The Palau Islands (Republic of Palau, Beluu er a Belau) are a small island republic located in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are located just north of the equator, about 800 km east of the Philippines. The Republic of Palau is divided into 16 states, the capital is Ngerulmud in the state of Melekeok on the island of Babeldaob.
The Palau Islands are geographically part of the archipelago of the Caroline Islands – of which they form the western end – and are composed of about 250 islands of which 8 are the main islands: Babeldaob (the largest with 331 sq km), Peleliu (13 sq km ), Angaur (8 sq km), Koror, Kayangel, Sonsorol, Fanna and Tobi. The highest point in the nation is Mount Ngerchelchauus (242 meters) on the island of Babeldaob.
THE ROCK ISLANDS
The Rock Islands are a group of 200 uninhabited islands (47 sq km in total) – partly of coral origin and partly of limestone – which are part of the state of Koror. The Rock Islands are green rocks full of vegetation immersed in a cobalt blue sea with solitary beaches and crystal clear waters. Under the sea there are coral formations among the most beautiful and spectacular in the western Pacific Ocean. These islands for their beauty represent the major tourist attraction of the Palau islands.
Agriculture (coconut trees (copra), bananas, sugar cane, coffee are grown there) and fishing are important for the economy of the islands. The income produced by tourism is expanding thanks to the natural beauty of the Rock Islands. The islands can be reached thanks to an international airport located on the island of Babelthuap (Babeldaob). There are direct air links to neighboring Asian countries including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Taiwan.
- Area: 487 sqkm.
- Population: 20,800 (2007 data) (Palauans 70% (mixed Melanesians, Micronesians and Malay descent), Filipinos 15%, other Asian (Chinese, Taiwanese, Coreans e Vietnamese) 10%, other Micronesians 2,5%, Europeans 2%).
- State Capital: Ngerulmud/Melekeok (Babeldaob).
- Languages: Official languages are English and Palauan (also Japanese in Angaur) .
- Religion: Christian 78% (Catholic 50%, Protestant 21%, Seventh-Day Adventists 5%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1%, Mormons 1%), Modekngei 9%, other religion 8%.
- Currency: American Dollar (USD).
- Time: UTC +9 hours.
ACCOMMODATIONS, APARTMENTS, B&B AND HOTELS
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