03 April 2009 | Babeldaub
We did an island tour with Malahi from Sam's Tours today. Sam's likes you to sign up a day before doing dives or tours, mostly so that they can get your lunch order put in (I think Rock Island Café supplies all of the lunches). The tour was fantastic and I'm really glad we chose the organized route.
Many folks don't want to pay the $95 per person cruiser rate for the whole day tour. I think it was a bargain. The fee covers your $5 entrance fee to the waterfall park, the $5 fee for the stone statue park at million dollar point, lunch, and an air conditioned SUV with a driver/tour guide.
Our guide, Malahi, was fantastic. She is a native Palauan and really knew a lot about the culture and history of the places we visited. She was constantly giving us interesting information about the flora and fauna as well. Her commentary alone made the tour infinitely more meaningful.
We visited the only operable Bai (men's house where the chiefs meet) left in Palau, we saw all of the villages (also known as states) on Babledaub, we took in many beautiful vistas, saw the huge Japanese guns from WWII that guard the west pass, visited Japanese war memorials and an old 1930s Japanese cannery, we saw the gaudy new capital building, traveled the new round the island road and crossed the Japan Palau friendship bridge, we looked around the extensive mangrove forests, examined the ancient stone statues and pillars in the extreme north of the island, and we hiked deep into a valley to stand under a refreshing waterfall.
Our tour was scheduled to run from 8:30 to 4PM. We got back at 7PM. It was a great but tiring day. All slept well back aboard Swingin' on a Star.