The Land of Stone Money or YAP is one of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. Elements of the past, present and future can be seen in this beautiful island where ancient culture exists peacefully with modern traditions. YAP warmly welcomes not tourists but friends into its comforting dome.
There are many exciting adventures and activities for visitors going on a round trip to YAP. It is a premier destination for divers across the world. Scuba divers alone make up 90% of visitors coming to YAP. The highlight of diving on this island include the likes of Mandarin fish, turtles, sharks, caves, corals, caverns and gardens and soft and hard corals.
The island is filled with natural beauty and products such as hiking trails, stone paths, local dances, stone money banks, local food outlets, kayaking, sailing canoes, war wrecks and relics, white sandy beaches and flora and fauna which offers unlimited tourists attractions and things to do for non-divers.
There’s much to do on YAP with the island offering a variety of activities to both divers and non-divers. Whether it is hiking, mountain biking, deep sea fishing or napping on white sandy beaches, YAP is unspoilt in its setting making one’ surroundings breathtaking and stunning! There’s fabulous marine life, reefs, sheer drop offs and clear waters allowing visitors to breathe in the fresh air, deeply relax and unwind in a world away from the world! YAP has since become one of the finest diving destinations across the world.
With warm and friendly people inhabiting the island, YAP enjoys welcoming tourists who are respectful of their lifestyle. The island is enchanting and allows visitors to feel akin to living in their own home in the homely and comforting Yapese environment. The island is known for its dance traditions with little children starting early to learn the steps in their own backyard. This is a special tradition on the island and legend has it, the dance tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.
The westernized and culturally intact island in Micronesia remains to be YAP. Faluw is a meeting house found in every village on the island. It is akin to a public hall where community activities take place with men, women and children participating in many of them. Additionally, faluws can be found along the shoreline and serves as a workspace for men, port and learning setting for many traditional work skills. All local material is used to construct these beautiful faluws and comprise of a beautiful and traditional architecture.
The traditional currency used on YAP is called stone money. This is a unique currency which still exits in this part of the world. Each piece has an oral history that pertains to its value. These carved stones are represented on the State seal and State flag and is the cornerstone of the culture on YAP Island. Location and Geographic Description: Yap is located in the Western Pacific, stretching from 6 to 10 degrees North Latitude and 137 to 148 degrees East Longitude in the Western Caroline Islands. Yap is one of the four States that make up the Federated States of Micronesia and is some 450 miles southwest of Guam, and 360 miles northeast of Palau.
Yap State consists of 134 islands and atolls of which 22 are populated, stretching across more than 100,000 square miles of total area. The main island of Yap is made up of four high volcanic islands and accounts for 38.7 of Yap’s total 49.7 square miles of land area.
GMT + 10) – Yap is on the same time zone as Sydney, Australia, and one hour earlier than Tokyo, Japan. Yap is on the other side of the international date line from the United States, and on the same time zone as Guam, where “America’s Day Begins.”
Temperatures in Yap are moderate and fairly constant. Average temperature during the spring and summer months are 82 Fahrenheit Celsius, and 80 Fahrenheit Celsius during the fall and winter. Relative humidity ranges from 65 to 100 percent, with an annual average of 83 percent.
There are four indigenous languages in Yap: Yapese, Ulithian, Woleian, and Satawalese. English is the common language of the FSM and is commonly spoken and understood. Many elderly Yapese are fluent in Japanese.
The official currency in Yap is the US Dollar. Yap is famous for its Stone Money which is still in use for traditional exchanges such as the purchase of land or in village ceremonies.
Travel light. It never gets cold in Yap, so only lightweight clothing should be brought. Attire is very casual and formal wear is considered unnecessary and impractical.In Yap, toplessness is common and socially acceptable, but it is considered highly offensive for women to bare their thighs in Public.