Palau has been on our minds since we’ve been there earlier this year. All the memories got fresh and alive again when Tunc started working on the video.Palau is an island country in the middle of the ocean. It is literally in the middle of the sea, with closest mainland 500 miles away. We flew there from Manila in the middle of the night and it felt like it took us forever to fly over the plain darkness of the ocean. It’s a country with 20.000 people and their flag is a yellow sun over bright blue background. Their flag represents Palau perfectly, it’s all about sun and sea. Brightness and clarity of the yellow and blue has covered the pain and violence, the island witnessed during the World War II.
If you look at the hotel ads and Palau booklets, you would see a white sandy beach with turquoise ocean in every one of them. Well, 80% of it is scam. Only a few hotels have a beach and most 3 star hotels don’t deserve
the number of stars they claim to be given. So double checking the location and facilities of the hotel with a critical approach is needed when it comes to planning a holiday in Palau. Our hotel wasn’t by the beach, but it was comfortable and clean enough and we were happy with the whole experience.
Palau’s economy depends on tourism, mainly scuba diving and snorkeling which is great for us divers. One of the biggest dive centers is Fish’n Fins. Rental equipment is in very good condition, their boats are spacious, fast and comfortable, dives are organized very well and safe, their dive guides are great and they organize interesting land tours as well. The owners are very helpful , they help to organize the whole trip including transfers and hotel booking which is great for planning your holidays hassle free and safe.
Currency in Palau is US dollars. Electricity outlets are American type with 110 V so don’t forget to pack a converter to charge your cameras. None of the mobile network carriers work in Palau, you need to buy a local SIM card to be able to use your mobile. If you have an i-phone, you may not be able to use the local SIM card though as they didn’t have the cutter to turn the SIM card to a micro SIM card when we were there. Luckily I had my blackberry with me and we used the card on that.
Although all the attraction is inside the hotels, there are quite a few good restaurants outside the hotels to eat. My favorite ones are the fish restaurant by the sea and the Italian restaurant opposite our hotel. However, if you would like to see a cultural show, dance, etc, you can only see it inside the hotels.
Palau is very pretty, the beauty of lush green rock islands against bright blue of the sea is striking. Underwater life is equally amazing. For me, the most amazing thing was the dense shark population. We saw lots of sharks in every dive. Reef corners with very strong currents were hard to hold on to with a huge camera, but the elegance and strength of the sharks hanging in the water was so amazing that we could spend the whole day there if it were possible.
I will write more about the dives and the jelly fish lake in a separate post, but here is our video to give you a feeling of Palau’s underwater beauties.
For the photo gallery please click here…