Here is an interesting fact about the Northern Marianna Islands. The B-29 bombers that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki started their mission from Tinian island, one of the main islands here. The islands are now a part of the United States.
Tourism is the mainstay of these islands which receive a large number of tourists from Japan and neighboring South East Asian countries. The three main islands here are Saipan, Tinian, and Rota (the capital is Saipan, and most tourists arrive here).
The islands are rich in biodiversity and have lovely beaches with white sand and turquoise blue water (some of the best diving spots in the world are located here as well). There are also a number of historical spots connected with World War 2 here.
Exploring Northern Mariana Islands
In the Northern face of Saipan islands, there are many world war two memorials to Japanese soldiers who reportedly jumped off the cliff and committed suicide to escape capture by the incoming American Marines.
There are many famous dive spots close to the islands such as The Grotto on Saipan and Eagle Ray City. The Grotto is a limestone cavern and it has been voted as the number two diving spot (cavern) in the world. Eagle Ray City is another unique diving spot. On a good day, the spot contain more than 40 Eagle Rays. Sometimes, they will come so close to you that you can almost touch them. Other diving spots are Fleming, Twin Coral, Dump Cove, Senhanon Cave and Sub Chaser.
The American Memorial Park, Mt. Tapochao, Forbidden Island, Obyan beach, Last Command Post Park, Taga Beach, the Garapan Street Market are some of the other places worth visiting when in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Noerthern Mariana Island’s Cuisine
Being a part of the U.S, you can expect a wide range of American cuisine. So if you are a western tourist, you will find familiar food here. There are many restaurants that serve American and American fast food is also available.
Don’t forget to try the local delicacies like apigi, which is young coconut roasted in banana leaves, chicken kelaguen (shredded chicken, onions with lemon seasoning, served with tortillas). Many of the local dishes are garnished with a local pepper called donne sali. There is even a Hard Rock Cafe in Saipan Island (talk about international choices!).
Do note that you can’t buy alcohol in the Northern Mariana Islands if you are less than 21 years old. You can easily get beers like Miller, Budweiser, Victoria and Fosters. Other brands like Sapporo, Corona, San Miguel, Tsingtao are also available.
Activities in Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Island contain a number of casinos to cater to foreign tourists. There is a major casino in the island of Tinian. There are also many poker houses that will appeal to westerners.
Nevertheless, snorkeling and scuba diving are still the top activity in the Northern Mariana Islands. The islands saw fierce fighting during the Second World war so many ship wrecks dot the ocean floor. Your hotel can help you arrange for a visit to one of these spots.