Geographical and Geological Description
7° 30' North Latitude, 133° 30' East Longitude
Palau (sometimes spelled Belau or Pelew), officially the Republic of Palau (Palauan: Beluu er a Belau), is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. Geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands. The islands share maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The Palau Archipelago consists of over 200 islands that are generally uninhabited, like the Rock Islands. The nine inhabited are Koror, Babeldaob, Peleliu, Angaur, Kayangel, plus islands of Sonsorol, Puluana, Tobi and Helen's Reef.
Geologically varying terrain from the high, mountainous main island of Babeldaob to low, coral, limestone islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs. Mount Ngerchelchuus (242m) is Palau's highest point, located on the island of Babeldaob.
Palau is one of the world's smallest and youngest nations. The total land area is 459 sq km. But what it lacks in land, Palau makes up for in water. Its territorial waters span more than 600,000 sq km - an area about the size of France.
The flag of the Republic shall be a golden-yellow full moon slightly off-centered on a field of sky-blue.
'Belau rekid' (Our Palau) composed by Ymesei O. Ezekiel
21,032 (July 2012)
English and Palauan
Roman Catholic 41.6%, Protestant 23.3%, Modekngei 8.8%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.3%, Jehovah's Witnesses 0.9%, Mormon 0.6%, other 3.1%, unspecified or none 16.4%.
What time zone is Palau in?
Palau is in time zone UTC+9.
What is the time difference between Belgium and Palau?
- During our summer time it is 7 hours later in Palau.
- During our winter time it is 8 hours later in Palau.
Palau enjoys a pleasantly warm climate all year round with an annual mean temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (27 °C). Rainfall can occur throughout the year, and the annual average is 150 inches. The average relative humidity is 82%, and although rain falls more frequently between July and October, there is still much sunshine. Typhoons are rare as Palau is located outside the typhoon zone. In December 2012 Palau was hit by tropical cyclone Bopha and in November 2013 by Typhoon Haiyan. The passage of Haiyan claimed no fatalities but brought great destruction to infrastructure, especially in the more remote atolls.
What to Wear
Island style prevails. Cool, loose-fitting clothing is acceptable in most places. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended. Visitors are strongly advised to respect local customs by not wearing swimsuits, short-shorts, or other inappropriate clothing in town, villages or public places.
The economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. Almost 100,000 tourist arrivals were registered. Long-run prospects for the key tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of leading East Asian Countries, and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development. The population enjoys a per capita income roughly 50% higher than that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia. The government is the mayor employer of the work force.
Industries : tourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making
Agriculture : coconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes, fish
Natural resources : forests, minerals (gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Export : shell fish, tuna, copra, garments
Import : machinery and equipment, fuels, metals, food stuffs
Currency & Credit Cards
The official currency of the Republic is the U.S. Dollar.
Visa, JCB, Master Card and American Express cards are widely accepted at stores and visitor facilities. There are FDIC insured banks and major hotels with limited foreign currency exchange. In addition, Palau has money transfers such as Western Union or through Bank Institution.
The maximum amount of cash per withdrawal is US $ 400. The daily withdrawal limit is US $ 800.
Tipping is optional, but appreciated.
How to get to Palau?
From Belgium, you can travel with most major carriers to Manila (MNL, Philippines), then connect with the United Airlines' (for Air Micronesia) twice-weekly service to Koror (KOR, Palau). Flights (at the moment) only on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Alternative you can fly to Taipei (TPE, Taiwan) and then connect with Palau Airways (founded 2011) to Koror (KOR, Palau). At this moment it operates four times per week (From Taipei: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and from Koror: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday).
In addition, there are scheduled chartered airline services from Incheon Seoul (South Korea) and Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka (Japan) to Koror (Palau).
Immigration, Customs & Health Requirements
VISA and Passport Requirements
All visitors must have a valid passport not less than 6 months from date of expiration and proof of return arrangements.
VISAs are NOT required.
The European Union’s visa waiver agreement with Palau went into effect Dec. 8 2015. Visa-free travel applies to tourism, cultural visits, scientific activities, family visits and business. The visa waiver program allows tourists from countries under the European Union to stay in Palau for 90 days without the need to apply for a Palau travel visa. The same agreement allows Palauan citizens to travel to a number of countries in Europe visa-free if they intend to stay for no longer than 90 days for every six-month period.
The visa waiver program allows visa-free travel between Palau and Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Ireland and the United Kingdom aren’t covered by the visa-waiver program with Palau.
Please note that if you transits through Guam, a US visa is required. As a Belgian, you are exempted, but you have compulsory (preferably two weeks in advance) electronic clearance to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) at the following internet address: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/estaExterne. Without this prior formality (US$14, valid for two years), the airline will refuse to take you on board.
Citizens of United States of America, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Common Wealth of Northern Marianas Islands with valid passports are issued 1 year Visa upon arrival.
Departure Tax & "Green Fee"
At this moment a US$30.00 Protected Area Network "Green Fee" will be collected upon departure in addition to US$20.00 Departure Tax, totalling US$50.00 payable upon departure. The "Green Fee" will help support Palau's natural resource conservation efforts.
One bottle of liquor and up to 1 pack of cigarette containing up to twenty (20) cigarettes can be brought into Palau duty-free. No allowance for tobacco products nor for alcoholic beverages for travelers under the age of 21. Importation of controlled substances and weapons are strictly prohibited and any traveler in possession of any controlled substances will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law of the Republic of Palau.
Cholera and Yellow Fever immunizations are required for those arriving from infected areas.
Palau has two private medical clinics and a public hospital, Belau National Hospital, with a modern recompression chamber. Belau National Hospital contact number +680 488 2552/2553
Mostly North American sockets supply electricity at 120V with a frequency of 60Hz. A European 230V appliance requires a (travel) plug adaptor and a step-up transformer.
Palau is in Zone 8 of the U.S. Postal System, and U.S. domestic rates apply. International mail is slightly higher. The post office is located on the main road in Koror, across from the Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) office. Palau's stamps are favored by collectors worldwide.
Palau's zip code is 96940, except for the Palau National Capitol in Ngerulmud, Melekeok, which is 96939.
Phone, GSM Cellular, and Internet Services
The Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) offers nationwide GSM-900 mobile service, plus 3G mobile data coverage in Koror, Airai, Melekeok, and Peleliu (WCDMA-900).
For international roaming elect 55201 or PLW01, or use prepaid PalauCel SIM with Airtime Cards. Prepaid PalauCel SIM cards are sold at PNCC in Koror and Airai, and selected local vendors. Airtime cards are sold at more than 100 locations, and can be used for voice, text and 3G mobile data.
Use PNCC Prepaid Internet Cards to access more than 150 Wi-Fi Hotspots throughout Koror and nationwide. Visit the PNCC website for current WiFi Hotspot locations: www.palaunet.com
PALAU COUNTRY CODE & HOW TO CALL LONG DISTANCE
Call international long distance from landlines with PNCC Debusch prepaid phone cards (sold at more than 100 locations), or via prepaid PalauCel mobile service.
The international access code is 011. To place an international call:
To send international text via PalauCel mobile service (selected countries available):
PNCC International Operator (7am-12midnight daily): dial “0” (from a local landline)
Please visit PNCC website for additional information by clicking on the following link: www.palaunet.com
Internet country code = .pw
Eco-Paradise FM, a government-owned radio station on 87.9FM (89.1FM in Babeldaob), and three privately-owned stations on island, WWFM, KRFM and KDFM, offer variety of local Palauan and international music.
PNCC Digital TV, operated by Palau National Communications Corporation offers a wide variety of channels including CNN, Fox News, BBC News, ESPN, NHK, shown satellite direct 24 hours a day as well as popular children's programming like Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
There are three local newspapers: Island Times, Tia Belau and Palau Horizon. Pacific Daily News is delivered daily from Guam.
No regular military forces; Palau National Police.
Defense is the responsibility of the US; under a Compact of Free Association between Palau and the US, the US military is granted access to the islands for 50 years, but it has not stationed any military forces in Palau.