The many islands within this huge atoll are crowned with natural beauty. The outer barrier reef is punctuated with idyllic sand spits dotted with coconut palms. The high islands in the central lagoon rise into the blue island skies. Wild orchids and other flora are found in the scenic and sometimes rugged terrain of the islands. Lush vegetation and simple living punctuate the lives of the lagoon. Fishing, weaving and tending garden supplant the subsistence lives that many sustain on their individual islands. It is not unusual to see women waist deep in the mangroves hunting for a special delicacy or men walking the reefs by torchlight at night looking for baby octopus. Boat makers create vessels high in the hills of the inner islands and take them down to sea when finished. Open-hearth fires are still used to cook the daily meals. Life here is close to nature and lived in conjunction with the land and the sea. Local carvers are also famous for using beautiful local woods to carve warrior masks and busts. And the Chuukese love stick is part of a legendary practice of courtship unique to this island group.
The center for the Japanese Navy during World War II, this island still has many remains of the battle known as Operation Hailstone.
Chuuk (Also pronounced Truck), with its vast, shallow, beautiful lagoon is a Mecca for wreck divers. A major shipwreck site from WWII, with Truk Lagoon is unquestionably the world's best shipwreck diving destination.
The U.S. dollar is the official currency in the Federated States of Micronesia.