I have been thinking to write about The Marshall Islands for long. This name has been striking my mind again and again. Why the only Marshall Islands? There should be something special and unique about these islands.
Sometimes I think these islands are somewhere near New Zealand or I do not have any idea at all.
Let’s find out everything about these islands.
I am going to write in sections which will quench my thirst for writing and will also satiate your knowledge hunger about the same.
Many countries have had control over these islands over the period of time. Countries like Spain, Germany, Japan, and the US have controlled these islands.
For more than 40 Years, US had control. The US used the geography for nuclear tests between 1947 and 1962. All these tests have left the islands hugely devastated and damaged. The damage is still not calculated.
These islands have 29 carol atolls and thousands of very small islets. All these islands are sprawling in the Pacific Ocean. The Kwajalein Atoll is the largest atoll of the Marshall Islands.
It consists of some of the easternmost islands of Micronesia. The Marshalls are composed of more than 1,200 islands and islets in two parallel chains of coral atolls—the Ratak, or Sunrise, to the east and the Ralik, or Sunset, to the west. The chains lie about 125 miles (200 km) apart and extend some 800 miles northwest to southeast.
- Bokak (Taongi) • Bikar • Utirik • Toke • Mejit • Ailuk • Jemo • Likiep • Enewetak • Ujelang • Bikini • Rongerik • Rongelap • Ailinginae • Wotho • Ujae • Lae • Kwajalein • Lib • Namu • Jabat • Ailinglaplap • Jaluit • Kili • Namorik • Ebon • Wotje • Erikub • Maloelap • Aur • Majuro • Arno • Mili • Knox (Nadikdik)
- Enewetak • Ujelang • Bikini • Rongerik • Rongelap • Ailinginae • Wotho • Ujae • Lae • Kwajalein • Lib • Namu • Jabat • Ailinglaplap • Jaluit • Kili • Namorik
Name – Republican of Marshall Islands
Capital City – Majuro
Population – Approx 80,000
These islands are one of the most attractive tourist spots in the world. There are many islands which are frequently visited by tourists in large numbers. Like Enoko Island and Laura Beach.
Water activities and outdoor recreations are mostly offered by these great islands. Tourists are safe in The Marshall Islands as far as crime is concerned.
The Marshall Islands is known for its friendly people, rich and colourful marine environment, and relaxed lifestyle. It is the kind Marshallese people, culture, and the living world underwater that bring our visitors to our shores.
The Marshall Islands is a perfect vacation destination for those who want to have a unique experience and those who are looking to relax and get away from the busy city life.
Flights to the Marshall Islands are available from Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, and Guam.
The Prominent Places to Stay in the Marshall Islands are:
- Hotel Robert Reimers
- Marshall Islands Resort
- Hotel Ebeye
- Arno B&B
The nearest Airport is Amata Kabua International Airport which is just 12.7 Kilometers from the Marshall Islands.
All visitors to the Marshall Islands must hold a valid passport (6 months validity) and onward or return confirmed transportation tickets. There are basically 3 categories of entry requirements to enter the Marshall Islands.
1) Visa Free. Citizens of the following countries may enter the Marshall Islands for the period stated on their visa which is issued on arrival: United States, Palau, and FSM. Also Diplomats, Members of International Organizations are granted exemption from entry procedures by the Republic (under the International Organizations Act), Member of a visiting force, including civilian component, member of the crew or passenger on any cruise ship or private vessel that will remain in the Republic for less than 7 days, member of the crew of any commercial aircraft that will remain in the Republic for less than 14 days, member of the official staff or household of a Diplomat, spouse or dependent child of any exempted person referred to the above.
2) Visa issued on arrival. Citizens of the following countries may enter the Marshall Islands as tourists for a period up to 30 days provided they have a valid passport (6 months) and hold onward or return transportation ticket: All-Pacific Forum Member Countries, including Australia and NZ Canada, European Union (includes the UK), South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
3) All other visitors must apply for and be issued a visa in advance. Citizens of all other countries not listed under category 1) or 2) above. Citizens of such countries must apply for a visa in writing to the Director of Immigration, PO Box 890, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 96960. Application forms and requirements are available from the Division of Immigration or your nearest Marshall Islands diplomatic mission.
By Air: The Marshall Islands is currently served by 2 international airlines, United Airlines (serving Kwajalein and Majuro) and Nauru Airline (serving Majuro).
From US Mainland and Hawaii: United Airlines operate an “Island Hopper” service through The Marshall Islands. There are 3 flights a week direct from Honolulu to Majuro and on to Kwajalein. Connections can be made at Honolulu with The US mainland, Canada and beyond.
From Micronesia and Asia: United also fly 3 times a week from Guam via Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae to Kwajalein and on to Majuro. These flights connect in Guam with services from major Asian cities including Manila, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and a number of cities in Japan including Tokyo. For further information visit www.united.com or contact your local travel agent.
From Australia and The South Pacific: Nauru Airlines connect Majuro with Brisbane, Australia; Nauru; Tarawa, Kiribati; and Nadi, Fiji. There is a weekly flight between Brisbane and Majuro via Nauru. Connections can be made in Brisbane with other Australian cities, Asia and New Zealand. Nauru Airlines also connects Majuro with Tarawa, Nauru, and Nadi on a weekly basis.
By Sea: There are currently no regular passenger shipping services to The Marshall Islands.
A number of companies on Majuro Atoll offer a variety of vehicle types for rent including sedans, trucks, and minivans.
Contact details are as follows:
- RRE Hotel Car Rental +692 625-5131 [email protected]
- RRE Hotel Car Rental +692 625-5131 [email protected]
- MGAS Rentals +692 625-6559 [email protected]
- ELM Motors +692 625-3466 [email protected]
- DAR Car Rentals +692 625-3174 [email protected]
- Majuro Motors, Inc. +692 625-4422 [email protected]
- Tide Table
- Wellness Canvasback
- Burger King
- Anthony’s Pizza
You must visit these places if you are in the Marshall Islands:
- Alele Museum, Library and National Archives
- Arno Atoll
- Cathedral of the Assumption
- Majuro Bridge
- Bikini Atoll
- Kalalin Pass
- RRE Mariculture
- Marshall Islands Sport Fishing
- Bokolap Island
The weather is mostly humid and hot because of the rains throughout the year.
The flag of the Marshall Islands, an island nation in the Pacific, was adopted upon the start of self-government, May 1, 1979. The flag was designed by Emlain Kabua, who served as the first First Lady of the republic.
Facts tell that Marshall Islands are almost 30 BCE old. Found when Christian era was started by Micronesians. Facts are driven from radiocarbon samples collected from Laura and Majuro.
Spanish Navigator Alvaro Saavedra first noticed these islands as people say in 1529. Also, some British captains visited and left their footprints on these islands in 1788 and 1803. Occupied by the United States in World War II, following heavy fighting at Kwajalein and Enewetak, the Marshall Islands were made part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the jurisdiction of the United States in 1947.
The Marshall Islands attained independence from the US in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association
There are three communities as far as people of the Marshall Islands are concerned.
- Native People of Marshall Islands
- The Marshallese and
There are two cities which are mostly populated, Majuro and Kwajalein. These two cities offer great employment and have 3/4th of the total population of Marshall Islands.
With a population of around 55,000, the people of the Marshall Islands are predominantly Micronesian in origin. Marshallese are known throughout the Pacific and the world for their friendly and peaceful nature. Sharing with family and friends, a warm welcome for the stranger and caring consideration for others are values inherent to the Marshallese culture. These values have been nurtured over the centuries.
Cooperation and caring are necessary elements of survival on small islands, surrounded by the sea. The concept of family and community remains inextricably intertwined in Marshallese society. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and far-flung relatives are still considered among closest family. These family ties contribute to close-knit communities rooted in the values of caring and respect.
Cultural values and customs, or manit, make Marshallese society unique. The land is a focal point for social organization in this island nation. All Marshallese have land rights as part of a clan, or jowi, that owes allegiance to an Iroij (chief), is supervised by the Alap (clan head) and supported by the Rijerbal (workers).
The Iroij have ultimate control of such things as land tenure, resource use and distribution, and dispute settlement. The Alap supervises the maintenance of lands and daily activities. The Rijerbal are responsible for all daily work on the land including cleaning, farming, and construction activities.
The society is matrilineal and therefore, the land is passed down from generation to generation through the mother. With the land to tie families together into clans, family gatherings tend to become big events. One of the most significant family events is the kemem, or first birthday of a child, where relatives and friends come together to celebrate with feasting and song.
Time has also introduced new elements into the culture. While the local population is mostly indigenous, there are many mixed German, Japanese and American Marshallese.
Most of the revenue comes from the leasing of the land for nuclear tests by other countries.
Apart from this farming and fishing are major occupations here. A substantial amount of revenue is also generated by the Tourism sector. Majuro and Kwajalein are considered as urban cities here. Both the cities offer great facilities, Employment, and modern amenities.
Raising of Pigs and Poultry are also prevalent in outer islands. Coconut, pandanus, breadfruit, and taro are their major food crops. The production of copra is a chief source of income for the outer islands residents. The main import is processed foods. Marshall Islands import machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, and fuels from other countries like US, Japan, and Australia. These are neighboring countries of Marshall islands which makes these imports obvious and cheaper deal.
The Bank of Marshall Islands provides commercial banking services, located in the cities of Majuro and Ebeye.
The currency of Marshall Islands is US Dollar. The Marshall Islands have created their own cryptocurrency recently. One of the countries to make Cryptocurrency an official currency. Interestingly Marshall islands are the first country to do so. The Marshall Islands have partnered with Israeli company Neema to launch their cryptocurrency SOV. It plans to sell some of the currency to international investors and spend the proceeds.
Leaders hope the SOV will one day be used by residents for everything from paying taxes to buying groceries.
The Marshall Islands intends to initially sell 6 million SOVs to international investors. It says it will use the money to help pay for the budget, invest in projects to mitigate the effects of global warming and support those people still affected by U.S. nuclear testing.
The country also intends to hand out 2.4 million SOVs to residents.
The above information has been taken from Time.com
The Marshall Islands adopted a constitution in 1979. Here the government consists of a president as mostly happens in other democratic countries. Their parliament has 33 Members. Interestingly they call their parliament Nitijela.
The council here mostly follows the old traditions and Laws. Local government and Churches are the leading service providers here in terms of Hospitals and Education.
Airline of the Marshall Islands.
College of the Marshall Islands
Located in Majuro
University of the South Pacific
A premier institution of tertiary education in the Pacific region, jointly owned by the governments of twelve island countries, USP is an international center of excellence for teaching, research and consulting on all aspects of Pacific life.
University of the South Pacific Libraries
The Main Library of the University of the South Pacific based at Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji.
The Marshall Islands were once just a nuclear testing site for the United States of America.
From 1946 to 1958, the United States conducted 67 tests in the Marshall Islands. If their combined explosive power was parceled evenly over that 12-year period, it would equal 1.6 Hiroshima-size explosions per day.
This is not something one gets over quickly.
Over the last 2,000 or so years, Marshallese have developed, refined and perfected a number of unique skills and technologies, all of which illustrated their keen adaptation to the atoll and oceanic environment.
Fishing technology, for instance, developed into one with very high specialization. The wide range of fishing environments coupled with the great variation in fish species led to a diverse and highly specialized range of fishing techniques. Few other cultures have developed as many fishing techniques.
Marshallese canoes, or wa, which range from small rowing canoes to massive high-speed voyaging canoes have amazed Westerners since the early 1800s. Marshallese canoes are recognized and revered throughout the Pacific for their advanced technical refinements, including the asymmetric hull, the lee platform, and the pivoting midship mast.
Traditional navigational skills were equally sophisticated. When the initial settlers of the Marshalls arrived, they were already equipped with complex navigational skills – otherwise, they could not have found their way to these low-lying islands. As time progressed, these skills were only sharpened. Ultimately, Marshallese learned to literally read nature’s faint and subtle signs. Stars, clouds, waves, currents, winds, birds, and even the color of the ocean bore recognizable clues which were easily read by trained navigators.
Marshallese developed perhaps the most advanced methods of teaching this skill in the Pacific. Apprentices spent much of their training “feeling” the waves beneath them as they lied on their backs in the ocean, in the process gaining the skill of “seeing” the island causing that wave pattern. In addition, navigational stick charts were devised to depicted complex wave and wind patterns in relation to individual islands, atolls and atoll groups. With these charts, elders were able to more easily teach complex navigational concepts such as wave refraction and swell pattern identification.
Meanwhile, Marshallese woven craft has come to be known as the best in the Pacific. Fans, baskets, mats, ornaments, and the kili bag (made famous by Jackie Onassis) all come from the Marshalls and continue to win tremendous praise for their unique and highly intricate designs. Many creative forms of this time-honored craft can be seen in the more modern handicrafts.
The Marshall Islands are low-lying coral atolls and islands and are susceptible to tropical cyclones (also called typhoons and hurricanes). If they occur, it’ll be during the wet season and they will be closely monitored.
However they are very unpredictable – they can change in intensity, veer off course, intensify or weaken quite suddenly and seemingly randomly. You should always follow local advice and heed the following
- monitor local TV, radio and print press
- keep in touch with your tour operator or a local contact
- register with your Embassy, Consulate or High Commission
- keep in mind that airports and hotels may shut down if a large hurricane approaches
The only other risk is feral dogs, of which there seem to be many in and around Majuro Island.
The Marshall Islands possess a unique colonial history characterized by early contact with Westerners and a number of colonial regimes. The significant effects of this colonial history have contributed much to the shaping of the modern-day Marshall Islands.
Contact with the Western world occurred when the Spanish became the first Europeans to sail into and explore the Pacific (with Magellan landing on Guam in 1521). During these brief early visits, the Marshallese became some of the first Pacific Islanders to establish contact and initiate trade with Westerners.
Foreign visits subsided over the next two centuries but quickly resumed in 1788 when British Captains Marshall and Gilbert sailed into the islands. These islands would later be named after Captain Marshall. Following the British, came the Russians, who visited the Marshalls aboard the Rurik, captained by Otto Von Kotzebue, between 1816 and 1823. The Rurik’s crew, which included artist Ludwig Choris and naturalist Adelbert von Chamisso, conducted the first hydrographical, botanical, and ethnological studies on the Marshall Islands. Choris’ artistic interpretations of the islands the Rurik visited are some of the earliest throughout the Pacific.
In 1857, the first missionaries, from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFDM), arrived from Honolulu with missionaries from both New England and Hawaii. Initially starting their work on the atoll of Ebon, the missionaries gradually branched out and by the end of the century, they had established churches on almost every inhabited atoll. Today, Christianity and other forms of Western religion are an important part of Marshallese society.
Germans entered the Marshalls during the 1850s, with Adolph Capelle, a German trader, arriving on Ebon from Samoa in 1859. Capelle was joined by Jose deBrum, a Portuguese, and together they built the first trading post in the Marshalls and became the first Europeans to live permanently here. Following Capelle and deBrum, several German firms began establishing themselves in the Marshalls. In 1885, following the merger of two German trading firms to form the Jaluit Company which took on the dual role as for trading company and colonial administrator, the Marshalls were finally declared a German protectorate with headquarters on Jabor, Jaluit.
When the First World War broke out 29 years into official German rule, Japan, which had joined the allies quickly after the beginning of the war, sent naval squadrons into the Marshalls and took military possession of the islands in October of 1914. Japan increased its presence in the Marshalls with its population centered on Jaluit and Majuro. The Japanese continued the work of the Jaluit Company, replacing it with the Nanyo Boeki Kaisha Company (NBK). In 1922, Japan was awarded Micronesia (including the Marshall Islands) as a Class “C” mandate by the League of Nations. Military fortification of several atolls in the late 1930s began when Japan withdrew from the League of Nations.
After heavy fighting in the Pacific and especially in the Marshall Islands, the Japanese were defeated in the Second World War and the United States was the next major power to occupy the Marshalls. After the U.S. takeover in 1945, the U.S. Navy governed the Marshalls and in 1947, the Marshalls were given by the United Nations to the U.S. as a Strategic Trust. In 1951, the administration of the Marshalls switched from the U.S. Navy to the Department of the Interior. In the mid to late 1970s, while still under the U.S. Trust status, a growing sense of identity and desire for greater independence led the Marshall Islands to embark on an endeavor towards self-determination.
This was ultimately manifested in 1986 through the Compact of Free Association, which transformed the country from a U.S. Trust to a freely associated nation, the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The Marshall Islands is predominantly a Christian country. Various denominations are found including Protestant 55%, Assembly of God 25%, Roman Catholic 8%, Bukot nan Jesus 3%, Mormon 2%, other Christian 4%, other 1%, none 2%.
Assembly of God Sunday 10:20am / 7:00pm Assumption (Catholic) Saturday 6:30pm English Sunday 7:30am / 9:30am Baha’i Sunday 11:00am Congregational Sunday 10:30am / 5:30pm Jehovah’s Witnesses Sunday 9:00am / 3:00pm Laura Baptist Church Sunday 10:30am / 5:00pm MIST Evangelist Sunday 9:30am English Mormon Church Sunday 10:00am / 11:00am Rita Protestant Church Sunday 9:30am English / 10:30am Marshallese Salvation Army Sunday 11:00am / 7:00pm Seventh Day Adventist Saturday 11:00am Uliga Protestant Church Sunday 10:30am / 6:00pm Bukot Nan Jesus Church Sunday 10:30am / 1:30pm English Full Gospel Sunday 10:00am / 7:00pm
Useful Telephone Numbers (Country code +692)
- Marshall Is. Visitors Authority 625-6482 / 625-5581 / 625-5582
- United Airlines 625-3209 / 625-3052 / 247-3092
- Our Airline (Pacific Unique Travel) 625-3409
- Air Marshall Islands 625-3733 / 625-3731 / 625-3735
- Alele Museum and Library 625-3372
- Overseas Operator dial “0”
- Directory / Information 625-1411
- Customs, Revenue, Taxation 625-5196
- Immigration 625-8633
- Main Police Station 625-8666
- Hospital Emergency Room 625-4144
- Weather Report 247-3079 (English) 247-3076 (Marshallese)
- Embassy of United States of America Telephone: (692) 247-4011 Fax: (692) 247-5371/4012 Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm.
- Embassy of Republic of China (Taiwan) Telephone: (692) 247-4141/4142 Fax: (692) 247-4143 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm (lunch time: 12-2pm).
- Embassy of Japan Telephone: (692) 247-7463 Fax: (692) 625-7493 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Australia (based in Pohnpei, FSM). New Zealand (based in Tarawa, Kiribati) Consulate Offices in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
- Israel Honorable Charles T. Domnick, Honorary Consul of Israel. (692) 625-3680 or 625-3174 Fax (692) 625-3344 Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm.
- Philippines Honorable Dr. Alexander Pinano, Honorary Counsel of Phillippines. (692) 625-6455 Mobile: (692) 455-3490 Monday to Friday 9am-12pm, 2pm-6pm.
- Turkey Honorable Ramsey Reimers, Honorary Consul of Turkey Office (692) 625-3250 ext. 236 (692) 455-7226 Mobile: (692) 455-7226 Monday to Friday 8am-5pm.
- France Honorable Grant L. Labauan, Honorary Consul of France, (692) 3133 ext.23 Mobile (692) 455-0211 Monday to Friday 8am-5pm.
- Portugal Honorable George Kirtley Pinho, Honorary Consul of Portugal (692) 625-5469.
- United Kingdom Honorable Ian Pickering, Honorary Consular Agent of UK.
Day trips can be arranged to this small private island around 15-20 minutes by boat from the Marshall Islands Resort. Contact Susi Kayser +692 455-0787 or 625-2525 or on Email: [email protected]
Operated by RRE this getaway is located about 7 miles by boat from RRE wharf. White sandy beach with marine fish & Corals – good snorkeling, picnic area with bbq grills, bathrooms and fresh water rinse. To book a day trip contact RRE on: Tel +692 625-3250 ext.391/300 or + 692 625-6474
Camp out overnight or spend the day at this secluded coral island, across the lagoon. Kayak, snorkel, barbecue or just hang out! Call Joe or John at + 692 625-3251 or + 692 625-7318.
Guaranteed relaxation. You haven’t fully experienced the Marshall Islands until you’ve thrown yourself back in time on one of the 24 atolls accessible by boat and/or plane. Treat yourself to a day, several days, a week, or an entire month of the most pristine diving, abundant fishing opportunities, WWII exploration, and blissful seasons in the sun. Accommodations range from bed & breakfast to small air-conditioned island resorts to traditional thatched bungalows to the most basic camping facilities.
Customize your own half or full-day tour with one of Majuro’s many charter boat operators. Charters available for fishing, lagoon cruises, Arno day trips or picnics. Boats vary in type and size (ranging from about 25 to 45 feet)
In October 2011, the government declared that an area covering nearly 2,000,000 square kilometers (772,000 sq mi) of ocean shall be reserved as a shark sanctuary. This is the world’s largest shark sanctuary, extending the worldwide ocean area in which sharks are protected from 2,700,000 to 4,600,000 square kilometers (1,042,000 to 1,776,000 sq mi). In protected waters, all shark fishing is banned and all by-catch must be released. However, some have questioned the ability of the Marshall Islands to enforce this zone
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