Don't Miss Places In Palau
Palau (also spelled Belau) lies along the Caroline Islands 800 km away to the eastern side of the Philippines. The islands of the Palau group were probably the first to be settled in this area many thousands of years ago. Palau is made up of over 200 islands but only eight are permanently inhabited. The forested islands of the north have been formed by volcanoes. Tapioca, coconuts, fruit, and vegetables are grown in their fertile soil.
Southern Palau is made up of low-lying coral islands. Palau’s main exports are copra and tuna, but tourism is becoming increasingly important to the country’s economy.
Here are the top ten not to be missed places in the great island of Palau.
A rocking attraction on one of the islands is an amazing place in Palau called the Jellyfish Lake. This is a salt water lake in which only jellyfish lives. It is a freshwater lake with warm water. There are about 2 million small and large jellyfishes that have lost their ability to sting and now in the lake and dances to the magical rhythm of the waters as they slowly rise to the sun. This lake is usually crowded and is contented in watching the jellyfish swim comfortably. If you get off the dock you need to pay an entrance fee to be granted permission to visit the lake, climb the steep stairs, to go down and then you are there. Swimming and snorkeling are allowed. On this part of this guarded lake the magic reigns. The jellyfish are just awesome!
Prior to this lake you need to get on the boat. The jellyfish are soft and cuddly as little kittens. This is a rare opportunity that you do not get to see or experience in any other place in the world and only in Palau. Everything is absolutely safe as these jellyfish have lost their ability to cause irritation. Be sure to visit this tour or better align it with the fantastic diving activity offered by the professional divers there. The so called Medusa jellyfish here is not dangerous - you can safely touch them and will not burn or sting. In different parts of the lake the density clusters of jellyfish are different. Be sure to take a mask with snorkel and fins, it is desirable to be able to dive to see the interesting views from the bottom to the light water. These jellyfishes live in huge colonies within the lake and mostly endemic to the waters of Palau.
Rock Islands (Southern Lagoon)
This is a group of uninhabited islands that is wonderful to look at from the boat or on a helicopter aerial viewing tour. It is located on the way to the Peleliu from Koror Island within the central city of Koror Palau. You can marvel at the cluster of islands while seeing the images of green floating dots, white clouds of the blue sky, and the blue of the sea.
The helicopter viewing flight provides a more stunning vista of the Rock Islands of the Southern Lagoon from above. It is a beautiful place where no words can adequately describe. There are dozens of small islands, some very small and all very close to each other creating pure green channels and crystal clear waters. The attraction is breathtakingly beautiful. The idyllic visuals show the rock formations and the channels between them, the sea has shades of turquoise color, and the small wild beaches are visible from the boat. This unique attraction is one of the most incredible places in the world. Anywhere on its side offers a postcard image impression that most aerial photographers find hard to resist.
Snorkeling and diving spots are the allowed water activities in these islands. This place must be included on your travel itinerary when you plan a trip to Palau. If you have enough time and financially capable, do the helicopter sightseeing flight. It gives another view of the islands and creates more impressive pictures.
The Milky Way is a unique landscape between the Rocky Islands. It is an emerald green lagoon with sulfur containing sand slurry. Also called the Tomb of Coral, you can snorkel around to see tropical fishes and abundant coral reefs. It is oftentimes dubbed as the “Spa in the natural environment”. The white clay at the bottom of the shallow lagoon can be applied as a mask for the face and the body that is said to make the skin becomes delicate like a baby. It must be true as most of the locals here are as white as the Scandinavians.
From here it is a common sight to see a boat loaded with people all covered in the white mud of the lagoon. It is a fun and worthwhile activity that you can enjoy with the whole family. It is also called as the Milk Lake, but it is not actually a lake but a large number of small islands in the sea. Because the color of the water is like milk, it became more popularly known as such. It was caused by the volcanic eruptions in ancient times that made the sand at the bottom of the lake turn into a thick layer of white ash.
The tour of the largest island along the Koror (Babelthuap) region is not complete without a trip to the largest waterfall in Micronesia- the Ngardmau Falls. It can be accessed either by mini-car or on foot where you need to go half an hour through the jungle and climb the rocks across the river at the end of the way and this waterfall will appear and welcome you with its mists and natural beauty. It is incredibly impressive and also the lake within its premises that provides a perfect cooling ability. For couples, it is interesting to see that there are love benches available at the bottom of the waterfall and there are ways to build love castles.
There is also a small monorail to cut your hiking time by half an hour. Among the many attractions in Palau, this one is the most superior. It is exceptionally appropriate even for the individuals who are unfit (Via the little monorail). The climb to and from the falls usually takes about 30 minutes but the sceneries will not bore you as you enjoy the ride. The knowledge of remaining under the falls is incredible and you can get a great pounding from the water in its coldest but tolerable temperature. When you leave this place you get the feeling of being exceptionally invigorated.
Mandarin Fish Lake
In this quiet bay, the mandarin fish can be found in its fairly shallow water. However, this is not as easy as these little guys are very nimble and usually hide among the corals. Mandarins are small colored fish the size of a finger and can survive on reefs where the water is shallow. With the mask, snorkel consider difficult, if you can not dive well. Better to do it in the tank. The Mandarin Fish Lake is a great place to enjoy kayaking, snorkeling and to have a look or to experience the challenging way of searching for these multicolored Mandarin fishes.
But beware of the living waters for they can burn there. Immerse yourself in the allure of the lake in order to see the elusive rare type of goldfish. It is all worthwhile after a few minutes of persistent pursuit. This shy species of fish will come out among the rocks. This fish is very small and really cute and there is a lot of fun in the challenge of finding it. There are other equally beautiful fish you can find on this lake but finding this elusive one will enrich your diving and snorkeling experience much further.
Belau National Museum
Between a dip and another, it is worth visiting the Belau National Museum. Everything is very simple and exposure just comes down to the old photos that tell the numerous invasions of this wonderful island. The museum offers an overview of the history of Palau that is mainly about the colonial period under the Spanish, German, Japanese, and American occupation. The self service museum provides an insightful way of educating every guest about how Palau was discovered and once ruled by Spain in 1886. It carefully narrates how it was sold to Germany in 1899 and passed into Japanese hands during World War I; it also shows how after 1947 it was governed by the United States of America on behalf of the United Nations, and how it finally became an independent republic in 1994.
The number of exhibit is limited to photos and recordings that were made either by missionaries or other foreigners but it is enough for a good half hour tour. Upstairs, there is a funded by the German Foreign Office exhibition on the German colonial period in Palau. It is well presented and has accurate dates and timeline information about hoe the German people found and colonized this small group of islands in the Micronesia. The gift shop of the museum still sell 15-year-old guide books at the original price on the shelves. A donation is required to maintain its presence in the island but it is totally not compulsory. The museum is not very big but for the historian of the island it is worth keeping reminding everyone about hoe rich their culture is. The coffee shop offers delicious iced coffee at reasonable prices.
The Etpison Museum may be small but is worth seeing when in the island of Palau. The museum is just off the main road in Koror shortly after the turnoff to the pier of the ferries. There is an admission fee and the show provides a much better perspective than the National Museum. It offers a nice overview of the traditions and ways of life in Palau.
The museum also respectfully highlights what was also offered on their nearby neighboring Micronesian islands. The gift shop upstairs is over slightly oversized and actually offered nothing really original. Unfortunately, the museum is seldom visited because the majority of tourists in Palau come from Japan and Taiwan, which seem to be not too engrossed with visiting cultural museums but more on exploring its waters. It is worth the time and a visit can be done in just an hour.
The Palau Aquarium can be accessed on foot from Korror at approximately 2 km, but there is no sidewalk and the traffic is low. The aquarium is very informative from an international perspective and offers a few highlights that cannot be seen and admired when snorkeling. If you want the real deal, take a dip in the nearby waters and go see the marine animals presented here “up close”.
Observing the animals inside the aquarium is the best option to enjoy marine life in a relaxed manner. It is an enclosed coral reef center that was made with the support of Japan, but it is a great facility where you can learn so much about the other treasures that inhabit the sea of Palau.
By boat you can go from Koror to Dolphins Pacific. It is located in a natural, secluded bay where you have the opportunity to learn a lot about dolphins and have the rare chance of seeing them swim with you. The interesting tour covers the chance to touch and pet the dolphin. The course covers free diving lessons and photographs of you playing, feeding, or shaking hands with the dolphins on this well maintained facility. It is a fun and enjoyable activity that will surely delight the kids and adults too.
The Stone Monoliths is located in the north of Babeldaob Island. It is a strange stonework and there is a need to walk a little from the parking space. A visit here is necessary to feel the sense and the ancient feel of Palau.
The sculpture of the monolith is created up to the extent to which it can be seen and understood from a simple perspective. It has quite weathered already but it is another option to spend time apart from enjoying the visible beautiful sea.