Drinking Kava in Pohnpei and Micronesia
Kava has a very long and storied history in Pohnpei and Micronesia
Kava has a very long and storied history in Pohnpei and Micronesia. It is said that the first people to use kava were the Thais, who migrated out of Indonesia over 3,000 years ago. Kava was originally used for medicinal purposes. In particular, it’s been used for centuries to heal ailments such as gastrointestinal problems and muscle pain.
The word “kava” comes from the Polynesian language, which means “intoxicating root.” In Micronesia, kava is known as “yaqona,” meaning “bitter.” Phonpei people drink kava in place of alcohol—and it’s a big part of their culture. A typical evening at home consists of drinking kava with family or friends while enjoying music or dancing!
Drinking kava in Pohnpei is done in a variety of ways.
Yes, there are kava bars in Pohnpei!
Kava bars are a common thing in Micronesia, and they’re a great place to go if you want to drink kava or just hang out with friends. The concept is pretty simple: you go to the bar, buy a bowl of kava (most likely from a machine), and then sit down with your friends and drink it. You can also buy snacks at the bar.
The drinking culture surrounding kava is very relaxed and low-key—it’s not uncommon for people to spend hours at the bar without ordering anything else!
If you’re in Pohnpei and Micronesia, you’ll want to try something called kava. It’s a beverage made from the root of the kava plant, and it’s served in a bowl with water. But what about that hibiscus?
Well, if you’re going to drink kava on its own in Pohnpei and Micronesia, you’ll usually be served a small bowl of water to mix with the powdery kava root (called “bark”). But if you’re serving yourself some kava at home or at a restaurant, it’s customary to add a few drops of hibiscus flower water before mixing the bark into your cup of water.
Hibiscus flower water can be found at many grocery stores in Pohnpei and Micronesia—just look for it near the tea or coffee supplies. If you want to make it yourself, however, all you need are some fresh hibiscus flowers and distilled water (or boiled tap water). After picking out any stems or leaves from your flowers, place them into a jar or container with a lid (I use an old whiskey bottle) filled with distilled or boiled water.
How to get to Pohnpei and Micronesia
From Australia, you can get to Pohnpei and Micronesia by air. There are no direct flights, but there are a few options that will get you there.
You can fly to the capital city of Pohnpei, Pohnpei International Airport (PNI), from Sydney or Perth on Virgin Australia. From here, you’ll take a 45-minute flight to Kolonia Airport on Kosrae Island. From Kosrae Island, you’ll take another 45-minute flight to Pohnpei International Airport (PNI).
Alternatively, you can fly from Sydney or Perth to the United State Territory of Guam. From Guam, you’ll take a 90-minute flight to Pohnpei International Airport (PNI).