The first time I’ve ever even realized that such a place existed was in the summer of 2013. While I was being stupid on Facebook (because it kept asking me to update my current city in the “About Me” section, which I wanted to purposely leave blank), I entered Christmas Island. I actually remember a place called Christmas Island when I was being stupid on MySpace back in 2006. When I had enter the country on Facebook, a city suggestion appeared for a place called Flying Fish Cove. It sounded so obnoxious and cute that I didn’t actually believe such a place existed. A quick Google search popped up a Wikipedia article that showed it in fact does exist.
It was stumbled upon by an English captain, for the British Empire’s East India Company, who sailed past it on Christmas Day 1643 — hence the name. Its capital is officially called Flying Fish Cove, and this is where the population of the settlement lives, it is also unofficially refer to as “The Settlement”, and some English and Dutch maps will even list it by this name. It was discovered to be uninhabited. In 1887, another English captain on board a ship called Flying Fish, named the anchorage bay area he found on Christmas Island, Flying Fish Cove.
It became a British territory the following year in 1888, and soon after settlements started on the island because of the discovery of lime. Lime mining began in the 1890s with indentured laborers from China, Singapore, and Malaya. It was first governed by a government department for colonies in Britain, and then by the Crown Colony of Singapore.
During WWII the island came under attack by the Japanese. The island was surrendered to the enemy during the war, and reclaimed after the Japanese’s defeat. In October 1945 settlements began to re-occupy the island. Australia’s request that sovereignty for the island be transferred to them from Singapore was granted by the United Kingdom, and in 1957 Australia paid Singapore £2.9 million for its compensation.
The majority of the population is Chinese, followed by European and Malay. The official language is English, with Chinese (Cantonese) being the second most spoken language. It has a large population of asylum seeker from other Asian countries, including those in the Middle East regions.
It has been described as a safe area, with many locals leaving their homes and cars unlocked. It’s a relatively small community that is surrounded by the jungles and the sea. Many of its goods must be imported in. There are no direct flights to get there.
I would love to check this place out one day. Things to do there include many activities that are popular and common in other island countries. I think Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island would be a nice place to visit with my guy some day. He’s always wanted to go to Australia — and that’s really the only way to get to the island.