We hate to admit it, but Belau National Museum was our backup plan. It was raining the whole day, and we decided to switch to indoor activities. And since the museum was a walking distance from our hotel, it was an obvious choice (to see its location on a map go to How to plan a trip to Palau).
But we liked it from the first sight. There is a beautiful bai (men’s meeting hall) exhibited outdoor, near the entrance to the museum, that catches the immediate attention. The beams are decorated with depictions of Palauan legends. And although we learned that the bai is a modern reconstruction (the historic bai burned down a few years ago), it's worth the visit of its own. Especially if you don't plan a trip to Babeldaob Island and the famous Airai Bai.
W H A T T O S E E N E X T
The indoor exhibits are divided into several sections according to various topics, like Palauan art, historical timeline, legends or natural history. Everything is very informative and lets you get the nuances of Palauan history. You'll also get to see the fascinating black and white photographs of the Yap stone money, which in fact were quarried in Palau.
The museum has an excellent gift shop with interesting books and souvenirs. We particularly loved the photo albums and wished we had more space in the luggage to take them home.
Last but not least, if you're tired of soaking the knowledge, go to the charming museum cafe and absorb the yummy coconut juice instead. Or grab some traditionally baked cookies.
To sum it up - the museum is a must for anyone interested in getting at least some glimpses of Palauan history. And not only for rainy days.
If you want to learn what else you can do in Palau, go to our article What to see and do in Palau.