Where’s that you ask? Micronesia is the answer but perhaps not so helpful.
Palau consists of over 300 islands surrounded by a fringing reef making it an ideal dive destination.
Flying to Palau involves flying north to Taiwan and then a 4 hour flight south again with a 7 hour layover in Taipei Airport. Having not enjoyed this experience last time round we included a 2 day stopover in Taipei itself. An incredibly clean and modern city with a lot of history.
We decided to explore the city on a hop on hop off bus (if we fell asleep we would eventually return to our starting location!). Our first stop was Taiwan’s National Palace Museum. With wars against Japan, a civil war and the Cultural Revolution over 700,000 artefacts spanning 8,000 years of Chinese history were brought to Taiwan from Mainland China.
We didn’t get to see them all but spent a couple of hours exploring the diverse displays.
After completing the bus tour it was definitely time to check in to our hotel, shower and have a well deserved nap. One of Taipei’s largest night markets was a 5 minute walk from the hotel and seemed like a great choice for dinner – so many options and so very tasty. The next day we explored more of the city, the temples and took a gondola ride up into the mountains.
& then it was time to head to Palau and start our diving adventures with Sam’s Dive Tours.
Our first dives were memorable with turtles, barracuda and sharks! So many sharks! 50 baby sharks!!! Other incredible dives including hanging off a reef hook on Blue Corner, exploring Chandelier Caves and diving a Japanese WWII Jake Seaplane.
One of the most unique experiences in Palau is snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake – only reopened in January after a drop in numbers this a weird but wonderful experience. Swimming across the lake you will see one or two jellyfish swim by and then all of a sudden you are surrounded!
Like all good things holidays must come to an end – though ours took a little longer than expected to wind up with a cyclone giving us an extra 24 hours at the Novotel Taipei with all you can eat buffets – we waddled back onto the plane and back to the real world.