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Thursday, January 31, 2013

(My Marianas) Off to the Street Market

Published in the January 24. 2013 issue of Marianas Variety

IT’S Thursday once again and all roads lead to the Fishing Base where nonstop live entertainment, the widest selections of international cuisine and where crafts and trinkets are available at reasonable prices – the Garapan Street Market.
As early as 5 p.m. you can already buy some food and drinks from the booth owners who start early.
Wander from booth to booth and get your fill of various specialties from Chinese, Thai, Chamorro, Filipino, Korean, and Japanese at prices much lower than they normally offer at their respective restaurants. You can get a full meal like a bento with five or six choices for only $5.
Where else can you find really affordable food with selections so vast and varied it will make your head spin trying to decide what to eat, free entertainment and shopping options all in one place?
Name it and the street market most probably have it—from barbeque, noodles, vegetables, fresh fruit and local produce, fruit shakes, healthy drinks, grilled temptations like fish, beef, chicken or pork, sweet delights like local desserts, 
Tables set at the center of the market begin to fill up at past 5 pm and from then onward, it is like one huge potluck where you get to share tables with friends and strangers, locals and tourists from all parts of the world.
Cultural barriers are laid aside as you all concentrate in enjoying the food and experience the tastes, smells and sounds of Saipan.
At the other side of the market, you can browse through stalls displaying fashion jewelry, shirts and bags, trinkets, crafts and arts and other local produce that you can bring home as souvenirs.
The street market is also where you can find some agencies and organizations holding campaigns or handing out informational brochures about upcoming events, products and services.
Hogging the spotlight at the street market each Thursday is the stage where local bands, singers and dancers perform to entertain the audience.
Here is where you can watch a variety of performers—from groups dancing to the beat of modern tunes, to dancers performing Polynesian, Micronesian or local dances in their colorful island attire to fire dancers juggling lighted torches the delight of the tourists.
The street market is where you can find more cameras clicking and flashing than anywhere else in the island on a Thursday, where you come in hungry and leave full, a place where you can get loads of fun and food.
For more information about what to do and where to go when on Saipan, visit www.mymarianas.com or call 664-3200.

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