most of the parking in Guam if you go to the Malls like Micronesia Mall, Guam Premium Outlets, Tumon Plaza, Agana Shopping Center, Acanta Mall and more are free. Even some hotels provide free parking provided that you are a stay in guest (if not, they would tow your rental car and bill you for the towing fee and it costs $ 200 for the towing fee). So If plan on renting a rental car, then it will be a great deal since parking here is mostly free.
Fondest memory: mostly free parking in the tourist friendly areas of tumon, hagatna, tamuning, dededo, harmon. Just be sure to ask the establishment where you are parking just to be sure but again most of the parking in the tourist areas are free.
If you plan to get a rental car instead of just relying on the very expensive taxis in Guam or the assorted buses and trolleys plying the area, then here are some valuable driving tips. Guam has many rental car companies and you need a valid international drivers license if you are a tourist or just your local drivers license from your country of origin (but prepare for the consequence when you get pulled over for traffic violation). Driving is fairly simple and similar to the mainland US. Roads are not graded to US standards and are very slippery in rain.
The roads here are wide but the speed limit is set at 35 miles per hour (55 kilometers per hour) at the highways, 15 miles in residential areas. like in the mainland, the vehicles here are right side traffic. There are many stoplights and if you get caught on beating the red light or overspeeding, you get a $ 300 fine for overspeeding and $ 500 for beating the red light.
There are designated Bus and Trolley Stops in the Main tourist Areas like in Hotels in Tumon and Tamuning, Latte Stone Park (nearby is the Plaza Espana and Cathedral and the Chocolate House), Two Lovers Point, Chamorro Village, Guam Premium Outlets, Micronesia Mall, K-Mart, Agana Shopping Center. BUT BE SURE TO WAIT AT THE BUS STOPS THAT ARE COLOR CODED BY THE TROLLEY COMPANY WHERE YOU BOUGHT THE TICKET OR THE FIVE DAY PASS! since there are many trolley bus companies plying the route and each has it's own set of Bus Stops that sometimes overlap with each other. The Five Day Unlimited Bus Pass is not Transferable to the other companies plying the route! You got to stick to the company where you bought the Bus Pass.
Trolley Companies Include the Red Guahan Trolley, JTB Trolley, The Shopping Bus, The Limousine Shopping Bus, Paradise Limousine.
Fondest memory: Bus Services Start at 9:30 am up to 9:30 pm everyday and waiting time is at least 10 minutes for each bus/trolley station. Just be sure to read the front of the buses on what their routes are since there are many routes that are available.
Bottled Water is available everywhere in Guam as even the locals rarely drink tap water in the Island. You can buy them at convenience stores like the various ABC Stores located in the main tourist areas or at the Big K-Mart in Tamuning or at the mom and pop groceries that lines the islands. If you are checked in at the hotels, they give your up to 4 small bottles of Purified Water in PET Bottles free everyday but if you want the bigger sizes like the 1 liter to 1 gallon water, you can buy them at the convenience stores of various brands like evian, fiji, island water and more and they costs at little as 99 cents for 1 liter during a sale up to $ 4.00 for a gallon of water.
Fondest memory: assorted bottled water is available everywhere
Guam is one big Shopper's Paradise as most of what you see in Hong Kong and Singapore particularly the Branded and luxury items are here and moreso since Guam has wonderful beaches for water sports, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and more that both Hong Kong and Singapore Lacks (off course they have other attractions mostly the man made kind like Universal Studios, Disneylan, Sentosa Island and Ocean park) and like in Hong Kong, Guam is one whole Duty free Area and unlike in Hawaii and the US Mainland which has sales taxes for merchandises (except for Oregon and Parts of New Jersey). That is why you would see lots of Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese, Chinese Tourists here since what they buy here is cheaper than buying it at home due to the duty free status and since they don't need a US Visa to Go here since they are part of the US VISIT visa free program.
The shops are from the budget like ROSS for LESS to the Mid Scale NAUTICA, ANN KLEIN, RALPH LAUREN to the Luxe Items like LOUIS VUITTON, HERMES', PRADA, GUCCI, ROLEX, AUDEMARS PIQUET and more!
Fondest memory: shops here in Tumon, Tamuning and Hagatna are open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm everyday and up to 11:00 pm during peak tourist seasons.
Shopping Malls are Tumon Sands Plaza, DFS Store Guam, JP Superstore, The Plaza by Out Trigger, Guam premium Outlets, K-Mart, Micronesia Mall, Agana Shopping Center, Acanta Plaza, La Isla Plaza and more.
like in any country anywhere, Guam has quite a number of Automated Teller Machines that accepts both local and international ATM cards. The Banks here are dominated by the Bank of Guam and Bank of Hawaii and Oceanic Banks and they have many ATMS around the Island and even at the hotel lobbies of most hotels.
A Caveat: when withdrawing from ATM machines, be sure that your ATM PIN number is only four digits since they don't accept a 6 digit ATM PIN number. Also, you can be charged from $ 2.50 as withdrawal charge by the local Bank that owns the ATM machine besides the service charge that the International Consortiums like PLUS or DISCOVER or CIRRUS charges (again $ 2.50) whatever amount that you are withdrawing. the maximum withdrawal allowed is $ 500.
Fondest memory: Lots of ATM's and even Portable ATM's in Guam
Discover Guam Tour is a local Tour Company That Specializes in small group and personalized tour packages. If you don't want to be part of a big tour group in a big tour bus with the usual rush time like the DOMINANT LAM LAM TOURS or the JTB Tours for Japanese Tourists, due to the large tour group, guam has some private tour companies that cater to a small tour group of 1 to 6 people and the transportation provided will be either an SUV or a minivan with the driver is also the tour guide. Off Course this kind of tour is more expensive than the big group tour but you will have more time to savor the destinations that you plan to visit and the pace is not fast since you are in a small tour group. Plus you can bond with your tourmates the tour is only up to 6 persons in the vehicle.
according to their website:
Discover Guam™ is a Local-Owned Tour company with a successful 20 year track record in servicing Guam’s visitors from all points of the world be they independent travelers; small special interest groups; large incentive/conference groups; or military/passenger cruise ships calling into Guam.
In addition to being a one-stop full service optional tour center for everything there is to see and do on Guam, Discover Guam’s mission… with each and every visitor…is to share Guam’s GREATEST and MOST UNIQUE asset… the Chamorro People, their island and their way of life… through their personalized tour programs. English-speaking Certified Tour Guides and upon request...Japanese Korean Chinese Filipino.
Physical address: 391 Pale San Vitores Road Unit #5 Ypao, Guam 96911 Tel (671) 649-TOUR
Mailing address: P.O. Box 2860 Hagatna, Guam 96932 Cell (671) 686-TOUR
Email address: Info@discoverguamtours.com Fax (671) 649-FITS
Fondest memory: they offer different tour packages with maximum of 6 persons in a group and the packages include Hafa Adai Package, Southern Discovery Package, World War II Memorial Packages and more, plus you can combine all packages for an added fee and viola, it become a whole day tour
Actually there is no problem in riding a trolley bus or big buses in guam since there is an adequate number of buses and trolleys and a variety of privately owned bus companies but it gets really packed during the day and it you have not shopped for may items and is not carrying many shopping bags then it is not a problem but if you're an avid shopper with many shopping bags from the items you bought at the malls, it will be a big problem as it can be packed as sardines at the Trolleys and even at the Big Air conditioned Buses! Better to plan your shopping ahead and know if the shopping area that you are going is packed with bus riders or not (Micronesia Mall, Guam Premium Outlets and DFS Galleria and K-Mart are the bus stops with many passengers coming and going). So if you plan to shop a lot, be sure to be at the front of a line at the stop so that you can be able to sit instead of stadning up since the bus drivers here are rough and there are sudden starts and stops and sudden turns too that you can get bruises or fall if you are standing and is not careful.
Fondest memory: just be sure to be at the front of the line when you have many shopping bags to have a sit at the assorted buses and trolleys.
Nothing. The fact that the island has been in decline in every possible way since the early 1980s thanks to a hand full of "backwards" thinking corrupt politicians - married with today's scumbag politicians who are elected by large families. Guam has sunk to an all time low. Gone are the days of the throngs of US-Soldier/Sailor supporting families. They have been replaced by "champagne taste - beer budgeting welfare panhandlers". There are many locals who have left the island because of the constant if not blatant lack of accountability and trust that people should have for their government. Guam's "local government" is based entirely on the US model of a democratic republic. Unfortunately, none of it works the way it should because 1.) The government is corrupt right from go. - it is entirely based upon who you know versus what you know, 2.) The politicians who are in office make sure that their families are well-taken care of at the expense of the voting public, and 3.) No natural resources to bargain with - because even "tourism" is a political subject that is frought with corrupt political meddling. Health care is almost non-existent. People are being constantly flown off island for "routine" procedures. God forbid you have a life threatening emergency.
Fondest memory: I was born on the island, grew up there until I graduated from Father Duenas Memorial High School. The motto was "Duenas Memorial For God and For Guam". Many of the alumni who graduated before me and along side me have contributed to the demise of the islands economic infrastructure. They were the "rich" kids like the current governor Felix Camacho. The local congresswoman in DC is the widow of one of the corrupt governors who shot himself in the head at a local "square" - I don't have enough space to type it up here. But if you google "Ricardo J. Bordallo" - you should get a pretty good idea of what his family including his wife did to the island. Guam is far from "progressive" thinking. They want to be like the US, but can't keep up - because of the island's inability to embrace change. Guam has no natural resources, and they expect Federal assistance for everything. Yet their leaders are always screaming "indigenous rights" this and that! Talk about stupid. In their fight for these "rights" - a sign posted by the local mall read, "The Eskimos did it why can't we." They are not "PC" by any means - many of the locals are racist in nature, and God forbid you are "white". Again, Guam is not the paradise that it once was back between the 50 and 70s. It is a toilet breeding ground that has now turned into a sinking ship filling with illegal Micronesians that are looking to become US citizens. The crime rate is way up. There are little to no areas for people to buy good produce. Healthcare is about on par with a third world nation. The education is substandard to say the least. Be warned if you are relocating or if you are a military dependent!
Check out www.guampdn.com or www.kuam.com for local fiascos that are on going ALL THE TIME! Guam is going no where fast, and frankly the locals don't seem to care enough to make good decisions.The travel channel also did a piece on the island indicating its not so stellar appeal to travelers or visitors - BEWARE!!!!
Chewing of "Betel nut" for the locals is akin to having a capuccino or heavy latte for us tourists.
The nuts themselves (which are really of the areca plant that grow with the betel plant) are about the size of jaw breaker candy but are soft and chewy like old bubble gum. Other than the red stain to lips and tongue and teeth, there is no permanent ill-effect from chewing the nut nor is there any addiction effects. It is just a cultural habit that goes back to prehistoric times in the southeast asia area.
But it is not a flavor that most Europeans or Americans will enjoy; it is very alkaline. The betel leaf on the other hand has a slightly peppery taste and is used as a condiment in some local dishes. Some natives even chew a leaf in with the nut to enhance the taste.
The betel leaves are also used as an astringent and an antiseptic and for headaches; like using witch hazel and aspirin.
(NOTE... recent studies show that there is a link between chewing betel and oral cancers)
Inarajan Pool is a natural made pool. that has eroded due to the ocean. I remember when I was little how large I thought it was and how deep and blue the water was, but everytime I go back it seems to keep shrinking and shrinking.
Fondest memory: I miss all my family and friends who have visited us here and are now living elsewhere. I miss them and wish they would come and visit more often. Then we can reminise about the way things were.
EVERYTHING!!!What don't I like?
One of my favorite "fun" things is being sneaky and going skinnydipping in the middle of the night. There are plenty of 'secluded' beachy type places. the water is warm all year round all day and all night! It's perfect!
Fondest memory: The friends and memories I made, and still enjoy in my head!
I love the ocean. Scuba diving, snorkeling, and playing volleyball in the sand by the beach!
[Q] we've all seen Japanese tourists flock to designer boutiques in Europe and taking pictures all around the world . now here in the tropical paradise of Guam : WHY can't U just lay down on the beach ???
[A] in Japan U live within your boundaries & stature . thus, going abroad is one of the most fantastic get-aways one can imagine . don't take our spending spree as if we are filthy rich . on the contrary, much of our lives are modest by American standards, and most of our income is set accordingly . we buy designer brands because we consider them post-modern Art . we carry our camera wherever we go because it WAS the machine that brought us worldly status along w/ the radio (and compact cars & walkmans after that). yes, we would like to lie on the beach forever, but our vacation time is limited, and would rather take this chance to buy whatever we can't on mainland Japan 8)
[Q] hmm .. but why K-Mart ?
[A] as citizens of the Material World U might not realize how fortunate U R to have all those nifty small stuffs to powder up your daily life . if U ever come to Japan, I'm sure you'll be obsessed w/ the small things on THIS side of the ocean : try OUR version of Home & Garden : the TOKYU HANDS and LOFT, each in a tall building by itself !
[Q] 'S' as in Shopping ??? hey, I thought this was an island in the middle of nowhere where we can lie on the beach and do NOTHING !!!
[A] correct . it was so for a while after WW-II . but now it's more of a Duty-Free Island in itself, with the Koreans & Japanese flying in herds for its proximity .
[Q] O.K, but why do U always travel in herds ???
[A] the way these travel agents operate : one can save almost 50% if traveling with a tour group . and remember : the language & culture differ widely from many other Asian countries, and more so from the States & Europe . travelling as a pack we get a guide who explains and takes care of virtually EVERYTHING .
[Q] the Japanese ??? I thought we took it over from them after a bloody battle ..
[A] correct again . the economy was much dependent on the US Military presence after that, but while they began to reduce presence after the cold war, the Koreans & Japanese now make up the bulk of tourist income .
this is a site intended soley to aid your '2S' (Shopping Spree) in Guam . if U plan to be in Guam for just 2~4 days (which is the bulk of group tours originating from Japan & Korea) this site is ALL you're gonna need .
(click on 'see all' above for an extensif FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions)
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