Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Once again, I've been terrible about keeping this blog up to date. Luckily, it is because I've been having such a great time rather than because I've been eaten by sharks etc. Palau is absolutely beautiful with lots of limestone rock islands. Palau is actually a collection of tons of small islands. Diving in Palau was amazing. I must have seen hundreds of sharks in my six days of diving.I saw loads of turtles too. One of the coolest things was a lake filled with stingless jellyfish. You can't dive there because the water is toxic below 40 feet, but snorkeling with the jellyfish was really incredible. There are millions of them in the lake! Naturally, the Asian tourist groups were taking great joy in throwing them at each other, even though you're not supposed to touch the jellyfish.

Since Palau played a big role in the Pacific battles in WWII, I got to visit a fair bit of the Japanese navy underwater. (USA! USA!... I tried not to chant that during dive briefings). My favorite story: An American submarine torpedoed a large Japanese ship halfway between Palau and the Philippines. The Japanese through some heroic efforts managed to get the ship hundreds of miles so that they were within sight of land in Palau. The US then sent in an air strike. The ship burned for three days on the surface before finally going down.

Among the other cool things I saw: snake eel, giant Napoleon wrasses, nudibranches, and a red leaf scorpion fish. My favorite fish were the giant tuna that would be freshly caught and turned into sashimi by the dive shop.

I absolutely loved Palau. It is on the short list of places I really want to visit again asap. Leaving was especially difficult because I had to go back to Manila, which is such a mess. Luckily I only had one night in Manila and then an early morning flight to Boracay. It is stunning here- absolutely postcard perfect with white sand beaches and turquoise water.

I've posted some pictures finally:




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