|Yap is a land of beautiful beaches, a strong dedication to a living culture, and the cleanest of the islands in the Federated States of Micronesia. Running on Yap is a sheer pleasure, there is a sidewalk from Colonia out to the high school about 3 kilometers away. The loop of road around the Chamorro Lagoon is 1.6 kilometers, or just about one mile. Thus laps of the lagoon are mile laps. Cars drive slowly and carefully, there is none of the threat of imminent death that comes with running on the roads of Pohnpei, Chuuk, or Guam.|
Yap's cultural beauty and the care Yapese take to keep their culture alive also means that the visitor must be particularly aware that one is a guest. In such a wonderful place it is all to easy to be an "ugly tourist." Listen first. Wait for an answer to a question, do not suggest one. Foreigners tend to jump into silences all too rapidly.
Yap has a flat rolling quality to its terrain, although there are some steep slopes up north of Colonia. The center of Tamil-Gagil is relatively treeless and open.
One evening my wife and I were enjoying a superbly done meal in a penthouse restaurant in Colonia. Nearby were dive visitors who had spent a spectacular day under the aquamarine waters of Yap. My wife noted that they all seemed to talk at the same time, and that the chaotic noise rose and fell quite cyclically. She laughed and said in her language, "blue flies on feces!" She said the noise was like that of blue flies on a pile of dung that are repeatedly disturbed and create a louder buzzing noise and then settle back down. "How can anyone be listening? And why are they so loud?" she asked. She has always found great humor in the thought that Westerners think of themselves as civilized. Only children talk could talk in such a manner.
There is fine dining to be had on Yap. The above is a shot of a small family gathering at ESA restaurant. Manta Ray divers has wonderful food, and lunch at the Marina is not to be missed.
For the tourist wishing to see traditional Micronesia, Yap would be my number one recommendation. The manta rays of Yap are world renowned - Yap is also diver's paradise.