WHAT TO DO
The notable attraction in Chuuk, is of course, the incredible wreck diving. With more than 48 diveable wrecks and numerous aircraft, there is a veritable museum of ships to explore. But there is more to Chuuk than the diving. Explore the inner island areas, go for an inter-island boat tour or simply relax along the shore. Here are a few sights to see when you take a diving break.
The lighthouse was built in the 1930s by the Japanese and held a prestigious position atop a hill that boasts a panoramic view of the lagoon. The area now serves as the site of the FSM Xavier High School. The high school is highly respected throughout the FSM and students come from the outlying islands to study there.
Tonata Guns and Caves
Japanese Forces fortified many natural caves on Weno and other islands in Chuuk. These caves were used to hide or store munitions and supplies for the military. They can be found on many of the outlying islands.
As the highest point in Chuuk, Tonachau Mountain stands at 687 feet and is the legendary home of the God Souwoniras and his divine son. This spot is where Weno chiefs are reported to have met with Poomey, eldest of the six brothers who were the first chiefs of Chuuk. The shallow pool at the bottom of the waterfall is still used today for recreation and bathing, just as it has been for hundreds of years. Numerous petroglyphs are etched in the exposed basalt rocks above the falls.
Another cave that was used for munitions and Japanese military purposes is Nefo Cave, which is located just 164 feet from the governor's home. Here you can actually see a gun that was used by Japanese soldiers to guard the entry to the north pass.
Nemwes and Fouman Rocks
Nemwes and Fouman Rocks, located on some of the smaller nearby islands, are part of the lore that tells of ancient rivalries between Chuuk and Yap, an island group that lies to the southwest. Legends say that Nemwes, the daughter of a Yapese high chief, disobeyed her father's wishes and came to Udot by walking across the sea. But when the priests of Udot destroyed her power to walk on water, Nemwes died of grief.
Japanese Officer's Quarters
The Japanese officer's quarters on Eten Island still stand despite aerial bombing by U.S. aircraft during World War II. Here you can see the extent of the damage from U.S. bombs on the Japanese military buildings, which is more pronounced here than on many of the other military locations.
The main island of Weno (formerly Moen) is the capital and commercial center, and is home to roughly 16,100 Chuukese. This is where the fathers of a Jesuit-run school lived and were summoned daily by a large bell. Weno offers the best views of the lagoon and its protected waters. Chuuk's district center on Weno is where visitors can experience a taste of island life by visiting the local stores jammed with everything from kerosene stoves to ladies wear and handicrafts.