World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of countries
Map of South East Asia

Palau Travelling Guide
Palau Travelling Guide

General background: After three decades as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific under US administration, this westernmost cluster of the Caroline Islands opted for independence in 1978 rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the US was approved in 1986, but not ratified until 1993. It entered into force the following year when the islands gained independence.

Area comparative: Slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Climate: Wet season May to November; hot and humid.

Terrain: Varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs.

Population: 19,409 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Palauan (Micronesian with Malayan and Melanesian admixtures) 70%, Asian (mainly Filipinos, followed by Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese) 28%, white 2% (2000 est.).

Religions: Christian (Seventh-Day Adventists, Roman Catholics 49%, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Assembly of God, the Liebenzell Mission, and Latter-Day Saints), Modekngei religion (one-third of the population observes this religion which is indigenous to Palau).

Language: English and Palauan official in all states except Sonsoral (Sonsorolese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official).

Government type: Constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994.

Capital: Koror; note - a new capital is being built about 20 km northeast of Koror.

Legal system: Based on Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws.

Economic overview: The economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing. The government is the major employer of the work force, relying heavily on financial assistance from the US. Business and tourist arrivals numbered 50,000 in FY00/01. The population enjoys a per capita income twice that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia. 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.

Communication/Telephone system:
Not available

Places of interest:
If you're an avid scuba diver, you already know tropical Palau's the last word in underwater wonderlands.

Travel tips: Bring your binoculars as well as your beach towel - you're going to like what you see.