"Life on the quiet paradise of CNMI" Top 5 Page for this destination Saipan by DSwede

Saipan Travel Guide: 91 reviews and 299 photos

Well, my work situation in Asia is always up in the air... so having to run out on limited notice to renew my Visa, guess who got yet another junket?! Yes, I was able to get to Saipan for a paid leave from Korea. Having found a direct flight from Busan, Korea to Saipan, I was the only white person on the plane! I had lots of looks by the other passengers and by the airport staff, but had a great trip nonetheless. I flew on the red-eye flights out and back to maximize the daylight hours of my visit too.

Due to the blessings of the internet, networking and some friends around the world, I wound up staying all but one night with some local friends. Being dive instructors and great outgoing people, I had a great time of it. I logged 6 dives in different locations, toured the island, learned the local ways and politics, ate well and made some good new friends.

The island is nice. I could see myself coming back. Its quite chill and relaxed. Saipan Island is less than 15 miles with ~60000 people or less. It is a US commonwealth, so English and the dollar are the way to go. Local politics have a bit to be desired (am getting good 1st hand info since my friends are radio host).

Saipan is almost a forgotten place today. Only people with the curiosity for travel or history come by the name. The islands have remained quiet and remote for the average person. But history shows that they were a logistic and tactical focal point in the Pacific Theater of WWII.

Battles raged between USA and Japan in the waters and islands of the area. Ultimately, Saipan was home to one of the bloodiest battles of the war (more than 43,000 deaths!). Neighboring island (Tinian) became the world's busiest airport (at the time) since it was the base for all Asian raids and USAF missions. That was the airport that the infamous Enola Gay departed from.

(for more pictures, feel free to visit my CNMI (Saipan) Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Most consistent weather and waters, despite the season.
  • Cons:Transportation options to get here are rather limited.
  • In a nutshell:A day and half to see the WWII sites, weeks to explore the diving.
  • Intro Updated Mar 29, 2011
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Reviews (11)

Comments (3)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Hi, Dave! I see you are fortunate with your trips! Great! ><><><

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    I love history so the WWII museum would be fascinating to me. Sounds like you had fun diving. I like to snorkel but am too chicken to try diving. Have you read "Shadow Divers?"

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:57 PM

    Great tips on Saipan. Wow.. you clocked so many dives. I miss my diving days.

DSwede

“What I lack in experience, I make up for in curiosity”

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