Palau Travel Information

The Basics


Local time is GMT +9


Electrical current is generally 120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are similar to those used in the USA and Japan, with two or three flat prongs.


The two official languages are Palauan and English. Palauan is the most widely spoken language but English and Japanese are also widely understood, with Spanish and German spoken to a lesser extent.

Travel Health

Travellers arriving from yellow-fever infected areas in Africa and the Americas are required to have a yellow fever vaccination to enter Palau. Other recommended vaccinations include hepatitis A and hepatitis B, while a vaccination for typhoid should be considered by long-term visitors planning to eat outside of hotels and restaurants.

Health care is basic but generally sufficient for routine problems; air evacuation to another country will likely be required for any serious health issue. Comprehensive health insurance is advised and travellers should carry a supply of basic medications as well as any required prescription medication. There is a hyperbaric chamber for divers at Belau National Hospital.

Local Customs

Palauan social values are largely family-based, with respect and deference being shown to elders. A strong emphasis is placed on easy-going, harmonious social relationships. Visitors should avoid wearing beachwear around town, although casual dress is totally acceptable. Remove your shoes when entering someone's home. The head is considered a sacred part of the body, and should not be touched (unless you've been invited to do so). If you are invited to a social gathering of any kind, rather accept the invitation and not go, than decline outright. Do not remark negatively about the locals' habit of chewing betel nut. Public displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend locals and travellers should note that although the law is seldom enforced homosexuality is technically illegal.

Duty Free

Visitors to Palau may import one carton of cigarettes and one bottle of liquor without incurring customs duty. Controlled substances and weapons are prohibited.

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