Anyone here visited Palau?

I’m curious to know how you liked it.

I’ve visited Thailand and the Phillipines and noticed the following:

  • Food is much, much better in Thailand.
  • Beaches are a lot nicer in the Phils.

How about Palau? Anything stand out - i.e diving?

don’t know where it is but you can fly there for 99NT… cheaper than a lunchbox.

Palau is not really worth visiting unless you are a serious diver – because to be honest, there’s not a lot of other things to do. There are 3 hotels there (one is KMT-owned) and all are expensive.
The diving is good, and there are intersting things to see like downed WWII planes and sunken ships and some are so close to the surface that they can be explored with snorkelling gear only.
There’s one road with the country’s school, library, “ministries” etc on it that runs the length of the main island … and one “mall” I think which is like a standard NT$50 shop here.

Hey, you forgot the pot. (not that I would know anything about pot, of course)

Impossible! Where did you see that offer?

Its true. Someone posted it on here somewhere. A local travel agent is offering flights for NT$99 – but they’re attached to the rest of the hotel package, which is about NT$20,000 for 4 days.

Damn! I knew there had to be a catch. There goes my vacation.

That might be a good deal though, if it’s Palau Pacific Resort. I’ve heard it’s a nice hotel and I think there’s also a golf course. The diving is supposed to be the best in the world.

On my old boss’s first trip out there to meet customers, they had a special ceremony where they turn this endangered sea turtle over on its back and cook it over a fire, then they cut it open and everyone was served out of the shell. He said it was pretty freaky.

I guess that sums it up. The main reason is diving, and it is great for that - when we went, we dived with Sam’s Dives, who I can recommend. They took equally good care of me (qualified diver) and my wife (non-qualified), and there are loads of good easily accessible divesites.

Other things to do: snorkeling and kayaking (loads of little islands to explore) were both fun. Jellyfish lake is quite famous - the only (i think?) stingless jellyfish which you can snorkel through. And the dolphin sanctuary is supposed to be good too (you can swim/dive with them) - we didn’t go as it sounded slightly cheesy, but people we spoke to said it was really good.

Things not available: Nightlife and beaches in any large quantites.

I think flights there are cheap now, but it’ll still probably quite expensive on the island.

And, don’t forget the rare and magnificent sight of a genuine Taiwan Embassy – complete with flapping Taiwan flag and a real sign! :shock:
Actually it’s a tiny office above the island’s “mall” mentioned above, but its interesting in its own right I guess.

Sorry for being ignorant, but what is this place Palau that you people speak of? Is it a country? Why would their hotels be KMT owned? There’s a Taiwanese embassy there? Thanks for the clarification.

So, to sum it up:

  • Great diving
  • Good snorkelling
  • Not much else to do on the islands
  • Very little infastructure

How about food?
Bars/Clubs to drink?
Do Affordable Bungalow type accomodations exist?
How are the beaches (Do they have them?)

As well, is it a 6 hour flight from Taipei or a little less?

And yes, I heard there was a TECO/Embassy on Palau.

Anyone ever get their visitor visa there? How long did it take?

Visit visa takes 2 days. They have no idea how to deal with foreigners getting visit visas for Taiwan. If you apply for one, you’ll have to tell them what forms you need, and they may need your assistance filling the forms out. :smiley: Seriously, they will probably have to hunt for the forms for you, there is so little tourist traffic heading to Taiwan from there. Oh, that’s 2 days if the visa-stamping guy is in town, else you might have to wait a lot longer.

I heard they got nice “massage parlors” with peanuts massage.

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Palau:

Heard that too, and that a lot of the girls are Chinese, but don’t go for the girls! :unamused: There isn’t a lot of nightlife, and what nightlife there is is probably more for the married corporate guys who get drunk and sing karaoke and feel up the bar girls while the beer goggles are on. (Or maybe I’m confusing Palau with Pohnpei???)

There was a small hotel that our sales people used to request all the time. Don’t know how nice it is but I guess it was very reasonably priced… Sunrise Villa? Sunset Villa?

I’ve heard it can be a very romantic getaway too; they must have some info on the web.

There aren’t that many Taiwanese there. There are some Taiwanese businesses operating there, and there used to be a fair bit of tourist traffic out that way from Taiwan, but no Chinese “working girls” that I saw. By far the majority of girls working in bars and restaurants etc are from the Philippines.
With the nation’s population under 20,000, you know there isn’t going to be a rip-roaring nightlife.

Actually, Palau was part of the US Trust Territory before it was divided into four parts Saipan (aka Mariana Islands; US territory near Guam), Republic of Marshall Islands, and Federated States of Micronesia. The Republic of Palau is the fourth element and is near the Philippines. It is interesting to note that the three countries are in “free association” with the USA. That is literally the modern definition of a protecturate with self-determination to terminate it. It was copied from the New Zealand model of the Cook Islands and Nuie. It seems those Americans online don’t really know what is in their own Pacific backyard but then Palau just isn’t exactly on the maps of the Weather Channel. Funny thing is the appointed judges are Americans in these countries! Same of New Zealand or even British judges in Brunei. Just some interesting travel trivia for a boring place way off the beaten path.

I just spent 5 days in Palau and thought it was wonderful! Then again - I spent most of my time underwater…
I second the recommendation on Sam’s Tours. They are a VERY organized and reliable shop. The diving was all incredible - actually beyond incredible. The islands are beautiful and kayaking in and around them are a great treat. Snorkelling was also pretty good. Jellyfish lake was fun and creepy.
When I was there - there were A LOT of Taiwanese tourists! Not that you really see them unless you choose to spend your vacation on the bus with them. Most of the big travel agencies have full packages and the charter flights were FULL.
Food was ok - good sashimi and grilled/fried fish. Red Rooster beer (brewed there) tasted fabulous after a year and half of taiwan pijiu. great stout…
The only downside - it is PRICEY! didn’t see any cheap bungalows and food/merchandise/diving were all pretty expensive.
But I would go again to dive, to do some overnight kayaking trips and sailing. Hell - I would move there to do the above on a daily basis!

Hey Monkbucket,

How much did you pay for the flight and hotel? Is the food there any good? I mean are there any good restaurants. My wife is such a gourmet she would go crazy if she couldn’t eat well while there on vacation. Is the diving and kyaking cheap?