Palau travel guide
The southwest part of Peleliu Island is covered in remnants from WWII. For contrary to what the U.S. thought, Peleliu Island was strongly defended by about 11,000 Japanese soldiers. The Japanese had spent an extensive time to dig out caves and prepare for the U.S. invasion. 15. September 1944 was the day it happen. The U.S. intelligence was misinformed about both the topography of the island and the strategy of the Japanese forces. What should have been a quick invasion, turn into more than two months bloody operation. The Japanese commander committed the ritual harakiri, when it became clear that they will be overran. 34 Japanese soldiers held out in the caves until 1947, and did not surrender until a Japanese admiral convinced them the war was over.
A well hidden U.S. Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) from WWII. They were used by the U.S. to transport men and cargo over the shallow lagoon, when the U.S. invaded Peleliu in 1944.
A monolith is a large single upright block of stone. Some of the ones at Badrulchau even have carved faces. As it often is with prehistoric things, not much is known about them. At least there is an information board explaining the few facts. The collection here at Badrulchau is by far Palau's biggest and best, so it's understandable that some calls it the "Easter Island of Micronesia".
Palau highest point is the summit of Mt. Ngerchelchuus (217 m). There is a turn off at the road, where a sign says Mt. Ngerchelchuus. From here it looks like an easy hike, but we never ventured up to the top, as the view was already good enough for us.
Beautiful Ngardmau Waterfall is probably the most famous on-land sight Palau has to offer. The waterfall is a tough 30-40 minutes hike and more than 500 steps from the entrance. You will pass some old railway track, which were used by the nearby bauxite mines (don't follow them too long, take the trail to the right). Then you reach the riverbed, which is dotted with natural pools. The waterfall is a short hike from here over boardwalks and a bridge. You will arrive at the bottom of the wide and tall waterfall (width 37m, height 30m), which apparently is the tallest in Micronesia. You can take a rough shower under falls or get behind the curtains of water.
This waterfall is not just less known than Ngardmau Waterfall further north, it's location is close to a secret. Google maps are wrong and most locals have only heard about the waterfall. So to get there: Park outside the construction camp. Follow the 4x4 track along the fence, which quickly turns into a jungle trail which descent. You can start to hear the waterfall. You will arrive at the top of the waterfall. Follow the rope across the river (you will get wet feet) and take the trail down to the bottom of the falls. Vola. A beautiful waterfall in a tranquil jungle setting.
The landing sites for the U.S. invasion of Peleliu were both White Beach to the north and Orange Beach to the south. Today, there is a memorial at Orange Beach. Else the beach is a very tranquil with no buildings or any other development in sight.
You will see Palau National Capitol long before you get there. A white dome perching over the lush jungle. As you arrive, you will be perplexed about its isolated, but truly stunning, location high on a ridge with views over a bay. It's easy to see, where they got the inspiration from (Washington DC), but as you take in the details, you find many quicky local designs. There seems to be no security and you’re freely to roam around the grounds and inside the main building. It’s one of the few places in Palau without an entrance fee.
At the south tip of Peleliu Island is this park. There are picnic tables and a memorial construction. The plate reads "In memory of all those who sacrificed their lives in the islands and seas of the West Pacific during World War II and in dedication to world peace". There are some blowholes in the cliff in front, which spray water up under the right condition.
A nice little private beach belonging to the Rip Tide bar next door. Like everything else in Palau, it costs to swim here, but the pretty view can be enjoyed for the price of a drink.