state of the Federated States of Micronesia

Chuuk (also known as Truk) is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Regions edit

  Chuuk Lagoon
The main population center, situated on an atoll ringed with reefs and containing a number of populated islands.
  Outer Islands

Cities edit

  • 1 Weno   - has the only airport in the state

Other destinations edit

  • 2 Faichuk   - 4 islands in western Chuuk Lagoon
  • 3 Nomoi Islands   - 3 atolls, more traditional area, also called the Mortlock Islands

Understand edit

The main population center of Chuuk is Chuuk Lagoon, a large archipelago with mountainous islands surrounded by a string of islets on a barrier reef. Chuuk State also includes several more sparsely populated "outer island" groups, including the Mortlock Islands to the southeast, the Hall Islands (Pafeng) to the north, Namonuito Atoll to the northwest, and the Pattiw Region to west. The Pattiw Region is of particular interest in that they are some of the most traditional islands in the Pacific and culturally related to outer islands of Yap.

Chuuk was originally part of the colonial territory of the Caroline Islands, and as such Chuuk has been a part of the Spanish Empire, then the German Empire and finally the Japanese empires.

During World War II, Chuuk Lagoon was the Japan's main naval base in the South Pacific theatre. A significant portion of the Imperial Japanese fleet was based there, with its administrative center on Tonoas (south of Weno). Due to its heavy fortifications, both natural and manmade, the base at Chuuk was nicknamed by the Allied forces as "the Gibraltar of the Pacific". In 1944 the U.S. forces attacked Chuuk under code name Operation Hailstone. The attack culminated in one of the most important naval battles of the war. Twelve Japanese warships, thirty-two merchant ships and 249 aircraft were destroyed.

After the War, 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. Now Chuuk is a state within the independent Federated States of Micronesia.

Talk edit

The native language is Chuukese, although many people (particularly those in the hospitality industry) speak English. Making life more difficult for travelers, Chuukese varies from island to island although most people from different islands can understand each other.

Get in edit

United Airlines flies to Chuuk from Guam and from Pohnpei.

Passports are required for entry and must be presented. US citizens may enter without restrictions. All other countries must have outbound ticket and are limited to 30 days.

Get around edit

There is no public transport infrastructure in Chuuk. On the main island, the two options are either take a taxi or rent a car or scooter. Both are fairly cheap, but the quality of the roads and the quality of the vehicles are about what you would expect in a relatively poor country.

Travelling between islands will invariably require hiring a boat. There are ferries but they can be irregular.

See edit

Do edit

Wreck of the Fujikawa Maru

Chuuk is renowned for its wreck diving. The PADI Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving lists four "Meccas" of wreck diving, and Truk Lagoon is one of the four.

In 1944 the US Navy conducted Operation Hailstone, the largest surface bombing campaign in history, wiping out a Japanese fleet stationed at the island. The seabed around Chuuk is now littered with nearly 70 wrecks of ships and planes, all protected from deep sea currents by a reef system, and most within depths appropriate for scuba divers.

Although Truk Lagoon contains a number of spectacular wrecks, the Fujikawa Maru is often singled out by diving magazines and travel guides as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world.

However, apart from scuba diving, there is not very much to do in Chuuk. There are no real beaches on Weno (although some of the outer islands which can be reached by boat do have beaches). None of the hotels on Chuuk has a swimming pool. For non-divers, a trip to Chuuk can be dull and tiresome.

Chuuk Lagoon edit

The Chuuk Lagoon is a major scuba diving destination for divers interested in wreck diving. Chuuk Lagoon was a port for the Japanese fleet in World War II and was attacked by the American navy in Operation Hailstorm on February 16th 1944. The lagoon contains the wrecks of over thirty naval ships and 250 aircraft, making it the largest underwater military cemetery in the world. Many of the ships still have cargo including medical supplies, armaments, trucks and mines. The most commonly dived wrecks are the:

  • Heian Maru, a 530-ft (162-m) long ship in 110ft (34m) of water
  • San Francisco Maru, a 385-ft (117-m) long cargo boat with the stern in 210 ft (64m) and the front mast in 90 ft (27m).
  • Fujikawa Maru, a 437-ft (133-m) long freighter upright on the sea floor.
  • Nippo Maru, a 353-ft (108-m) long freighter sitting upright in between 50 ft (15m) to 150 ft (46m) of water.
  • Upside Down Zero, a Japanese fighter plane in 60 ft (18 m) of water.
  • Betty Bomber, a Japanese bomber plane in 50 ft (15 m) of water.

Buy edit

The official currency of the FSM is the U.S. dollar ("$", ISO currency code: USD). It is divided into 100 cents.

Eat edit

Drink edit

Alcohol is subject to a 50% sales tax in Chuuk, and all alcohol is imported. Accordingly, an evening at the bar can rapidly become quite an expensive proposition in Chuuk.

Sleep edit

Although the Chuuk Visitor's Bureau lists a number of options, there are principally two land based hotels in Chuuk which tourists tend to stay at:

Chuuk is a very poor country, and visitors should adjust their expectations of the hotels accordingly. Although the rooms will be air conditioned and clean, the amenities will be somewhat limited.

Visitors who come to scuba dive (which is to say, almost all of them) often stay on one of the two liveaboard dive vessels which operate in Chuuk:

Stay safe edit

It is best to observe the cultural norms of each island. For the most part conservative dress and manners will do much to ensure you have a safe visit. Women should NOT wear shorts or short skirts and bathing suits should only be worn at the main resorts. It is best to wear a T-shirt over your bathing suit if you will be swimming near public beaches. Speaking to a local of the opposite gender can be thought of as an open invitation to a more serious relationship.

When on the main islands, avoid going out alone after dark. As in many places around the globe men have more freedoms to behave as they choose. Many use the darkness, and a few too many drinks to behave as they would like. For the most part they will be more aggressive and overt in their attention-seeking behaviors. They will over-react if they believe their ego/reputation has been questioned.

Connect edit

Cell service available only with FSM SIM card purchased locally.

Go next edit

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