We visited Ngerulmud as a part of the one-day tour to Babeldaob Island. We had organized the tour ourselves – by asking around for someone with a car, who knew the island and could show us around for a reasonable sum.
You might also rent a car or get a taxi (Ngerulmud is maybe 20 minutes’ drive from the airport).
Ngerulmud is located in Melekeok state, a few kilometers from Melekelok’s capital, also called Melekeok (to read the details go to our article How to plan a trip to Palau).
To be honest – there’s not much to do in Ngerulmud. The capital was built in 2006 from scratch, in the middle of nothing. It is a monumental complex of government buildings, which you can visit in less than half an hour.
It seems that the Palauan politicians also find Ngerulmud unappealing, as during our visit we haven’t seen a single soul there. But maybe it’s also because the buildings appeared to be not only unfit for the local climate but also mold infested. Whatever the reasons are, Ngerulmud doesn’t seem to be popular. In fact, Wikipedia calls it “the world's least populous capital of a sovereign state”. No numbers are given, but we guess the scale doesn’t run far from zero.
Fun fact: the giant columns are made of plastic. Hard to believe? Try knocking when you pass nearby.
Summing up: in our opinion, Ngerulmud is not worth a visit on its own. BUT. It will spice up your trip around Babeldaob, providing variety from snorkeling, waterfalls, jellyfish lakes and other "tropical stuff". Assuming that you need one. Plus, in Melekeok, not even five minutes by car from Ngerulmud, there are megalithic stone sculptures known as Mengachui and Odalmelech. They are fascinating and interesting not only to the archeology enthusiasts.
If you travel to Ngerulmud from Ngarchelong state (north of Babeldaob), stop on the causeway to take some pictures of Ngerulmud looming out of the distance. Looks impressive.
To see what else you can do in Palau go to our article What to see and do in Palau.
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