Sailing north from Baluan Island in Papua New Guinea to Japan, we made a two-day SCUBA diving and snorkeling stop at Koror, The Republic of Palau. Generally called “Palau”, the country is an archipelago of approximately 580 islands (some of which are quite small specks of rock on the Pacific Ocean), part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. Only eight of the islands are populated and the population of the entire country is around 18,000. Koror Island is home to the former capital, also called Koror, and is the islands’ commercial center. Babeldaob has the present capital, Ngerulmud, plus mountains and sandy beaches on its east coast. The islands are renowned for having some of the best (and some say, the best) SCUBA diving and snorkeling sites in the world. We can certainly affirm those accolades after two days and six sites.
“Politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services. Legislative power is concentrated in the bicameral Palau National Congress. Palau’s economy is based mainly on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product (GNP) derived from foreign aid. The country uses the United States dollar as its currency. The islands’ culture mixes Micronesian, Melanesian, Asian, and Western elements.” — Wikipedia