Airai Bai

Architecture in Babeldaob

Image by Airai Bai, Babeldaob Island, Palau, by Jean-Bernard Carillet Lonely Planet

Palau's oldest bai (men's meeting house) is over 100 years old, 21m long and 6m wide, with a steeply pitched roof reaching a height of 12m. It was constructed using local materials of wood and thatch on a stone platform. A number of legendary scenes and symbolic motifs are painted inside and outside. Look for the figure of delerrok, the mythical money bird, found at all four corners of the bai; it was thought to bring good fortune to the village.

Airai Bai is in a clearing in the village of Airai. It's not signposted; ask locals for directions. Chances are the keeper of the bai will miraculously appear and ask for the entrance fee.

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