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“visit the outer islets, not just Nan Douwas” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nan Madol

Nan Madol
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
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Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Pohnpei
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Attraction details
Owner description: This center of an ancient civilization is surrounded by 92 islets.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“visit the outer islets, not just Nan Douwas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

If you're interested in history/archeology, don't do the Village Hotel tour (they only take you to the main islet). Instead drive their and contact a guide call Floyd (320 3607), who will charge you $20 to show you around for a few hours. I've heard others may do it for $5, but this guy knows what he's talking about - he worked with an anthropologist. Still, it is going to be a hassle because everything is overgrown. Have a firm idea what to see (a map is available in all hotels) and bring reef shoes, you will be wading through knee deep water... Also, you will need to give a separate $3 to the chief's people.

Visited February 2013
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34 reviews from our community

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English first
Canberra, Australia
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
72 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
“A Great place to visit, beautiful and free from tourists”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

The is a must do for any visitor to Pohnpei, it is amazing while as everyone says not like Angkor or the Pyramids, it has its own beauty and mystique. First there are a few things you need to know about how to get there.

There are three ways to get there.
1. Drive yourself (recommended)($55-65 car hire + entrance fees)
2. Organise something with your hotel eg Village I think does tours. Not sure on costs, though accounts say that it includes kayaking. (recommended)
3. Get a taxi ($75-80 for a taxi its expensive you should get a while island tour for that + entrance fees)
Note it will take 1 - 1.5hrs to drive there from Kolonia, the speed limit on the island is 25mph and you have to dodge, dogs, chickens, pigs, children and potholes in the road.

It’s really easy to get to there, get a map and drive. Car hire is about $55-65 for a good car, best to get a SUV as there are some rough roads there. When you get there you have 2 options, 1, pay the Chief $5 to go on the boat to the main island or $20 to goto some more islands and through the mangroves. (Recommended) . The other way in is to turn right when you get to the turn, you pay $1 to the local guy to drive through his area, $3 to the family to walk through their area and then $3 to the Chief/daughter to enter the site, you then walk down some board walks and can then wade across to the main island. (you will get wet here)

If you want to go on the boat you need to go at high tide. High tide is about 1 -1.4m low is about 0.5m. You can call the chief or check with locals to find out.

What to expect, there is one main island that is a temple its really nice take some time to climb through it, if you go on the boat they will tell you about the history. There are a few other little islands that you can visit too. It’s really nice good clear waterways and when you go out on the outer part of Nan Madol you can see stingrays, flying fish and some other cool things.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashua
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Fun and interesting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We booked a kayak tour of Nan Madol through The Village, where we stayed. The Village brought us to the site via two powerboats, one for people and one for kayaks. it was roughly a 45 minute drive to the site.
We started at the largest ruin, which is the one featured in Pohnpei travel brochures. The powerboats were able to dock here so everyone could disembark. We then spent about 30 minutes walking around the site, which features large inner and outer courtyards, and some burial chambers. Everything is constructed of columnar basalt pillars which were transported to the site by magic (or maybe by rafts).
After walking around the main building, we loaded into kayaks and paddled through some more of the ruins. The site can only be visited at high-tide, otherwise the kayaks would get stuck in the shallows. The entire paddling course is protected from the lagoon (and open sea) by the artificial walls and mangrove copses. Also, the water is maybe a foot deep at the most. We had small children with us and never felt unsafe in the least.
We did not disembark at any other sites, which mainly consist of retaining walls creating artificial islets. We were only able to visit a small fraction of the ruins, since much of the complex is blocked off by mangroves or the ruins themselves.
Very interesting -- really nothing like it anywhere else in the world. While it lacks the splendor and sklll of Asian ruins like Angkor Wat (built around the same time), the fact that it was built on a reef by island peoples is impressive.
The Village combined our Nan Madol tour with a visit to Na Island for lunch, a short hike and swim at Kepirohi Waterfall, and some snorkling with mantas (although the mantas were away on other business when we stopped by).

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Lisbon
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Nan Madol”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

In any other part f the world, this place would be flooded with visitors. There were only two of us there. Amazing site that I don't understand why it isn't an Unesco world heritge site.

Visited September 2011
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Kwajalein, RMI
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“must go excursion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

tour guides were awesome, waterfalls great. be prepared to come back tired!!!

Visited June 2012
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