Saipan Shots

We haven’t spent much time on the beach yet… but we did drive to the south of the island and check out a couple of beaches.

Ladder Beach is reached by a long stairway that reaches almost to the sand… the southern part of the island is what was hit the hardest in the huge hurricane last fall, and I’m told it altered the landing area of this stairway.  But no matter, the beach is still beautiful, with huge boulders on the western side that make for fun exploring and awesome views.



Fairly common beach attire… wouldn’t want to get too much sun!


Obyan Beach (pronounced Ob-John) is a bit farther east, and quite a bit more popular.


Still beautiful after hurricane damage

Alongside the parking area are many trees that have been blown over, and are now just sticking their roots helplessly in the air…


ATV tours are available, and we ran into one leaving the beach.  The whole herd seemed to be having fun.


There was a uniformed guard at the parking area when we arrived, and he asked us if we would be getting in the water.  He advised that because of a strong rip current, we should not go past the breakers.  So we had fun in only about three feet of water.  The rocks weren’t too exciting, but it was good to be in the clear water and I had fun chasing fish…


Most of the tourists in Saipan are from China or Korea, with Japan a distant third.  I don’t think American tourists get here too often.  One thing that amuses me about the tourists, is the love of Pink Mustang convertibles.  They are extremely popular, and you see dozens of them driving around.  The coolest ones have had the doors modified, so they swing up like they belong on a Lamborghini.  These Pseudo Lambo drivers pose for glamour shots all over the island, usually just the pretty girl, but sometimes a couple.  You occasionally see red Mustangs, or even Yellow Camaros, but the pink prevails.




The World War II battle for Saipan was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific.  The Japanese figured this island was their last line of defense, because if the Americans took Saipan, they would be within bomber range of the Japanese mainland.  So they fought ferociously to keep it.

The American invasion was incredibly strong, and the Japanese were overpowered.  The last stronghold was towards the north of the island, in a system of caves reinforced with concrete.  Much of the fortress still exists, and there are many military relics around to add to the sobering atmosphere.




The caves are now mostly guarded by spiders

Near the shore are many shrines commemorating the lost…


A gorgeous sunset seems to represent closure of a sad time for both sides…




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