A Travellerspoint blog

Palau's Ulong Channel is world famous drift dive

Grumpy grouper; I thought lodging was quite expensive in Palau and it's not even high season (December - April)

Grumpy grouper; I thought lodging was quite expensive in Palau and it's not even high season (December - April)

Giant field of lettuce coral; in 2006, Palau's capital moved from Koror (the largest city) to the town of Ngerulmud (population only 250!) on a neighboring island

Giant field of lettuce coral; in 2006, Palau's capital moved from Koror (the largest city) to the town of Ngerulmud (population only 250!) on a neighboring island

My favorite finless shark; in World War II, Palau was used by Japan to support its 1941 invasion of the Philippines, which succeeded in 1942

My favorite finless shark; in World War II, Palau was used by Japan to support its 1941 invasion of the Philippines, which succeeded in 1942

Juvenile golden trevallies serving as pilotfish for grey reef shark; the trevallies eat leftovers from the shark while also eating parasites off the shark

Juvenile golden trevallies serving as pilotfish for grey reef shark; the trevallies eat leftovers from the shark while also eating parasites off the shark

This bluespotted grouper resting on lettuce coral waiting for the annual spawning festivities to begin; Ulong Channel was where the first Western explorer became shipwrecked and discovered Palau in the process

This bluespotted grouper resting on lettuce coral waiting for the annual spawning festivities to begin; Ulong Channel was where the first Western explorer became shipwrecked and discovered Palau in the process

Spotted eagle ray and grey reef shark; grey reef sharks are often curious about divers when they first enter the water and may approach quite closely (yes they did!), though they lose interest on repeat dives

Spotted eagle ray and grey reef shark; grey reef sharks are often curious about divers when they first enter the water and may approach quite closely (yes they did!), though they lose interest on repeat dives

Titan triggerfish; during World War I, the Japanese Empire annexed the islands after seizing them from Germany in 1914

Titan triggerfish; during World War I, the Japanese Empire annexed the islands after seizing them from Germany in 1914

There weren't many sea fans, but those we saw were huge and very colorful (at this depth, unfortunately, most everything looks blue)

There weren't many sea fans, but those we saw were huge and very colorful (at this depth, unfortunately, most everything looks blue)

Yellow-mask angelfish; along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947

Yellow-mask angelfish; along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947

Truly giant clams!; Palau was the most expensive destination I visited on this trip with flights, hotels and activities all being quite costly

Truly giant clams!; Palau was the most expensive destination I visited on this trip with flights, hotels and activities all being quite costly

Large brain coral; I lucked out with perfect weather for my 8  days in Palau (the rainy season should be starting soon)

Large brain coral; I lucked out with perfect weather for my 8+ days in Palau (the rainy season should be starting soon)

Bicolor angelfish cuddling; during World War II, the United States captured Palau from Japan in 1944 after the costly Battle of Peleliu, when more than 2,000 Americans and 10,000 Japanese were killed

Bicolor angelfish cuddling; during World War II, the United States captured Palau from Japan in 1944 after the costly Battle of Peleliu, when more than 2,000 Americans and 10,000 Japanese were killed

The endangered pineapple sea cucumber; sea cucumbers contain saponins, which can help regulate cholesterol metabolism as well as supposedly lessen the development of obesity, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes

The endangered pineapple sea cucumber; sea cucumbers contain saponins, which can help regulate cholesterol metabolism as well as supposedly lessen the development of obesity, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes

Grumpy grouper; the country of Palau doesn't have a single stoplight but does have pretty awful roads which keeps drivers from going very fast

Grumpy grouper; the country of Palau doesn't have a single stoplight but does have pretty awful roads which keeps drivers from going very fast

Grey reef sharks feed mainly on bony fishes, with cephalopods such as squid and octopus being the second-most important food group, and crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters making up the remainder

Grey reef sharks feed mainly on bony fishes, with cephalopods such as squid and octopus being the second-most important food group, and crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters making up the remainder

I tend to pay more attention to the fish but some of the coral formations were quite unique and in an array of bright colors

I tend to pay more attention to the fish but some of the coral formations were quite unique and in an array of bright colors

Festive parrotfish; having voted against joining the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979, the islands gained full sovereignty from the US in 1994

Festive parrotfish; having voted against joining the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979, the islands gained full sovereignty from the US in 1994

Pink anemonefish; Palau's economy is based mainly on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product derived from foreign aid

Pink anemonefish; Palau's economy is based mainly on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product derived from foreign aid

Giant field of lettuce coral; Palau citizens do not require a visa to enter the United States and do not have a limit on the length of stay; they also don't need a work permit to work in the US

Giant field of lettuce coral; Palau citizens do not require a visa to enter the United States and do not have a limit on the length of stay; they also don't need a work permit to work in the US

Moorish idols; Palau is one of the least populated countries in the world with only Nauru, Tuvalu and the Vatican less populated

Moorish idols; Palau is one of the least populated countries in the world with only Nauru, Tuvalu and the Vatican less populated

Posted by VagabondCowboy 16:07

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