A Sonnet to Palau

This is part of a series called ‘A sonnet to the world’, which I have been working on. You can read about the project here. The idea is to write a 14-line Shakespearean Sonnet for every country I visit (and hopefully and eventually, the whole world). And this one is for Palau.

I hopped across the ocean, from one island to another.

Found out what hidden legs were, on my way to a hidden shore.

In search of a mysterious land, of which what I now remember

Is an unseen jellyfish lake and tropical rains galore.


Who goes all the way across to Palau, surrounded by the azure,

And doesn’t even get to touch the beautiful oceans that surround?

This unlucky poet, whose wanderlust has found no cure.

Even the jellyfish knew of it. They clearly didn’t stay around.


Koror tried it’s charming best, to keep me occupied.

And so did the rains. I braved through them and ventured, but not too far.

Across the bridge between Koror and Malakal, I sighed.

And the lonely Nagardmau and Ngarachamayong found out that I too, was at par.


For no fault of Palau, my trip there had flirted with disappointment.

Well, not all travels are magnificent tales of human resolve and excitement.

Poet’s notes

  1. Palau was one of the most disastrous trips I had ever taken, but because of no fault of the country itself. It was a beautiful country, and I only have myself to blame for choosing the wrong time to go there, and found having planned only 3 days there.
  2. I had taken 4 flights to get there, from Singapore to Manila to Yap to Koror, and found out during the process that there is something called ‘hidden legs’ in aviation.
  3. My only plan was to visit the famous Jellyfish lake of Palau, but due to the strong El Nino effects of 2016, most of the Jellyfish in the jellyfish lake were dead. Further, rains came down in a torrential downpour. And my Palau trip was reduced to staying indoors and drinking the local beers.
  4. Malakal is a separate island of Palau, which is connected to the Koror island by a small bridge. The Ngarachamayong cultural center is an attraction in the middle of Koror. The Ngardmau waterfall was a small waterfall, about 30 minutes from Koror. Which I didn’t get to, because of the rains.

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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