Chances are, you have never heard of Saipan. Most people haven't because it is a small island which is part of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Also, Saipan is a common wealth of the USA, so their currency is actually US dollars! However, from North America, the flights are super expensive and there probably aren't any direct flights. With Hawaii at a closer distance, why would North Americans bother to travel that far!
Luckily, living in Korea gives me the opportunity to be able to travel to the South Pacific for a decent price. I had never heard of Saipan either, but this island is a popular getaway for Korean families, so I decided to visit. I love going to new places on weekends, so that's just what I did. Here is what you can do with 32 hours in Saipan!
Fiesta Dinner Show
The first day is usually a rest day because of travelling. If you have ever been to the South Pacific, you should have experienced their culture through music, food and dancing. In Saipan, the Fiesta Resort hosts a beachside cultural dinner and live music with dancing. Here you can experience authentic Polynesian dances from places like Hawaii, New Zealand's Maori tribe, Guam and Samoa. The food is an island style buffet.
T Galleria is a duty free shopping centre for tourists. Most of the stores are high end brands like Gucci, Hermes,Prada, Fendi, etc. However, the do have promotions, so it's worth a look. They also have souvenirs and Hard Rock Cafe.
Wake up early and head to Managaha Island. If you take the first ferry, around (8:30-8:40am) there will only be a handful of people on the island, so you can get first dibs on a spot. If you want a beach chair, umbrella or towel you need to bring extra money to rent them. Also, to visit the island there is a $5 fee for foreigners, cash only! The water around the island is so pristine, you don't need to go snorkelling to see fish. There are also water activities you can do like diving and parasailing. Visiting this island is a great way to spend your morning.
The Grotto is a popular diving site. I didn't actually get to see it because of the torrential downpour I experienced on my trip. However, lots of people go diving and snorkelling here because of the water clarity. If you want to dive, you are supposed to have a guide because it can be quite dangerous because of the current.
Bonzai Cliff (Suicide Cliff)
Bonzai Cliff is nicknamed Suicide Cliff because of it's sad World War 2 history. Suicide Cliff is where thousands of Japanese soldiers and civilians jumped to their deaths in 1944 because they did not want to be captured by the Americans. I also learned there are lots of large shark sightings here so no swimming is allowed on this side of the island.
Bird Island Lookout
Bird Island Lookout offers great views of the little island in the ocean that houses thousands of birds and marine animals. The views from above are beautiful but you can hike down a steep hill and see it on ground level.When the tide is low, you can actually go on the island!
The Last Command Post (WWII Japanese War Bunkers)
The Last Command Post is a historical site where you can see some of the artillery and tanks that the Japanese used to defend Saipan. You can actually walk up the steps into the cave where the command and control bunker used to be. I randomly spotting a bunch of goats at the top of the stairs and on the side of the cave, so I didn't want to go up the stairs. This site is definitely worth a visit. It is close to Suicide Cliff and The Grotto.
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I’m Hilda, the writer behind Herxtravels. Here you can find travel guides, reviews and tips. Find out more about me here.