Palau - Where jellyfish nightmares come true

If someone decides to go on vacation only to Palau and back to Europe, it will be a long journey. But when combining it with some other countries which are on the "road" anyway, its simple. Came here from the Philippines and was in Palau for one week solely for diving.

November 26 - How to get to Palau?

Rock Islands. What Palau is famous for
Palau is the tropic island which is famous for its rocks with green stuff on it or also called rock islands. There are about 500 of them.

Its a country far away, as the next country is almost 1000 kilometers from Palau and which is either the Philippines or Indonesia. I came to Palau from the Philippines as there are no flights from Indonesia :).

So after three weeks in the Philippines, I had to take the only flight option to Palau from Manila at 11pm and arrived in Koror, the capital city, at 2am. From there another half hour to the Hotel in Koror Island.

Walking in Koror

Rock Island Cafe with best steaks
Tomorrow I will board the liveaboard "Tropic Dancer" for one week of diving and so had one day to get used to the climate on this tropical island and walk around all day long. As this country is heavily influenced by the USA, it all looks very Americanized, including the restaurants. Therefore a fantastic opportunity to munch real good steaks :).

Koror Photos:

Main Street in Koror

December 4 - One week of diving is over

Have been picked up a week ago, last Sunday afternoon from the Hotel on Koror Island and continued to get some more fellow divers along the way. The liveaboard 'Tropic Dancer' was starting from the Palau port down the road on Malakal island.

The whole group was about 14 divers, with guests from Singapore, France, Swiss and the biggest part of the group, Americans. Not just the nationality of many of them was the same, but also their occupation. There were about 6 of them who all were or have been helicopter pilots for the army or the police :).

On the boat was enough space, the large covered deck and the sun deck offered a place for much more people than we have been. The boat was nice and clean in general and was definitely among the best liveaboards I have been so far.

How is the diving in Palau?

Manta arrives
The visibility was almost always clear and far and only on few dives where it there was too much of plankton. But on these dives with lots of plankton, there was a big chance that mantas are nearby.

Many of these dives are unique and will be memorized for a long time.

For example, the drift dives in the so-called German Channel, which requires the diver to hook with a hook into the rocks to not drift off, as the current gets so strong.

Strong current. Drift dive with hook
Then it's just about waiting there in the current and watch the small and big fishes swimming by. It's like watching a movie in a cinema when 10 meters in front the action happens and I can comfortably relax in the current and watch the whole thing.

Also, many wrecks from WWII are still intact and there are helmets and bottles and lots of war stuff like cannons down there to find.

A lot of fish in the sea

Diving below fish
From the internet, I read that Palau is also famous for the big amount of fish and intact corals.

After some years of diving, I read that many times and basically every diving spot on the planet is advertising its spot with "big amounts of fish" and "intact corals". So I did not want to be disappointed when coming here and ignored it.

But I was surprised when I realized that here it was indeed like that. Ok, there is no big shark around, most of them are only small white tip reef sharks and after the first few they are not spectacular anymore. Barracudas and large groups of tuna was almost the daily program.

The jellyfish lake

Jellyfish lake
There is the scuba diving and then there is the snorkeling in the jellyfish lake. During the week on the liveaboard, we made an excursion to this lake. Its a lake between the rock islands and only accessible by boat. It looks like a normal lake but what's inside is a bit different, as it is FULL of jellyfish. The interesting thing is, that they don't sting, or in the worst case just in some very small degree, which is almost not noticeable for a human.

So we went snorkeling there with these ugly creatures. To watch the huge amount of these things was scary and diving right into the huge swarms was even more scary.

Photos of the week on the liveaboard

Lots of small fish and stuff

Plenty of "small" Sharks and barracudas

Japanese World war II memorial

During the week they offered several visits to memorials. On this island was the Japanese WWII memorial, where they fought against the US. The japanese headquarter is still there, but broken of course. There are several tanks and the graves of the fallen US soldiers.

Strong Current and tornadic waterspouts

Cave diving at the Chandelier Cave

No comments