Before heading off on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday or embarking on island life, boost your local knowledge with these 22 facts about Palau!
- Palau is an archipelago of more than 250 islands in Oceania, located in the western Pacific Ocean.
- Its nearest neighbours are Northern Mariana Islands and Guam to the northeast, Federated States of Micronesia to the east, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to the south and Philippines to the west.
- To swim or sail around these stunning islands, head for the coordinates of 7.5000° N, 134.6167° E for your very own Palauan adventure!
- Many of the coral islands are low lying and surrounded by stunning barrier reefs, whilst the largest (and partly volcanic) island, Babelthuap, rises to a dizzying 713 feet and even boasts a rugged jungle!
- The total land area of Palau is 189 square miles (489 square kilometres)…
- …that’s slightly larger than Rutland (a county in East Midlands).
- Palau’s population was 21,265 in 2015…
- …that’s around half the population of Rutland!
- Residents here are known as Palauans!
- The capital town is Ngerulmud, in the state of Melekeok; Melekeok covers an area of 4.2 square miles (11 square kilometres) and had a population of 299 in 2012.
- Palauans enjoy a tropical climate with hot and humid weather, and a rainy season stretching from May to November. The average annual temperature is a delightful 27° C… lucky so and so’s!
- The Milky Way Lagoon on Koror Island is not only a majestic sight, but offers a natural spa treatment too! It is claimed that by applying the mud and silty water to your skin, you can appear up to 5 years younger!
- Not only is the Milky Way Lagoon great for your skin, it’s also one of Palau’s most famous snorkelling sites and is teaming with golden jellyfish which migrate across the lake each day!
- The official languages of Palau are English and Palauan, although Japanese is also spoken here along with 3 other local languages.
- United States Dollar is the official currency here.
- The average life span of a Palauan is is 73 years.
- Although it is a dependancy of America, Palau finally became independent in 1994 after being claimed by Spain, Germany, Japan and USA throughout its history!
- It is thought there have been settlements in Palau for around 3,000 years!
- Palau grows coconuts, copra (dried coconut kernels), tapioca and sweet potatoes; they also catch fish.
- Its industry consists of tourism, construction, craft items and garment making.
- This beautiful country exports tuna, shellfish, garments and copra.
- Do you know someone lucky enough to live in Palau? You can make cheap calls to Palau (when they’re not busy enjoying the delightful scenery!) through Cherry Call. You’ll need to use the international dialling code of 00680.
For all the latest Palauan news, head over to the Palau Online News website.