Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Marshall Islands travel guide - Travel S helper

Marshall Islands

travel guide

The Marshall Islands, formally the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is a Pacific Ocean island republic situated just west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the nation is a part of the greater Micronesia island group. The country’s 53,158-strong population (as of the 2011 Census) is distributed over 29 coral atolls and 1,156 distinct islands and islets. The islands have marine borders with the Federated States of Micronesia (west), Wake Island (north), Kiribati (south-east), and Nauru (south). Around 27,797 islanders reside on Majuro, which includes the capital (as of the 2011 Census).

Throughout the second millennium BC, Micronesian immigrants progressively colonized the Marshall Islands, with inter-island navigation enabled by ancient stick maps. Europeans began exploring the archipelago in the 1520s, with Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar seeing an atoll in August 1526. Following that, further missions by Spanish and English ships occurred. The islands are named for British explorer John Marshall, who paid a visit to them in 1788. Historically, the people referred to the islands as “jolet jen Anij” (Gifts from God).

In 1874, the European countries acknowledged Spain’s sovereignty over the islands. They had been officially included into the Spanish East Indies in 1528. Later in 1884, Spain ceded the islands to the German Empire, which included them into German New Guinea in 1885. During World War I, the Empire of Japan seized the Marshall Islands, which were later united with other former German possessions to create the South Pacific Mandate by the League of Nations in 1919. The United States captured the islands during World War II as part of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign. The Marshall Islands, along with the other Pacific Islands, were thereafter included into the US-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Under a Compact of Free Association with the United States, self-government was established in 1979 and complete sovereignty in 1986. Since 1991, the Marshall Islands has been a United Nations member state.

Politically, the Marshall Islands is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, with the US providing defense, subsidies, and access to US-based institutions such as the Federal Communications Commission and the United States Postal Service. With limited natural resources, the islands’ prosperity is largely on a service economy, with some fishing and agriculture; US assistance accounts for a significant portion of the islands’ gross domestic product. The country’s currency is the US dollar.

The majority of Marshallese people live in the Marshall Islands, but minor numbers of immigrants come from the United States, China, the Philippines, and other Pacific islands. Marshallese, a Malayo-Polynesian language, and English are the two official languages. Almost the entire population of the islands is religious, with about three-quarters of the population belonging to either the United Church of Christ – Congregational in the Marshall Islands (UCCCMI) or the Assemblies of God.

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Marshall Islands - Info Card

Population

61,988

Currency

United States dollar (USD)

Time zone

UTC+12 (MHT)

Area

181.43 km2 (70.05 sq mi)

Calling code

+692

Official language

Marshallese, English

Marshall Islands | Introduction

Geography Of Marshall Islands

The islands lie about midway between Hawaii and Australia, north of Nauru and Kiribati, east of the Federated States of Micronesia, and south of the United States possession of Wake Island, which it claims. The atolls and islands are divided into two groups: the Ratak (sunrise) and the Ralik (sunset) (sunset). The two island chains run almost parallel to one another, northwest to southeast, and cover about 750,000 square miles (1,900,000 km2) of water but just about 70 square miles (180 km2) of land. Each consists of 15 to 18 islands and atolls. The nation is made up of 29 atolls and five isolated islands.

Shark sanctuary

In October 2011, the government established a shark sanctuary encompassing approximately 2,000,000 square kilometers (772,000 square miles) of water. This is the world’s biggest shark sanctuary, increasing the global ocean area protected for sharks from 2,700,000 to 4,600,000 square kilometers (1,042,000 to 1,776,000 sq mi). Shark fishing is prohibited in protected seas, and any bycatch must be released. However, some have questioned the Marshall Islands’ capacity to police this zone.

Climate In Marshall Islands

From December to April, the climate has a dry season, and from May to November, it has a rainy season. Many Pacific typhoons begin as tropical storms in the Marshall Islands area and intensify as they travel westward toward the Mariana Islands and the Philippines.

The Marshall Islands are vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise due to their low height. The Marshall Islands, according to the president of Nauru, are the most threatened country in the world owing to climate change floods.

The population has outstripped the availability of freshwater, which is typically provided by rainfall. The northern atolls get 50 inches (1,300 mm) of rain each year, whereas the southern atolls receive about double that much. Drought is a constant concern across the island systems.

Demographics Of Marshall Islands

Population statistics from the past are unknown. The population was estimated to be about 10,000 in 1862. In 1960, the total population was about 15,000 people. The island’s population was 53,158 according to the 2011 Census. The capital, Majuro, and Ebeye, the principal urban hub on Kwajalein Atoll, are home to more over two-thirds of the inhabitants. Many people who have moved abroad, mainly to the United States, are not included. The Compact of Free Association enables them to freely move to and work in the United States. A significant number of Marshall Islanders, about 4,300, have migrated to Springdale, Arkansas, the greatest population concentration of locals outside their island home.

The majority of inhabitants are Marshallese, who are of Micronesian ancestry and came from Asia thousands of years ago. A small percentage of Marshallese people are of recent Asian origin, mostly Japanese. Majuro, the capital, and Ebeye, a heavily populated island, are home to almost half of the country’s inhabitants. Because to a lack of job possibilities and economic growth, the outlying islands are sparsely inhabited. The way of life in the outer atolls is mostly traditional.

The official language of the Marshall Islands is Marshallese, although English is widely spoken.

Religion In Marshall Islands

Population statistics from the past are unknown. The population was estimated to be about 10,000 in 1862. In 1960, the total population was about 15,000 people. The island’s population was 53,158 according to the 2011 Census. The capital, Majuro, and Ebeye, the principal urban hub on Kwajalein Atoll, are home to more over two-thirds of the inhabitants. Many people who have moved abroad, mainly to the United States, are not included. The Compact of Free Association enables them to freely move to and work in the United States. A significant number of Marshall Islanders, about 4,300, have migrated to Springdale, Arkansas, the greatest population concentration of locals outside their island home.

The majority of inhabitants are Marshallese, who are of Micronesian ancestry and came from Asia thousands of years ago. A small percentage of Marshallese people are of recent Asian origin, mostly Japanese. Majuro, the capital, and Ebeye, a heavily populated island, are home to almost half of the country’s inhabitants. Because to a lack of job possibilities and economic growth, the outlying islands are sparsely inhabited. The way of life in the outer atolls is mostly traditional.

The official language of the Marshall Islands is Marshallese, although English is widely spoken.

Internet & Communications in Marshall Islands

The National Telecommunications Authority provides mobile phone service. Visitors who have a foreign SIM card may get an SMS with a local number to use with their foreign SIM card. To activate the service, just top up your account. Follow the steps outlined in the SMS. It may take a few tries to get it to function.

NTA provides internet access via a network of wifi hotspots. There are three options for connecting:

  • Purchase a card that provides a time-limited connectivity – $5 for 50 minutes.
  • Purchase a certain quantity of data online. When connecting to one of the NTA-UniFi hotspots, the service will be available. $10 gets you 100MB. Credit cards as well as PayPal are accepted.
  • Register at the NTA office for a month’s access. This is $35 per month plus a $5 setup fee. Your device’s MAC address will be entered into the NTA system, granting access to just that device. It may take a few tries to get this to work.

Although internet connections may be very fast, the system is not entirely dependable.

Entry Requirements For Marshall Islands

Visa & Passport for Marshall Islands

Everyone is needed to have a current passport.

The United States and all of its territories, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and Pacific Islands Forum countries such as Australia and New Zealand are free from entrance visa requirements.

Citizens of Japan, Korea, the Republic of China (ROC), the Philippines, and certain other countries will be granted entry visas on arrival if their planned stay is no longer than 30 days, they have a roundtrip or transit ticket, and they have a passport valid for at least six months.

Before boarding and going to the Marshall Islands, citizens of all countries not mentioned above must show a passport valid for at least six months, an entrance visa, and a roundtrip or transit ticket. Our Attorney General in the Marshall Islands issues the entrance visa to Majuro. It was recommended that you send an email to the Immigration Director to seek an entrance visa upon arrival at Majuro Airport. Send an email to [email protected] or [email protected] requesting a visa upon arrival, along with a copy of your passport, visa application, itinerary, and entrance visa for the next country stop. Upon arrival, you will get an email confirming the issue of your visa.

Visas are $25 for a three-month tourist visa. The cost of a business visa is $50. Visas are only valid for 30 days, however they may be renewed for up to 90 days while in the Marshall Islands. You must demonstrate that you can pay for your whole stay in the Marshall Islands and that you can pay for a departure ticket, or that you have already bought one. There is a $20 exit fee, although individuals over the age of 60 are free.

If you come from a cholera-infected nation, you must provide proof of inoculation. If you want to work or reside in the Marshall Islands, or if you intend to remain for more than 30 days, you must obtain an HIV test.

How To Travel To Marshall Islands

Get In - By plane

Air Marshall Islands (CW) operates regular scheduled internal flights to ten of the Marshall Islands’ atolls and has charter aircraft available. Flights are available between Honolulu and the Marshall Islands, as well as between Honolulu and Fiji via Kiribati and Tuvalu. On its island-hopper service between Guam and Honolulu, United Airlines makes stops at Majuro and Kwajalein.

Flight timings from New York to Majuro are about 14 hours; from Tokyo, 11 hours; from Guam, eight hours; and from Honolulu, five hours.

Majuro International Airport is the only international airport on the island of Majuro (MAJ). Taxis and hotel shuttles are available from the airport to the town.

How To Travel Around Marshall Islands

Get Around - By plane

Air Marshall Islands operates flights between the islands. However, the business is plagued by financial and technical issues, and one or both of the fleet’s two aircraft are often grounded for days, weeks, or months at a time.

Get Around - By Boat

Ship transportation is also possible. Field trip ships sail across the islands, often picking up copra and delivering supplies; they also offer passenger service.

To give you a feeling of size, the flight from Majuro to Jaluit takes around 40 minutes and the boat takes about 24 hours.

On the island of Majuro There are many taxis accessible on the main road that runs the length of Majuro Atoll, and a taxi ride anywhere in the Majuro city area will cost no more than 75 cents. To travel to Laura, on the opposite end of the island, there is a bus that departs from the Robert Reimers Hotel every hour or so.

Destinations in Marshall Islands

Regions in Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands are made up of 29 atolls and five isolated islands, 24 of which are inhabited. They are divided into two island chains:

Ralik
The western island chain is made up of the following islands: Enewetak Atoll, Ujelang Atoll, Bikini Atoll, Rongdrik Atoll, Rongelap Atoll, Ailinginae Atoll, Wotho Atoll, Ujae Atoll, Lae Atoll, Kwajalein Atoll, Lib Island, Namu Atoll, Jabat Island, Ailinglaplap Atoll, Jaluit Atoll, Kili Island, Namdrik Atoll and Ebon Atoll

Ratak
The eastern island chain is made up of the following islands: Bokak Atoll, Bikar Atoll, Utirik Atoll, Taka Atoll, Mejit Island, Ailuk Atoll, Jemo Island, Likiep Atol, Wotje Atoll, Erikub Atoll, Maloelap Atoll, Aur Atoll, Majuro Atoll, Arno Atoll, Mili Atoll and Knox Atoll

Things To See in Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands’ allure is not found in a plethora of attractions. This tiny nation, with a population of fewer than 70,000 people and 1,156 islands and islets, is, nevertheless, very distinctive. Expect nothing remarkable, but appreciate the unspoiled beauty of picture-perfect tropical islands, excellent scuba diving and windsurfing possibilities, and the people’s friendly friendliness.

Watch the sunset from your beachchair at one of the luxury resorts, or go to one of the more desolate beaches for a day of almost Robinson Crusoe-like solitude. Laura’s calm beaches are a good option on the Majuro-far atoll’s west side. If you’ve had enough of the sun and beach, go shopping in Majuro, the island’s capital.

Head to the Arno’s Longar district, where young ladies were formerly taught the secrets of a happy sexual existence at so-called love schools. This is also an excellent location for deep-sea fishing. The Alele Museum and Public Library are located in Uliga. Despite its modest size, it has several interesting artifacts from the country’s culture. Take note of the stick charts, which were used by the indigenous people to assist them recall the intricate wave patterns that existed between the various atolls.

Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site

The Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site in the Ralik island chain became the Marshall Islands’ first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. It includes numerous relics of the Cold War nuclear weapon race and the devastating force of nuclear bombs from the twentieth century. Sunken ships thrown to the bottom of the lagoon by the explosions, as well as a massive crater created by the 1954 Castle Bravo test, are part of the terrain.

Food & Drinks in Marshall Islands

There are many different kinds of fruits available throughout the year. Farms that grow vegetables or rear pigs are also available. Breadfruit, pandanus, coconut, maize, tomato, sweet potato, cassava, papaya, pumpkin, “nin” (noni), lime, pigs, and fowl make up the majority, if not all, of the produce. Along the route from Ajeltake to Laura, there are other stalls selling fruit and traditional cuisine.

The Marshall Islands were formerly regarded as the world’s “fishiest” location, owing to the number of fish species found in Marshallese seas. However, there is much doubt as to whether this is still true today, owing to concerns about overfishing and the loss of natural habitat by ship anchors, toxic chemicals, and climate change.

There are a number of restaurants that offer foreign cuisine. Among the most well-known are the Marshall Islands Resort’s (MIR) Enra Restaurant and Robert Reimers Enterprises’ (RRE) Tide Table.

Monica’s (Chinese), La Bojie’s (Filipino), China Restaurant (Chinese), Special Restaurant (Chinese), Oriental Noodle (Chinese), The Stone House (Japanese), and Aliang Restaurant are all non-Marshallese owned eateries (Chinese).

Culture Of Marshall Islands

The Marshallese culture is defined by pre-Western interaction and the subsequent effect of that contact on its people. The Marshall Islands were geographically remote. The inhabitants became expert navigators, able to travel to neighboring atolls using the currents. Prior to close interaction with Westerners, infants were nude, and men and adults were topless, wearing only skirts fashioned of local matting.

Land was and continues to be the most significant indicator of a family’s wealth. Land is passed down via the maternal line.

Since the advent of Christian missionaries, the society has changed from a subsistence-based economy to a more conventional western economy, with modesty norms expanding to include women covering their bare thighs.

The folks are kind and quiet. Strangers are welcomed with open arms. The Marshallese people value consideration for others. The importance of family and community cannot be overstated. Concern for others stems from their reliance on one another. They have spent decades living on remote coral atolls and islands. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and distant relatives are all considered close family. Strong familial connections lead to close-knit communities founded on compassion, generosity, and respect. A child’s first birthday is one of the most important family occasions.

The battle for Kwajalein Atoll during WWII, as well as the United States nuclear testing program on Bikini Atoll between 1946 and 1958, had a significant effect on the island culture. Former inhabitants and their descendants who were evicted after WWII are compensated by the US government. Residents’ allegiance has moved away from traditional leaders as a result of their need on assistance. The presence of approximately 2000 foreign personnel on the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, which includes rocket launch, test, and support facilities on eleven islands of the Kwajalein Atoll, as well as Wake Island and Aur Atoll, has had a significant impact on island culture today.

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