This island has seen much pain – it was scene of intense battles fought in WWII between Japanese and American forces. Initially the Americans thought the fight for the island and its airstrip would take a couple of days but ultimately winning the island took over 2 months. Existing limestone caves and new ones specially built as hide outs were constructed by the Japanese. A group of Japanese even lived undetected in one of the caves for 2.5 years after the war ended.
The island is beautiful and so are its beaches and surrounding aquamarine waters – its hard to even imagine a war of that intensity being fought here almost 70 years ago. I was on a guided tour of all the major WWII sites on the islands including landing spots, Japanese army headquarters, the coveted air strip (now almost completely covered with vegetation), the 1000 Man Cave (many WWII relics still litter the floors) and the very moving WWII Museum.
We made a stop at the islands one hospital. Conveniently located directly across the road is the cemetery – with good views from the hospital!
Peleliu is only about an hour boat ride from the main town of Koror. There are several guest houses and places to stay on the island – it is quiet here, much quieter than Koror.