ISLAND PALAU – South Pacific Island

Beleuu er a Belau or the Republic of Palau is an island nation that very few people have heard about. It is a chain of about two hundred islands, located in the Western Pacific Ocean about 650 kms to the Southeast of Philippines. Only about eight of the existing two hundred islands are populated. It is a constitutional republic and Babeldoab or Babelthuap is the capital city, having a population of about 12,000 people. It became a capital from Oreror or Koror in 2006. Administratively, the nation is divided into 16 states, and has a bicameral legislature or two houses of parliament.

The nation has a high literacy rate of about 92% and the majority of the population is Roman Catholics, followed by Protestants. The people mostly are of the Palauan, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Carolinian or other Asian ethnicity. Babelthuap is the largest island and is very mountainous. Other important islands are Arakabesan, Malaka, Peleliu, Angaur to the South and Kayangel and Ngeruangel islands to the Northeast. The other islands are mostly coral islands encircled with barrier reefs. This island country is truly virgin and unspoilt.Palau divingThese islands were said to have been discovered by the Spanish navigator Villalobos in 1543, and remained under the control of the Spanish for about three hundred years until the Spanish gave it up to the Germans in 1899 Theses islands were known by the Spaniards as the Los Palos. During the First World War, Palau came under the occupation of the Japanese. In 1920, the Japanese got a mandate from the League of Nations over Palau. During that time Palau became an important naval base of Japan. The U.S. seized the control of Palau during the Second World War. It became a U.N. Trusteeship in 1947 and was administered by the U.S. Palau finally became a sovereign nation in 1994 and joined the U.N. as its 185th member state. English and Palauan are the official languages.

The most important occupation of the people of this nation is commercial fishing, shell fishing and subsistence farming and tourism. Scuba diving, kayaking are the various water sports offered to the tourists. Other than water sports, Helicopter tours, Air tours and Rock Island Tours are other tourist highlights. Owing to the fact that a host of ocean currents meet near the archipelago of Palau, it is rich in a wide variety of marine life. Ngercheu Island has the Carp Island Resort, which, is home to frigate birds and white Egrets are a bird watcher’s paradise and can be approached from Koror.

There are quite a few hotels in Palau and resorts in Palau where you can enjoy your stay. They cater to all types of travelers, the most selective ones and the budget ones too. There are many motels and guest houses too. In addition to that there are a variety of restaurants, catering to a range of taste buds like, American, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and local.

Thus Palau islands are a small hidden holiday destination inviting you with its beauty and varied water sports. Be amidst nature and come back all rejuvenated in body mind and soul.

Leave a Reply