Tag Archives: SAMs tours

Jellyfish Lake

Our fearless SAMs Tours Dive Guide, Kostas, provided us with excellent history and facts about Jelly Fish Lake. Of course we can’t keep this experience all to ourselves!

“Jellyfish Lake is located on Eli Malk island in the Republic of Palau. Twelve thousand years ago jellyfish became trapped in a natural basin on the island when the ocean receded. The jellyfish had no predators amongst them for thousands of years, this caused them to evolve into a new species without the stinging ability. Not having the stinging ability means that these jelly creatures are virtually harmless to humans”

We Bees had been waiting with much anticipation for Jellyfish lake, not knowing exactly what to expect, or how we’d react to the jelly creature experience.

After docking the boat, we hiked up one steep and jagged limestone side of Eli Malk island and back down the other side until we reached the lake. Whew! Not for the faint of heart folks, however completely worth it! At last, at our feet lay the partially saltwater, partially freshwater lake. Word to the wise, flip-flops really don’t cut it on this climb.

We all geared up with our snorkels, masks, fins, and gently plunged into the lake. What an incredible feeling to be swimming among oodles of stingless jellyfish. They were really unfazed by our presence, they continuously pulsate up and down, business as usual. We took pictures, swam with them, gently touched them, but still they just pulsated up and down unaffected.

We learned that scuba Diving is not allowed at the lake. Unfortunately, lethal levels of Hydrogen Sulfide lay about 4 meters below the surface of the lake. Too bad! What an even better experience that would be, right?

A HUGE thank you to our friend Chris who shared his photos from that day at Jelly Fish Lake. More photos from our camera to come…eventually…we swear! HA HA! making the complete transition to…drum roll please… complete MAC!

When in Palau…

Do as the Palauans, and that’s just what we did! While we stayed in Palau we tried out various local cuisines, you know, really immersed ourselves in the local culture. Here’s a list of suggestions if you ever find yourself with a rumble in your tummy in Palau.

Sea Passion Hotel (Breakfast): We realize that most Americans and foreigners might find the breakfast buffet quite strange. I say this, because the options range from things like rice, to fish sticks, to ham, pancakes, soup, to fresh fruit, cereal, waffles, tuna sandwiches, noodles, to made to order eggs. We have lived in Korea the past year or so and have grown very used to the non-breakfasts options when traveling in the wee morning hours. All and all it was perfect to us. We felt there’s no feeling of needing to over indulge in food before our boat rides to do tours, diving, or snorkeling.

Oh! Almost forgot! Make sure you order yourself a fresh fruit juice or shake to sip on while you take it easy by the hotel pool or private beach. We highly recommend the orange banana or pineapple shake.

Located on the main street in Koror
Phone: 680.488.0066
Website: www.palauseapassion.com

Sams Tours had a restaurant on location -Sam’s Bottom Time Bar & Grill: You can shower at Sam’s, super nice after a long dive or snorkel trip. We were told the sashimi is rather tasty.. The menu features hamburgers, burritos, ice cold Red Rooster, and outstanding iced tea!

Open 7 days a week from 7:30-21:00
Phone: 680.488.7267
Website: www.samstours.com

Kramer’s: Located within a short walking distance from the Sea Passion hotel. The restaurant is wonderful for late night meals. It is a comfy waterfront place. The menu features typical entrees, but also allows for some tasty twists, like having your fish blackened (we highly recommend this). Our group really enjoyed the freshness of the restaurant. Our favorite dishes hands-down were the the Sashlmi Poke (palauan sashimi) and the blackened mahi mahi fish wish a side of garlic mashed potatoes

Meal price range: $3-$8/Lunch, $7-$15/Dinner.
Phone: 680.488.8448

The Drop-Off: Also conveniently located within a very short walk from the Sea Passion Hotel. We really enjoyed the outdoor marine view. Our favorite dishes hands-down were the Poke (palauan sashimi), and the freshly caught grilled bluefin tuna steaks. We can’t even describe in words just how amazing these dishes were. You simply have to take our word for it on this one folks!

Open 7 days a week!
Phone: 680.488.1755/2009
Website: www.necomarine.com/facility.html

The Taj: MMMmm! (mouth watering while saying Taj). Located not to far from the Sea Passion hotel. A descent walk into town, or a nice short car ride, you decide. Incredible Indian cuisine. We loved the large outside deck eating area. The food, uhg the food! Where to start? Okay, appetizer, Fish Amritsari cubes of seasonal red snapper, batter fried. The Baingan Bharta Eggplant grilled over charcoal, mashed and cooked with fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and spices. A house specialty. The garlic, cheese, and stuffed nan, and Kulfi Indian ice cream enriched with nuts and flavored with rose water. All were all a huge hit in our books. Bonus! We were able to get picked up from the hotel and dropped off as well. Excellent service all around!

Located on the 2nd floor of the PDC building in downtown Koror.
Phone: 680.488.2227
Hours: Open 7 days a week. Lunch: 11:00-14:00 & Dinner: 17:00-22:00
Website: www.tajpalau.com

Elilai: We’d have to vote that Elilai was the most elegant restaurant in Palau that we had visited. The cuisine is “Asian-Mediterranean fusion”. The view is breathtaking! Make sure to call ahead and get reservations with a view. the teeny tiny Japanese waitresses in their floral sarongs are amazingly sweet. The food is quite good, however, we found the prices to be a bit high for the food itself. Our group ordered the mangrove crab spaghetti, the seafood salad, tuna sashimi, and the Milky Way Course menu. Last but certainly not least, for dessert we ordered the homemade coconut ice cream, a must! We did have one in the group that ordered the lemon tart with Italian meringue, pretty delish too.

Located on the 1st floor of 1732 Belvedere East Ngerkebesang Island, Koror
Phone: 680.488.8866
Hours: Open 7 days a week from 11:00-23:00
Website: www.elilaipalau.com

Little Italy: I’m sure from the name you guessed the cuisine was Italian. Great job! Your guess was absolutely correct. On a long downtown hike one night we stumbled upon this quaint little place. We were instantly greeted by the fresh oregano and basil growing outside on the restaurants covered patio dining area. The waitstaff were very helpful and very kind too.

Our group opted for the eggplant appetizer, a caprese salad, the smoked sausage pasta dish, and a 4 cheese spinach pasta. Plus, when you order, they bring you a nice little basket of assorted breads. We all really enjoyed the crusty rosemary bread!

Guess what? The menu also features excellent desserts too! Tiramisu, Pana cotta, and Limoncello with a raspberry drizzle.

Smacks lips, shouts out È squisito! (delicious in Italian).

Located on the main street in Koror and right across the street from the Palasia hotel.
Phone: 680.488.6637

We realize now there may be some readers suffering from food envy. We apologize. Truly you just need to make a trip across the globe from wherever you are located and try it all out!

Peleliu Island

Today we boarded the boat and headed South to the remote island of Peleliu. We wanted to make sure we took in more of the history and sights on land as much as we did in the water.

Here is some background of the islands history, Via SAMS Website…

“Peleliu Island was the scene of one of the Pacific’s bloodiest battles when U.S. Marines made an amphibious assault on the beaches of Peleliu in 1944 to liberate the island from Japanese forces. Peleliu was heavily fortified with massive concrete bunkers and over 300 man-made and reinforced natural caves used to shelter the Japanese forces during massive naval bombardments prior to the assault. Remnants of Japanese headquarters buildings, incredible cave systems, gun emplacements, tanks, planes and weapons can still be seen today. In 1985 the U.S. Department of Interior designated Peleliu as a National Historic Landmark.”

On the tour we got to see a Japanese Zero WWII fighter plane still there just untouched. A Zero fighter plane buried on the sandy beach, engine remains still sticking out. All sorts of metal artifacts ranging from bullets to land mines. You name it! Still there, still being unearthed on a weekly basis.

We were just so taken back that these historical things were still respected enough by the people living on the island that they didn’t take anything and try to sell it on EBay or something. I think maybe that’s our Western state of mind negativity kicking in.

We met a wonderful gentleman named Charlie, currently living in Belize. Charlie shared a few book titles that he Kindled before making his trip with his wife to vacation on Palau. Will have to check those out. Thanks again Charlie! Oh, we met his lovely wife too! A determined diver, not letting anyone or anything get in the way of her dives and joy. Love meeting people from all walks of life, the story behind them, the life they live and how they got there, all so very interesting.

We hiked, sweated, and hiked more. The humidity is no laughing matter in Palau. Nevertheless, the reward awaited us at the top of the island. It was a century old coral-built lighthouse constructed during the German occupation. The view from the top of the lighthouse gave us a view of most of the archipelago. Again, flip-flops not the best choice of footwear.

Dive, Snorkel, Dive

We Have hundreds of photos and video footage from our trip so far, but no time to upload them. We will take the time after we make it back to reality, otherwise known as Korea. For now we will continue to leave you all with sneak peeks.

So, you want to know what we’ve been spending our days doing thus far? Diving, snorkeling, diving, snorkeling, naturally. We spend the entire day on or near the water. That’s quite alright with me! I feel like I should have been born on a boat! I’m pretty sure Mr. B feels the same way.

We speed through the ocean waves almost everyday to get to our destination. Each day I close my eyes, and deeply inhale the salty sea air. This is truely my place!

We grab a bite to eat from our neatly packed bento boxes or bagged sandwich bags. Each time we get to enjoy lunch on a different remote island location. Twice so far on the island that the television show Survivor (10th season) was filmed on. How neat is that?! Can you tell? They totally have got me, hook line and sinker. Where’s the dotted line to sign for us to move here forever? He-he-he!

The sunsets here in Palau is just breathtaking each time I see it, never gets old. There are no bright shiny blinking street signs or lamps like in Korea, no restaurants or tall buildings everywhere you look, no billboards…well there was this one…

No, Palau is just pure tranquility at its best! I just cannot express all the beautiful colors that the lords canvas paints each morning with the sunrise, and at dusk with the sunset.

Here is a list of our dive and snorkel locations:

Shark City (We both saw and swam with sharks, eek!)
Siaes Corner
Ulong Channel
German Channel (beautiful coral reef)
Clam city (Clams that can grow up to weighing a ton are here)
Chandelier Cave (One of Mr. B’s favorites!)
Blue Corner
SAMs Macro Wall (Located right at SAMs)
Siaes tunnel
Chuyo Maru Wreck (Mr. B’s night dive = in Complete heaven)
Big drop off

(Originally viewed on http://www.underwatercolours.com/pmap.html)