish Wall - located in the capital, Kolonia, this wall is all that remains of the old spanish fort.
- Surf Pohnpei has world class surfing. The break is called Palikir Pass. Palikir pass is on the edge of the outer reef, and the wave breaks just before it hits the reef. Surfing is roughly from November to April. You will need a boat to get to the reef. Pohnpei Surf Club  will arrange a boat ride to the pass.
- Dive and Snorkel Pohnpei has very good diving and snorkeling. The diving here mostly along reefs. There is decent diving and snorkeling from Nalap Resort. You will need a boat for the best diving spots on the island.
- Kayak Sea Breeze hotel rents kayak's. The rate is $2 per hour.
- See Mangrove Forests There are no natural beaches. Instead of beaches the island is surrounded by a belt of mangrove swamp. Travelers will find that there is not obvious access to the ocean in Kolonia. There is public access to the water a Nett Point.
- Nalap Resort Built on top of a reef in Kitti Municipality, Nalap features about 10 spartan cabins. Nalap is about a forty five minute drive from Kolonia. There is an unmarked turn down a dirt road, off of the ring road to get to Nalap. During low tide there is enough sand to spread out and get the beach experience. You can dive and snorkel from here, but you will need your own equipment. This resort offers overnight cabins, and day use cabins, all with BBQ pits. There is a shared restroom. Nalap runs a water taxi to the resort that is $5 per person, round trip. The use fee is about $3 per person to rent a cabin. Kayak's can be rented for a couple of dollars. There is a Sunday discount.
- Shop Handicrafts such as wood carvings, woven baskets, and wall hangings (often incorporating shells and small wood carvings) are made by the local population. As well as purchasing these, you can watch them being made.
There are about ten restaurants to eat at on Pohnpei. At most you can expect lunches from about $6.50 or $7, and dinners between $12 and $20.
- The China Star Restaurant down by the shipping port is by far the Best restaurant on the island. The cooks are from China and most dishes have fresh veggies. Meals are between $8.00 and $16.00. (691) 320-6849
- The Joy Hotel and Restaurant is known for its Joy Lunch, a Japanese-style set lunch of fried fish, tuna sashimi, rice, salad, and soup. They also serve local snacks like breadfruit and banana chips as a free appetizer. You can get it at dinner there, as well. Joy lunch is $7.50. Joy dinner as around $10.00 a plate. (691) 320-2447
- PCR / Nanchelik  has a river view and a Japanese revolving lazy susan, where you sit and pick off the dishes you like- sahami, sushi, fried fish and chicken, seafood spaghetti, etc. All you can eat lunch (which usually includes sashimi and cucumber rolls) is $6.50. (691) 320-5444
- The Peppermill has a good lunch menu of sandwiches and light dishes. Their dinner most closely approaches the style of cuisine that you might see in any US restaurant, but so do their prices. (691) 320-7612
- SEI restaurant is known for its buffet lunch, which, at $6.99, has all-you-can-eat sashimi, rice, and fritters, among other things. Architecture alone is worth a visit. (691) 320-4266
- Angie's "Fast Food", right next to the Peppermill, has food which isn't really fast. However, they do have burgers and fries, and cheap prices. (691) 320-1480
- The Village Resort is known for its Sunday brunch and great view. Try the banana pancakes! It is a great place to take a book and hang out for hours!
- The Orchid Located at Ocean View Hotel, it is reasonably priced and has great view. (691) 320-3075
- Cliff Rainbow Restaurant has a Joy Lunch style set but their best lunch is the seafood spaghetti! (691) 320-2415
- The Rusty Anchor - the most popular bar on Pohnpei. It is located in the shell of an unfinished hotel and has an excellent view of the yacht harbor. It is known as the expat bar, but locals also frequent the bar. Beer is between $2 and $3.50. There are pool tables.
- Club Flamingo - the only nightclub on the island. $2 cover. Open on the weekends, after 10:00 p.m., the party can go on until 3 in the morning. Don't get caught on the dance floor after a song ends!
- Tattooed Irishman - at the Village Hotel. Probably the best view and fanciest bar on the island. A great place to see a sunset. Beer is between $2.50 and $4.
- Sakau en Pohnpei - many people around Pohnpei enjoy anesthetizing themselves with a goopy concoction known as sakau (a.k.a. kava). Try some and you'll understand why people say "like the feeling, not the taste." There are numerous sakau bars (markets) around town. 'Green Bay' is a popular sakau bar. The atmosphere at the market is very quiet and low key. The price is usually $7 for all you can drink in a shared cup. For about $10 you can get a personal cup.
- The Village Hotel  is set in the jungle, outside of Kolonia, with sweeping views of the ocean. It is the only resort hotel on the island and features a bar and a restaurant. There are 20 mangrove pole, thatched roof bungaloo's that make up the rooms. The Village can arrange tours of the island as well. Rates are between $100 and $130 per night. (691) 320-2727.
- PCR Hotel  Popular with the surfing crowd because PCR hotel doubles as the dock that the Pohnpei Surf Club boats leave from. This hotel also has a decent restuarant. All the rooms have air con, mini-fridge, TV and Phone. (691) 320-4981
- Ocean View Plaza  Probably somewhere close to a two star hotel, it is neither new, nor old. It serves as a decent place to sleep. All the rooms feature kitchenettes, air conditioning, private balconies, full bath, cable TV, telephones and laundry service. (691) 320-7049
The island is remarkably safe. In the Kaselehlie Press, the local newspaper, the police blotter mostly reports disorderly conduct and maybe the occasional drunk driving.
This page was last edited at 22:52, on 20 February 2009 by firstname.lastname@example.org. Based on work by Ian Kirk and Jani Patokallio, Wikitravel user(s) Huttite, W66LinkBot and Maliora and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.