Yap is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Yap is comprised of the main island atoll of Yap with Maap and Gagil connected by road and Rumung, commonly referred to as "The Forbidden Island", is accessible by boat but still within the reef. Outside the reef, Yap extends towards Chuuk (FKA Truuk) and has many outer islands and atolls; some of which are accessible by plane.
The island is famous for its stone money, which is rather large and cannot easily be moved. The island was opened for tourism in 1989 and has seen a good amount of tourists visiting, especially for the scuba diving and to catch a glimpse of the traditional Micronesian island culture. Skin Diver Magazine has called Yap "the most interesting island in Micronesia" and gives Yap the honor of being one of the magazine's top 3 dive sites.
The state of Yap consists of 134 islands and atolls. Twenty two of these are populated, stretching across an excess of 100,000 square miles in total area. Yap's main island is made up of four high volcanic islands, accounting for 38 of Yap’s approximate total 50 square miles of land area. The main island of Yap is where the state capital and commercial center, Colonia, is located. Most of the outer islands stretching approximately 600 miles east of Yap Island are coral atolls. These atolls are sparsely populated by people different from the Yapese in both culture and language.
The US dollar is the official currency in Yap, and Micronesia.
Standard 110 volt and the same US type outlets are used on Yap.
- Yap Day - Observed in first week of March Annually.
- FSM Constitution Day – May 10
- UN Day – October 24
- FSM Independence Day – November 3
- Yap State Constitution Day – December 24
Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian and Satawalese are the island's official languages (all of which are indigenous), but English is also spoken by many of the locals and travelers will have no problem getting by knowing little if any of the indigenous languages. Many of the elderly Yapese people are fluent in the Japanese language as well.
Visas are not required for tourists staying 30 days or fewer. Travelers must have a valid passport and/or documentation of citizenship. All visitors to Yap must have an onward or return ticket. Entry authorization for stays greater than 30 days must be obtained in advance from Immigration and Labor, FSM National Government, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM 96941.
Taxis are plentiful in Colonia, and travelers are free to use the public bus system in Colonia to get around. These busses are often used to transport students and government workers and run between Colonia and the outer villages in early mornings and evenings.
While on Yap, visitors may charter boats to the outlying Islands, which can be taken care of at a variety of places on the island.
- On the island of Yap there are quite a few villages, as well as endless beaches and places to learn about the unique island life.
- The outer reefs around Yap are full of other aquatic life, and they attract divers from all corners of the globe.
Inquire about ship rides, private planes or for the more adventurous might consider looking into sailing on a tradition canoe.
- Scuba dive, looking for Manta Rays.
- Surf the islands legendary waves.
- Take a cultural tour and check out the local island life.
Yap offers a variety of restaurants, with most found in the Colonia area. Currently in Colonia, you can choose between; O'Keefe's ($5.00 lunch specials include tea, rice, cabbage salad, soup and meat), MNUW (The schooner behind the Manta Ray resort - great food at a reasonable price and if you eat on Wednesday or Friday night, you may catch a movie!), Ganir (more local style with a raised veranda style dining area), ESA (German cook with a variety of options priced very well) and Trader's Ridge (more great food and still reasonable). Outside of the Colonia area you will find other eating options scattered including a beach house with Japanese food. Be sure to inquire about getting a taste of the local food, which includes 3 types of crab, shrimp, lobster, tuna, wahoo, snapper and much more; and yes, Yapese do eat fruit bats.
Travelers should just reserve the first night at the hotel. Look around in Colonia next day if there is another hotel you rather prefere! The walkabout takes around 30 minutes.
- Manta Ray Bay Hotel, . One of the larger hotels on Yap. Here you can make arrangements to scuba dive, and view the Manta Rays that the waters around the island are famous for.
- Trader's Ridge Resort, . The hotel is on the site of the original pre-war Japanese command post. Good service, nice outside area with swimmingpool and restaurante.
- ESA Bayview Hotel,  A family owned and operated hotel located in the heart of Colonia.
- O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn, . A very private and stylish guest house, right on Yap's waterfront.
- Home Stays - Danka Ledgerwood Travel Agency "Happiness in Yap & Micronesia" . Home stays with a local family or in a room in a Yapese House, Bungalows or Men's House, Cultural in Colonia or other parts, villages and beaches, of Yap and Ulithi Atolls.
Yap is known for its ultra safe environment. Guns are illegal and rare and even these are small caliber for bats. Yapese frequently carry machetes out and about. Yapese children frequently carry knives at younger ages and construct toys with the knife. Yapese do tend to drink heavily and also frequent the same nightlife spots as tourists, so be ready to mingle as most Yapese begin to socialize and become even friendlier when they drink.
Yap also practises a rigid caste system creating an additional element of control over would be trouble makers. So, as long as you are culturally sensitive and respectful, you will be able to experience an entire cultural immersion.
The dogs are friendly and Yap is rabies free. Most dogs look homeless but eventually wander home. Avoid contact with other's animals to be safe.
NO NO's: Dog is a very dirty word. Puppy is worse. Be careful with these.
Everything is private; it is easy to get permission to visit most beaches, community house and more, just ask first. If you don't know who to ask, ask the first person you see. It is a small island and they may give permission themselves as many people are inter-related.
Some more things to avoid are bragging, yelling, walking between conversing people, stepping over people, short shorts and perfume.
From Yap you can make the journey by boat or plane to Palau or to the other nearby islands of Micronesia.
This page was last edited at 10:14, on 15 February 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Bobby, Ian Sergeant, David, Andrew Haggard, Adam Slavický, Tom Holland and Josh Adams, Wikitravel user(s) Morph, W66LinkBot, WindHorse and Huttite and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.