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.
Fondest memory: The historical accounts of Saipan can be witnessed at many of the tourist sites, such as:
North end of the island: Last Command Post, Banzai Cliff, Suicide Cliff
Central island: Japanese Hospital, Sugar King Park, Japanese Jail
Top of the island: placards and displays on top of Mt. Tapochao
South end of island: several bunkers, shelters, and memorials
But best source of information is the American WWII Museum and Memorial Park:
Just north of the Hyatt Hotel, in Garapan.
Entry is free of charge until 5pm. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays and holidays.
...time s----l-----o------w-------s down...
Fondest memory: ...sharing the many moments with my friends of 26 years---its like the finest wine, the best chocolate, the most plush hotel room, the intense, most vivid sunset, the exilerating experience of seeing a EagleRay for the very first time....
The official languages are: English, Chamorro, Carolinian, but Japanese and Korean are also spoken at most tourist oriented businesses.
86% of the population speaks a language other than English at home.
The U.S. Dollar is the official currency.
All major Credit Cards, Japanese Yen and Korean Won are also accepted in most tourist oriented businesses.
Both American and Asian banks can be found in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
By air, Saipan is only 25 minutes from Guam, three and a half hours from Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and Sendai;
four hours from Sapporo, Seoul, Pusan, Taipei and Manila;
five hours from Hong Kong;
five and a half hours from Cairns, Australia;
six hours from Bali.
Fondest memory: The plane ride from Guam to Saipan on a small propeller plane! Scary but FUN!
Perhaps the best places to go to on Saipan would be all the perfectly preserved and well maintained World War II sites. From the Suicide Cliff to the Banzai Cliff to the American Memorial, Saipan has many places worth visiting and taking pictures at.
Another plus is during the "Flame Tree" festival - which is when the MANY flame trees are in full bloom. This usually happens between mid-May thru mid-July. In 2005, the flame trees were blooming late (late June). It is a beautiful sight to see from the airplane, especially when arriving in the day time. Very breath-taking!
Fondest memory: What really stays on my mind is the fact this island, half the size of my homeplace Guam, is progressing quickly. My fellow islanders are really proud, too, of their homeplace in that you VERY rarely see any eye sores such as junk vehicles and trash along the sides of the roads. Awesome display of pride that other places around the world should follow!
Saipan was one of the bloodiest battles of the War in the Pacific during World War Two. And, so many, many Japanese, Korean, Okinawans, as well as Americans died here on this small Pacific island.
There are many monuments on the north side of Saipan to honour those who died, and often you will find families and veteran groups here paying tribute to their lost friends and family members.
The best in Saipan is the color of sea.
The color is changing with the depth, weather, and where you are, etc.
Favorite thing: Add some color to your photos. If you travel to Saipan in June, the flame trees will be in bloom... Here is quite a large flame tree on the north side of Saipan..
They have great banks there with wonderful service when you're out of money :)
Fondest memory: the beach..... ahhh.....what a life.
The hotel is beautifully situated. There is a wide range of facilities and activities offered to...more
PO Box 500009, Achugao, 96950, Mariana Islands
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
Fiesta Resort & Spa (on internet also called Dai-Ichi Hotel Saipan) is on the beach in centre of...more