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  1. The Ultimate Guide to Budget Travel in Palau | The Art of Backpacking & Adventures to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

    […] promised, we have now added our article about 8 Reasons to Visit Palau, so don’t miss […]

  2. Bjorn
    Bjorn at |

    Sadly, Jellyfish Lake nowadays is almost devoid of jellyfish although some tour operators still go there. The reason seems to be a change in the lake’s salinity. While some people blame “El Nino” and rising water temperatures others think it was the mass influx of tourists – and therefore sun cream, after shave, body lotion, anti-biotics, shampoo and conditioner etc. Read more about it here:
    https://palaudiveadventures.com/palau-jellyfish-lake/

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    1. Bjorn
      Bjorn at |

      How to visit Kayangel (as of Sept./Oct. 2017):

      Kayangel is a sparsely populated atoll some 25 miles north of Babeldaob and an ideal place to get away from the Koror tourist crowds + it also has some sights. As the state boat travels only every other weekend (from T-dock) visiting Kayangel needs some planning. Normally, the boat leaves Friday at 09:00 and returns Sunday 13:00 giving you two nights there. It costs $40 return plus $8 for a sightseeing permit. The trip is a scenic one travelling up the Babeldaob coast and then over the reef and open water to Kayangel. As it’s an open speed boat do as the locals do and bring a rain jacket + wrap your backpack in plastic. Phone (4882766) or visit (near the hospital) the Kayangel state office to confirm the boat schedule, make a reservation and get information on accommodation. There are a limited number of accommodation options on Kayangel including bungalows for $75 north of the dock. The cheapest rooms are rented out by Mr. Lazarus for $50 and if you are adventurous or single he also has a tent which you can pitch right by the beach for $20. You may use his sea kayak for free and don’t forget to check out his giant clam farm. The lagoon is full of turtles and undoubtedly you will see plenty while kayaking, snorkelling or simply walking on the beach. He also owns property on one of the uninhabited southern islands where you can camp or sleep in the shack. Moreover, he is also a ranger and can arrange for a visit to the Ngeruangel conservation area (atoll) seven miles north. I don’ know how much the boat trip costs but there is a $15 + $8 (snorkelling) visitor fee. If you would like to stay longer than three days it might be possible to return to Koror with the daily tour group – ask Mr. Lazarus.

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  3. Bjorn
    Bjorn at |

    How to visit Peleliu (as of Sept./Oct. 2017)

    Peleliu (some 25 miles south of Koror) with its various WW II relics shows the tourist a different side of Palau and a visit for some days is highly recommended. Check out the boat schedule (https://www.outofyourcomfortzone.net/all-the-schedules-and-prices-for-palaus-state-boat-between-koror-peleliu-and-angaur/) but call the state office (488-1817 or 345-2967) beforehand for any changes or additional sailings. There are two different boats and the ferry (on Tuesdays and Fridays) is regularly used to transport dangerous goods (typically fuel drums) when passengers might not be allowed.
    There are accommodation options directly at the ferry dock or nearby in the village. The small bungalow at MAML Divers is still available (they have bikes, too) and if you don’t find it on Airbnb contact Mr.Takashi (palaudivers488@gmail.com) directly. I paid $25 but that might depend on the season. I found the small supermarkets quite well stocked and the only reason to bring food from Koror is if you want to save money. The (somewhat hidden) shop by the dock is open ‘til late and sells cheap beer and bento boxes.
    The thing to do on Peleliu is to hire a bike (around $10) and explore the island. If you got the stamina ride your bike all the way around to the Ngermelt swimming hole on the eastern side. This tranquil place is ideal for lunch and a refreshing dip – take lots of drinking water. It’s also a good place to observe those wild chicken that you will see everywhere on the island. The Palau map from the Tourist Authority is a great way to get around but note that there are some sights that are not marked there:
    – just inland from the dock (some 100 metres along the back road) you will find the wreck of an Australian Beechcraft in pretty good condition (on your right)
    – you can find a Japanese bunker with cannon if you take the first dirt road on your right after the WW II museum down to the beach
    – another bunker is situated on the road going north from the Japanese power plant (towards Bloody Nose Ridge)
    – north of the turn-off to Bloody Nose Ridge you will find a rusting bull dozer and a pill box further on
    – there is a rusting amphibious personnel carrier on the road connecting the modern solar power plant with the two American tanks
    – along the short-cut between the southern dock and the turn-off for the WW II airplane graveyard you can find a DUKW in good condition (on your right).

    Finally, two personal recommendations:
    – Allow yourself lots of time for exploring Bloody Nose Ridge and follow all the turn-offs. There a numerous thing to see that can easily be missed if you are in a rush.
    – Consider walking the quiet back road (“crocodile road”) along the eastern side of Bloody Nose Ridge and hitch a ride back to town after your sightseeing. It’s very scenic (save the rubbish dump) and with a bit of luck you might see a cockatoo.

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    1. Bjorn
      Bjorn at |

      How to visit Angaur (as of Sept./Oct. 2017)

      Angaur has become much more accessible since the state boat makes two roundtrips per week. Typically, departures from Koror (Malakal) are Mondays and Fridays at 12:00 p.m.. The trips from Angaur start Sundays at 12 p.m. and Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.. Always confirm departure times with the state office (488-5280) or visit them near the harbour on Malakal. The tariff is $20 per leg + $1 per bag. If you are lucky the boat (which is an open speed boat) will travel straight through the Rock Islands using the German Channel. It is also fairly easy to combine a trip to Angaur with Peleliu if you can manage to arrange a drop-off/pick-up at Peleliu’s South Dock. Obviously, this is easiest done if visiting Angaur first and then negotiate with the boat captain. Going the other way, contact Mr. Leon (see below) if he can arrange a pick-up for you. There is a constant flow of cars between Peleliu’s main village and the dock and if you can’t get a ride a paid lift will cost you $5.
      There are few accommodation options on Angaur and I would recommend you contacted Mr. Leon (488-8299) before visiting the island. Among other places he has a lovely bungalow by the sea which he rents out for $40 (probably more during the high season). Besides, he also owns the shop and is very knowledgeable so don’t hesitate to ask him whatever you want to know about Angaur.
      Unfortunately, the tourist office’s map is somewhat unclear when it comes to the north western part of Angaur, but seriously, it’s so small you can’t really get lost. The map shown further up on this site is more accurate. One thing you will notice if you come from Peleliu is the scarcity of wild chicken which are ubiquitous there. And wandering along Angaur’s roads you will soon find out the reason why – a rather healthy (or should I say unhealthy) population of monitor lizards, some of them quite big. Another species you will see aplenty are Angaur’s famous monkeys – save the immediate surroundings of Angaur town (where they are hunted) you will undoubtedly encounter lots of them.
      As for the sights: there isn’t an awful lot left from WWII (save the airplane graveyard) but the remains from the colonial era’s phosphate mines are quite intriguing. You will undoubtedly notice the locos (and tanks) dumped at the harbour entrance but the other stuff is a bit harder to find. Walk slowly north from the harbour and take a sharp look out towards your right. Soon you will see one of the overgrown pylons of the former Phosphate conveyor belt. Walking further (east) into the jungle you will come to the massive ruins of the Japanese Phosphate processing plant (bringing a machete will help). Especially the huge drying cylinders are truly impressive and I found exploring the place highly interesting. If you want to know how all this looked during its day, visit the school near the runway and ask nicely to be shown the picture gallery in the school’s library. Other places worth seeing are the airplane graveyard, the abandoned lighthouse, the north western cape and the blow holes nearby.
      One thing you should definitely bring to Angaur is a flashlight to walk the unlit streets during the evening.

      Reply
  4. Bjorn
    Bjorn at |

    Hi Nikki,
    the museum is the structure marked “Japanese War Ruins” on the map and the beach I mentioned is “White Beach”. As shown on the map, it’s possible to visit White Beach and then return to the main road via another track further north. There is some debris on the beach but it’s very hard to recognize what it might have been or if it’s from WWII in the first place.
    May I add two points to your main post:
    1. In my humble opinion the cannon does indeed point towards the eastern beaches where the American invasion took place (see Bloody Beach further south).
    2. There were no fighter jets (or jets at all) in the Pacific war theatre.

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  5. mia.park
    mia.park at |

    these posts are just amazing, thanks so much for them! very helpful and encouraging. we’re in palau from dec 9-25, 2018 and we’ll be sure to read over everything here. so grateful.

    Reply

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