Kiribati (pronounced “Kiribass”), located at the central Pacific with the Equator cutting across it, is marginally larger than Singapore (800 sq km vs Singapore’s 710 sq km), but split into thousands of islands scattered across an ocean area of 3.5 million sq km, slightly smaller than the land area of USA of 3.9 million sq km. More than half of Kiribati’s land area is on Kiritimati Island (which is pronounced and meant the same as Christmas Island) in the Line Islands, located at the far eastern part of the nation.
There are few domestic flights within this country of disparate distances. For someone to get from Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in the west of Kiribati to Kiritimati in the east, he has to fly 3 hours to the neighbouring country, Fiji, in the south and then take another flight 4 hours northwards from Fiji to Kiritimati. This is the approximate distance equivalent of flying from San Francisco to Mexico City first in order to fly to New York (if there are no direct flights between San Francisco and New York).
Count yourself lucky, for there are now weekly direct flights between Fiji and Kiritimati since June 2010. Prior to this, one has to fly to Fiji first, then on to Honolulu in Hawaii, and a third flight from Honolulu to Kiritimati. This would be the equivalent of flying from San Francisco to Mexico City, then from Mexico City to Calgary (in Canada) and finally from Calgary to New York.