June 30, 2016 | Flight distance: 1482 nm | Hours in the air: 3.10
After some difficulties with airspace control we made it to Palau before lunch. We had a fantastic view over the island during our approach. Everything here looks neat and it seems that we have finally reached a destination that does look like “the” South Pacific. In any case, perfect beaches, a great hotel and a UNESCO world heritage site made up for a fantastic day. From spotting turtles and sharks to real fresh sashimi we had a wonderful day here in what could go through as real paradise.
Palau is an island country in the Western Pacific Ocean with a population of around 21’000 spread over 250 islands. Some of them are perfectly cone shaped and both appeared in many movies and stand as a symbol of a perfect exotic holiday setting.
Humans arrived from Indonesia around 4’500 years ago and Palau was a very self-sufficient group of islands for a long time. Even though Europeans arrived as early as 1543, it was not until 1783 when a story of a wrecked ship of the East India company made news in England. As elsewhere, diseases and the introduction of firearms brought the population down from over 40’000 to less than 4’000 in the 19th century. Palau went through the same changing powers like its neighbors starting with the end of the 19th century when Germans took control. When the mandate of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) after WWII ended Palauans in 1978 opted not to be part of the to be created Federated States of Micronesia and went its own way, becoming fully independent in 1994.