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Micronesia - Chuuk (Truk)

The many islands within this huge atoll are crowned with natural beauty. The outer barrier reef is punctuated with idyllic sand spits dotted with coconut palms. The high islands in the central lagoon rise into the blue island skies.

Chuuk, with its vast, shallow, beautiful lagoon is a Mecca for wreck divers. A major shipwreck site from WWII, Truk Lagoon is unquestionably the world's best shipwreck diving destination. Here, more than 50 hulks have been transformed into shipreefs, holding the very best of the undersea world and maritime history at one site. Hard and soft corals in a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes attract divers worldwide for both daytime and night diving. The vast selection of artifacts still found on the wrecks after five decades are testament to the unique history of the Micronesian Islands. The historical aspect of Truk Lagoon is not totally hidden by the jungles. Japanese lighthouses, perched high atop the lagoon's finest overlooks, can be reached by hiking or driving. Old runways, command centers, gun emplacements, cave networks, hospitals and libraries can be found with the help of a knowledgeable guide.

In Chuuk, the pace of life slows and tropical nature is easily observed and appreciated. Many of the islands offer lush vegetation that harbors rare and migratory birdlife. Enthusiasts have been known to camp high in the hills to observe these special avians. Wild orchids and other flora are found in the scenic and sometimes rugged terrain of the islands. Traveling by ocean kayak from island to island is one way to enjoy Chuuk. Often overlooked are the outer reefs where a great variety of fish, both pelagic and reef dwelling, venture near cascading coral walls that stretch into the blue abyss of the Pacific Ocean. Windsurfing and sailing in the lagoon passes is also done during tradewind season.

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Photos

ate afternoon, Truk Lagoon - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com An aerial View of the Chuuk Atoll Islands. Photo: Alamy - Courtesy of images.canberratimes.com.au Photo taken from Truk Blue Lagoon Resort, Chuuk - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Atlantis of modern warfare, Jacques Cousteau, San Francisco Maru - Courtesy of cdn.thedailybeast.com Sunken tank - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Chuuk airport with lei ladies out front - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com The palm trees on Weno, with Dublon in the background - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Courtesy of www.diversiondivetravel.com.au Wide-Angle Coral shot off the hull of WW-II Japanese ship at Truk Lagoon - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com

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Videos

Roads on Weno in Chuuk, Micronesia

 - Courtesy of www.youtube.com Steve & the crew fly to micronesia to dive the wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon, opperation hailstone the largest carrier attack in history and a 2 day record for the war 220,000 Tonnes of shipping went to the bottom, steve and Bren got married on the beach while they were there - Courtesy of www.youtube.com Welcome to Truk Lagoon (also known as Chuuk Lagoon), home to one of the world's largest ship graveyards, courtesy of a surprise Allied attack during World War II on one of Japan's largest naval bases. - Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com

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Activities

Shigeto's Store - Image coming soon! Shopping Shigeto's Store

mt tnaachau or tonachau or toonachaw - Courtesy of www.visit-micronesia.fm Nature/Parks/Beaches Mt. Tonachau (Toonachaw)

Fishing Cooperation and Market - Image coming soon! Shopping Fishing Cooperation and Market

Former Japanese Governor's Residence - Image coming soon! Historic Sites Former Japanese Governor's Residence

College of Micronesia - Chuuk Campus - Image coming soon! Museums/Gallery College of Micronesia - Chuuk Campus

Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Recreation/Sports Blue Lagoon Dive Shop

Japanese Wartime Communications Center - Image coming soon! Historic Sites Japanese Wartime Communications Center

Japanese Nanyo Fishing Plant Ruins - Image coming soon! Historic Sites Japanese Nanyo Fishing Plant Ruins

Sapuk Light, Weno, Chuuk Historic Preservation Office photo
 - Courtesy of www.unc.edu Historic Sites Sapuk Lighthouse

Former Japanese Seaplane Base - Image coming soon! Historic Sites Former Japanese Seaplane Base

Melted Japanese Oil Tanks - Image coming soon! Historic Sites Melted Japanese Oil Tanks

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Travel Information  Travel Information

Continental Air Micronesia has direct flights from Guam or you can experience the "Island Hopper" from Hawaii - with stops on many of the islands along the way. The airport departure fee is $15.

find flights to Chuuk (Truk) [TKK]Find flights into TKK

More Information

History: It is not known when the islands of Chuuk were first settled, but, based on archaeological evidence, these islands had originally been settled more than 2000 years ago. It is not known with certainty where the original inhabitants came from. Based on archaeological evidence, it seems that, after about 200 AD, there was no continuous settlement until about 1300 AD. It is probable that people came from Pohnpei and Kosrae to the east, based on many legend and language similarities. As part of the colonial territory of the Caroline Islands, Truk was part of the Spanish, then German and the Japanese empires.

During World War II, Truk Lagoon was the Empire of Japan's main base in the South Pacific theatre. A significant portion of the Japanese fleet was based there, with its administrative center on Tonoas (south of Weno). Truk was the base for Japanese operations against Allied forces in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Due to its heavy fortifications, both natural and manmade, the base at Truk was known to Allied forces as "the Gibraltar of the Pacific".

Operation Hailstone, executed by the United States in 1944, culminated in one of the most important naval battles of the war at Truk. Twelve Japanese warships, thirty-two merchant ships and 249 aircraft were destroyed, although the larger warships had received advance warning and were already at sea.

Chuuk was one of six districts of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands which were administered by the United States under charter from the United Nations from the end of the Second World War to the early 1990s.

English-Speaking?: YES

Weather: We are only 7 degrees north of the equator and our climate is tropical. The trade winds provide cooling breezes and the rainy season gives us lush, tropical growth.

Customs/VISA: Dress is casual, shorts and t-shirts are widely acceptable on the resort grounds and of course on the dive boats. For women, local custom is to wear a skirt or wrap to cover the thighs when away from the resort. Light clothing is comfortable in our climate.

Lush vegetation and simple living punctuate the lives of the lagoon. Fishing, weaving and tending garden supplant the subsistence lives that many sustain on their individual islands. It is not unusual to see women waist deep in the mangroves hunting for a special delicacy or men walking the reefs by torchlight at night looking for baby octopus. Boat makers create vessels high in the hills of the inner islands and take them down to sea when finished. Open hearth fires are still used to cook the daily meals. Life here is close to nature and lived in conjunction with the land and the sea. Local carvers are also famous for using beautiful local woods to carve warrior masks and busts. And the Chuukese love stick is part of a legendary practice of courtship unique to this island group.

Currency: The currency in Chuuk is the US dollar. Major credit cards and travelers checks are also widely accepted.

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Festivals


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Dining  Restaurants and Dining

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Blue Lagoon Restaurant

Yami's Restaurant - Image coming soon! Yami's Restaurant

View from ocean of hotel and restaurant - Courtesy of www.trukstophotel.com Truk Stop Restaurant and Hard Wreck Cafe

Ran Annim - Image coming soon! Ran Annim

Donut Shop - Image coming soon! Donut Shop

Toyo's Coffee Shop - Image coming soon! Toyo's Coffee Shop

Takarajima Japanese Restaurant - Image coming soon! Takarajima Japanese Restaurant

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Accommodations  Hotel and Accommodations

Seaside Hotel - Image coming soon! Seaside Hotel

Falos Beach Resort - Image coming soon! Falos Beach Resort

Chuuk Star Hotel - Image coming soon! Chuuk Star Hotel

Hotel view from water - Courtesy of www.trukstophotel.com Truk Stop Hotel

Outside of resort - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Truk Blue Lagoon Resort

Courtesy of www.fm Christopher Inn (R.S. Plaza)

Pacific Gardens Hotel - Image coming soon! Pacific Gardens Hotel

Rooms - Courtesy of www.fm Kurassa Hotel

Bedroom at Level V - Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Level V (L5) Hotel

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Random User Comments

Dave D. wrote about St. Maarten/Martin:

"Back in 2011 my wife & I visited St. Maarten/Martin as part of a Royal Caribbean Cruise. We were blown away by the beauty of the island. Here's an excerpt of a blog post about our day on the island:

The beach was absolutely beautiful, with the white sand and the teal tinged water, not to mention the great view of the mountains off to the right of where we were resting. The weather couldn't have been better either, with a few clouds to break up the hot sun. We went from laying on the beach chairs to soaking in the Caribbean Sea back to the beach chairs and beers. I could get used to this! The best part was that the beach wasn't overly busy, so it was nice & quiet and you could swim around in the water without bumping into people.

What a great day on St. Maarten. We had such a great time during those few hours while our cruise ship was docked, that we went back to St. Maarten for a full week later on in the year.

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