Timothy Tye's Travel Encyclopedia
Marshall Islands

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The main road in Majuro, in the Marshall IslandsThe main road in Majuro, in the Marshall Islands
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Marshall Islands is a group of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is located to the west of the International Date Line, and is slightly to the north of the Equator. The land area of the Marshall Islands is 181 sq km (70 sq mi). It has a population of 62,000 (2011 estimate).

Marshall Islands is 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+12). The US dollars is used here as the official currency. Traffic is driven on the right here. The phone IDD code is +692. In 2001, the Marshall Islands had an estimated GDP at purchasing power parity of $115 million, which translates to $2,900 per capita.

Living in Majuro, in the Marshall IslandsLiving in Majuro, in the Marshall Islands
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The Marshall Islands have been inhabited by Micronesians for thousands of years. The first European to see it was Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar in 1526. The islands were named after Captain John Charles Marshall, who arrived there in 1788. The islands became a German protectorate until the First World War, when it was occupied by the Japanese.

Under Japanese occupation, the Marshall Islands saw an influx of Japanese immigrants. Japanese intervention in local customs met with mixed success. During the Second World War, the United States invaded and occupied the islands, particularly the infamous Bikini Atoll. The US tested nuclear weapons here between 1946 and 1958, leading to it being regarded as one of the most contaminated places in the world by the Atomic Energy Commission.

The Government of the Marshall Islands was established in 1979, with full sovereignty obtained in 1986.

Planning your visit to Marshall Islands

Visitors who do not need a visa include the citizens of countries of the Pacific Islands Forum, the United States, European Union, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.

You can reach the Marshall Islands by flight from Honolulu, Guam and Fiji.

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