Where is it?: Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Why do people go here?: One of the most beautiful Pacific islands, both above and below the water. Palau is home to 1500 different types of fish and numerous tropical forests. About 70 islands have been set aside as a nature reserve and are closed to the public, so don’t even think about trying to sneak a peek.
What are the main entry points?: Flights from Guam are most common, although you can snag ones from Taiwan as well. There are some boats, but most of them are organized tours.
Currency used: US dollar (USD)
Country Code: 680
Area codes for Major Cities: No city codes required
Religion: Christian (Roman Catholics 49%, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Assembly of God, the Liebenzell Mission, and Latter-Day Saints), Modekngei religion (one-third of the population observes this religion, which is indigenous to Palau)
Ethnic Breakdown: Palauan (Micronesian with Malayan and Melanesian admixtures) 70%, Asian (mainly Filipinos, followed by Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese) 28%, white 2%
Government: Democratic Presidential Republic
Languages: English and Palauan official in all states except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official)
Major Cities: Koror
Attractions: Diving, Forests, Nature
Tourism Office locations and links: Palau Visitors Authority; firstname.lastname@example.org //visit-palau.com/
Off-the Beaten Path: Malsol’s Tomb, Ngaremlengui State Cannon, Odalmelech Stone Faces
Health Issues: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas or from countries in any part of which yellow fever is endemic.
Tips for Visiting
When to go: Springtime (early in the year) is fun and festive. June through August can bring storms that will catch you by surprise.
Common Phrases: Alii=Hello; Ungil Tutau=Good morning; Ungil Chodechosong= Good afternoon; Ungil Kebesengei= Good evening; Ke ua ngerang?=How are you?; Sulang=Thanks
Specific Events/Holidays: Constitution Day, 9 July (1979)
Getting Around: There are shuttle buses that will get you to your hotel and private boat owners will sometimes give you a ride to their home island if you ask nicely and offer up some money.
Good to know: Palau is one of the smallest and youngest sovereign states in the world.
Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Palau is the Palau International Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the Palau travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.