Palau Travel Guide

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Most people never heard about Palau, and that’s absolutely normal, because what we’re dealing with here is an island country, with a tiny population of just 21,000 spread across hundreds of islands in the Micronesian Archipelago.

Yes, the Republic of Palau is relatively unknown to the regular westerner, but boy, if you want to escape this harsh winter and go to a place where the sun shines and snorkeling is the national sport, Palau is the place you were looking for.

So, Palau is bordered by the Philippines and the Federate States of Micronesia, the most populous island is Koror and the capital is called improbably and impossibly, Ngerulmud.

If you’re having trouble pronouncing that name, rest assured, it’s normal.

What’s so special about spending this winter in Palau? The answer is water sports, Palau being the Mecca of snorkelers and divers. And that’s pretty obvious given the fact that the country is composed from almost 500 tiny islands, soaking in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Ocean.

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The beating heart of Palau is Koror, an island bursting with joy and life, and also the entry point for tourists world-wide. Chances are that if you visit Palay, Koror will be the “point of entry”, if I may use the expression.

That’s due to the fact that Koror, while it is far from being the most beautiful island in the region, it has a relatively dense populace hence “modern accommodations” are the norm and it also represents a representative slice of the Micronesian life-style. Here you can sit back, chill and relax cruising the local bars, the local flora and “fauna”, a place filled with charismatic and red blooded natives and also a place to experience a local delicacy, i.e. fruit bat soup. Yes, you heard that right: a soup made from flying rats, I mean bats. I wonder if Bat Man ever visited Palau…

 

Getting back to business, Palau is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage map, being home for some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, hence benefiting from a marine life variety few other places are able to match.

A place filled with tropical life, blue and crystal-clear waters where weird creatures thrive and home for the Jellyfish Lake, Palau really is the place to spend this winter months. Wait, you never heard about the Jellyfish Lake?

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This almost magical place is among the world’s most ecologically and evolutionary unique phenomena. The lake was cut off from the ocean way back in time, millions of years ago, and due to the fact that it was free of predators, the Jellyfish lost their “poison” and now it’s safe to swim/snorkel in the clear waters along with these gentle giants floating around you, like in a science fiction movie. Yes, that’s a once in a life-time experience folks, and as unique as it gets!

What else to do in Palau? Well, chart a sailing yacht/boat and sail away, sail away, spend a few days admiring the Rock Islands, see all these idyllic places that make life worth living.

Also, you can go snorkeling, sailing, sport-fishing, sea-kayaking or diving in the same Rock Islands, a place filled with high end tourist resorts which offer loads of trips and tours.

Ngarachamayong Cultural Centre is the place to visit if you want to imbibe in the Palau’s cultural heritage and while you’re at it, you can also pay a visit to the Palau Aquarium , in order to better understand this heavenly place’s ecosystem.

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While in Palau, you can dance with the dolphins, I mean swim, at Dolphin’s Pacific or take a hike on Babeldaob, Palau’s largest island, filled with opportunities for driving and hiking and what not.

Palau Cuisine

Palau’s cuisine is a melting pot, or “the best of” Japan, United States, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines food.

The variety is astounding, consisting of an eclectic mixture of fresh sushi, Indian sauces, Italian food, American BBQ, Korean and Chinese, all with a twist of Palau at myriads of local eateries. The highlight is obviously fresh sea food, which is abundant everywhere but there are also exotic dishes to try on. Specialties include root veggies like pandan and taro, yams and other exotic fruits (mango, dragon fruit, breadfruit and passion-fruit), the aforementioned fruit-bat soup in a broth of coconut, broiled fish, a special soup made with chicken, papaya and ginger, traditional desserts made from cassava and coconut and halo-halo (it’s a surprise, but it’s absolutely phenomenal!). Red Rooster is a local beer and Kava Juice is a soft drink made from a root veggie.

Jellyfish lake

Visa Requirements

To visit the beautiful Palau, you’ll only require a valid passport, but no Visa.

 

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