Majuro, the nation's capital, is a very narrow, 60-mi-/95-km-long boomerang-shaped atoll in the southeastern corner of the chain. It is not overly tourist-oriented so it may not appeal to some travelers. Backpackers seem to like it better than most of the more expensive Micronesian islands. Depending on your perspective, however, it is blessed or cursed with some of the greatest taverns of the Pacific.

The largest town on Majuro, dubbed D-U-D (an abbreviation for the islands Darrit, Uliga and Delap), is on the eastern end of the atoll. In town, visit the Alele Museum, which has displays depicting the early settlement of the country. Near the museum is the Marshalls Handicraft Shop, a wonderful institution run as a women's cooperative. Handicrafts are for sale, and on most days you will be able to see artists at work.

D-U-D is connected by a decent road to Laura, a small town on the western end of the atoll, which has a good snorkeling beach. Because of heavy population around the main town, the water can be polluted. It is best to snorkel in the outer lagoon island or far from the heavy population areas. Just past the airport, on the way to Laura, is the Peace Park Memorial. The small granite memorial, erected by the Japanese government, honors all the soldiers who fought in the Pacific during World War II. Near RRE Long Island Grocery Store is a tridacna clam farm. Aquaculture enthusiasts can arrange a tour of the facility by phoning ahead.

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