This island nation is located in the western Pacific Ocean, east of The Philippines and north west of the island of New Guinea. Palau consists of some 340 islands spread out over three hundred miles of ocean.. The majority of these are unpopulated. Most Palauans live on the two main islands of Koror and Babeldaob. However, the population of Palau is under eighteen thousand.
The country has a human history that goes back to around 2500 BC and there is archaeology on the main islands that evidences ancient inhabitants. Europeans first spotted some of the islands in the early sixteenth century but it wasn't until the end of the seventeenth century that they fell loosely under the administration of Spain. Near the end of the nineteenth century they became a German possession and after World War I they were annexed by Japan but after World War II the USA gained administrative control of Palau. Finally, as recently as 1981, the country achieved its independence.
Some of Palau's islands are low-lying and therefore, because of rising sea levels, may soon disappear but the biggest island - Babeldaob has significant altitude. Economically, the little country relies on tourism, subsistence agriculture, fishing and the continuing financial support of the USA. Having such a small population, health care has its limitations. There is a hospital but some specialist conditions require flights to Taiwan, Hawaii or The Philippines.
And that's Palau for you in a nutshell. The tiny capital is Ngerulmud with an impressive but arguably unsuitable capitol building which would not look out of place in a small New England state.