Nan Madol Ruins
A stone city located in the eastern shore of the state of Pohnpei, Nan Madol is mainly composed of 90 man-made islets connected by canals and enclosed by stone walls. The city, also known as the Venice of the Pacific, was built as the residence of ancient royalties during the Saudeleur dynasty.
Some islets served as mortuaries, and others were used for special purposes such as coconut oil preparation, canoe building, and food preparation. It is said that the population of Nan Madol was less than a thousand.
The ruins of Nan Madol suggest that it had been inhabited as early as the first or second century AD. But it was during the eighth or ninth century that the islets were constructed. And by twelfth or thirteenth century, the construction of the megalith was begun.
What stuns archeologists is the construction of Nan Madol. The walls, which are about 17 to 25 feet tall and 17 feet thick, are made of basalt stones and arranged in an alternating pattern.
Archeological investigations proved that there were no basalt sources in Nan Madol, so how the Pohnpeians transported the heavy basalt stones to the site is a mystery.
Sokehs Rock, another landmark in Pohnpei, is mesmerizing to look at, especially from afar. This very steep cliff juts out from a lush mountainous terrain, figuring prominently amidst the greenery.
But what is even more mesmerizing is the view at the top of Sokehs Rock. The cliff treats you to a breathtaking display of the sea with patches of green, a picturesque complement to the soft-looking, light blue sky. Every bit serene, the view lulls the inner you.
Reaching the top, of course, is a heart-pumping adventure. You have to hike uphill to reach the base of Sokehs Rock, walking the trail and scaling steep rocks.
But the real challenge begins once you reach the base. There’s no other way here but up, so you have to start the ascent, holding on to the pipe that runs along the cliff, to tree roots, and practically to anything that will give you a good grip. Of course, a local guide will help you through.
Remember: Scaling Sokehs Rock is not for the faint-hearted, so do this only if you are fit for climbing.
Pohnpei Outer Islands
Try an ultimate Pohnpei adventure by traveling off the shore and onto the outer islands of Pohnpei. The outer islands provide scenic views, majestic beaches, campout opportunities, and an ultimate island adventure.
Ant Atoll is one of the most visited outer destinations in Pohnpei. It is a small atoll 10 miles from the shore and can be reached by boat. What you will find here is clear water blessed with beautiful marine species. So whether you go diving, snorkeling, or deep fishing, you will have a memorable water adventure.
To the southwest of Pohnpei is Black Coral. With a diameter of 100 meters, this island is so tiny but superbly picturesque. The water is crystal clear and mirrors the blueness of the sky. Black Coral is teeming with tropical fish, making the island a superb diving spot.
Langer, Pakin, Kapingamarangi, and Nahlap are also beautiful outer islands that any adventure-seeking tourist must visit.
Truk Lagoon Underwater Fleet
The Truk Lagoon Underwater Fleet is the most important and most popular attraction in the state of Chuuk. In fact, it is one of the most interesting wreck dive spots in the world.
Nowhere else in the world will you see a sprawling underwater museum of sunken warships, aircraft, and vessels in clear and shallow water. Truk Lagoon has more than 60 of these submerged attractions.
Being Japan’s naval base during World War II, Truk Lagoon housed Japan’s massive fleet. The 1944 U.S. attack, aptly called Operation Hailstone, downed this fleet and inadvertently created what is now known as the world’s finest wreck diving paradise.
The wrecks remain as they were when they sunk – tanks, trucks, and jeeps strapped to the vessels; bottles in the hulls; and fighter planes in the holds. But these once mighty-looking war vessels are now covered with corals and sponges and serve as a lounging area of several marine species.
Sitting on and close to the wrecks are several other artifacts, such as chinaware, bicycles, bombs, and gas cylinders. And to complete the underwater museum, skulls are resting on the ocean floor.
Dublon is the Spanish name of the tropical island locally known as Tonoas. This island in the state of Chuuk was the headquarters of the Japanese Navy during World War II.
As a former headquarters, therefore, Dublon has several military ruins, which include fuel storage tanks, a seaplane anchorage, and a bunker.
But Dublon is not only an open museum of the Japanese occupation, because its natural beauty can breed an exciting nature adventure. Here you can go diving, snorkeling, and swimming.
If you want some cultural immersion, you can have a village tour and witness the simplicity of the locals’ daily living.
As you go about your activities, let your senses be captivated by the lush vegetation dotting the powdery shore and the calming sound of the blue water.