« Palau - Three Days Itinerary

Day 1 – Scenic Flight, Koror

It was late evening (day before) when I arrived at Airai International airport (ROR). Located around 14km north of main city of Koror, Airai international airport (ROR) does not have any public transport. The only option is to take a taxi. Many taxis are available at the airport or you can have one arranged from your hotel. The standard rate at the time of our visit was $25. It takes about 20 minutes from airport to Koror city center.

Palau hotel is located right in the center of the town and accessible to every sight-to-see in Koror. This is what we call ‘Day 0’.

Scenic Flight

I had pre-arranged the scenic flight over the islands of Palau on our day 1. This was the highlight of the day! The scenic flight over Rock Islands takes you on board a small plane taking off from the only airport in the country.

Operated by Smile Air, the main reason I chose this operator is because they have no minimum number of passengers to fly (while most other companies require a minimum of two passengers). There are three different courses available –

  • Course A – Koror area and Milky Way. This is 25 mins flight and costs $140 (at the time of writing)
  • Course B – Course A plus seventy islands and Blue Corner. This is 40 mins flight and costs $190 (at the time of writing)
  • Course C – Course B plus Pelelui Island. This is 55 mins and costs $260 (at the time of writing)

I reached out to their associate Lolita (lolita@smile-air.com) via email to pre-arrange this flight and I was told that I will be doing Course C for $200 (a discount of $60). The email communication was prompt, and it’s nice to note that the passenger side of the plane has no door, which is perfect for photography.

Some of the points you’ll see from above are the islands, Milky Way, German Channel, Jellyfish Lake, Peleliu Island, Paradise beach, the Friendship Bridge, and even Japanese shipwrecks from WWII.

Scenic Flight Tips

  • Make sure to select the first flight in morning at 7:30am. The skies are clear during that time for a country that gets a lot of rain!
  • Wear something casual. Although it’s a open-door flight, it was not cold at all (you’d fly at 1500-2000 feet). Carry a light jacket just in case.
  • Camera – for smartphones, make sure to have a wrist-band that attaches to your phone for safety. You will not feel the wind in the plane (unless you put your hand out to take pics, it’ll surely fly!).

I was picked up from my hotel at 7am and after a quick drive of 10 mins, and a waiver sign, we headed for the skies for the best experience ever!

Scenic Flight open door

Scenic flight over Palau

Scenic flight over Palau

Japanese shipwreck from WWI over Scenic flight over Palau

Palau Pacific Resort over Scenic flight


After getting back at to Koror at around 9:30, I walked around a bit visiting some of the sights in Koror.

First stop was the Belau National Museum which is the oldest continuously run museum in Micronesia. It costs $15 entrance fees and the exhibits include artefacts from all aspects of the local life of Palauan people, such as artworks, photography, sculptures etc.

In 1969 a traditional village meeting house known as a bai, was constructed in order to showcase and preserve traditional building styles and skills. However it burnt down in 1979 and was rebuilt in 1990s using traditional methods and is a key feature of the museum today. There are no nails used to build a Bai!

Pro-tip: Skip the museum and just visit the Bai which is free!

Belau National Museum
[Belau National Museum]

Belau National Museum
[Belau National Museum]

Bai at Belau National Museum
[Bai at Belau National Museum]

Bai at Belau National Museum
[Bai at Belau National Museum]

Inside the Bai at Belau National Museum
[Inside the Bai at Belau National Museum]

Second stop in Koror – Prisoner’s Gift Shop at Koror Jail. There are a few prisoners in Koror Jail who carve ornate “storyboards” that depict ancient Micronesian legends. These storyboards were often displayed within every local house as the prized center-piece. I walked over to Koror Police Station at the front of Koror Jail and ask to see the storyboards. You’ll then be accompanied by a police officer in the back room where the prisoner will bring all the souvenirs available, which considerably differ in both size and price. Perhaps one the most unique souvenir shop anywhere in the world!

The price range of these can be anything between $50-$3000 depending on the artwork and size.

Palau Prisoner's Souvenir storyboards

Palau Prisoner's Souvenir storyboards

Palau Prisoner's Souvenir storyboards

It was past 1pm so I stopped by The Taj Restaurant for delicious Indian lunch followed by some rest at the hotel and a walk by the T-Dock in the evening for sunset.

Sunset at T-Dock in Palau
[Sunset at T-Dock in Palau]

Met some fellow travelers and had dinner at Emaimelei Filipino restaurant before calling it a night!



Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate. Each cost is for one adult. International flights to and from Palau are NOT included in the costs.

What Cost Notes
Airport to hotel $25 One-way from ROR airport to hotel in Koror.
Scenic Flight $200 $200 with Smile Air (details above).
Scenic Flight tip $20 Tip for the pilot.
Lunch $22 At The Taj restaurant.
National Museum $15 Entrance fee.
Dinner on Day 1 $5 At Emaimelei Filipino restaurant.
Total Costs $262.00 Per person
Overall Costs $964.00 Per person


« PREVIOUS – Planning

Planning & Information

Tips, info & details of planning.

Day 1

Scenic Flight, Koror

Scenic flight over Palau and sights of Koror.

Day 2 – NEXT »

Rock Islands Tour

Day trip snorkeling around the Rock Islands.

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