Island Tours by Car

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Some of the things you cannot miss which make Yapese culture most unique are; its traditional architecture, stone paved paths and dancing platforms decorated with "stone money".

 

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In every village, there used to be several types of public houses in Yap where people met in respective purposes; "p'eebaay" as community meeting house, "faeluw" as men's meeting house and school and "dapael" as women's rest house during menstruation. Today, some villages still maintain "p'eebaay" and "faeluw" in its traditional architecture.

 

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Traditional architecture of Yap does not use nails. Thick lumbers are tied together only with thin coconut fiber ropes. To build a new one, all men in the community are required to be involved in the work. In this way, the skills and techniques will be passed down to the younger generation.

 

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A small bamboo raft, "faafat" in local language, still has a big role in daily life of men in Yap. It can be used even when the tide is so low that a boat with outboard motor engine cannot go, and it costs no fuel!

 

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Another aspect to see is fine art works with coconut fiber ropes. Besides tying large logs, it is also used in smaller functional and decorative works.

 

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In front of "p'eebaay" there is always a "malaal" where many pieces of stone discs are displayed. Thus it is called by outsiders as stone money bank. "Malaal" still works in villages as a dancing place or village square where certain activities, such as drinking, eating, chewing betel nut or talking loud is restricted. Certain age group and gender is also restricted to enter in some villages.

 

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Stone discs with a hole in the center well-known as "stone money" to outsiders are actually called in Yap as "raay", "tanmoon" or "feaq". Some of the ancient pieces are considered to have spiritual power. In fact, Yapese "stone money" is not "money" to purchase things. Instead, it is used as a symbol to bind individuals and/or parties.

 

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Stone paved paths or foot paths worked as important island networks until not long ago. Some of them are still well maintained and connecting to villages, gardens and water by foot.

 

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Foot paths in villages is accompanied by ditch that works as irrigation to swamp garden for "laek'" (Cyrtosperma chamissonis), main staple for Yapese. When it rains, the water follows such irrigation ditch that is connected to every swamp garden, carrying nutritious soil, gets cleaned and eventually reaches to the sea. An ideal self-sustainable agriculture system!

 

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Beside foot paths and around houses are many kinds of plants that are still in use for daily life; such as for food, medicine, tools, construction materials, etc., another self-sustainable agriculture system!

 

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For nature lovers, because Yap is not a big island, a tour naturally covers different vegetation such as mangrove wetlands, agro-forest and savanna to observe variety of flora and fauna.

 

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There might be possibility to encounter some rare or even endemic animals; such as fruit bat, mangrove monitor lizard or Yap monarch (Monarcha godeffroyi).

 

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There also remain a lot of war relics of recent history in Yap; of Spaniards, Germans, Japanese and Americans. You can request for a tour that is specialized in war relics only, or just add some of those sites into a regular island tour by car.

 

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We usually offer three kind of island tours by car with a knowledgeable tour guide; Half-day, Semi-full-day and Full-day according to tour duration and number of places to visit. Destinations are flexible according to your taste and interest.

 

Arrangements of special tours are also available. Since some places may require time and cannot be arranged immediately, please contact us in advance with a margin.

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Tour Rates:

         
Tour Name Regular Rate Early Bird
Includes: All necessary entrance fees, guide, bottled water, hotel (within Colonia only) pick-ups and Island Style Lunch for Full-day and Semi-full-day Tour.

Surcharge for single participant: $15.00

Half-day Tour by Car (3.5~4 hrs.) $50.00 $45.00
Semi-full-day Tour by Car (5.5~6 hrs.) $70.00 $63.00
Full-day Land Tour by Car (7~7.5 hrs.) $80.00 $72.00

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About Us:

Our staff, equipment, history and business credo, etc.

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Contact:

P. O. Box 238, Colonia
Yap, FM 96943-238
Federated States of Micronesia
Phone: 691(350)3407