Palau is Heaven on Earth

 

Palau is not just an Island in the Pacific, like most people think. Palau is actually made up by more than a hundres islands, divided by shallow, turquil and warm water. The Islands look like the are elevated from the water and draped in lush tropical greenery. It is a mystery to us why neither the British, the Russian or the Germans have reached this destination. It is a unhurried, relaxing place, rich in stunning natural beauty.

palaupadlingThe Japaneese are over respresented among the tourists here, so much of the tour brochures and restaurant menues were in Japanese only. The local language was also told to have some similarities to Japanese and some locals had learned to speak the language fully to work with tourism. We joined one of the Japanese tour companies for a day trip where we had an English speaking guide to ourselves, as the rest of the tourists were all Japanese.

On our daytrip we went snorkling in both the ocean and in a small lake called Jelly Fish Lake, which had almost just as much jellyfish in it as it had water. We could swim through huge clouds of jellyfish, without getting stung at all. It was only when I kissed one of them that I could feel a little numbness in my lips.

 

We also got to do some kayaking among the smaller beutiful Rock Islands, where some of the islands were connected, creating arches to swim through and small lagoons to relax in. Many of the islands had beautiful beaches as well. We stopped at a few and had a good lunch on one of them.

Palau is a bit more expensive that we have gotten used through, coming from China and Philippines. The tours require goverment permits that cost 100 dollars per person, and the cheapest accomodation (e.g the ok Lehns Motel where we stayed) start at 65USD per room per night. Exept from that we found Palau just perfect both underneath and over the water surface. It is by far the most beutiful destination that we have traveled to and our reccommendation would be to go there as soon as possible, before the charter tourists from Europe and the US find their way there.

jellyfish

Diving in Palau




Palau is known for having some of the Worlds best dive sites, both because of its unique underwater landscape and also because of the diverse and sprawling underwater life. My instructor and dive buddies who had dived in Palau plenty of times told me that I had been lucky with the dive sites chosen for the day, as the Blue Corner and Blue Hole were their favorite dive sites in Palau. In my log book I wrote the following about my three dives today:


Location: Blue Hole and Blue Corner (Max depth 23m)
Conditions: Calm Water and good visibility
Comments/observations: Amazing dropping down the hole and lighting up the Devils Nest to see disco clams at the bottom. We dove through a smaller hole in the wall, bringing us out to the Blue Corner where we saw lots of fish, sharks and turtles swim by as we finished our last hundred bar before returning to the surface. Definately a dive to remember!


Location: The other side of Blue Corner (Max depth 13m)
Conditions: Very strong current and good visibility

Comments/observations: Because there was a tidal wave coming up, bringing huge amounts of fish, our instructor convinced us to return to the Blue Corner, but just on the other side. The current was very strong so we hooked us onto the reef, inflated our BCDs so that we could fly as being on a kite while watching huge tuna fish and reef sharks hunt the big streams of fish that swam by together with a couple of turtles that swam past us, just a meter from my face. When the others returned to the surface I had more air left and swam with a turtle who did not mind me getting close. Amazing!


Location: Chandellier Cave (Max depth 6m)
Conditions: Calm Water and very bad visibility (very dark)

Comments/observations: The entrance of the cave was hidden at a depth at approximately five meters, where all the visibility dissapeared and it instantly turned pitch dark. With our flashlights we visited five chambers to see the salt rocks hanging from the ceiling. I learned that I find diving in underwater caves scary and that it is not my favorite. Afterwards we swam outside and saw a family of prawn fish/razorfish swim horizontally by sideways. Fascinating.

Snorkeling at Jellyfish Lake

Jellyfish lake is a unique place where you can go snorkeling with thousands of jellyfish. After kissing a few of them my lips got really numb, because the skin on the lips is so thin, but for the rest of the body you will not feel them sting at all.