The Marshall Islands - What you should know

Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands form a nation of scattered atolls and remote islands, which are known for their marine life and diving opportunities. Many of the atolls are dotted with Flame of the Forest, hibiscus, and different-colored plumeria flowers. There are also at least 160 species of coral surrounding the islands. The atolls are noted for their coconut and papaya plantations and for pandanus and breadfruit trees.

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About Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a nation of about 60,000 people living on 29 coral atolls and 5 low-lying islands in the central Pacific, mid-way between Hawaii and Australia. The RMI adopted its Constitution in 1979 and signed the Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986. The RMI became a member of the United Nations in 1991.

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The natural beauty and rich culture of the RMI attracts tourists from around the world. Pristine coral reefs teeming with marine life make the RMI a premiere dive destination. Yet our country faces formidable challenges in the form of rapid population growth and accelerated sea-level rise, among others.

The RMI offers great potential for small-scale tourism and economic investment. The country's open investment climate and close relationship with the United States under the Compact of Free Association make it particularly attractive to investors, which in turn help further the ultimate goal of sustainable economic development

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The Marshallese are an interesting bunch. Apart from being skilled seafaring people who know fishing and navigating as well as anyone, they're a thoroughly multicultural bunch. After two millennia of being isolated, the islands began to be settled and colonized in the 18th century by a wave of successive visitors and occupiers, from British and Russians to Germans, Japanese, and Americans.

The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1979 provided independence to the Marshall Islands, whose constitution and president were formally recognized by the US. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is now a sovereign state in free association with the United States.

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As of 2018, the Islands had a population of 75,684 people. Additionally, life expectancy ranges from around 71 years for men and 76 years for women. Despite these promising life expectancy rates, there is room for improving current living conditions in the Marshall Islands.

The most modern atolls bear the marks of all the above, with diverse restaurants and cuisine on offer. The capital of Majuro Atoll leans towards the Western, being relatively developed though still pretty laid-back. The real tropical wonders are the outer islands, which for the most part are immaculate freckles of paradise, though some have witnessed the horrors of nuclear testing.

The Marshall Islands are undoubtedly a diving hotspot, with many enthusiasts skipping the capital altogether and heading for a spot of nature diving at Rongelap. Diving among wrecks from World War II is also popular, though perhaps the main diving attraction is Bikini Island. You may have heard of Bikini. From or near here, some 23 nuclear devices were detonated in tests by the US in the reef, inside the atoll, by air and even underwater. Divers can go on guided tours to explore the history of nuclear testing, while UNESCO has declared Bikini a World Heritage Site for the fact the remaining, direct tangible evidence of nuclear testing. Leased to the US military, Kwajalein Atoll remains in use for missile testing.

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The language in Marshall Islands

The Marshallese language (Marshallese: new orthography Kajin M̧ajeļ or old orthography Kajin Majōl [kɑzʲinʲ(i)mˠɑːzʲɛlˠ], also known as Ebon, is a Micronesian language spoken in the Marshall Islands. The language is spoken by about 44,000 people in the Marshall Islands, making it the principal language of the country.

The culture in Marshall Islands

Traditional Marshall Islands culture known as manit revolves around the same family and clan structure which has existed for centuries. Chiefs called iroij supervise the alap or clan heads and workers known as rijerbal in each Marshallese clan, known as jowi. The iroij presides over land disputes and usage, the alap supervises all daily activities and maintenance, while the rijerbal do the farming, cleaning and construction work. All Marshallese land is handed down through the mother’s ancestoral line in this matrilineal society.

Children’s first birthday celebrations, known as kemem, are among the most important Marshallese family gatherings. Extended family and friends celebrate with songs and huge feasts. Religion is also an important part of Marshall Islands culture, and most residents have fairly conservative views on nudity and alcohol, especially outside of Majuto. These small islands boast a disproportionately diverse number of fishing and boat building techniques.

The tourism in Marshall Islands

Tourism on the Marshall Islands. the Marshall Islands recorded a total of 6,100 tourists in 2019, ranking 200th in the world in absolute terms.

Those smaller countries regularly perform lower in comparison of the absolute number of guests, which is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of the Marshall Islands, the result is a much more comparable picture: With 0.10 tourists per resident, the Marshall Islands ranked 121st in the world. In Micronesia, it ranked 5th.

The Marshall Islands generated around 20.10 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 8.1 percent of its gross domestic product and approximately 93 percent of all international tourism receipts in Micronesia.

Check also: Cost of living in Marshall Islands.

All visitors traveling to the Marshall Islands must have a valid passport at least 6 months, must have sufficient funds for stay, and have an onward/return air or sea ticket.

Check also: General Visa Information for Marshall Islands.

Is Marshall Islands safe for tourists?

There is a low level of crime in the Marshall Islands. However, there have been reported incidents of petty crimes, including break-ins and non-violent theft. Take precautions to protect your belongings.

The best time to visit Marshall Islands

The best time to visit the Marshall Islands runs from January to March in the central and southern atolls, since it is the least rainy period, even though there is still a fair amount of showers and thunderstorms.

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