WHY VISIT THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
The Marshall Islands form a nation of scattered atolls and remote islands, which are known for their marine life and diving opportunities. Many of the atolls are dotted with Flame of the Forest, hibiscus, and different-colored plumeria flowers. There are also at least 160 species of coral surrounding the islands. The atolls are noted for their coconut and papaya plantations and for pandanus and breadfruit trees.
The Marshallese are an interesting bunch. Apart from being skilled seafaring people who know fishing and navigating as well as anyone, they’re a thoroughly multicultural bunch. After two millennia of being isolated, the islands began to be settled and colonized in the 18th century by a wave of successive visitors and occupiers, from British and Russians to Germans, Japanese, and Americans.
The most modern atolls bear the marks of all the above, with diverse restaurants and cuisine on offer. The capital of Majuro Atoll leans towards the Western, being relatively developed though still pretty laid-back. The real tropical wonders are the outer islands, which for the most part are immaculate freckles of paradise, though some have witnessed the horrors of nuclear testing.
The Marshall Islands are undoubtedly a diving hotspot, with many enthusiasts skipping the capital altogether and heading for a spot of nature diving at Rongelap. Diving among wrecks from World War II is also popular, though perhaps the main diving attraction is Bikini Island. You may have heard of Bikini. From or near here, some 23 nuclear devices were detonated in tests by the US in the reef, inside the atoll, by air, and even underwater. Divers can go on guided tours to explore the history of nuclear testing, while UNESCO has declared Bikini a World Heritage Site for the fact of the remaining, direct tangible evidence of nuclear testing. Leased to the US military, Kwajalein Atoll remains in use for missile testing.
WHEN TO GO TO THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
The best period to visit the Marshall Islands is from December to March.
Tropical, with cooling sea breezes and frequent rain. Trade winds blow steadily from the northeast from December through to March. The Wettest months are usually from October to November. The average temperature is 27°C (80°F).
Following is a list of typical festivals and celebrations of the Marshall Islands.
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HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
Because atolls are so narrow, most have just one road running their length. Majuro—where the majority of the population lives—is no exception. Though there are a few places where the main road branches off into a brief tangle of side streets, getting around is incredibly straightforward.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
health tips & vaccination: keep up to date with your traditional vaccines, and add those for typhoid and hepatitis A and B. Get treatment for malaria. Do not drink tap water, peel your fruit, and cook your vegetables.
local currency: United States Dollar
local time zone: GMT +12
type A and type B (120 V – 60 Hz)
WHAT TO DO IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
typical food in the Marshall Islands
souvenirs from the Marshall Islands
- kili handbags woven by former residents of Bikini
- stick charts (once used to navigate long distances between the region’s scattered islands)
- plaited floor mats
- shell necklaces
SIMPLE MARSHALLESE DICTIONARY
Hello: Io̧kwe (yawk-way)
Goodbye: Io̧kwe (yawk-way)
How are you?: Em̧m̧an mour?
Thank you: Kom̧m̧ooltata
What is your name?: Etam̧?