Nan Madol is what the ruins on the southeast corner of Pohnpei are called. They were believed to have been constructed from the 7th century up to the 16th century and the site was the center of royalty and government. It was quite impressive, even though we did not see it all as it is difficult to access from land because of the mangrove filled canals separating the constructions. Sadly, it has not been kept up at all by anyone so it is also very overgrown.

We rented a car with friends Dave and Linda from the SV Irish Melody and spent the whole day sightseeing. It was a memorable day.


It was about a 15 minute hike out to the edge of the forest where the first ruin was and there were a lot of these little bridges and tons of different plants to ooo and aww over.



Doug spotted this little fish in the waterway. I don’t know how he did as he is so small and blends in so well. It was fascinating to see a fish sitting there in the open air. Seems he is just as comfy on (semi) dry land as he is in the water.




This covered hole was inside the big walls. There were actually a few different covered holes inside. Have no idea what they were for.



Maybe it was where they put the bad guys. Here I am inside looking out.



Dave and I climbed up on one of the crumbling walls and are looking down on Doug and Linda outside.



You can get a perspective on how high the walls are here.



Dave and I found an opening in the wall, a short cut to joining Doug and Linda.



Here’s a close-up of the wall construction. The stone was quarried on a different part of the island, which is volcanic, and ferried on rafts to the site. A truly amazing feat of engineering for the time.



After we explored that structure we took off across the canal and through the mangroves. It was tough going with the soft mud, broken reef and mangroves. Sadly, we didn’t find any other structures like the one we were just exploring. But the scenery was still beautiful.



Doug did find this one wall. Being the youngest and most energetic of the group we let him be the front man on our explorations.



Doug had to give me a hand getting through the gooey, sucky mud. Wrong shoes for exploring made the going tough.



Back on the path again and the end of our Nan Madol adventure.



This tree reminded me of the Ents of Middle Earth.



Doug may not be able to hear very well, but his eyesight is still great for spotting the little guys. Check out this neon blue tail.



The boys replacing precious fluids after the hike.



These two little girls are doing  just what I would like to be doing after all the sweat and mud. Not to worry. Next stop Keporohi Falls.



The flora along the path to the falls was beautiful. Someone had taken the time to plant lots of flowers.



As usual, Doug was the first one there.. …. and, the first one in.



The water was perfect. Just what we needed after a trek through the forest and mangrove marshes.



I have to stop a minute and give a thanks to Dave and Linda for all their photos posted here of me. If it weren’t for them I would still be the one behind the lens and never in the picture.






It was a wonderful adventure. Here are a few more flower pics. Dave, Linda and I are all shutterbugs and seemed to be pulling the car over for flower shots constantly. It really is a beautiful island.




  1. Great photos—My husband and I were at Nan Madol and Keporohi Falls in 1974 on a diving drip through Micronesia from our home on Kwajalein. Loved seeing the ruins again and from a different perspective. It was lush in ’74 and much overgrown from these photos. Thanks for publishing—I loved remembering!

  2. Hello from Germany,

    some years ago I visited Nan Madol. And I went there by foot through the jungle and the channels of Temwen; a walk of about 5 Kilometers, because I couldn’t get back to the shore due to the thick mangroves. A never ending walk in the hot sun, and the big stingrays frightened me. It was a thrilling and exhausting adventure that I will never forget. So now I am happy to see that someone else made the same straining walk and can understand my feelings on my trip to the ruins of Nan Madol.


    Willie Schmitz

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