For years and years I was fascinated by this place ever since I was
given a Palau travel map from
a coworker at the Tokyo construction company where I worked for nearly
Not only that, but this construction company has done a lot of work in
Palau, building roads, bridges, and even the Palau International Coral
Reef Center, all
by Japanese government grant-aid money.
a result, I had worked on a number of Palau project contract documents
thru the years, wondering about this mysterious place in the middle of
the Pacific about 2/3 of the way from Guam to the Philippines (see
Google map below).
My interest in Palau was piqued even more after one of the
firm's civil engineers came back from being assigned
there for a number of years, and loaned me his Palau DVD
the most magnificent underwater beauty I think I've ever seen. The
colors of the fish in that DVD were SO brilliant, and is one
reason this country is such a
I was laid off from this same construction company in April 2009, I had
a small window of free time before my university classes started back,
so I knew it was high time to check out this beautiful
Pacific island which had been on my "must see" Bucket List of travel
destinations for such a long time.
Swimming with the Dolphins
question, the highlight of this trip was for the first time in my life
I snagged the opportunity to swim with dolphins. I once read
article in an inflight magazine about how friendly these
animals are and that sometimes magical things happen to people
swim with them.
I recall one person who after swimming with dolphins was healed of a
serious illness and another case where a young girl became a
Since it was less than a week after losing my job, I was a little
reluctant to fork over the $130 fee, but in retrospect, there's no
question it was worth every penny to take advantage
of this seemingly once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus, I was holding
out hope something miraculous might happen to me, too.
the dolphins in Palau
I understand that the Dolphins
Pacific complex, which
offers the dolphin swimming experience, was built by the Sony
co-founder, Akio Morita. I found the Dolphins Pacific staff
exceptionally courteous and friendly, and many of them are either
Japanese or speak fluent Japanese to cater to the large number of
Japanese tourists who visit Palau.
Don't miss my pics and video of the dolphins in the Pics and Videos
There are many wonderful Palau hotels and resorts to
choose from, but being on a tight budget, I stayed at the
budget-priced Palau Hotel in Koror (Palau's former capital
largest town), just a
short drive from the Palau Airport. But I had a very
delightful lunch one day poolside at the luxury, 5-star Palau
Resort, right next to their gorgeous white sand beach. You can read
what other travelers have had to say about this beautiful hotel here.
scenic setting in a cove on Arakabesang Island and situated right in a
lush jungle, the Palau
Resort is arguably one of the most stunningly beautiful
hotel resorts in Palau, as you can see in my photo album below.
I have so much to tell you about the other exciting
things I did and saw in Palau, including the Jungle River Boat Cruise,
the Palau Aquarium at the coral reef
center, the Ngardmau Waterfalls (check
out my video below),
the Palau Capitol Building in
Melekeok, Mt. Ngerchelchuus (the highest point in Palau), and the
glass-bottom boat which departs from the Palau Royal Resort.
As a longtime resident of Japan, I was especially interested in the Belau National Museum because of
its extensive displays, photos, & other relics of the
30-year period between 1914 & 1944 when Palau was controlled by
But for now,
my pics. I have a feeling you're gonna immediately fall in love with
Palau the same as I did.
For a fairly inexpensive shirt-pocket digicame, my camera doesn't take
too bad of a video. Certainly not pro quality, but as a minimum you can
definitely catch the true essence of this exceptionally
beautiful Pacific island paradise called Palau.
I hope you'll have time to watch a few of these videos so you
can experience the magic and charm of Palau:
Video 1: Ngardmau Waterfalls
Video 2: Aquarium at Palau International Coral Reef Center
Video 3: Dolphins perform at the Dolphins Pacific complex
Video 4: Crocodile feeding time on the jungle river boat
Video 5: Glass-bottom boat Magical Meduu
(all 5 videos are in a playlist and will play continuously,
Videos of my
Palau playlist in new window here)
I didn't have a chance to swim in the famous Palau Jellyfish Lake this
time, but it'll be at the top of my list on my next trip.
I hope you'll please check back again soon to this Palau
page as I
it with more details on some of the other exciting things I
had the pleasure of doing in this exotic Pacific island paradise. I
promise I will. Scout's honor.
to Pacific Islands
Weather & Sky