Where is Palau?
For over 30 years it was a part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific under United States administration. It finally gained its total independence in 1994.
Palau is a beautiful tropical paradise, and one of the true unspoiled destinations on the planet. Most of the 100-plus islands are small low-lying coral islands, ringed by barrier reefs. The exception is mountainous Babulthuap, volcanic in origin.
The economy revolves around agriculture and fishing, but scuba diving in the pristine reefs is a growing-in-popularity tourism activity.
What's the weather like in Palau?
Best time to visit
Being so close to the equator, Palau enjoys a steady warm climate all year round with an annual average temperature of 30°C (86°F). Dry season runs from November to April with maximum temperatures of around 32°C (90°F) and lows of 27°C (81°F). Humidity is high all year round.
Rainy season falls between July and October, and thunderstorms are quite common but typhoons, when it can rain for days at a time, are fairly rare, as the islands are too close to the equator to be in the hurricane corridor.
For divers, the best time to go to Palau is during the dry season, from September to May, when calmer seas mean it's easier for boats to get to particular areas. Manta rays can be seen all year round, but to see the sharks you'll need to visit in March.
Palau's temperate climate means that for the majority of trips, not much more than lightweight cottons, linens and beachwear will be needed. Keep a jumper on you for the evenings and if you're venturing inland. If you're planning to do some outdoor activities – hiking, kayaking, etc – then be sure to take the specialist equipment that you'll need. Rain is possible all year round so don't go without packing some sort of light rainwear – a good quality waterproof jacket may be sufficient.
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon covers 100,200 ha and includes 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin. Many of them display unique mushroom-like shapes in turquoise lagoons surrounded by coral reefs. The aesthetic beauty of the site is heightened by a complex reef system featuring over 385 coral species and different types of habitat. They sustain a large diversity of plants, birds and marine life including dugong and at least thirteen shark species. The site harbours the highest concentration of marine lakes anywhere, isolated bodies of seawater separated from the ocean by land barriers. They are among the islands' distinctive features and sustain high endemism of populations which continue to yield new species discoveries. The remains of stonework villages, as well as burial sites and rock art, bear testimony to the organization of small island communities over some three millennia. The abandonment of the villages in the 17th and 18th centuries illustrates the consequences of climate change, population growth and subsistence behaviour on a society living in a marginal marine environment.
Milky Way (Koror)
The Milky Way lagoon in Palau is one of the most attractive tourist spot in the region of the rock island. It is said that Milky Way's mud is very effective for esthetic (Spa) purpose. Its effect has not yet been scientific proven, but people in and going to Palau has applied mud to their skin and claim that you will lose five years of your age. Well, it doesn't matter if the outcome result is true or not because the experience alone is worth going for.
Jelly fish is one of the unique and popular snorkeling spot in Palau. It begins at the Mecharchar Island dock, then a semi-difficult hike to the a floating dock entry at the lake edge where snorkelers ease into the brackish warm water and swim to the middle of the lake. At the middle, you will then be enjoying swimming with countless number of Golden Mastigias Jellies. This phenomenon jellies are sting free and when the sun goes up then the jellies will swim to the surface of the lake to following the sunlight. Please do not handle or kick the fragile jellyfish.
Dolphins Pacific(Dolphin Bay)
Located on the northern side of Ngeruktabel Island in the Republic of Palau, Dolphins Pacific is the world's largest marine mammal interaction, education, and research facility. As a sales agent for Dolphins Pacific, NECO Marine can arrange your entire dolphin experience and our staff will be there with you as instructors for your dolphin scuba dive.
To learn more about Dolphins Pacific programs offered visit their website.
Enjoy Palau's many and varied dive sites – considered some of the best in the world – including the famous Blue Corner. Other top sites are Ngemelis Wall, aka the Big Drop-off; the German Channel, known for its manta rays; Siaes Tunnel, an underwater cavern where white-tip reef sharks are common; and Chandelier Cave, where underwater chambers filled with stalactites.
The only city of any note in Palau, Koror is home to about two-thirds of the country's population and hosts most of its tourist facilities. Even so, it retains the air of a provincial town. While it may not fulfil all fantasies about tropical paradises, the city has a few good surprises up its sleeve. Great restaurants, idiosyncratic shops, cute little museums, and a weird mix of traditional monuments and modern-day buildings line the busy streets of the fairly compact centre. Best of all, it's ideally situated for hopping to neighbouring islands, including the fascinating Rock Islands archipelago, a short boat ride away.
Step back in time with Palau's abundance of WWII relics. Some of the most ferocious battles of the Pacific took place in these waters and submerged war wrecks, fighter planes, rusted machine guns and hidden bunkers rest as testament to the thousands of men who lost their lives here.
Visit the island of Peleliu, which forms the southern boundary of the Rock Islands. In 1985 it was designated a US National Historic Landmark, owing to the part it played in WWII. Abandoned tanks, helmets and bomb casings are still dotted throughout the island and some of Palau's best dive sites are located here.
Off road driving Palau
You're in the driver seat! Take off on extreme 4WD expeditions to Palau's big island, Babeldaob, where you'll explore water falls, WWII relics, abandoned old villages rivers, and rainforest.
What to Eat in Palau
Tinola in Tagalog or Visayan, or la uya in Ilocano is a soup-based dish served as an appetizer. Traditionally, this dish is cooked with chicken, wedges of green papaya, and leaves of the siling labuyo chili pepper in broth flavored with ginger, onions and fish sauce.
Pichi-Pichi is a gelatinous dessert (this can also be eaten as a heavy mid-afternoon snack) made from grated cassava and sugar. The concoction is placed in a mold and steamed until a sticky-gelatinous texture is formed. After steaming, this is coated with grated coconut for additional flavor.
Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various ingredients, including boiled sweet beans, coconut, sago, gulaman (agar jelly), tubers and fruits. It is served in a tall glass or bowl.
Palau White Clay Soap
White Clay Soap is a unique and exclusive White Clay Soap made from the wonder of the sea. White Clay Soap is made from the white clay that is deposited at the bottom of Milky Way of Palau. This natural cosmetic is free from artificial colouring and fragrance and rich in natural inerals, papaya fruit extract, hibiscus essence and other botanical ingredients to soften, smoothen and beautify the skin. Clogged pores can be absorbed by the spongy bubbles of the white clay and the five kinds of botanical extracts naturally moisturize the skin.
Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It has various applications. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to six months at 24 °C (75 °F) without spoiling.
Palau taro wine
Taro wine or sochu was one of the new products featured at the recent Belau Fair. It was produced with a wine extracting machine donated to Palau's community college agricultural extension school by a senior volunteer from Japan's International Oversees Cooperative Agency. Taro wine is made by fermenting rice and yeast for 7 days then adding cooked and mashed taro for another 7 days. The fermented mulch is then distilled and extracted in 3 hours at 50% alcohol. It is then diluted to 20% alcohol.The cost of production for this brand new product is estimated at under $5 a bottle Thomas Taro, Vice President of Palau Community College hopes the "taro sochu" will be successful and increase the value and production of taro by local farmers.