Kagman Northern Mariana Islands

Keywords: saipan, northern mariana islands, nmi, cnmi, commonwealth of the northern mariana islands

Please note that I retired on March 31, 2005 and no longer live on Saipan. I relocated to Thailand. Photos of my new house are here: House Construction, Part 1

The local government frequently hires off-island teachers and health care professionals. They recruit in all the usual places. A few jobs are also available for college students and recent graduates as 'sports assistants' (?) at some of the local hotels. Otherwise, many professional and technical jobs are taken by alien contract workers who are willing to be paid wages that are much lower than US scale. The government has some recruitment pages you can get to from the CNMI.Net Home page. Also, the Saipan International School is often in need of teachers.

Saipan has several Internet Service Providers. I use Saipan Data Com. Check out their Web page for further information on pricing, etc. There are three other providers, ITE, PCI and MTC.

For those just visiting Saipan, free PC use and Web access are available at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library and at a few restaurants around the island. DFS (Duty Free) also has free access at its Garapan Galleria.

There are plenty of flights, daily. Both Northwest and Continental Micronesia have flights from all over the US West Coast. Saipan is also served by JAL (Page in Japanese), Asiana and others. For more information, see the Marianas Visitor's Authority (MVA) page.

Tourists from US visa waiver countries who intend to stay 30 days or less do not need a visa, no matter what the country of origin. You may be asked to show an onward ticket and sufficient resources to stay your intended duration. 30 day tourist visas can be extended for another 30 days.

Visitors from non-visa wiaver countries must obtain an "Visitor's Entry Permit" from the CNMI Department of Immigration. Your airline or travel agent should be able to arrange this for you.

If you are required to get a Visistor's Entry Permit to travel to Saipan you should know that the Immigration office is very slow about issuing permits. Even if you apply months in advance, your permit may not be issued until a few days before your scheduled arrival. If this makes you uncomfortable, and it should, then you might consider vacationing elsewhere.

Although most of the 'resort' hotels are still expensive, it is possible to find places in the under-US$40.00 range. It is also possible to get tour packages from Japan and other Asian countries that include air fare and hotel at reasonable rates. (60,000 Yen for air fare plus three or four nights room from Japan during low season.)

A nice, moderately priced hotel is the Pacific Gardenia. It is right on the beach and has a good restaurant and great bar.

If you're looking for a house to rent or an apartment see Tim Goodwin's Pacific Rim International web page or Del Benson's Marianas Living web page.

Although Saipan is not that big, you really need a car. Although some people manage without by using bicycles, this is not very practical during the rainy season, at night time or for long journeys. As a result of the Asian economic crisis, used cars are fairly cheap.

As of November 2003, Budget Car Rental at Saipan Airport was charging $45 per day (for a manual-transmission Toyota Tercel) if the car is booked directly with that office. [Budget Car Rental's e-mail address is budgetmp@cnmi-guide.com. and its telephone number is (670) 234-8232.]

SCUBA diving is good. ABRACADABRA! AquaVentures. run by Alec and Teresita Hoffman, is a nice shop frequented by local divers. Stingray Divers. run by Brady Barrineau, is another dive operation that caters to local divers.

And, if diving on Saipan turns you on and you're looking for some place different, have a look at PJ Scuba. Thailand.

Sadly, Saipan doesn't have much in the way of surf. Several breaks are rideable when storms bring Westerly swells.

There are many good beaches, including some very nice, uncrowded, isolated ones. There are a number of golf courses and tennis courts. The jungles are great for boonie-stomping, with plenty of World War Two relics still around. For the sharp-eyed, there are also a number of cultural artifacts (including potsherds, stone implements, cave art and 'latte stones' -- large monoliths that were probably used for building foundations) left by the ancient Chamorro people.

The island has an active night life, both for locals and visitors, with some melding between the two. There are fine restaurants, both in and out of the resort hotels. My favorites include:

Coffee Care Saipan. is located part way up Capitol Hill road (now "Isa Road"), near Vestcor and Micronesian Brewers, is a great place to eat or enjoy some fine coffee. Need a ride? Call 323-5282. Or, send e-mail to:coffeecare@saipan.com

The Hyatt has the best Sunday Brunch in the Asia/Pacific region. My wife and I have been regular customers every Sunday for over ten years. Don't miss it.

The Spicy Thai Noodle Place (Tel. 235-8603) in San Antonio next to the Thailand Food Store has excellent Thai food.

Oleai Beach Club is a great 'sunset' bar and lunch spot on the beach in San Jose Village. Giovanni's at the Hyatt Hotel in Garapan offers the best Sunday Brunch in the Pacific for $27.00. Reservations are a must. The Hyatt also has a daily buffet lunch for $20.00

Saipan finally has a multiplex theater run by Wallace Theaters. We now get first run movies with Dolby Digital sound.

If you like to run, drink beer or both, there is an active chapter of the Hash House Harriers (a drinking club with a running problem) on Saipan. The Saipan Hash House Harriers meet every Saturday at the Bank of Guam building in Garapan at 3:30 PM in 'Winter', and 4:00 PM in 'Summer'. Join the Hash if you'd like to meet some folks from Saipan, see some of the lesser known areas of the island, and enjoy a bit of outrageous partying. The cost is US$6.00 per person for the run, all the beer, soda and junk food you can consume, and all the fun you can handle. The Guam Hash also has a home page.

For those with a different idea of 'fun', there are plenty of night clubs, strip joints, karaoke bars and massage parlors.

The extent to which North American culture has influenced life on Saipan is quite amazing to some people. I suspect that this is largely a marketing triumph and reflects the fact that American media reaches Saipan in a big way: 50-channel cable TV, movies, American style radio, popular magazines, etc. Of course, the fact that people themselves move freely and frequently back and forth from Saipan to the States also results in a great amount of cultural transfer, on the surface anyway. American products fill the shops (SPAM and Budweiser are big sellers) and American styles are the rule.

However, when my wife was 'collectively naturalized' along with her fellow countrymen in November of 1986 I said to her, "Congratulations, Hon, you're an American now." She paused a moment, looked at me and said, "I may have a US Passport, but I'll never be an American."

Photogallery Kagman Northern Mariana Islands:

Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Western Pacific Islands
Lao Lao Bay Golf and Resort Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands ...
Tropical Dry Forests of the Pacific - Marianas Islands

Panoramio - Untitled photo
Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Western Pacific Islands
Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Western Pacific Islands

Panoramio - Untitled photo
Panoramio - Untitled photo
Panoramio - Untitled photo

Happenings | Our Laolao
Panoramio - Photo of Former Kagman Airfield Runway
Panoramio - Photo of Beach, Kagman Point, Saipan

News - Northern Marianas turn to Cool Volley for growth - FIVB
Panoramio - Photo of Japanese Bunker on the Tank Beach. Saipan ...
Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Western Pacific Islands

Tropical Dry Forests of the Pacific - Marianas Islands
Tropical Dry Forests of the Pacific - Marianas Islands
Panoramio - Photo of Forbidden Island. Saipan. Northern Mariana ...