Last day in Palau was a drive around the main island of Babeldoab and see all the sights it has to offer. Note that Palau does not have any public transport so your options are to either hire a car with a tour company, or rent a car which is much cheaper.
I rented a car with IR Rentals for $32 a day and after breakfast at the hotel, it was a drive-on-the-island kinda day!
| Rental Cars in Palau
Individual car owners in Palau offer their cars for rental, along with some companies. You can find some of the major retailers like Hertz, Enterprise and Budget at the airport, but they are expensive compared to the local companies. Check with your hotel for local contacts and you can get a rental car easily.
Maki Rental Car company offers cars from $45 to $150 a day depending on the size and type of car. Contact Minda Roa on phone or whatsapp at +6807784040 for competitive prices. (I do not make any money or commission from this, but just sharing the contact).
IR Rentals, located across the street from Palau Hotel, offers an economy car (auto transmission) starting $32 a day. All you need to do is walk up to their office and ask for one. Note that their cars get rented out fast, so book at least a day or two in advance.
First stop – Babeldaob’s most impressive WWII site, Kaigun Sho is a bombed-out shell building, used as a communication center by the Japanese during WWII. The façade is partially scarred by bullet holes. A Japanese tank and a few anti-aircraft guns lie next to the building. It costs $25 entrance fees but there is no office to pay for that. The site is visible from the road, has no gates and can be visited easily.
[Kaigun Sho, Palau]
Next stop – Airai Bai is the oldest bai (men’s meeting house) and is over 100 years old, 21m long and 6m wide, with a steeply pitched roof reaching a height of 12m. It was constructed using local materials of wood and thatch on a stone platform. A number of legendary scenes and symbolic motifs are painted inside and outside. Look for the figure of delerrok, the mythical money bird, found at all four corners of the bai; it was thought to bring good fortune to the village.
[Airai Bai, Palau]
[Inside Airai Bai, Palau]
Next stop – Ngerulmud (administrative capital of Palau) and Palau National Congress.
[Palau National Capital is the palace of the Palau National Congress and is located in Ngerulmud, the administrative capital of the country.]
Next stop – Across from the Palau National Capitol building is a sign marked for the Korean WWII War Memorial. Caution: The road leading to the memorial is not paved and can be hazardous to non-4×4 wheel vehicle.
[Korean WWII War Memorial, Palau]
Next stop – Located at the northern end of the Babeldoab island is the Japanese Lighthouse that is bombarded and lies in ruins. It costs $5 entrance fees and you can skip this because there’s nothing to see really!
[Japanese Lighthouse, Palau]
Driving south from the Japanese lighthouse was my last stop of the day – Ngardmau Waterfalls or Medalaeichad Waterfalls, that flows from Palau’s tallest peak, 217 mter-high Mt Ngerchelchuus. It’s the tallest waterfall in Micronesia. It can be accessed on foot – a tough but rewarding 20- to 30-minute hike along a jungle path. A dip in the cool pools at the base of the falls is not to be missed. It costs $10 entrance fees payable at the parking lot.
[Starting of Ngardmau Waterfall hike]
[Look for the waterfalls signs]
[Part of the hike is through the riverbed.]
[Downhill hike on way to the falls, but it’s a steep hike on way back!]
[Tiny bridge as a last leg of the Ngardmau waterfalls hike]
[Ngardmau waterfalls, Palau]
It was almost 4pm after the hike, so I drove back to Koro for a relaxed evening. Went to Yano’s market for local and cheap dining options, and headed to the airport later that night for my flight out of Palau.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate. Each cost is for one adult.
|Ngardmau Waterfalls||$10||Entrance fees.|
|Japanese Lighthouse||$5||Entrance fees.|
|Gas||$18||For rental car.|
|Dinner||$5||At Yano’s market.|
|Total Costs||$42.00||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$4,341.00||Per person|
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Day trip snorkeling around the Rock Islands.
Sights of the main island.
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List of all the expenses.