According to the fairy tale, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In fact, there are beautiful pacific islands around which sunny bunnies shimmer in the crystal clear water, and the bottom is covered with shipwrecks and a web of coral reefs.
Far from Europe, between the Philippines and Indonesia, there is an island nation called Palau. The archipelago includes a total of over 250 islets and islands formed from volcanic rocks and coral reefs. It is famous all over the world for its wonderful diving sites - lovers of observing the fauna and flora of the Pacific Ocean come here from all continents.
Only 8 islands are permanently inhabited. The main language of the population is Palau, and the official one is English. The international airport is located on the largest island of the archipelago, Babeldaob , which is connected with Koror (the second largest) by a bridge. Unlike the other islets, it is mountainous - this is where Mount Ngerchelchuus, the highest peak in Palau, is located.
Palau - a paradise for divers
Palau's fame as an ideal place for diving enthusiasts goes back to the times of Jacques Cousteau. The French traveler and explorer of the seas named the 300-meter Ngemelis fault as the best diving wall in the world. As you glide along it, you can observe fabulously colorful species of fish and other sea creatures, including reef sharks, non-sting jellyfish, and soft corals.
By the way, it is worth mentioning that all sharks (also known as man-eaters) in Palau are under protection. Illegal fishing has depleted their numbers, all because of their fins. Shark fin soup is a real delicacy for tourists from Asian countries, and the fin itself is considered an aphrodisiac. The fishermen mutilate the fish and release it back into the water, where they can no longer swim and die. The best way to fight poachers' greed is to stop learning about this specialty.
Underwater wonder number 1
The water around the archipelago is so crystal clear that you can lose the sense of depth - the visibility is up to 60 meters. No wonder that Palau boasts the number 1 underwater wonder title awarded by the CEDAM association, which brings together oceanologists and marine biologists.
Divers can also lose track of time here, swimming dozens of undersea tunnels connecting the ocean with inland lakes. At the bottom, gently wrapped in silt, there are seaplanes, warships and planes from the Second World War - a great treat for fans of wreck diving .
A popular dive site is one of the five lakes of Echerchar Island, the famous Jellyfish Lake . As the name suggests, there is a large population of jellyfish, between which you can swim like among golden flowers. Their daily mass migrations are a unique phenomenon observed in the lake. As the only one in the entire archipelago, it is accessible to tourists and you can dive in it (without scuba diving). Apart from jellyfish, rosary crocodiles also live there, but they are not considered dangerous to swimmers.
Blissful laziness in paradise
A person visiting Palau will quickly find out that time flows much slower on the islands. The inhabitants of the archipelago have long discovered that it is worth investing in tourism, because a satisfied tourist equals a customer who will come back and leave money again, which does not change the fact that nobody is in a hurry here. An employee supervising a given attraction, who is asleep instead of working, is not a rare sight. You can get used to it, which will allow tourists from the busy world of skyscrapers and traffic jams to have a good rest.
The islets of Palau resemble gold coins scattered across the sea. There is a reason why the motto of this country is "Rainbow's End".
Enjoyed reading this article? Share it!