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Palau travel guide - Travel S helper


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Palau (historically Belau or Pelew), officially the Republic of Palau, is an island nation in the western Pacific Ocean with a population of 17,948 people spread over 465 square kilometers. It is made up of about 250 islands that make up the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. Koror is the most populated of them. Ngerulmud, the capital of Melekeok State, is situated on the neighboring island of Babeldaob. Palau is bordered by Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia on the sea.

The nation was first inhabited about 3,000 years ago by migrants from the Philippines, and it was home to a Negrito people until around 900 years ago. Europeans initially discovered the islands in the 16th century, and they were included into the Spanish East Indies in 1574. Following Spain’s loss in the Spanish–American War in 1898, the islands were ceded to Imperial Germany in 1899 as part of the German–Spanish Treaty and governed as part of German New Guinea. During World War I, the Imperial Japanese Navy captured Palau, and the islands were subsequently included into the Japanese-ruled South Pacific Mandate by the League of Nations. During World War II, as part of the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, American and Japanese soldiers fought skirmishes, including the main Battle of Peleliu. In 1947, Palau, along with the other Pacific Islands, became a member of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. After voting against joining the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979, the islands achieved complete sovereignty in 1994 through a Free Association Compact with the United States.

Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the US, which provides military, money, and access to social services. The bicameral Palau National Congress has legislative authority. Palau’s economy is mostly dependent on tourism, subsistence agriculture, and fishing, with foreign assistance accounting for a substantial part of the country’s gross national product (GNP). The United States dollar is the country’s currency. The culture of the islands combines Japanese, Micronesian, and Melanesian influences. The bulk of the population is of mixed Micronesian, Melanesian, and Austronesian ancestry, with substantial populations derived from Japanese and Filipino immigrants. Palauan (a member of the Sunda–Sulawesi language group) and English are the country’s two official languages, with Japanese, Sonsorolese, and Tobian recognized as regional languages.


The territory of Palau is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror, and Peleliu are the most populated islands. The latter three are connected by a barrier reef, whereas Angaur is an oceanic island located several miles to the south. Koror is home to about two-thirds of the population.

The uninhabited Rock Islands (approximately 200) lie west of the main island group, while the coral atoll of Kayangel is north of these islands. The states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol are made up of a distant collection of six islands known as the Southwest Islands, located some 375 miles (604 km) from the main islands.


Palau has a tropical climate with an annual mean temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit). Throughout the year, there is a lot of rain, with an average of 3,800 mm (150 in). The average humidity is 82%, and despite the fact that rain falls more often between July and October, there is still plenty of sunlight.

Typhoons are uncommon in Palau since it is located outside of the major typhoon zone. Storm Haiyan in 2013 was the most powerful typhoon to hit Palau since reliable records began. Kayangel was ordered to evacuate in an emergency. Several homes were damaged by a storm surge. Despite homeowners’ reluctance to leave properly, there were no deaths or serious injuries recorded.


Palau has a population of around 21,000 people, 70 percent of whom are native Palauans of mixed Melanesian and Austronesian ancestry. Palau is home to a large number of Asian populations. Filipinos are the country’s biggest Asian population and second largest ethnic group. There are a lot of Chinese and Koreans here. There are also a tiny number of Palauans of Japanese heritage. There are also a small number of Bangladeshi and Nepalese migrant laborers and their descendants who arrived on the islands in the late 1900s. The majority of Palauans of Asian ancestry arrived in the late 1900s, with numerous Filipinos, Chinese, Bangladeshis, and Nepalese arriving as unskilled laborers and professionals. There are also a few Europeans and Americans.


Both the German and Japanese occupations of Palau supported missionaries who followed the Spanish. Three-quarters of the population is Christian (mostly Roman Catholics and Protestants), with Modekngei (a mix of Christianity, traditional Palauan religion, and fortune telling) and the ancient Palauan religion being practiced. Under Japanese control, the predominant faiths among Japanese immigrants were Mahayana Buddhism and Shinto. However, after Japan’s defeat in World War II, the surviving Japanese mainly converted to Christianity, while the rest practiced Buddhism but no longer practiced Shinto rituals. There are also around 400 Bengali Muslims in Palau, and a few Uyghurs imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay were recently permitted to live there.

According to the 2005 census, 49.4% of the population is Roman Catholic, 21.3 % Protestant, 8.7 % Modekngei, and 5.3 % Seventh-day Adventist. In 2010, just 1% of the population was believed to be Buddhist, with the Chinese community also following Chinese folk religion. The tiny Jewish community sent two cyclists to the 18th Maccabiah Games in 2009.


The economy of Palau is mainly based on tourism, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular tourist activities in the islands’ rich marine environment, which includes the walls of barrier reefs and World War II wrecks. The government is the biggest employer, and it is largely reliant on financial support from the United States. In the fiscal year 2000/2001, there were about 50,000 business and tourist arrivals.

The population has double the per capita income of Micronesia as a whole. Long-term prospects for the main tourism industry have been significantly enhanced by the growth of Pacific air travel, the increasing wealth of leading East Asian nations, and foreigners’ readiness to fund infrastructure development.

Air service has been patchy at times. During the 2000s, Palau Micronesia Air, Asian Spirit, and Pacific Flier all flew to the Philippines and other locations, but all ceased operations. United Airlines currently offers daily service to and from Guam, as well as once-weekly service to Yap. Delta Air Lines also flies to Tokyo three times each week.

Palau Saving Bank declared bankruptcy in November 2006. The Palau Horizon reported 641 impacted depositors on December 13, the same year. 398 of them had less than $5,000 USD, with the rest having between $5,000 and $2 million USD. On December 12, 79 individuals who had been impacted got compensation. “The money for the payment came from the remainder of the Palau government’s loan from Taiwan,” Mr. Toribiong said. At the time of bankruptcy, $955,000 USD remained from a total of $1 million USD initially intended for supporting Palau’s growth. Toribiong asked that the Taiwanese government utilize the remaining funds to settle its debts. Taiwan granted the request. Those who have less than $4,000 USD in their accounts would be eligible for reimbursement.

The income tax is divided into three categories with progressive rates of 9.3 percent, 15%, and 19.6 percent, respectively. The corporate tax rate is 4%, while the general sales tax rate is 0%. There are no real estate taxes.

Things To Know Before Traveling To Palau

Visa & Passport

Citizens of any Schengen nation (90 days), the United States (a year), Israel (90 days), the Marshall Islands (a year), and the Federated States of Micronesia do not need a visa (a year). Except for residents of Bangladesh and Myanmar, who must acquire a visa in advance, almost all other tourists may receive a 30-day visa on arrival.


Although English and Palauan are the official languages, several islands also recognize their own languages as official.


Palauan society is based on a strong matrilineal structure. Matrilineal rituals may be seen in almost every element of Palauan culture, particularly in funerals, marriage, inheritance, and the transfer of traditional titles.

Cassava, taro, yam, potato, salmon, and pig are among the native foods. Young Palauans like Western food, and international visitors join the natives. The remainder of Micronesia is similar, with much less tourists, resulting in fewer eateries. On such islands, tourists dine mostly at their hotels. Some traditional meals include an alcoholic drink produced from coconuts on the tree, a drink prepared from kava roots, and the chewing of betel nuts.

The traditional government system continues to have an impact on national issues, prompting the federal government to constantly try to restrict its authority. Many of these efforts took the form of constitutional changes backed by the business sector in order to preserve what they saw as free economic zones. In early 2010, the Idid clan, the governing clan of the Southern Federation, led by Bilung, the queen of the Southern Federation, filed a civil action against the Koror State Public Lands Authority (KSPLA). Using papers from the German era, the Idid clan claimed ownership of Malakal Island, a significant commercial zone and Palau’s most important port. The judgment determined that the KSPLA owned the island.


Palau has its unique cuisine, such as the tama dessert. Local foods in Palauan cuisine include cassava, taro, yam, potato, fish, and pig. Among young Palauans, Western food is popular.


Throughout history, Palauans have been renowned for their hospitality. Many Palauans are sensitive to cultural differences and readily show respect to foreign guests. However, remember to always respect the local culture. Rude comments or any kind of discrimination towards the local culture, like with any other ethnic group, is not tolerated. Palauans are as capable of being furious and nasty as they are of being nice. You will find the local environment to be extremely laid back and easy going as long as you do not insult the culture, damage historic sites, pollute, or harm the ocean in any way. It should be noted that Palau is a matrilineal culture with extremely rigid gender norms. Western concepts such as feminism are not common among the Palauans, and any overzealous effort to teach such beliefs is seen as irritating, stupid, and arrogant. Most Palauans, on the other hand, willingly participate in such discussions and find intellectual talks fascinating. Keep in mind that locals do not expect outsiders to grasp their national identity or culture, so a simple apologies for any transgression will enough to quell any tension.

How To Travel To Palau

By planeThe only viable option is to fly. On Babeldaob, there is just one airport, Airai (ROR).Visitors may fly to Guam on United Airlines' daily flights ($600), which link to Japan and the United States, as well as straight to Manila, Philippines.Delta Air Lines began daily service to (ROR)...

How To Travel Around Palau

A taxi and a leased vehicle were used. There are many local taxis. If you hire a vehicle, plan on driving carefully on some rough roads. Palau has both left and right hand drive vehicles, which may create some difficulty. Please keep in mind that the facility beyond Ice...

Destinations in Palau

Regions in PalauBabeldaob(Melekeok)the biggest island, with a population of about 6,000 people, as well as Babelthuap, Babelthwap, Babeldoub, Babeldaub, and othersKororthe location of the biggest city of the same nameRock IslandsJellyfish Lake, a lake containing millions of jellyfish with relatively mild stingers where snorkelers may safely swim, is made...

Accommodation & Hotels in Palau

BudgetPalau has a variety of guest house-style boutique lodging options. Some are near or inside Koror, while others are not. These may be booked internationally via diving shops that provide vacation packages (such as Sam's Tours). Prices start at $50 per night and go higher from there.Guest Lodge Motel (Free...

Things To See in Palau

Palau has all you might want in a South Pacific island state: beautiful tropical serenity. The majority of the tourist attractions are located on or around The Rock Islands or Chelbachebover. These 250 rock islands, many of which are small and deserted, provide some breathtaking vistas and are a...

Things To Do in Palau

Palau is well known for its scuba diving. Blue Corner, one of the most renowned diving locations with continuous sharks and a strong current, is less than an hour's boat trip from most resorts. Many live aboards, such as Ocean Hunter, operate from Palau. Tours of WWII battlegrounds are...

Money & Shopping in Palau

Palau's currency is the US dollar.CostsPrices are relatively expensive, as one would anticipate on an isolated island where tourism is the primary business, and even a low-end daily budget would be about US$100/day.ShoppingTraditional wood carvings portraying Palauan tales and legends are known as Palauan storyboards.

Food & Drinks in Palau

Food in PalauAlmost everything. Palau has a significant community of people from Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, and the United States, and local businesses have developed to meet their requirements. So Koror provides an incredible variety of goods in its shops, although at a cost. Bentolunch boxes with a Japanese...

History Of Palau

Early historyPalau was first inhabited during the third and second millennia BC, most likely by people from the Philippines or Indonesia.Until the 12th century, the islands were home to a population of short-statured Negrito or Pygmy people. According to the language, the current people may have originated in the...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Palau

Stay Safe in PalauPalau is a relatively safe place to visit. Even after midnight, it is safe to walk about downtown Koror. But, like in every other part of the globe today, common sense wins. Pedestrians should exercise caution since sidewalks are few even in downtown Koror.Stay Healthy in...



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