Here is some of the information we provide our guests before their trip (on our Pohnpei Surf Club info sheet). It should be useful for anyone travelling to Pohnpei. Additional travel information will be e-mailed to booked guests.
Welcome to Pohnpei
Welcome to the Pohnpei Surf Club. Enclosed is an information sheet to help you prepare for your trip to Micronesia, and to ensure a safe and comfortable stay while visiting Pohnpei.
There are a variety of supermarkets around Kolonia with basic food supplies in Pohnpei, but be warned that the majority of fruits and vegetables are brought in by boat and are often scarce. Chips, canned foods and other basics are readily available, but if you like specific snacks like energy bars or granola, please make arrangements to bring your own, as they are very hard to find on Pohnpei.
Tipping at restaurants, bars and boat staff in Pohnpei is encouraged and much appreciated, but not mandatory.
There are around 10 good bar and restaurants a few minutes drive from the Pohnpei Surf Club. We do encourage guests to cruise around town and get a taste of Pohnpei.
Passports & Visas
The FSM requires proof of citizenship and presentation of a completed “FSM Immigration Arrival and Departure Record” to enter the FSM from most countries. The FSM accepts a valid passport as proof of citizenship; however, the passport must be valid for at least 120 days beyond the date of entry into the FSM.
Please be sure to check the expiration date on your passport before coming. Pohnpei does levy a departure fee of US $10.
For more information about FSM entry requirements, visitors are encouraged to consult the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia at:
Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia
1725 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20038
tel: (202) 223-4383
The FSM also maintains embassies in Fiji and Japan, as well as consulates in Honolulu and Guam.
Health & Immunization Information
Pohnpei is generally a healthy place to visit. There are no known tropical diseases, so special immunizations are generally not needed.
No guests will be accepted at the Pohnpei Surf Club without full travel insurance. Your travel agent or current health insurance provider may advise you on how and where to acquire coverage. Upon arrival at Pohnpei Surf Club our guides will check for travel insurance and ask that you sign a Release Waiver. Only guests who have met both of these requirements will be allowed on boats.
While mosquitoes are not nearly as prevalent in Pohnpei as they are in the rest of the Pacific, visitors are encouraged to close the screen on your rooms in the evenings and night. You will hardly notice the existence of mosquitoes around the Pohnpei Surf Club area. Bug repellant is readily available in Pohnpei.
There is one main hospital and 3 clinics in and around Kolonia (located 200 meters from the Pohnpei Surf Club). The population of Pohnpei is around 40,000, so basic medical facilities are generally available. Serious medical cases will be evacuated to Guam, Manila or Honolulu. Pohnpei does have a decompression chamber, but availability and experience varies.
There are basic drug stores in Pohnpei, but if you require any prescription drugs or specific medicine, please be sure to bring you own.
You can buy bottled water at the restaurant downstairs or at the supermarket.
We recommend that you don’t drink tap water.
Again, travel insurance has been the difference between life and death on an extreme case.
Communications & Internet
The FSM enjoys modern, reliable telecommunication links worldwide. TV, FAX and Internet services are readily available throughout the FSM through the services of the FSM Telecommunications Corporation.
The only way to make international calls by phone is through an FSM Telecom pre-paid phone card or from your computer. Phone cards are available at hotels and restaurants throughout the island in (US) $5, $10, and $20 denominations. International rates to the US range from (US) $0.60/minute to $1.00/minute, depending on time of day. For a complete list of rates to most countries, please visit FSM Telecom’s website at http://telecom.fm/phones/international.htm.
If you have Skype on your computer it works really well from Micronesia to call anywhere else in the world.
International phone cards purchased outside of Micronesia will not work in Pohnpei and there is no free access to US “800” numbers.
Pohnpei does have a cell system that runs on the GSM 900 frequency. If you have an UNLOCKED cell phone and would like to use it in Pohnpei, you can purchase a local SIM card for (US) $20 and use it with pre-paid phone cards. Local cell phone calls are billed on a caller-pays basis, and generally run (US) $0.15/minute.
Wireless Internet Connection
Bringing a lap top computer? Want to keep in touch with your family or keep up with your work? No problem!
We have a high-speed Wi-Fi connection here at PSC that is complimentary to guests staying at the resort. You can connect from your room, restaurant or anywhere around the resort.
If you don’t want to bring your PC you can use computers at Telecom, 10 minutes away from the Pohnpei Surf Club. Telecom has good computer with hi-speed connection.
If you need to be reached while in Pohnpei our office phone number is +691 320 7845.
Skype is the best way to keep in touch with the outside world and make calls. If you still don’t have it in your computer download it before your trip. It is a lot cheaper then using phone cards to call home.
Currency, Banking and Credit Cards:
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the Federated States of Micronesia. Do not bring any other kind of currency but US Dollars. Banks do not exchange foreign currency. Most major credit cards are welcome at most visitor-oriented businesses, but not all. Travelers checks can also be used at most restaurants and shops. Banks do not exchange travelers Check. PSC accepts Visa and MasterCard for your convenience.
There is only one ATM machine on Pohnpei, located at the Bank of Guam in Kolonia. If it is not working, there is no other way to get money with your bankcard or credit card, so please plan accordingly.
Check out time. Check out time is 11:00 am on your departure day.
Language. English and Pohnapean are the official language in Pohnpei. Both are commonly spoken and understood.
Time. While the FSM spans two time zones, Pohnpei time is GMT +11 hours.
Postal Service. There is a major post office on-island, open daily during regular business hours and closed on weekends.
Clothing. Pohnpei is hot and humid year-round, so travelers are encouraged to dress light and informally. Micronesian culture is sensitive to exposure of areas of the body that Western people think nothing of, so please be courteous in public places. Shorts are okay for men and women, but should be below the knee (same goes for skirts) in public places, especially in Kolonia. If swimming in public, women should wear a t-shirt and shorts over swimming suits or bikinis. Once we get in the boats and out into the ocean shorts and bikinis are ok to wear. Once we get back to the camp please put your t-shirt or tank top on.
Behavior. Pohnpei is a culturally conservative place. In public places and restaurants visitors should be respectful: wear shirts, do not be too loud. Pohnpei is well known for its hospitality, and since surfing is new to the island we are doing our best educate guests about the local culture and costumes and to be respectful as visitors. The people of Pohnpei are among the finest you’ll ever meet. Please treat them with all of your respect. There is no such thing as surf localism or violence in Pohnpei. Please respect other surfers and everyone else it town or at bars. Violence or disrespect of any kind will not be tolerated.
Sun Protection. Visitors are encouraged to aggressively protect their skin with maximum sun protection. Pohnpei is located 414 miles north of the Equator and one day without sun protection can be unforgiving. PSC recommends using as much sun protection as possible, including sun block, rash guards, sunglasses and hats.
Surf Shops. There are no surf shops in Pohnpei, so visitors are encouraged to bring their own surfing supplies.
Drugs and Illegal Substances. The Federated States of Micronesia has a very close relationship with the US, and as such enforces drug laws aggressively. Drugs and other illegal substances are a very bad idea in Micronesia, and drug use, dealing or trafficking warrants long jail terms. Any guests caught using illegal drugs at the Pohnpei Surf Club will be escorted to the nearest police station and left to deal with the problem, on their own. Enough said!
Transportation. Taxis are readily available at $1.00 a ride per person. Ask someone at our desk to call a taxi if needed.
Electricity. FSM uses US electrical voltage at 110 watts. All outlets are USA standard. Visitors from other countries will need adaptors, as there are none for sale in Pohnpei. Guests visiting from Australia make sure to bring an adaptor to the American Standard outlets for you computers, video and digital cameras.
Quiet Time. PSC gets quiet around 10:00 pm. There are a variety of bars around Pohnpei that stay open late if you want to party.
Sakau. Sakau is a very popular drink in Pohnpei, similar to the kava of Fiji and Vanuatu. If you would like to try Sakau while in Pohpnei, please let one of our guides know.
Gifts & Handicrafts. Pohnpei is known for wood carving, handicrafts and its world¬¬-famous Pohnpei Pepper. Our guides will take you to the carving villages and shops where you will be able to buy both.
Do Not Forget
• Rain Coat (optional but recommended)
• Personal fishing gear.
• Mask, fin and snorkel. Scuba Diving in Pohnpei is also World Class!
• Mosquito repellent. Some times they do come out.
• Any questions? Please e-mail us as firstname.lastname@example.org
• And Lot’s of sun block.
• All of your surfing gear. No surf shops in Pohnpei.
• Dry Bag for gear (optional but recommended)
• visit our website www.pohnpeisurfclub.com