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13 Dec

First part of my Palau adventure

Back to reality, cold and routine, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It is nice to go on vacation, but at some point I  start to miss darling people in my life, my bed and the intimacy of my home.

But enough nostalgia. Today I want to tell you about the special places I have visited in my last vacation in Palau.

Until I found the offer, I didn’t even know where Palau is on the map and now I’m watching documentaries about the island.

I don’t know a cheap route to recommend you. You can track the apps in the last travel post and maybe a system error occurs. (Now there’s an Amsterdam-Palau offer for 450 euros) Otherwise I believe the flights are quite expensive.

I went on Bucharest-Amsterdam-Bangkok-Taipei-Palau. I had a longer stopover in Taipei, and exit the airport, I slept and I visited an Asian City for the first time.

I arrived in the evening and of course we wanted to discover the famous Night Market, where I was shocked. I’m not a fan of strange food, but what I saw there exceeds my imagination. Frog eggs, stinky tofu (which smelled awful), all sorts of strange foods. I think you have to be very open minded to try something like these. I left with one casserole of papaya, which I ate it at the hotel, because I lost my appetite.

The next day I started with Democracy Memorial Park and I think I could sit there all day, if time allowed me. Small groups of people were doing all sorts of activities, dance, self-defense, breathing exercises, each in his square without being bothered by those around them. If you followed my snaps you have seen some pictures, but I did not want to get too much into their privacy. The place had a sober vibe.

Photos by Rares Pulbere 

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The combination of this white building, flanked by 2 typical buildings seemed fascinating to me, and huge yard makes you feel so small …. It is a place that instantly relaxes you and you want to just sit and enjoy.

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In the remaining 3.4 hours, I wandered the streets to feel as much of the Asian vibe. Besides the perfectly landscaped parks and imposing buildings, there are those seemingly messy streets, but which makes sense to them. What amazed me is the multitude of small restaurants. You feel like everywhere there’s something cooking. I’m just sorry that I did not get to taste the biggest avocado I have ever seen.

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And with this feeling, to discover more, I left Taipei behind for the last flight of the 4th, to Koror, Palau.

We arrived in the evening and in the moment we’re off the plane the got hit by a heat wave just how I like it. At the same time it a wave of concern hit us too, when I learned that European SIM cards do not work in Palau. So Airplane Mood for two weeks. I’ve put my hope in Wi-Fi. We took a taxi along with two Polish guys, with whom we became friends after, and went to Palau Royal Resort, our hotel for the first few days.

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Palau Royal Resort is a small corner of paradise with a private beach, built artificially, because the beaches are not natural in Koror. Hotels, who can afford it built their own and there are very few with a beach. From a living room style entry with a custom river  with hundreds of fish, to spacious rooms with heated toilets and a spectacular view, everything looks gorgeous. This hotel is the top choice for island visitors and not just any visitors. Most are high-income Asians, Americans and very few, very few Europeans.

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But even if the distance is so big, it is worth it for at least once in life to get here. For lovers of scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaks it’s a must see !!!

But back to our experience at Palau Royal Resort. I waited anxiously to get to my wi-fi which is only  available in the restaurant, and for the rest I learned that you should purchase cards from different companies who do not work in certain locations and have a limited time (you can buy 2, 4 or 10 hours maximum) You don’t want to know how many cards I bought to communicate home and share some things with you in real time.

The wi-fi problem is all over the island. The only decent coffee shop in Koror where  you can find decent wi-fi, a good tea and coffee is called Coffee Berry.

In the first two days we tried to get over the time difference, to tan on our small piece of white sandf beach and to discover the city center. But because I worked until the last day, I could not relax at all the first few days. I had to  post, the internet was killing me and I was very anxious. The first night I was kneeling at 5 am glued to the restaurant door to catch some internet and send some urgent emails. 

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But slowly I calmed down and we managed to enjoy the scenery. I asked for coconuts from the palm trees in the backyard from those who were maintaining it, I did the first session of snorkelling in the cove in front of the hotel and started to organize our activities.

We had so much to see and didn’t  know in what order to see them. We arrived at Fish & Fins, one of the largest companies on the island that offers from snorkeling, kayaks, to the most extravagant experiences, sleeping on a huge ship, with chef and activities, scuba diving, off road and island helicopter flights. These people can organize your entire vacation, because of the many things they do.

I started it „easy” with a day of kayaks in Saygon Bay, a small part of Rock Island. To paddle  several hours without training is not easy, but I liked it very much. Our instructor, Douglas, took us to a cave, we passed under a rock to a super lake, where we saw a lot of fish, I saw parts of airplanes fallen in the Second World War and the list goes on.

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I had lunch with my feet in the water and it was the tastiest meal after how much effort we made. Every day we choose a trip from the existing menus, and the 2nd day we had it ready for the road some very funny and practical cases. In fact, at Fish & Fins everything is very organized, which at first surprised me, because locals are more zen, but when I learned that Tova, who handles with iron hands this place is native to Israel, I understood everything .

We have a say „The man sanctifies the place”

Darlings we continue our adventure in the next post. I have so much to say and do not know how to compress them in writing 🙈

See you. Kisses

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Inapoi la realitate, la frig si la rutina zilnica, ceea ce nu este neaparat un lucru rau. Este foarte frumos in vacanta, dar la un moment dat incepe sa mi se faca dor de oamenii dragi, de patul meu si intimitatea casei mele.

Dar gata cu nostalgia. Astazi vreau sa va povestesc despre locurile deosebite pe care le-am vizitat in ultima mea vacanta, in Palau.

Pana sa gasesc oferta nici nu stiam unde se afla pe harta, iar acum ma uit la documentare despre aceasta insula.

La biletele de avion nu stiu sa va recomand un traseu ieftin. Puteti urmari aplicatiile despre care povesteam in ultimul articol de travel si poate mai apare o eroare de sistem. (este acum o oferta Amsterdam-Palau 450 euro) Altfel cred ca biletele de avion sunt destul de scumpe.

Eu am mers pe ruta Bucuresti-Amsterdam-Bangkok-Taipei-Palau. In Taipei am avut o escala mai lunga, unde am si iesit din aeroport, am dormit si am vizitat pentru prima data un oras asiatic.

Am ajuns seara si bineinteles ca am vrut sa descoprim faimoasele Night Market-uri, unde am avut un soc. Nu sunt fan mancaruri ciudate, dar ce am vazut acolo depaseste imaginatia mea. Oua de broasca, stinky tofu (care mirosea ingrozitor), tot felul de mancaruri ciudate. Cred ca trebuie sa fii foarte deschis la minte, ca sa incerci asa ceva. Am plecat cu o singura caserola de papaya, pe care am mancat-o la hotel, pentru ca imi pierise pofta de mancare.

A doua zi am inceput cu Democracy Memorial Park si cred ca as fi putut sa stau acolo toata ziua, daca timpul imi permitea. Grupuri mici de oameni faceau tot felul de activitati, din cele mai diverse: dans, autoapare, exercitii de respiratie, fiecare in patratica lui fara sa fie deranjati de cei de langa ei. Daca m-ati urmarit pe snapchat ( @carmennegoita ) ati vazut cateva imagini, dar nu am vrut sa intru prea mult in intimitatea lor. Locul avea un aer destul de sobru.

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Combinatia dintre aceasta cladire alba, flancata de cele 2 cladiri tipice mi s-a parut fascinanta, iar curtea imensa te face sa te simti atat de mic…. Este un loc, care te linisteste instant si doar iti doresti sa stai si sa privesti.

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In cele 3,4 ore ramase, am ratacit pe strazi ca sa simt cat mai mult din vibe-ul asiatic. Pe langa parcurile perfect amenajate si cladirile impunatoare, sunt acele stradute aparent dezordonate, dar care face sens pentru ei. Ceea ce m-a uimit este multimea de restaurante, de mici dimensiuni. Ai senzatia ca peste tot se gateste. Ceea ce imi pare rau este ca nu am apucat sa gust cei mai mari avocado, pe care i-am vazut pana acum.

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Si cu senzatia aceasta, de a descoperi mai mult, am lasat in urma Taipeiul, pentru ultimul zbor din cele 4, catre Koror, Palau.

Am ajuns seara si in momentul in care am coborat ne-a lovit un val de caldura pe sufletul meu. In acelasi timp ne-a lovit si un val de ingrijorare, cand am aflat ca sim-urile europene nu functioneaza in Palau. Deci Airplane Mood 2 saptamani 😬. Mi-a mai ramas speranta in Wi-fi. Am luat un taxi,  impreuna cu 2 baieti polonezi, cu care ulterior ne-am si imprietenit si am plecat spre Palau Royal Resort, hotelul nostru pentru primele zile.

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Palau Royal Resort este un mic colt de rai, cu plaja privata, construita artificial, pentru ca in zona Koror nu sunt plaje naturale. Hotelurile, care isi permit au plaja construita si sunt foarte putine. De la intrarea in stil sufragerie, cu un rau construit pentru sutele de pesti, pe care ii au, pana la camerele spatioase, cu WC-uri incalzite si un view spectaculos, totul arata superb. Acest hotel se afla in topul preferintelor vizitatorilor de pe insula si nu orice fel de vizitatori. Majoritatea sunt asiatici cu venituri destul de mari, cativa americani si foarte, foarte putini europeni.

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Dar chiar daca distanta este atat de mare merita macar o data in viata sa ajungeti aici. Pentru iubitorii de scuba diving, snorkeling, kayac este un must see!!!

Dar sa revenim la experienta noastra de la Palau Royal Resort. Am asteptat cu nerabdare sa ajung la wi-fi-ul meu, care este doar in restaurant, iar in rest am aflat ca trebuie sa iti cumperi cartele, de la diferite companii, care nu functioneaza in anumite locatii si ai timp limitat (poti sa cumperi de 2, de 4 sau de 10 ore maxim) Nu vreti sa stiti cate cartele am cumparat ca sa pot sa comunic acasa si sa share-uiesc cu voi cateva lucruri in timp real.

Aceasta problema cu Wi-fi este in toata insula. Singura cafenea din Koror unde merge decent si gasiti un ceai si o cafea buna se numeste Coffe Berry.

In primele 2 zile am incercat sa ne revenim cu fusul orar, sa facem plaja pe bucatica noastra de nisip alb si sa descoperim centrul. Dar eu, pentru ca am muncit pana in ultima zi nu m-am putut relaxa deloc primele zile. Aveam de postat, netul ma dispera si nu aveam stare. In prima noapte la 5 dimineata stateam in genunchi lipita de usa, de la restaurant, ca sa prind putin net si sa trimit mailurile urgente.

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Dar incet, incet m-am calmat si am reusit sa ma bucur de peisaj. Am cerut nuci de cocos, de la cei care curatau palmierii din curtea hotelului, am facut prima sesiune de snorkeling in golfuletul din fata hotelului si am inceput sa ne organizam activitatile.

Aveam atatea de vazut si nu stiam in ce ordine sa le facem. Am ajuns la Fish&Fins, una din cele mai mari companii de pe insula, care iti ofera de la snorkeling, kayac, pana la cele mai extravagante experiente cu dormit pe un vas imens, cu bucatar si activitati de scuba diving, off road si survolat insula cu elicopterul. Oamenii astia pot sa iti organizeze intreaga vacanta, la cate lucruri fac.

Am luat-o „usor” cu o zi de kayac in Saygon Bay, o mica parte din Rock Island.  Sa vaslesti cateva ore bune fara antrenament nu este tocmai usor, dar mi-a placut foarte mult. Instructorul nostru, Douglas, ne-a dus intr-o pestera, am trecut pe sub o stanca pana la un lac superb, unde am vazut o multime de pesti, am vazut parti din avioanele cazute in cel de-al II-lea Razboi Mondial si lista poate continua.

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Am luat masa cu picioarele in apa si a fost cea mai gustoasa masa, dupa cat efort am depus.  In fiecare excursie ne alegeam din meniurile existente, si a 2 a zi le aveam gata, de drum in niste cutii foarte haioase si practice. De fapt, la Fish&Fins totul se intampla foarte organizat, ceea ce l-a inceput m-a surprins, pentru ca localnicii sunt mai zen, dar cand am aflat ca Tova, cea care se ocupa cu mana de fier de acest loc este originara din Israel am inteles tot.

Cum se zice: ” Omul sfinteste locul”

Dragilor continuarea aventurii noastre in urmatorul post. Am atatea sa va spun si nu stiu cum sa le comprim in scris🙈

See you. Kisses

Comments

comments

1 Comment
  • Simon Hugfeld

    Great Pictures! Palau is really awesome! I ve been in Palau in 2016 and had really a great time! The nature is amazing, diving is absolutely stunning and the people are friendly! We came from Amsterdam with stops in Bangkok and Taipeh! It really took a long time but really was worth it! Just the prices for hotels are quite expensive and you have to book early to get a good price for a decent room (http://palauvisitors.com/ would have helped me a lot find a good hotel). I’m definitely goind back to Palau soon!

    aprilie 16, 2017 at 11:42 PM Răspunde

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