Palau is a beautiful nation of islands southwest of the Philippines in the North Pacific Ocean. I found it to be one of the nicest places I visited in the Pacific. The cities were well developed and clean, and I could see that the businesses in Koror were welcome to tourists. Tourism is Palau’s largest industry, and it is one of the wealthiest nations in the Pacific. I was able to spend some time in Jellyfish Lake, and the experience was fantastic.
When I visited Palau: Fall 2007
My Posts About Palau:
- First Impressions of Palau
- Palau 96940
- Big Rock Candy Island
- Micronesian Military
- Final Thoughts on Palau
- Amateur Traveler Podcast interview about Palau
- Travel photos of Palau
A Short History of Palau
Originally settled by migrants from Indonesia, Palau became a territory of Spain. In 1899, after the Spanish-American War, Palau was sold to Germany. Japan took control in 1914, and the American army took the islands in World War 2. The battle was costly, spanning over two months and killing over 12,000 people. Palau became part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands following the war, which was administered by the United States. When the Trust resolved , most of the districts formed a single federated Micronesian state. Palau (and the Marshall Islands) declined to join, and instead opted for independent status.
Travel Information for Palau
Currency: US Dollar – Major credit cards are excepted in Koror, and ATMs are plentiful.
Official Language(s): English is almost universal and is the working language of the country. Palauan, Tobi, Angaur, and Japanese or a combination of these languages are all official languages as well.
WiFi Availability: High – but slow
Airports – Palau International Airport (ROR)
Visa Requirements Citizens of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union do not need a passport for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries can get a 30 day visa upon arrival in Palau. Visit the Embassy of Palau’s Travel Page (note: This page looks like it has not been updated for 4 years. Contrary to the embassy’s information, US travelers must have a passport that has been valid for at least 6 months.)
Driving: Palau drives on the right side of the road like the Americas and Europe, however most of the cars are made in Japan for the left hand side of the road. This means that the driver in most vehicles is closer to the curb, not the median of the road.
International Driver’s License Accepted? Yes. May drive with a US Driver’s License. National speed limit is 25 mph.
Crime: Relatively low. No current travel warnings.
Electrical Adapters: None needed if traveling from North or South America. Asian and European visitors will need the grounded plug adapter WA-5 and the ungrounded plug adapter #3. Voltage is 120V.
Palau Trivia: Palau is treated as a US domestic destination for the purposes of postal delivery, so you can put a US postage stamp on a postcard and it will be delivered for the domestic rate – with a Palau postmark.
How To Travel to Palau:
Continental Airlines flies out of their Pacific hub in Guam to Palau International Airport (ROR). There are many US flights to Guam (both direct and via Honolulu, Tokyo and Manila)
Far Eastern Air Transport flies from Taipei to Palau several times a week.
Surangel’s Travel Agency is described as the largest travel agency in Palau.
- Honolulu 4,500 miles (7,242 km)
- Guam 805 miles (1,295 km)
- California 7,000 miles (11,265 km)
- Australia 2,500 miles (4,023 km)
- Japan 2,500 miles (4,023 km)
- Philippines 550 miles (885 km)
- Papua New Guinea 410 miles (659 km)
Information on Diving in Palau:
- West Plaza Hotels
- Palau Pacific Resort
- Rose Garden Resort
- Carp Island Resort
- The Carolines Resort
- Cliffside Hotel
- Green Bay Hotel
- Waterfront Villa