The Republic of Palau is an island state in the Pacific Ocean which borders the Philippines and Indonesia. There is a free Association between the government of the USA and the government of Palau. The capital city is Ngerulmud, state Melekeok.
Palau has wet equatorial climate so the tourists can come here throughout the year. The annual temperature is +24-+28°C. Only from June to October, the temperature may vary quite often.
The population is only about 21.000 people from the local tribes. They speak English and Palauan. 50% of the people practice Catholicism and 20% still follow their pagan cults (20%). The beaches White Beach and Palam Beach welcome those who want to relax on a beach. The Koror Island, the Carp Island, and the Peleliu Island attract the divers. The fans of snorkelling and scuba diving can see the Ngemelis coral wall. Fishing is on the Malakal Island and in the sea. The surfers can catch a large wave in the Strait of Melekeok and near the Babelthuap Island.
The tourists can go hiking across the Bloody-Nouz Hills and see the largest waterfall in the country Ngarmau. On one of the Rock islands of Palau, the tourists will see the Jellyfish Lake with a lot of jellyfish in it. The coral coast has a lot of caves. The lovers of active tourism can go kayaking in the mangroves. One of the most interesting cities in Palau is Koror with its National Museum. In the city, there is also in aquarium with exotic fish from the Philippine Sea.
On the Malakal Island, there is the Museum of Ethnography.
In the capital city, the tourists will see the Capitol similar to the same building in the USA.
The only way to get to Palau is a flight. The CIS and EU citizens will have to take a transit flight to get to the only airport Korora.
A transfer is made in Dubai, Hing Kong, Manila, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. The flights are offered by Singapore Airlines and Firefly.
The citizens from Russia, CIS and EU countries do not need a visa to travel to Palau. A visa is issued on arrival at the airport. The tourists should have only a valid international passport and a confirmation of financial sufficiency.
If you are going to stay in Palau for over 30 days, it is necessary to extend your visa at the Bureau of Immigration.
To avoid any confusion, it is better to apply to the Embassy of the USA to obtain a visa. If there is not US Embassy in the place where you live, take advantage of the services of the company Pony Express. The company will deliver all the necessary documents.
The tourists should be aware of the Customs rules in Palau.
It is allowed to import and export national and foreign currency in any amount. However, the sum exceeding 5.000 US dollars (or equivalent in any other currency) must be declared.
The tourists can bring in the following goods duty-free:
- tobacco and alcohol;
- photo and video camera and 10 roll films and 1 gadget per person (notebook, phone, tablet);
- 1 bottle (200 ml) of perfume or eau de toilette per person.
The import of meat and dairy products, plants, seeds, and flowers requires a special permission of the authorities of Palau.
If the tourists export items having historical or cultural value, they must provide a written permission of the Ministry of Culture. This rule does not apply to the crafts made from corals, shells of turtles, and bones of animals.
The Palauan cuisine is a mix of traditional recipes of many cultures. The staple food here is fish, seafood, meat, sweet potato, manioc, and coconuts.
A hallmark meat dish in Palau is pork roasted over the charcoal with tapioca and taro leaves. You should definitely try lamb with pineapple. Among the authentic Palauan dishes is Chicharron (pork rinds roasted with sugar). The foodies can try a turtle soup, a lizard soup and a soup with shark meat.
There are not so many poultry dishes in Palau. The most popular is chicken and rice casserole with pineapple, mango, and taro leaves. You will surely like smoked chicken served with taro root.
The lovers of fish will have an unlimited choice of dishes from roasted sword fish with screw pine leaves to smoked and air-dried shark meat. A salad with prawns, marinated octopus meat, mango, and pineapple is very delicious. Only on the islands of Palau, the tourists can try soups with squids, prawns, and octopus. They add yams, tapioca, and taro to the soups. One of the most popular local dishes is roasted squid marinated in coconut water.
The bars in Palau will offer a great variety of fruit juices. They also have locally produced wines Cannonau and Vermentinodi Gallura. Try a local moonshine based on fermented coconut water and palm juice.
Those who have a sweet tooth can treat themselves to fresh fruits (mango, Paw-Paw, melon, bananas, and pineapples). Tea and coffee is commonly served with coconut milk and coconut and banana cookies. The local chefs make amazing cottage cheese cakes. For a dessert, you can be served cottage cheese and coconut balls with cocoa.
The official currency in Palau is the US dollar.
On the Koror and Babelthuap Islands as well as in many touristic centres, credit cards are accepted.
Hotels and banks accept traveller’s checks.
In the capital city and in touristic centres, there are ATMs. However, always have cash if you are going to visit smaller islands of Palau.
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks and in exchange offices at the airport.
The tips in restaurants and hotels are not expected here.
The tourists can feel safe in Palau. The crimes occur here very rare.
Details of interest
Planning your travel to Palau, learn about the life and traditions on the islands. Despite a great influence of the American culture and the Christianity, people on the island still respect pagan cults and beliefs of their ancestors.
For a long time, matriarchy prevailed on the islands. It is reflected in the leading role of a woman and the succession was passing to women. There is still clan hierarchy on the islands and the relations between different generations and social groups are not quite clear for a foreigner.
Sightseeing in Palau
On the territory of the Republic of Palau, there is a UNESCO site. This is the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon.
The tourists who came here should visit the aquarium which is the part of the Palau International Coral Reef Center. The tourists can see the Reef Blue Corner, the Ngemelis coral wall, the Dolphins Center and the Aquarium on the Koror Island.
Helicopter tours are arranged for the tourists to show a bird’s eye view of the island. Such tours can also include a trip to Peleliu.
On the Babelthuap Island, there are stone monoliths Badrulchau. Visit the National Museum of Belau and learn more about the cultural heritage of Palau. The exposition contains the photographs, art objects and sculptures.
There are wonderful places for diving such as the Blue Corner, underwater caves Siaes Tunnel and Chandel Cave near the Oolong island.
Souvenirs in Palau
In Palau, the tourists usually buy crafts, things made out of sea shells, corals (with the permission of the authorities), and cosmetics. Baskets, boxes, and handmade bags made from palm and screw pine leaves are very popular among the tourists. On the Kayangel Atoll people from ancient tribes live and they preserved this unique technology.
One of the most popular souvenirs is coconut oil and cosmetics based on this oil. It can be bought on the Koror island.
The great choice of souvenirs is on the main street of the Koror.
On the Rock island, people still find and sell coins minted by the people from the Yap tribe.