Digging into anything and everything that makes the CNMI tick beyond politics...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Enjoying Micro Beach at your leisure

DO you want to spend precious moments each day in total relaxation yet find it hard to snatch time from your busy schedule? On Saipan, you don’t need to go far.

Photos by Raquel C. Bagnol

Just a few steps away from the Saipan’s commercial district in Garapan near American Memorial Park is Micro Beach, a popular spot which many of us may have taken for granted.
Micro Beach is an ideal place to spend your leisure time. Whether you have a full free day to spend, or just a few minutes to breath in the salty tang of the ocean breeze, this is the place for you.
In the late afternoons, you can catch one of Saipan’s glorious sunsets from Micro Beach with the fascinating Managaha Island at the backdrop.
On Sundays and holidays, Micro beach is the island’s most populated beach. It is a favorite picnic spot to hold local fiestas, barbeques, parties, and just gatherings with friends and family members.
The beach area provides kids a fantastic playground. The beach has tables and benches, swing sets and the tall trees provide shade for the picnickers.
Micro Beach is also an ideal venue for popular sporting events like XTerra Saipan Championship.
On some days, strong winds would gust to the delight of surfers. Micro Beach is a popular windsurfing spot. In 1972, Micro Beach became the competition site as windsurfers from six countries gathered for a three-day race.
The natural beauty of the island with its pristine beaches and natural landscape makes it a perfect destination for tourists.
If you want to break the monotony of your routine, take a few minutes out and head off to Micro Beach. You’ll come back refreshed and renewed.
(This article was originally published HERE)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the shores of Wing Beach

DESERTED’ is the first word that would come to your mind as soon as you emerge from the thicket that shelters the entrance to Wing Beach, one of Saipan’s seashore treasures.
Darkness was about an hour away and yet I insisted on making a stop to this spot which I just heard about from others. The long fingers of dusk began to claim dominance over the skies, casting a somewhat eerie yet fascinating atmosphere.

The shore was practically isolated, the silence broken only by the slapping of the waves in the distant reef and by our presence. The long stretch of soft white sand seemed to defy our existence.
There is something about Wing Beach that lures you to come back again and again. Turning off from the main road in Marpi, the dirt road that curbs its way around and amidst thick foliage will lead you deeper that you would feel you were already in the jungle, but you are just a few minutes away from your destination.
Running on the shores and leaving deep footprints on the sand is an exhilarating experience you must not miss. It is as if you have the whole place to yourself, and nothing else matter except you, the sea, the skies and the sand on the shores.
Various shells scattered on the beach adds to its attraction. Swinging by Wing Beach during the day would be an entirely exciting and different experience, without the long shadows and the eerie stillness of the place. It is one of the spectacular places to hold picnics or get together with friends. You can visit the place just to pass time, take a dip in the ocean, commune with nature, draw figures or write you name on the sand, or go diving.
Wing Beach, located on the northwest part of Saipan is one place you must not miss. Swing by for a view of some fantastic geographical features like breathtaking drop-offs and large, spectacular crevasses. Chances are you will come back to the place.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rendezvous at the Suicide Cliff Lookout

Photos by Raquel C. Bagnol

The word SPECTACULAR or any other synonym in the dictionary is inadequate to describe the view from the top whereI was leaning against the steel railings on Saturday noon. It was exhilarating to stand on top of a 250-meter tall rock face and revel in the excellent views of the north end of Saipan.

From miles away, the ocean stretched far out with its different shades of blue glistening in the heat. If you look up at the cliffs from down below, they look menacing but when you’re up there, you’ll be telling a different story.

The Suicide Cliff lookout was a somber yet almost romantic place to be. I ignored the butterflies that seemed to flutter in my stomach as I looked down at the Banzai Cliff which resembled a miniature park way below from where I was, a spot which beckons one to come and explore what it has to offer .

The Suicide Cliff Lookout provokes a sense of being lost in time, surrounded by the natural beauty of the cliffs which some almighty power seemed to have carved centuries ago.

If you didn’t have an inkling of the tragic past of the place, if you have no idea that hundreds of Japanese have chosen to end their lives by jumping down the cliffs to their deaths than being captured by the American army after they lost the battle, the place is a perfect getaway.

Except that the place is marred by painful memories of the bloody WW11 events. Each nook and crevice in the cliffs is a mute witness of the unspeakable past.

Half the fun and adventure in going up to the Suicide Cliff Lookout and in going down lies on the picturesque road which snakes its way up the cliff, offering you a fantastic view of Garapan, the sea and nature. It’s one place where you get the feeling of being far from civilization and from everybody.

If you have fear of heights, you may opt to stay far from the railings but then, you will miss much!

You won’t get lost in going to the Lookout. Just follow the road signs toward the north and you’ll be there in no time.

(This article originally appeared HERE.)