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Palau Travel


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 16 years.

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 funded by Japanese government grant-aid money.

As 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).


Beachside at the Palau Royal Resort
Beachside at the Palau Royal Resort


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 showing 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 diver's paradise.  

After 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


Without 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 an article in an inflight magazine about how friendly these amazing animals are and that sometimes magical things happen to people who 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 piano prodigy.

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.  smiley


  Swimming with the dolphins in Palau
Swimming with 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 sections below.





Palau Pics


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 and 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 Pacific Resort, right next to their gorgeous white sand beach. You can read what other travelers have had to say about this beautiful hotel here.


Palau Pacific Resort
Beachside at the Palau Pacific Resort


With its scenic setting in a cove on Arakabesang Island and situated right in a lush jungle, the Palau Pacific 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 Magical Meduu 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 Japan. 

But for now, please enjoy my pics. I have a feeling you're gonna immediately fall in love with Palau the same as I did.



Pics of my Palau travel
(the entire Flickr set is here)


Palau Videos


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 cruise
Video 5:  Glass-bottom boat Magical Meduu 
(all 5 videos are in a playlist and will play continuously, non-stop)
            
Enjoy !



Videos of my Palau travel
 
(view entire Palau playlist in new window here)


Palau Google Map




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 Travel page as I update 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.   smiley

Cheers,
Gary



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Gary J. Wolff


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