Marshall Islands, Australasia - Stein Travel
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Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a collection of 29 atolls and five islands scattered across the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Home to around 60,000 people, the islands have been inhabited for over four millennia, despite its comparatively recent naming after John Marshall, the first European visitor in 1788.

Between 1946 and 1958 the USA detonated 66 nuclear weapons on and around these islands including the largest ever device, Castle Bravo. While the Republic's rather compelling lawsuit against the USA is being argued, the good news is that today scientists estimate that you are exposed to more radiation watching TV in your home than spending time on the islands. More pressing concerns are the prolonged drought, high cost of energy, and lack of employment opportunities.

The most promising area in that regard is tourism, which is growing steadily. Visitors come here for the incredible diving among the many World War II era wrecks, and the fabulous beaches, many of which are deserted save for palm trees and swathes of white-golden sand.

As a low-lying atoll, the Marshall Islands are seriously threatened by rising sea levels caused by global warming. Plans have already been put in place to evacuate the population should this threat become a reality.

The climate is generally hot and humid, with May to November being the wet season when the odd hurricane blows by to the horror of tourists and delight of the kite flying community.

The capital Majuro is a pleasant town and well worth exploring. All trips begin and end here and the facilities are very good. Beyond Majuro the outlying islands and atolls vary from sparsely populated to uninhabited and there are plenty of opportunities to truly get away from it all should you wish.

Information & Facts

Customs

In the Marshall Islands, respect for one's elders and deference to their authority are considered to be very important codes of social behaviour. Locals are conditioned not to walk in front or upwind of their seniors, nor to elevate their heads above them. Visitors to the Marshall Islands should ensure that they dress modestly, and behave less brashly than (perhaps) they are used to doing in their countries of origin. To avoid causing a stir, foreigners should check with the tourism office before visiting remote beaches or outlying areas, as the locals might not appreciate the presence of tourists in these areas.

Duty Free

Travellers to the Marshall Islands may import the following goods tax-free: 300 cigarettes/75 cigars/225g of tobacco. Visitors over 21 may bring two litres liquor. Prohibited imports include guns and ammunition, drugs and pornographic materials.

Passport Visa

All foreign passengers to the Marshall Islands must hold return/onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country. Note that to enter Kwajalein, passengers must hold an Entry Authorisation issued by the US Military. To enter Ebeye, passengers must hold an Entry Permit for Ebeye, which can be obtained upon arrival in Kwajalein (KWA). Note that any travellers holding a visa for the Marshall Islands issued in Macao, will be refused entry. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

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