In Palau we Flew Over World Heritage in a Cessna Missing a Door, Then Ate Bat Soup at a Restaurant Run by a Hiroshima Carps Fan

In Palau, a Japanese mandate territory from the end of World War I until Japan’s defeat in World War II, the local language has many words similar to Japanese, such as chichi-bando, an old word for bra and daijo-bu, meaning okay. While mainly known for being a marine resort, we took a look at some of the other attractions of Palau, a pro-Japan country. We visited a shrine that is protected by more than 20 guard dogs, flew in a Cessna airplane at an altitude of 450m with one of the doors missing, and tried soup that has a whole bat in it. The ccTLD for Palau is “.pw”.

◆Where is Palau?

Palau is a republic of 586 islands of various sizes, located approximately 3,000 km due south of Japan. Palau is located south-west of Guam and there is no time difference with Japan. Palauan and English are both spoken. The island state of Angaur is the only place in the world where the official language is Japanese.
It is the fourth least populous country in the world, with a population of 18,094 (2020). The currency used is the US dollar.

= Table of Contents =

◆Speaking Japanese is Not “Daijo-bu” in Palau

◆Scary! Taking a Scenic Flight in a Cessna Missing a Door

◆Things We Couldn’t Find in the Big Supermarket

◆Nanyo Shrine Protected by 10+ Guard Dogs

◆(Viewer Discretion Advised) Bat Soup – A Palau Food Report

◆Love for Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Other Palau Highlights

◆The Domain “.pw” Wasn’t Seen Around Town

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed


◆Speaking Japanese is Not “Daijo-bu” in Palau

The Domain Island Tour went to Palau, via Taiwan. Our plan is to leave Taiwan on Wednesday and return Saturday. It was a full plane. Four hours after our plane left Taiwan, the islands of Palau came into view.

The WiFi available at Palau International Airport is named “PNCC PROMO HOTSPOT”.

With our completed immigration forms and the QR code for the completed health declaration form in hand, we were ready to enter the country. But then we had to wait in line for more than an hour. It seems the cause of this long wait was due to issues reading the QR code on the health form. Palau is very humid and the temperature is as hot as Tokyo in the middle of summer. Sweating but patient, we waited in the immigration queue. Filling out the form I was given during the screening process by hand was quicker than sorting out the QR code. When it was finally our turn, the immigration officer took note of how many covid vaccines we had received. You’ll be asked to present the e-ticket for your return flight, so have that prepared in advance.

There was a poster reminding us to wear masks at all times. None of the airport staff wore masks. Strange… No one wore masks in the downtown area we visited either. Perhaps it’s an old sign they forgot to take down.

All the shops in the airport were closed. The area was deserted.

We leave the airport and head to our accommodation. We chose the Palau Hotel, the cheapest on the accommodation website we used.

There are not many hotels on the outlying islands, so it’s more convenient to stay on the Main street of Koror Island.

Photos of jellyfish on the ceiling of the entrance area. There was a cute jellyfish character to greet us, too.

One of Palau’s most famous attractions is Jellyfish Lake, where millions of jellyfish migrate. The jellyfish is also a much-loved local character. However the locals told me there are no jellyfish in the lake at present.

The hotel rooms are spacious and clean.

The breakfast buffet includes dishes that Japanese guests will be used to eating, such as yakisoba and wakame soup. The hotel’s WiFi would not be suitable for a work-cation due to its slow speed and instability, but the hotel was comfortable and I’d love to return on holiday someday.

Due to its history with Japan, there are approximately 1,000 words of Japanese origin in the Palauan language, and it’s said around 20% of the language is derived from Japanese. We heard “daijo-bu” many times while we were there. However, most of the time we communicated in English. So don’t expect to be able to converse in Japanese.


We signed up for a scenic flight in a Cessna over Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, which has been a world heritage area since 2012. It’s a little expensive – $140 USD for a 25 minute flight, but it does include hotel pick-up and drop-off.

First, the route is explained to us. In Japanese, so we were relieved!

Our pilot, Hiro. He’s Japanese. He used to be a pilot for an American airline, but lost his job due to the pandemic. He became a Cessna pilot for tourists in Palau 5 months ago. Each day there are six flights and we were the third flight of the day.

Time for a scenic flight! Huh? What’s this? Look closely and you’ll see that the door on the right side is missing. Surprisingly, it will fly 25 minutes without a door as it climbs to an altitude of 450 meters. On hearing this, one member of the Domain Island Tour was so scared they refused to board. When we asked why there was no door our pilot said, “Without the door, you’ll get a better view of the scenery”.

In the end, a total of three people – two from the Domain Island Tour and Hiro, our pilot – set off. We were strapped in of course, but it was still scary without a door. I was too scared to take photos most of the flight.

Look, there’s an island shaped like a whale. Thanks to the missing door, we could take some beautiful photos.

I’m sure these photos show just what an amazing experience we had seeing the beauty of Palau in all its glory.


◆Things We Couldn’t Find in the Big Supermarket

We definitely recommend renting a car for sightseeing. We opted for the $55-a-day Corolla, but for some reason we were given a Mazda, which was not in the catalog. If you ask, they will bring the car to your hotel. The price of the Mazda was the same as the Corolla, so we set off on our tour.

Like the Commonwealth of Dominica, Palau has no traffic lights. They drive on the right. There were many Japanese cars on the road. It seems Japanese used cars are the cheapest option for locals. We didn’t see any motorbikes though.

The Japanese cars are unchanged, meaning the steering wheel is on the right, which, when there were no other cars on the road, made me automatically drive on the left like I was in Japan. Twice we suddenly found ourselves facing oncoming traffic. Several times we saw abandoned cars, like in this picture, looking like they’d been in a head-on collision. If you drive in Palau, please be extra careful! By the way, when we returned the car, we were told to just leave it in the airport car park and to put the keys under the mud flaps.

The Japanese embassy is located on Meyungs Island, in the west. We might learn some interesting things. Let’s make a visit.

There is an imperial chrysanthemum crest above the entrance. Inside, we found a female member of staff ready to help us. She met her Palauan husband in Japan and then moved to Palau. She told us she first worked as a nurse at a local hospital for 12 years and through a connection there, she came to work at the embassy. Presently, there are about 260 Japanese residents on Palau. It seems around 100 left due to the pandemic. If you happened to lose your Japanese passport in Palau, they can issue a travel document for your return journey here. By the way, the staff at the embassy weren’t aware of the Palau domain “.pw”. Many in Palau use Gmail, even government organizations. Photography is not allowed inside the building.

Embassy staff shared some local knowledge with us about which Japanese restaurants to visit and which electronics store to check out. First, let’s check out the “Executive Lounge” restaurant. Located off the Main Street of Koror Island, it’s a popular spot with locals, but mostly unknown to tourists. They have karaoke and you can sing Japanese songs. The song title on the large screen says “don’t let it rain”, which is funny as Palau has a tropical rain-forest climate so the area experiences several rain showers each day, although they don’t last very long.

We order Okonomiyaki ($8 USD), which was recommended to us by staff at the Japanese embassy. It looks a bit like an omelet. It was delicious from beginning to end, thanks to the mayonnaise sauce.

We also got the Tempura Platter ($12 USD). It had a crunchy texture and the batter they used was similar to breadcrumbs. The flavor of the dipping sauce would be enjoyed by Japanese people. We particularly liked the pumpkin tempura. High speed WiFi was also available for free.

Next let’s visit a store that sells computers and electrical appliances. We arrive at “Surangel’s”, Palau’s biggest shopping mall, which opened in September 2022.

“Alii!” means “hello!” in the Palauan language.

Near the entrance a display board explains the history of what originally started as a small general store. Starting a business with just two people running a small shop and turning it into a large shopping mall, isn’t just an ‘American dream’ but a Palauan dream, too. It has the same name as the president of Palau, Surangel Whipps Jr.

1 The fresh food section on the ground floor. It’s very spacious. Large appliances such as lawn mowers and washing machines are also for sale.

2 Let’s go to the second floor. This floor has clothes, smartphones, computers, etc. There were fancy looking karaoke machines too. It seems that the locals enjoy karaoke?

I saw brands such as GALAXY, iPAD, iMac etc. When I asked if they had any iPhones, I was told they were out of stock. When we asked some locals about where to find a store that sells iPhones, they told us they don’t sell them here, so everyone uses GALAXYs. So, the one thing missing from the big supermarket that seems to have everything, was the iPhone.


◆Nanyo Shrine Protected by 10+ Guard Dogs

We visited Nanyo Shrine. This previously government-run shrine was founded during the Japanese occupation in World War II. At the main gate. We can see a large house further in.

When we looked at Googles Reviews, someone said they were chased by 24 barking dogs and even lightly bitten on the leg. They said it was probably better not to go when the caretaker isn’t around. As we nervously made our way up the hill, many dogs came out barking and growling at us. They watched us carefully.

When we told the person managing Nanyo Shrine that we’d like to pay a visit, he was very accommodating. None of us got our legs bitten. At the shrine entrance there are Komainu, guardian dogs, with both the Japanese and Palauan flags painted on them.

There are so many fern plants – an uncommon sight in Japan. You can see the main shrine in the back.

It’s small, but it’s the Honden, or main sanctuary.

Next to the Honden was a monument commemorating the Japanese soldiers who died in Palau during World War II. The names of fallen soldiers are engraved on the back.

We found a bird aviary.

Inside are brightly colored tropical parrots.

There used to be a JAL Nikko Hotel near Nanyo Shrine. It was closed in 2002 due to age and deterioration. pg/375px-Palau_Continental_Hotel_in_1977.jpg

Nanyo Shrine is located on private property, so be sure to inform the management that you’d like to visit and show your respects.

◆(Viewer Discretion Advised) Bat Soup – A Palau Food Report

We dropped into “CARP Restaurant”, which we learnt about from our pilot, Hiro. We got the Pork Cutlet Curry with Rice ($10 USD) and Stir-fried Shrimp ($12 USD). The cutlet curry was a pretty big serving. The stir-fried shrimp are garlicky and delicious.

We saw bat soup ($20 USD) on the menu so we ordered that too. Bats are in fact a Palauan speciality and we were told that fruit eating bats are safe to eat. The bat is usually added to the soup to flavor the broth, rather than for eating. Onions, bell peppers, herbs and other vegetables are added to consommé soup, and it’s delicious if you don’t think about the bat.

Seeing that we weren’t eating much of the soup, the waiter kindly removed the bat.

Cautiously, we try some of the bat. The meat is similar to chicken breast. It had a slight odor.

Our kind waiter returned with some fresh fruit on the house to refresh our palate.

We ended up leaving the bat’s head and other hairy parts. When we left, Ben our taxi driver told us that if only we had called for him earlier, he would’ve helped us finish it. Apparently the locals eat the entire head and wings, without leaving anything behind. By the way, Ben’s Japanese name is Masahiro. His aunt’s name is Hideko and his uncle is Kintaro.

Our teams favorite Japanese restaurant on Palau is ‘B’s Izakaya Yume’. It’s a Japanese-owned izakaya restaurant. The shop’s name is taken from the owner’s initials, not because they like the Japanese band B’z.

Mangrove crab ($55 USD). It is a large crab, but it’s difficult to remove the flesh from the shell, so there were surprisingly few places to eat from. But it was delicious and full of flavor. It made me realize that one crab tastes very much like another.

Deep-fried Tofu ($8 USD). We were impressed that it tasted just the same as back home.

Red Rooster Beer, a Palauan beer with a red chicken logo. You can buy it from the supermarket – it would make the perfect souvenir. In the Palauan language, “Skarenauos” means “to drink beer”, but it implies drinking large quantities, rather than just having a light drink. This restaurant offers a transportation service. Great for those wanting to have a drink or two.

We went for lunch at the Emaimelei Restaurant, which is also attached to a bakery, located just off the main street of Koror.

We ordered the Emaimelei Battered Fried Chicken ($10.50 USD). These large pieces of fried chicken aren’t seasoned, instead they’re dipped in Nam Jim Gai, a classic Thai sauce. The outside is crispy and it would make a great snack. The batter was so thick it was hard to get to the meat.

This is the Yaki Ramen ($10.50 USD). Soy-sauce flavored instant noodles stir-fried with cucumber and garlic, a flavor combination that would be popular with Japanese diners.

Next door is the Kumagai Bakery. All local supermarkets sell this bread.


◆Love for Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Other Palau Highlights

1)Dance contest run by local high school students

A Palauan dance competition organized by Palau High School students. The boys also put on make-up and wear skirts.

These costumes were beautiful. They look good, don’t they.

One of the teams danced to the tune of the Japanese nursery rhyme “Tadpoles are the babies of frogs.”


2)Mysterious Stone Monoliths

About an hour’s drive north of Koror Island is an archaeological site dotted with around 50 stone monuments. They are similar to the Moai statues of Easter Island, but on a smaller scale. It’s unclear why these monuments were built.

If you’re lucky, you will meet Tama the cat. We didn’t get to meet Tama, but we did meet Nani, a cute little girl who was with the lady selling admission tickets.


3)Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge
A bridge between the airport and Koror Island. When you come to Palau, you’ll pass over it many times.

Originally, a bridge was built there in 1977 by a Korean company, but it collapsed in 1996. The current bridge was built in 2002 in approximately the same location as the old one, with funds from the Japanese Official Development Assistance program.

You can go under the bridge as well. Local families fishing and swimming.


4)WCTC Shopping Center

Shopping Mall on the Main Street of Koror Island. Notice board for locals. We saw Palau army application forms too.


5)Belau National Museum

It gives an easy-to-understand description of the colonial period under Japanese rule in Japanese.

Admission was $10 USD.

This graph shows how there were twice as many Japanese as Palauans under Japanese rule.


6)CARP Restaurant

The CARP Restaurant, where we had bat soup, is owned by a Japanese woman and her Palauan husband.

Many posters of Hiroshima Carp players decorate the walls.

Player autographs and carp streamers, too.

You guessed it. The “carp” of CARP Restaurant is taken from Hiroshima Toyo Carp, the baseball team that wife Hiroko is a big fan of.

While we were talking, we found out that while Hiroko ran the restaurant, her husband was the owner of an island called Carp Island! Hiroko is such a big Hiroshima Carp fan that she even named the island, Carp Island. You can stay the night on Carp Island. When we asked if it was possible for Japanese to purchase islands here, we were told no, but non-Palauans can rent them.

Incidentally, the honorary owner of Inoki Island, located in the middle of a world heritage area, is Antonio Inoki. Apparently it was presented as a token of appreciation to Mr Inoki by Palauan chiefs, after his involvement in coral conservation and other activities since Palau’s independence.


◆The Domain “.pw” Wasn’t Seen Around Town

On our Domain Island Tours, we like to investigate how the local domain is being used. However, it proved difficult to find “.pw”.

Our search reminded us how we couldn’t find anything in Saint Lucia either. Eventually we found it being used at the post office. We got the impression that many shops use Facebook Pages or “.com” or “.net” instead.

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed

There isn’t a specific eSIM for Palau. WiFi routers such as GlocalMe are also not supported. So this time, we purchased a local SIM. Prior research showed us that there was a PNCC (Palau National Communications Corporation) booth at the airport where SIMs could be purchased, but unfortunately we arrived outside business hours.

So we made our purchase at Globus Palau on the Main Street of Koror Island. 7 days / 12GB for $25 USD. The speed measured on Main Street, Koror Island was 40 Mbps.


■List of Places Visited


■For access to Palau click here


■For “.pw” domain details click here

Things You Won’t See Going to the Maldives on Your Honeymoon

Marine enthusiasts and couples love the Maldives for its emerald green seas, seaside cottages, cruises, snorkeling and so on. The Maldives are highly popular for honeymoons and overseas weddings. For this domain tour, neither a couple nor a marine enthusiast went to check out the Maldives.

Sponsored by Interlink Co., Ltd. which deals with more than 1,050 Top Level Domains (TLDs) around the world, the Domain Island Tour is currently focused on about 50 types of “Island Domains” in the South Pacific and Caribbean, such as “.cc” “.tv” “.sx”, going to these islands even when it takes 40 hours one way to get there, or when flights are only scheduled one a month.
The ccTLD for the Maldives is “”.


◆Where are the Maldives?
The Maldives consist of 26 atolls and about 1,200 islands, located in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka. Of these islands, about 200 are inhabited. The official name is ދިވެ、ދިވެހި ރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ in Dhivehi.


= Table of Contents =

◆Trying to Ride in an Air Taxi Without a Reservation

◆Maldives Bonito

◆Illegal Workers, Lack of Doctors…etc. Things Heard at the Japanese Embassy

◆Artificial Islands for the Capital Malé

◆Cool Postcards of Policemen at the National Museum

◆What to Eat in the Maldives?

◆SIM Speed Test

◆MILO Delivery Trucks & Other Interesting Things in the Maldives


◆Trying to Ride in an Air Taxi Without a Reservation

In the Maldives, there’s a “One island one luxury resort” system, so to get to such islands, you need to travel by speed boat or air taxi (seaplane) from the Velana International Airport, near the capital Malé. The air taxis are only available for guests of said resorts or for sightseeing flights. Sightseeing flights allow passengers to take pictures of the islands from the sky. These tours don’t allow passengers to land on any of the islands. For the domain island tour, I’m not staying at a resort, and I don’t have a reservation for a sightseeing flight. But of course, I really want to ride on an air taxi, so I will have to find a way to do so.

Actually, I tried by email to reserve a sightseeing flight with Trans Maldivian Airways, and also with Maldivian Airlines, before I left Japan, but I got no response to my queries, so I will try talking to them directly.

At 9 am, just out of the arrival gate at Malé International Airport, I take a look around for an air taxi counter.

There are many reception counters for restaurants and resorts on isolated islands.

I found one for Jumeirah Hotels, famous for building the first ice-skating rink in the Maldives.

I also found Manta Air, the first to provide regular air taxi services in the Maldives as of November, 2019. Unfortunately, there was no one there. I’m going to give up on this one.

Then I discover Maldivian Airlines. When I asked them: “Can I take a flight even though I don’t have a reservation at a resort?” I was told: “No, you cannot”. When I asked about sightseeing flights, they right away answered: “Private sightseeing flights are available”. When I asked the price: “One flight costs 100,000 JPY”. Although I was shocked at how expensive, I decided to go ahead and do it.

By the way, this company’s official website uses the domain “.aero” which can only be used by members of the aviation industry.

I was told they would arrange my sightseeing flight, and that I should come back at 13:00. There was a lot of time still before 13:00, so I decided to look for the Trans Maldivian Airways counter. I asked the same questions I asked Maldivian Airlines, and got the same answers. Sightseeing flights are possible, but not today. I gave up as there were only flights available tomorrow.

The pilots for Trans Maldivian Airways fly barefoot.

The air taxis basically have no timetables, they seem to make their schedules at the request of the resorts and their guests. As I waited, I passed the time looking outside and I found a pink car, just like the one on the Japanese TV show “Ainori”.

Shortly before 13:00, I return to the Maldivian Airlines counter. As the man I had talked to in the morning was not there, I spoke to another staff: “I have a reservation for a sightseeing flight…” but he answered “The sightseeing flight has already left”. Did I make a mistake? Or did the airline staff miscommunicate? I don’t know, but what is clear is that I won’t be taking an air taxi.

At least there was no financial damage as you pay when you board. If you manage to get on a sightseeing flight in the Maldives, consider yourself lucky.

◆Maldives Bonito

It’s been speculated that Japanese bonito flakes come from the Maldives. So, I will look into the bonito in the Maldives… I need to find out for sure. I head for the fish market in the capital Malé.

Is this a unique design or has the paint just peeled off? I looked closer and it was a taxi.

I stop by to see the landing berth belonging to the President.

There’s a ship moored, but a local guy tells me it’s not the president’s ship.

Another local says to me “That’s the spot exclusively for the President’s ship”. There were two ships at anchor (A555 and A558). The two ships moored looked exactly the same grade.

On either side of those ships were coast guard vessels. The ship in front is the “ISKANDHAR”.
The other has ”NOOR ADHEEN” written on the side. There’s no connection to Japanese “Space Battleship Yamato”.

While walking, I saw many blue pipes on the ground. They seem to be drainage pipes for sewage, coming from buildings and construction sites etc.

The pipes all drain out into the ocean.

I arrive at the fish market. Large letters adorn a blue sign. However, its written in Thaana, so I have no idea what it says. Thaana is the writing system (script) used for the official Maldivian language Dhivehi.

Fresh skipjack tuna (bonito).

Near the back, yellowfin tuna was being cut up. Large fish, such as tuna, are cut and sold according to the needs of the buyer.

The leftover waste of the fish (bones, offal etc.) are collected in a bucket and then once the bucket is full, discarded into the ocean. I waited a little because I wanted to see that part.

Sea birds come out of nowhere and the sea is full of rays. They seem to know that dinner is coming.

Soon enough, a fish monger comes with his bucket of offal. He splashes it into the sea. I imagined it would be like feeding time in the carp pond, but neither the rays nor the seabirds got that excited.

I was happy to see this exciting “offal throwing” event that couples honeymooning in the Maldives are unlikely to be interested in, but my purpose, searching for the dried bonito, still needs to be fulfilled. I decided to check out the fruits and vegetables market down the road from the fish market.

Its crowded with people and bananas.

Ah, there it is. The dried bonito. Locally known as “Maldives fish”, it’s been used in cooking here since ancient times.

I don’t know the type of fish exactly, but this is also a kind of dried bonito. If you try some, its softer than it looks! The texture is like jerky. It’s a little smelly though.

◆Illegal Workers, Lack of Doctors…etc. Things Heard at the Japanese Embassy

To find out more about the Maldives, I visited the Embassy of Japan in Maldives, and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency). First, the embassy. I asked the staff to tell me little known facts about the Maldives, and any issues they are facing here.


・Foreigners cannot start an independent venture here
The Islamic Maldives have no corporate or income taxes. But, it’s not a tax haven. Its ok to have a branch office here, so some Japanese companies are expanding that way. In addition, the Maldives does not give permanent residency to foreigners.


・The Maldives are said to be the worst in the world for population density and a lack of doctors
There’s heavy traffic in urban areas due to the population density. Approximately 130,000 people (1/4th-1/3rd of the population of the Maldives) live in Malé, in an area 2.5 km from east to west and 1.5 km from north to south. This city is said to have the highest population density in the world. Also, there are no medical schools in the Maldives. If you want to be a doctor, you must study at a university overseas. Although there are so few doctors in Malé, and fears about whether people are getting appropriate treatment or not, the luxury resorts have their own doctors.


・Illegal employment and illegal residents
Since October 2019, illegal foreign workers have been coming to get registered at the Galolhu National Stadium. Speaking of which, when I visited the stadium, I did find some people scattered around the stands, although there was no game on.


・Thefts at the Ferries
Ferry staff is supposed to handle larger pieces of luggage, but it seems that items have been stolen from inside the luggage at such times. You can use a taxi to get to the international airport, but its more common to travel by ferry. Ferry tickets costs $3 per person. Its best to be careful not to leave valuables in your luggage.

Next, I visited JICA, and spoke with a lady staff member who was recently transferred to the Maldives. Two things that stand out from the interview are that the seniors in the Maldives are not be able to support society as actively as in other countries, and that it’s not so easy to live in an Islamic country, which has a lot of restrictions.

By the way, it was from the Japanese embassy that I heard about the “offal throwing” event at the fish market. The male staff at the embassy said “My family all think that I am working in a lovely environment in the beautiful Maldives. Sure, sometimes I see sea turtles or dolphins from my office, but it’s not a very lovely environment working in a place that is so overcrowded.” Many thanks to the staff of the Japanese embassy and JICA who kindly answered my questions in spite of the sudden visit.

◆Artificial Islands for the Capital Malé

Hulhumalé is a man-made island located on the south side of the North Malé Atoll, it was built to relieve pressure on the most densely populated island in the world, Malé. The buildings are modern and colorful compared to the ones on Malé.

On the front gate of the preschool, there’s a list of names of the students enrolled there. I can’t imagine it in Japan.

Just before noon, a call for prayer was given from the “Masjid Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani” mosque. I wondered if the people walking around the mosque would stop and offer prayers suddenly, but no one did.

◆Cool Postcards of Policemen at the National Museum

If you want to learn about the history of the Maldives, the place to go is the Maldives National Museum, located in Sultan Park, Malé.

The entrance fee is 100 Rufiyaa (about 700 yen) per adult. If you want to take photos inside the building, you need to pay an additional 10 rufiyaa (about 70 yen). Even if you pay this fee, you can’t use flash when taking pictures. Lockers for luggage are available free of cost.

There are exhibition rooms on two upper floors. But let’s start on the first floor. In the large exhibition hall, there’s a display of small boxes etc. made from coral harvested in the Maldives.

Some of the items are modern artifacts. Two of the first telephone sets used in the Maldives.

“The first computer CPU in the Maldives.” The size really gives you a feel for its age.

A corner of the National Museum had the Philatelic Museum (Stamp Museum).

You can also purchase currently issued stamps at the souvenir shop.

Further along, a mannequin police officer.

This marks the start of the exhibition about the police. This exhibition documents the history of the police in the Maldives.

Of course, there’s a souvenir shop. What really caught my eye was the post-cards with police officers.

The one above is called “Police officers in discussion”. Below I thought it would be titled “Police officer with a handgun, looking into a room”, but actually it was “Police officer collecting fingerprints off a doorknob”. I’ve never seen such cool postcards, so I bought them up quick. I regret not buying a cap too.

Up to the second floor.

Instruments used by the famous Maldivian band the “Olympians” were on display, along with whale bones, ivory, ship models, etc.

The YAMAHA “YC-20” (stage piano)

The YAMAHA “YC-20” (stage piano)

The ELK “VIKING 60” (guitar amplifier head)

◆What to Eat in the Maldives?

Tired of walking, I took a break at a cafe. It’s called the Highway Coffee Shop.

The calm colors give a nice feel to the atmosphere. They prepare the drinks fresh, after taking the order.

The coffee came with milk by default. Another drink I ordered was the iced ginger-lemon tea.

As in other Islamic regions, drinking and selling alcoholic beverages is prohibited in the Maldives. You could buy a bottle of Mojito at the supermarket, but it was non-alcoholic.

I thought: “I could get a beer at the hotel,” but the hotel in Malé where I stayed did not handle alcohol. This one was also a non-alcoholic beer ($ 3.2).

I found a sushi restaurant in Hulhumale called “Oishii” (“Delicious” in Japanese). I ordered ramen and roll sushi. Is it delicious? As the name of the shop indicates?

Chicken ramen (185 MVR)

California roll (150 MVR)

Gold Rush roll (180 MVR)

Everything was delicious. For dessert, I ordered the “Chocolate Miso Lava Cake” (80 MVR). This is fondant chocolate with miso inside, vanilla ice cream and berry sauce on top. Lava means like volcano lava. This was also delicious.

After that I visited the Dhidhoo hotel (Cafe) for some local food.
There were many local people at this restaurant. The windows were open and it seems the air conditioning was not working. However, I was given an air-conditioned private room. Nice to get the VIP treatment. Maybe because I’m a foreigner.

I ordered the mas huni, a standard breakfast in the Maldives. In Dhivehi, “mas” means fish and “huni” means coconut.

A picture of mas huni. Divide in two, with a sausage in between, the taste is slightly different. One side is tuna and the other is bonito. Its eaten wrapped in roshi, a local flatbread. It’s delicious!

I also ordered an onion cake, and a dessert that is somewhat like dorayaki, with a small pancake folded in half. I thoroughly enjoyed the light natural sweetness. As expected, the VIP treatment was included in the bill.


I also tried a local restaurant called the Belle Amie Bistro. Here I ordered the Garudhiya.

This kind of home cooked meal is not on the menu, but they will make it if you order it. The taste may differ depending on the shop, but this one was surprisingly sour. It reminds me of Tom Yam soup but “Shrimp and Spice Free”. I wasn’t really feeling the bonito soup. A bit too light for me.

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed

This trip, I tried Ooredoo and Dhiraagu SIM cards. You can buy them at the Malé international airport.

Both are $ 15 and 4 GB (for 7 days). Dhiraagu is also has the registry for the domain “.mv”, and if compared to companies in Japan, it is about the size of NTT. The speed was 25Mbps.

The speed of the SIM from Ooredoo (a company based in Qatar), was 14Mbps.

◆MILO Delivery Trucks & Other Interesting Things in the Maldives

Strolling around the city, I head for the “.mv” registry, just like I did to check out the Saint Vincent registry.

I hear a truck saying: “Backing up, be careful” in Japanese. I heard the same sound in Tuvalu (.tv).

The only item on the truck is boxes of “MILO”, piled high. This is a dedicated Milo truck, carrying only Milo. In Japan, Milo is advertised in commercials that feature children playing sports, so I have a strong impression of it being a children’s drink. However, in Latin America and Asia (especially in East Asia and Southeast Asia), it is popular with adults too. Certainly, I saw plenty of it in the Maldives.

I thought that the number of people in the Maldives who could speak Japanese had really increased, but I was blown away to see a shop called “Naoto Takenaka’s shop”. However, it was a souvenir shop that had nothing to do with actor Naoto Takenaka. The story is that the store’s name comes from the fact that the owner looks like Naoto Takenaka.

The “Naoto’s shop” is also a souvenir shop for Japanese people. In this neighborhood, while we were walking around, people frequently came up and tried to “guide” us. Please note that you will be charged if you follow or listen to these “guides”.

Paint company “Nippon Paint” is advertised by a sumo wrestler with a big smile. It says, “Singapore’s Favorite Paint Brand.”

There were many shops selling tools, paint, painting materials etc.

I thought it was a sports brand shop, but actually they are selling very fashionable work clothes and helmets.

In Tonga, I found a counterfeit for sale, but in the Maldives it was an authentic Mikasa volleyball. In the Indian Ocean region, a sports tournament called the “Indian Ocean Island Games” was started by the International Olympic Committee in 1976. Featured sports include volleyball, judo, table tennis etc. In 2019, the Maldives won a gold medal in women’s group table tennis. The local newspaper reported that it was a “historic victory.” The Maldives have been chosen to host the 2023 games.

It seems you don’t need to wear a helmet when driving a motorcycle on these islands.

Finding the Maldives’ domains “.mv” and “” around town.

The domain “.mv” is restricted to government and large companies because it cannot be registered online and is expensive to maintain. Non-governmental and other companies tend to use “” and “”.

By the way, looking at the map, by now I should have arrived at the “.mv” registry, but there was no such place, instead I found the Presidential Palace (Muleeaage). It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t find the registry address (19 Medhuziyaaraiy Magu Male 20-02 Maldives), but I did make it to a tourist spot unexpectedly.

I found a man wearing a T-shirt with the Japanese word “Continue” on it. Underneath it said “To Be Continued!!!”, so when I told him that the meaning was not wrong, he smiled and posed for a shot. The Domain Island Tour continues.

■The following is a summary of the places visited during the Domain Island Tour.


■ For Access Details to the Maldives Islands,Click Here

■ For “” Domain Details and Application,Click Here