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Subscribe to the Travel Notes Blog Travel Notes: Oceania: Kiribati Travel Notes

Kiribati Travel Notes -- Kiribati is a part of Micronesia, and around 20 of the islands are permanently inhabited. Find out more about Kiribati.

Kiribati Flag
Short URL: http://tnot.es/KI - National Anthem of Kiribati.

Kiribati, formerly the Gilbert Islands, is made up of thirty three atolls and coral islands, and one volcanic island.

Quick Links

International Dateline, Kiribati Language, Map of The Pacific Islands, Micronesia, Tarawa.

Micronesia

Around 20 of the Kiribati islands are permanently inhabited.

Map of Kiribati

With such a large area of sea between the islands of Kiribati, it's not surprising that fish exports are a major source of currency.

Tarawa

The capital of Kiribati, Bairiki, is situated on Tarawa but Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, is the largest of the Kiribati group.

Battle of Tarawa

On November 20th, 1943, five thousand US marines stormed the beaches of Tarawa; a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress barely the size of the Pentagon parking lots.

Before the first day ended, one third of the Marines who had crossed Tarawa's deadly reef under murderous fire were killed, wounded, or missing.

In three days of fighting, four Americans would win the Medal of Honour and six-thousand combatants would die.

International Dateline

Straddling the Equator at the International Date Line, Kiribati proclaimed that all of its territory lies in the same time zone as its Gilbert Islands group; even though the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands, under its jurisdiction, lie on the other side of the International Date Line.

Kiribati Language

The official language of Kiribati is English, although many of the islanders speak the native I-Kiribati, formerly known as Gilbertese.

In 1991, Britain agreed to pay for the damage done to Banaba Island by large-scale phosphate mining. Residents of Banaba even had to be resettled on Rabi Island; a part of Fiji.

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