Have you ever heard of Micronesia? Regardless of whether you have or haven’t, you will certainly be aware of the currency these federated states use, which is the US dollar. Here we will learn more about Micronesia and its history.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
You probably know a fair bit about the US dollar already, such as the fact that it is split into 100 cents. That’s pretty obvious but you may not be aware of the number of coins in use today. There are six in all – the one cent, five cent, 10 cent, 25 cent, 50 cent and one dollar coins. Of these, the two largest-value ones aren’t that commonly used, although you are likely to see them from time to time.
There are a variety of differently-denominated banknotes available as well. The smallest is the one dollar bill and the next one up is – unusually – the two dollar bill. You won’t see this one too often though, even though it is legal tender. Aside from those you can use the $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. There are larger ones that go all the way up to an impressive $100,000 but as you might guess they are not circulated for use by the general public.
From past to present – the history of the Micronesia US dollar
There have been people settled in this area for thousands of years. However the US dollar has been used for rather less time than that. The islands have a so-called Compact of Free Association with the US that began late in 1986. The islands have used the US dollar for quite some time, since they had an association with the US long before the free association agreement came into effect.
How to get hold of the Micronesia US dollar
The US dollar has to be one of the world’s easiest currencies to get hold of. That means you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some dollars prior to even leaving home. Just find a bureau de change that offers a good exchange rate and you’re there.
You can also get hold of more dollars once you have reached your destination. Most islands will have a selection of banking facilities you can use, which means you just have to find out the opening hours to gain access when required. If you are taking any traveller’s cheques with you, make sure these are in US dollars as well. It means you shouldn’t have any issues exchanging them for hard currency whenever required. Some islands are better and easier than others when it comes to providing exchange services. Thus you may want to check out the regions you are going to rather than assuming you won’t have any problems.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Micronesia US dollar
If you have easy access to a currency converter then you can easily access the exchange rate you want. Remember that some converters provide you with faster updates than others. If it is particularly important to get the most up-to-date rate, make sure you get one that updates every minute or so. Otherwise any converter that updates even daily will do. The US dollar is represented by the ISO code USD, and you can find the unique three-letter identifier for your own currency to find that faster as well. It won’t give you the rate you will pay to actually exchange your currency for the dollar, but it will give you a broad idea of what to expect.
Most people recognise the need to get some good travel advice prior to visiting any country or location throughout the world. The same applies to Micronesia, and the best way to do it is to go to the UK government website to get the latest up-to-date information. You can find the link at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/micronesia.
Travelling safely with the Micronesia US dollar
This is not the most popular part of the world for people to visit. However those that do decide to go there generally don’t encounter any problems. Indeed, as the government website indicates, the biggest challenges and potential dangers are from the natural world. To this end, it is wise to check which season you are going to visit in and whether there are any particular dangers you should watch out for. Even while you are there it is a good idea to keep an eye on the situation around you in case any particularly bad weather is forecast.
In terms of crime the number of thefts and other petty crimes that take place are relatively low. However some minor thefts and other similar crimes such as pickpocketing do occur, and in some cases tourists are targeted. To this end it is a good idea to make sure you protect your valuables as much as you possibly can. Don’t carry too much cash on you if you can help it; instead book into accommodation where you have a secure room safe that is bolted to the floor and cannot be easily taken away. This is a good place to keep your passport as well.
Furthermore when you are out and about, take all the same precautions you would if you were at home. Don’t flash your cash, be careful when withdrawing or exchanging money and make sure you keep all other valuables safely out of sight as well. Be careful about leaving bags unattended – they may simply be too tempting to avoid being taken if you are unlucky.
Where to spend your dollars in Micronesia – and what to spend them on
Micronesia is formally spoken of as the Federated States of Micronesia. As such there are four states that can be found in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. The capital of Micronesia is Palikir. It can be found on the island of Pohnpei, which is known as one of the four states. This might get a little confusing until you get used to it, but you will soon see each island or state has its own things to offer.
The capital is not perhaps one of the highlights of Micronesia but it is worth a look if you happen to be on Pohnpei. Indeed Pohnpei itself has plenty to offer the eager tourist, particularly when said tourist wants to make the most of seeing the natural world. It is worth heading for Sokehs Rock as this provides a gorgeous array of views out over the rest of the island. There is evidence here too of the island’s role in the Second World War, which adds a whole new twist to arriving here. This island is known for its mountains, so if you like a challenge with regard to a breath-taking hike, this is the one to take.
Kosrae is another of the so-called Caroline Islands. If you enjoy scuba diving you can certainly enjoy a trip here, especially as the waters around the island are rife with opportunities to explore beneath the waves. However, the island itself is good for those who prefer to stay on dry land, with hikers and walkers enjoying the many opportunities to explore the terrain.
The remaining two states are Chuuk State and Yap State. The latter has a series of atolls included within its area, while Chuuk State includes a few atolls and other islands.
Wherever you end up in the Federated States of Micronesia, there is a huge variety of things you can see or do. For example the Leluh Ruins exist on Lelu Island and consists of the remains of a prehistoric city, which dates back many centuries. It seems hard to believe life existed on these islands many centuries ago, but the evidence is here to prove it.
Another natural sight is the Liduduhniap Falls. The falls are quite spectacular and are just one of several that can be found on Pohnpei. Kosrae has the Saolung Waterfall and you can also visit the James Palsis Marine Park there too.
As you can see, the states of Micronesia do indeed have a lot to offer. They are not a popular choice among those who seek an exotic holiday abroad, and yet they do provide everything you could want from such a break. There is ample accommodation there and plenty of things to see and do. The good news is you don’t have to worry about huge numbers of tourists being in the same area as you. While the islands do have a tourist business it is not one that sees high numbers in the same way other countries do. As such you might just find a holiday here is something completely unlike anything else you have ever experienced.
If you are intending to have a break in Micronesia, make sure you do your research first. You can see which island you would like to stay on and whether or not you want to visit any of the others during your stay as well. It would surely be foolhardy not to, wouldn’t it?