Even the most prolific traveler may have missed these micronations


Groups stand upon a rock formations admiring the sunset. Source: MS Sue Huan

Any keen traveler will know about must-see Asian destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

But are you aware that Asia is home to over 40 micronations?

The first recorded micronation was in fact declared by Ernest Hemmingway’s younger brother, Leicester when he towed a bamboo raft out 12 nautical miles off the coast of Jamaica and declared it to be New Atlantis.

Micronations are independent, self-declared nations that recognize themselves as an entity separate from the state but aren’t recognized by an official governing body.

They are different from imaginary countries and other groups such as eco-villages, campuses, tribes, clans or sects.

They often have unique cultures pinched from other nations and muddled together to great their own “perfect” set of rules.

Some exist solely on the internet, but a fair few lays claims to tiny parts of the land and even old war rigs out in the ocean.

While they are not recognized by governments, members of these micronations continue to issue passports, stamps, currency, flags and even medals to outstanding members of their tiny communities.

Many think of these imaginative nations as private members clubs, but for citizens of micronations, what goes on inside the make-believe kingdom walls is serious business.

Many have been created with a utopian DIY attitude, helped along by an utter dissent for the local authority.

Here are three of the most established micronations around Asia Pacific, with all their individual quirks, citizens, and flags.

The Naminara Republic

This South Korean micronation on a private island near Chuncheon is the most visited in the world.

The Naminara Republic declared its cultural independence from the Republic of Korea in 2006 and boasts its own diplomatic and cultural policies.

The republic aims to celebrate the imagination and wants to share fairy tales and happy songs with everyone who visits.

President Kang Woo Hyon wants to create a place of happiness and laughter which is perfectly illustrated in the Declaration of Independence.

Nearly 2 million people visit the island every year to see the Song Museum of ethnic musical instruments and attend the International Children’s Book Festival.

Entry to the island is US$10 for “visa fees” but it is well worth it to experience the Unicef Child Friendly Park.

Principality of Hutt River

Found 595 kilometers north of Perth, Western Australia, Principality of Hutt River is a 75 square kilometer kingdom consisting of around 18,500 acres of land.

Back in 1970, the former ruler of the principality, His Royal Highness Prince Leonard declared his farm as an independent state from Australia.

Legend has it that he attempted to secede from Australia over wheat production quotas, although Principality of Hutt River has never been recognized as a sperate state.

The micronation welcome around 40,000 visitors each year and have 23 permanent residents including the current ruler, His Royal Highness Prince Graeme, Prince Leonard’s youngest son.

The Empire of Atlantium

The Empire of Atlantium was founded so people could gain a perspective of “how a globalized world could properly function”, according to its emperor, George Cruickshank.

Emperor Cruickshank is convinced the days of physical borders, ethnicities, national identity and geographically fixed nations are limited as the world becomes more globalized.

The micronation can be found in New South Wales in Australia and visitors can purchase stamps, coins, banknotes and lapel pins on their website, and over the counter at the Imperial Post Office at Aurora.

George Cruickshank is quite the media darling and can be seen and heard giving interviews on Australia’s new programs.

You can also become a citizen of The Empire of Atlantium for just a small fee of US$25. But be warned, don’t apply without paying the fee as you will receive an indirect, passive-aggressive Facebook status for them.