Yap Travel Guide

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Yap is the most intriguing island in Micronesia. It is a land steeped in ancient traditions, fascinating legends, and peopled by one of the most distinctive cultures in the Pacific. Attractions like a handmade seaside men's house, cultural village tours, huge, ancient stone money discs and stone money banks, dancing, handicraft making, marine life and mangrove forests highlight a visit to this unique outpost.

Dance is an art form in Yap. Through dance, legends are passed down, history is recorded and entertainment is created. The dances of Yap are raucous, colorful and well- orchestrated. Men and women both start at an early age to learn this special Yap tradition.

This traditional life carries into the villages where fishing, sailing and weaving are still important parts of everyday life. Grass skirts for the women and thu'us, a type of loincloth, for the men are the basic garb in the small towns that sit in tranquil settings around the island. Yap has a number of small hotels, including the finest dedicated dive resort in Micronesia, that cater to divers, sightseers and those wanting a closer look at the culture. The island's rolling green hills and lush mangroves make Yap a true tropical Eden. These can be seen every day while heading out to explore the sea. Or an ocean kayak tour can be arranged to allow the visitor to look at these wandering passageways in a very special way.

The people of Yap are shy but warm. They don't mind visitors who are respectful and appreciative of their lifestyle. With a little coaxing, the visitor may soon find his or herself helping with a chore, like launching a canoe or weaving a basket to carry coconuts. This special kind of island encounter is not unusual on Yap and is part of the Yapese spirit that makes the island so enticing and enchanting.

For the active person, there's plenty to do on land and in the ocean. The visitor can expect to go mountain biking, hike on an ancient stone path or try some deep sea fishing as part of the Yap experience. Or, just take a nap under a coconut tree on one of Yap's unspoiled beaches.

Yap is famous for its clear waters where schools of tuna, dolphins and reef fish are found in abundance. Observing the greatly varied marine life on the reefs and in the channels has become a must for divers around the world. While clear waters and sheer dropoffs certainly describe Yap's diving, one fact stands above the rest. Yap is the world's foremost destination for seeing manta rays up close and personal. There is no other place on earth where they can be seen on such a consistent basis year 'round. This fact has catapulted Yap to the top on all lists of the finest diving attractions in the world.

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