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Reasons Why I Appreciate Living In Saipan

I was born and raised in Saipan, and have practically lived here my entire life. I’ve experienced many highs and lows on the island and have witnessed it blossom into the tropical beauty it is today.

And I write with the determination that Saipan is undoubtedly one of the places to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Here’s why.

The Splendor of Saipan


We are surrounded by shining turquoise water and have peacefully coexisted with the jungles. The sunsets and sunrises are undeniably jaw-dropping. We live in the presence of fresh air; tropical weather (Fun fact: We hold the Guinness World Record for the land with the most consistent temperature); and indigenous terrain and aquatic wildlife: birds, butterflies, lizards, fish, turtles, and manta rays. Rising tall throughout the island are iconic palm trees and our notable flame trees, whose flowers exhibit brilliant, red-orange petals resembling fire (hence, its name), that complement the other species of beautiful flora.


Saipan was a significant battleground during both World Wars in the early to mid-1900s. Today, remnants of battle zones and war equipment are found deep throughout the island, with some artifacts preserved at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center that features a short documentary film in their theatre. Most historical landmarks are free to visit and explore. Of course, it is suggested to explore with respect and care. There is also information available upon visiting these sites.


Comparing how time operates between the US and the island, I’ve always felt like I can breathe more steadily when I’m in Saipan. There is undoubtedly a fast-paced lifestyle that large cities encompass, so if you’d like to take things slowly for a moment, Saipan is a great getaway to catch up on your thoughts, feelings, and relax while our clock ticks slower.


As far as I know, residents of Saipan, and the CNMI in general, have not been charged with a variable sales tax. That’s because the prices of goods and services already include tax and are therefore firm (but still applicable for discounts and other offers). It’s very convenient as it’s easy to calculate your grocery bills or phone bills.


Well, easy is loosely defined here. Saipan has limited public transportation because many of the residents own personal or family vehicles. If you’re visiting, the best and practically the only way to affordably travel around the island is to rent a car, which is not difficult as there are about a dozen of car rental shops available, several of which are at the airport upon arrival. You can ask a car rental agent for a map of the island (which includes coupons and discounts to many of the island’s popular eateries and boutiques). Some of our roads aren’t formally named, and almost all locals would simply pinpoint easily identifiable landmarks to guide others to a destination.

Virtually every business on Saipan is allocated with a free parking lot, most of which are safely separated from the highways. There are no working parking meters or officers to keep track of any parking payments. Also, do be prepared to master your parallel parking technique. The populous village of Garapan is notorious for its numerous parallel parking slots.


The people on Saipan have a culturally strong familial bond. Many of the children are not in a rush to move out of their family home, and many parents love having their children under the same roof. Family comes first to many of us, and when one is in need of help, there is no doubt that family will be there. Sometimes the families formed are not of the same blood, but through a diverse community with our classmates, neighbors, and even coworkers.


Our local Chamorro delicacies reign supreme. But, we are treated to mouth-watering arrays of Asian, European, Indian, and American foods as well. Many of these international savory cuisines, along with a bunch of the island’s most popular desserts – pearl (boba) shakes, shaved ice, baked goods, to name a few – can be found at our annual festivals.

From February to July, the island celebrates with annual festivals and events perfect for families and friends to enjoy. Pre-pandemic, the island hosted the Flame Tree Festival, Taste of the Marianas, Fourth of July Parade, Thursday Night Street Market, Marianas March Against Cancer, Good Friday March (to Mt. Tapochau, the island’s highest point). Towards the latter half of the year, Saipan holds the Japanese Autumn festival, with Halloween treats and Christmas joy to close the year.

Keep being inspired and take care always,


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