I'm pretty sure the local residents are used to the fact that Japanese people don't tip. We didn't tip in most places and no one gave us any glares or looks. Not tipping will save you a bit I figure but sometimes service charges are added onto the bill.
However, I tipped at the poolside bar and after that, the lady was SUPER nice to me afterwards.
Maybe a couple bucks here and there will make your stay a bit better.
360 degree photo op
You must take the drive up to the top of the island - Mt. Tapochao. You stand at the very tip top of the island and can look around the island, and realize how small the island is. Nothing but ocean, ocean and more ocean.
SAIPAN - a Paradise Island
"Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands"
Saipan is the largest of the Northern Marianas, a chain of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean. It enjoys US Commonwealth status and is one of the most beautiful resort destinations in Micronesia. Saipan is the main island and is 1650 miles east of Manila. 1700 miles north of Papua New Guinea and 3720 miles west of Hawaii. The Mariana Islands mark the dividing line between the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea. The peak of a submerged mountain, the island of Saipan rises more than 36.000 feet above the floor of the Mariana Trench, one of the unseen natural wonders of the world that dives to a depth of 38.635 feet.
Discovered in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellen on his last trans-Pacific voyage to the famed Spice Islands. Saipan and its neighbouring islands were variously over the centries, colonised by the Spanish, influenced by the Germans and occupied by the Japanese. The Americans came in after the World War II. Today, the people of Saipan and the rest of the Northern Mariana Islands are a diverse mixture of local Pacific islanders, Caucasians and Asians.
Saipan is a popular resort destination,endowed with blue lagoons, white sandy beaches and verdant hills where swimming, diving, parasailing, boating, fishing and snorkelling are just some of the island's main attractions. Golf is also a popular pastime in Saipan with five challenging courses, designed by famous PGA players such as Larry Nelson and Greg Norman.
The island is about 13 miles long and 5 miles wide with Garapan, its largest town, rich in duty-free shops and a number of designer outlets.
...we were here quite awhile and my friend Mark tried to capture that "perfect-wave-hit-the-rock" shot. Well, as you can see in the next few photo's, EDITING that was a bit hard to do also! ach photo had just enough 'minor-difference' to make it a 'keeper'! But, overall, if I had to choose one, t-h-i-s would be the one....
[wave-wise, this would have been #3 in the sequence because the wave has now 'poofed' into the air as 'mist'; after hitting the rock#2, and breaking across it #3...]
....in this one, I like the fact that the wave is first caught slamming into the rock and beginning to come up-and-over...
...plus, I like the small detail that I was 'caught' looking down in this photo as the wave breaks over the rock....
....and, again, the wave is flying up into the air and becoming 'mist-a-fied'...!...:-)
...Plus, I like how I'm in the 'spot-light' from the light come in from the high arc of the sun.........(not all the photo's in this sequence had me in
"Jokers that we are..."
....we have such a good time when we get together; friends of 26 years. We laugh and carry on like we were back in our twenties to this day!
....the color on the coralRock is very 'gold-brown' in places. This makes for a very fine place of exploring and taking photo's as it gives the photo a 'rich' feeling/texture to it...
...Bev's showing me the way to go to get wet!
[and like all good things, time has a way of moving on...
...isn't it 'wild', 'strange' how it does that?
Just as in the photo we 'moved on', so has this precious moment been now committed to what 'went-before' and 'was', and thus, a 'memory'.
Sometimes I wish the moments I want to 'stay-in' would last for as long as I want them to!
"ThatsWhyTheirsCamera'sTom!" says Mark...]
"So now since its cooled off...."
....we look to the lagoon on the west side of the island to provide us with a bit of 'heat-relief...
...this is alot of fun, especially when th ewater is sooooo clear and the sand on the bottom reflects the sun back up at you. It makes the water such a beautiful hue, in this case, green/blue....
[Thats my friend Mark---the one usually taking the pictures!]