Dive Deep Into Palau - The Jewel of The Pacific

Just 2 hours away from Guam, Continental Micronesia takes you to the Jewel of the Pacific - Palau! Divers and snorkelers have found their nirvana at such sites as Blue Corner, the German Channel, Shark City & Jellyfish Lake. Get covered in volcanic mud at the popular Milky Way cove, hike down to the Ngardmau Waterfall, swim with Dolphins at Dolphin Pacific, or explore the history of Palau by visiting stone monoliths, a traditional Bai meeting house, Palau’s National Capital, Belau National Museum and the Etpison Museum. Other fun things to do include a daytrip to Carp Island, exploring the Rock Islands and going on a Jungle River Cruise.

Stay at the luxurious Palau Pacific Resort, Landmark Marina Resort, Airai Water Paradise Hotel, M&A Riverside Beach Bungalows or the North Beach Cottages.

Celebrities who have visited this magnificent island include Paul Allen, Laurence Fishburne, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich.

Listen in on our interview with Managing Director, Darin de Leon, for the Palau Visitor’s Authority.

content courtesy of Luxury Travel


As One of the Seven (Underwater) Wonders of the World Palau Micronesia is Home to the First Shark Sanctuary

The Pacific nation of Palau has created the world’s first officially-recognized shark sanctuary, a biological sanctuary to protect great hammerheads, leopard sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and more than 130 other species fighting extinction in the Pacific Ocean.

Johnson Toribiong, president of the island republic, said , “Palau will become the world’s first national shark sanctuary, ending all commercial shark fishing in our waters and giving a sanctuary for sharks to live and reproduce unmolested in our 237,000 square miles of ocean.”

President Toribiong’s announcement on the commercial shark-fishing ban came on September 25, 2009 at the United Nations General Assembly. He comments, “The strength and beauty of sharks are a natural barometer for the health of our oceans.”

During his address, President Toribiong called for a global ban on shark-finning and rallied for other nations to join the cause. Through his actions, along with those of the Palau Shark Sanctuary, President Toribiong has put Palau on the map in terms of global efforts to protect sharks.

Some might ask, “What is the motivation behind President Toribiong’s initiatives and his efforts to call upon support of these world-wide efforts?” Shark populations are in danger of demise because of limited protective measures, to date. As a matter of fact, shark fishing has grown rapidly since the mid-1980s, because of the rising demand for shark fin soup, a highly coveted expression of wealth. Sharks, in general, have a long life span and low fertility rates, which makes them vulnerable to extinction.

As a result, Palau formally established a protective zone to help preserve the predatory fish by protecting its 135 Western Pacific species of sharks and rays, considered endangered or vulnerable.

Dermot Keane, of the Palau Shark Sanctuary, “(We) Deeply commend President Toribiong for his international leadership in global efforts to protect sharks.” Keane continues, “We are very proud of President Toribiong and of Palau on this momentous occasion.”

Palau Shark Sanctuary was founded in 2001 in an effort to end the annihilation of Palau's sharks, which come as a result of rampant shark-finning at the hands of foreign long-line fishing vessels licensed by Palau to fish in their waters. Palau Shark Sanctuary seeks a declaration by Palau to establish the waters of Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone as a sanctuary for all sharks.

For more information about President Toribiong’s initiatives and the Palau Shark Sanctuary’s efforts, visit www.sharksanctuary.com. For those interested in speaking directly with the shark preservation activists in Palau, contact Dermot Keane of Palau Shark Sanctuary at dermot@samstours.com or Tova Harel Bornovski of Micronesia Shark Foundation at tova@oceanhunter.com.


Palau Declares Eez a Shark Sanctuary!

On Friday, September 25, 2009, H.E. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau, a tiny Pacific Island nation, declared the waters of Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone (230, 000 Sq. Miles / 620,000 Sq. Kms.), as the worlds first officially recognized SHARK SANCTUARY, during a meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York.

President Toribiong also called for a global ban on shark-finning and for other nations to follow suit. Through his actions, President Toribiong has placed Palau at the very forefront of worldwide efforts to protect sharks. This is a tremendous day for Palau and for worldwide efforts to protect sharks from absolute and unsustainable destruction!

Palau Shark Sanctuary deeply commends President Toribiong for his international leadership in world efforts to protect sharks.We are very proud of President Toribiong and of Palau on this momentous occasion. Well done Mr. President!

Thank You!

Dermot Keane
Palau Shark Sanctuary

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Chef’s Corner with Tova Harel-Bornovski of Barracuda Restaurant

Our culinary journey through Palau continues as we get close and personal with chef extraordinaire, Tova Harel Bornovski. Along with her husband Navot, Tova owns Fish ‘n Fins, the leading dive and tour center, Ocean Hunter I&III Liveaboard (for the extreme divers), as well as Barracuda Bar & Restaurant.

Winning the hearts (and stomachs) of both the locals and tourists – Tova knows how to make guests feel right at home. Infusing her Israeli heritage with Palauan recipes – the menu is completely unique and absolutely delicious! Carb counters are missing out if they opt not to try the wonderful fresh breads made from taro, spinach or cheese accompanied with a mezze of dips like Hummus, Eggplant & Pumpkin.Make sure to ask your server about the weekly specials!

Let’s follow Tova into the kitchen:

How has traveling influenced your flavors and recipes?

Tremendously! We’ve sailed and lived in remote destinations and learned so much from people we’ve met along the way and all the foods we’ve tasted. My childhood has influenced my recipes as I grew up in Israel – a melting pot of different cultures.

What defines Palauan cuisine?

Palauans like to cook with very little flavors and do not like to disguise what they cook. Fish should taste like fish and vegetables should have that fresh taste.

Tell us about your cookbook “A Taste of Rainbow’s End”

It’s been on my wish list of things to do and I finally went for it. Everyone I was talking to kept saying that they were going to publish a book but I got them all together and put the smells and tastes into text. It was a lot of fun to do! I wanted to present these unique dishes in a way that would make people say “I’ve got to go to Palau and try this food!”

Who do you admire in the culinary world?

I admire the mom ‘n pop spots that serve some of the most amazing dishes! It’s the grass root places I enjoy the most. Some of my favorite memories include dining at small trattorias in Italy or trying out the local favorite Shokudo in Japan.

What’s one ingredient you can’t cook without?

Love – it’s the only way the food is going to taste good! Chefs who don’t love what they do won’t cook great food.

What advice can you give a cooking enthusiast?

Use your love and imagination to create something truly special!

Here’s journeyPod’s favorite recipe from Tova’s cookbook “A Taste of Rainbow’s End”

Demok Taro Leaf Soup

By: Tova Harel-Bornovski, Delphina & Itelatk Benjamin


2-3 lb very young taro leaves (may substitute spinach)

10 pieces of rekung land crab (may substitute fish or chicken)

10 cups water

1 ½ – 2 cups coconut milk

1 teaspoon salt


Cook taro leaves (or spinach) for 2 hours

Wash crabs well, break and remove the back part – take only belly and legs

Cook crab meat with teaspoon salt for 20-30 minutes

Add coconut milk and bring to a boil

Remove from heat and serve

Makes 10 servings


Chef’s Corner with Alex Suzuki at the Palau Pacific Resort

You read the reviews, listen to the praises from friends and colleagues, or happen to catch one of your favorite celebrities exiting that very spot you’ve been meaning to check out.

You know what the folks on the outside are saying, but have you ever gotten the story from someone on the inside?

journeyPod goes behind-the-scenes in Chef’s Corner with some of the World’s most esteemed, critically-acclaimed, award-winning (and naturally, our favorite) culinary masterminds to get the real scoop!

Come away with us on a tasting excursion to the island of Palau as we explore the local fish, giant clams, fruit bat soup, taro & unique Palauan recipes. journeyPod gets up close and personal with Executive Chef Alex Suzuki for the Palau Pacific Resort.

How did you get your start in cooking?

I used to watch my parents take turns cooking for our big family when I was younger. I decided that I wanted to start cooking for a living and moved to Hawaii for 3 years to learn the trade at Victorias Station. As most of the dishes in Palau are comprised of seafood, I was able to add BBQ and the art of cooking meat to my resume.

Tell us about the cuisine of Palau as well as the food at the Palau Pacific Resort:

I would say Palauan cuisine is made up fish prepared in very unique ways like being wrapped up in coconut leaves, or cooked in coconut milk. I used to cook a lot of fish in coconut milk – the magic ingredient for Palauan cuisine, but once people started getting too big they realized that the fat from the coconut milk was not helping with their diet.

What three ingredients are always in your kitchen?

Soy sauce, oil and fish.

Is there anything you won’t eat?

I’ll try everything at least once.

If you were on Iron Chef Japan, what would you hope would be the key themed ingredient?

Tuna which, believe it or not, is very versatile. For the dessert I would make a grilled teriyake seared tuna in a chili fruit salsa.

What’s the strangest request you have ever received from a customer?

A group of Malaysians visited my restaurant here at the Palau Pacific Resort and asked for their meat to be cooked Halal. This is not an easy thing to do in Palau – the guests spent the rest of the week as vegetarians unfortunately.

What celebrities have you cooked for?

John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette as well as the Prime Minister of Japan and Malaysia.

Would you kindly share the recipe of one of your signature dishes with us?

Sure here is the recipe for Steamed Local Fish with Palauan Nuts:

Debone one whole fresh fish, season with salt and pepper. Steam for 10 minutes. Add salad oil, sliced ginger and diced onions to a saucepan and cook for a few minutes. In a third saucepan cook soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and water. Add juliened green onions to the third saucepan and combine the heated ginger and onions with this sauce. Add chili, garlic and palauan nuts (may be substituted with walnuts or almonds) and cook for a few more minutes. Once this sauce is done, pour slowly over steamed fish.

The Path to Palau

For those who happen to be Survivor fans, there is no need to introduce the incredible destination of Palau. Consistently ranked as one of the world's best dive destinations, Palau is the ultimate paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurous travelers.