Saipan

After an awesome flight with the turbo prop machine we finally landed on Saipan and enjoyed the weather.

At 16:00 we met our host, Tillman (from Couchsurfing) at Cafe Mango Six. It was my very first couchsurfing experience.

Anyway he welcomed us and he showed our place for sleeping -> two couches. No problem because he already informed us before that we “just” have a couch for sleeping. His place was awesome, small but was located in the paradise.

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The same night we hit the beach bar at the Fiesta hotel and had an awesome first sunset on Saipan.

We called a day and recharged our battery for the next day: Snorkelling at the Pau Pau Beach.

We parked the car at the parking lot and walked as long as we could along the beach to the north where we set up our base. https://goo.gl/oWfB8O
Then we took our snorkelling gear and swam more to the north where the reef started.

 

Also on our list was a car trip around the island. I just list some location you should visit:

  • WWII Memorials and Last Japanese Command Post
  • Banzai Cliff
  • Suicide Cliff
  • The Grotto (take swimsuit and snorkelling gear with you)
  • Bird Island Beach!!!
  • Bird Island Lookout
  • Kalebera Cave (was not that spectacular)
  • Marine Beach and Tank Beach

For going back, we took the Middle Road from the Cave to Rte 320, the street or let’s say it was a small way is no tarmac just gravel. So, I recommend you that way back just with a 4 by 4. Due to enoguh time we also went to the Marine Beach and Tank Beach.

Next day we went diving with speedy turtle. Two tanks with full gear (no computer) cost 300$, first location was Lau Lau Beach and second one was the Grotto! Please see the other article I wrote for more impressions.

Under Water World Saipan

 

It was time to test our adventure skills. From our lovely host, we borrowed camping gear. Tent, air mattress and some courage.

That day we went fully packed with camping gear, enough sushi for a seven-person family, enough beer, whiskey and some dessert to the micro beach where we hired a small ship for giving us a lift to Managha Island!!!

Some organization comments:
Our host organized a permit for camping on the island, it takes usually two working days for getting one, price 0$.
The lift to the island costs 20$ to 25$, also it depends on the time you arrive. If you arrive early you have to pay an additional entry fee on the island. If you arrive later around 15:30 or 16:00 the ticket shop is closed.
We asked the people there for a boat ride the same day it think it was around afternoon 15:00.
My recommendation go to the micro beach and you will see some people that offer the rides. Asked for one the same day.

Thank you Tillman for that hint!!!

Anyway, on the boat our adventure started, we left the boat, I gave the captain and the assistant some sip of my whiskey as a tip :). And told them that they should pick us up at 10:00 next morning!!! From then on, we were alone and nothing could help us, just we two against the nature!!! The night was horrible!!! We had to fight against outrageous crabs there were thousands of them….. That night I could barely sleep. I was happy when we left the island and we were safe again and survived that adventure.

JK, I fully recommend to camp on the island!

Take enough food, alcohol, water and music with you -> then you are safe ;).

 

It was as I remember correctly the day  near to Thailand New Year’s Eve therefore we went to a Thai restaurant which had at that night a delicious buffet!!!!

But before I tell you about the Thai party, I tell you about my experience at Bubba Gump restaurant. Maybe some of you remember Forrest Gump? That day I did not because I could not remember due to my lack of knowing about Forrest Gump. I am a little bit ashamed to tell you that I have never seen Forrest Gump at that time…

Anyway, in the restaurant I had no chance to answer the quiz….
At that moment, I decided with my friend that we will watch Forrest Gump together back at home and also we will cook shrimp that day.

Decided and done 😉 and now I can proudly tell that I have seen Forrest Gump!!!

Back to my story on Saipan. The same day we have met Mike and Anna (from Couchsurfing). Together we went to Mount Tapochau to see the sunset!!!!! Awesome was also the ride on the back on the pick-up from Mike!!!!

After the sunset, we headed to the Thai party / restaurant. That restaurant I also fully recommend for eating.

The name was Spicy Thai Noodle Place. That night the buffet was just 10$ all you could eat. Water fight and flour fight was included due to the tradition of Thailand. I will never forget that!!! The same night we met some lovely funny Chinese people with whom we had great fun and some rounds of beer.

For our last day on Saipan we decided to relax a little bit at the beach near the tank wreck. https://goo.gl/UEtGkl

And from then on, the travel back to Switzerland was right a head from us!

But for a lovely ending here some nice panorama from our adventure in the pacific.

 

My recommendations:

  • Godfathers for a good night at a pub
  • Beach bar (fiesta hotel) for a beer with sunset
  • Snorkelling at Pau Pau Beach
  • View from the mountain
  • Bird Island Beach (park here   and walk down to the beach)
  • Dive in the Grotto with Speedy Turtle
  • Camping on Managha Island
  • Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff
  • WWII Memorial and Last Command Post
  • Snorkelling to the rusty tank
  • Eat sushi at Himawari
  • Eat Thai at Spicy Noodles

 

Guam

Four simple letters G U A M.
We finally touched soil of Guam. We went to ACE car to receive our rental car for our next days. Also that day we were really exhausted from the long travel. So we drove a little around and ate something and then we headed to our apartment, which we booked over AirBnb , where we took a small nap. That night there was a food/night market. It is every Wednesday at the chamorro village. The fire and dance show was awesome but the food was not overwhelming, it was kind of touristic but we wanted local awesome food. Anyway we headed back and my friend took a beer in pub next to our apartment… Sadly the price was 8$ for a normal size beer. After that we called it a day and hit the bed….. some hours later….. let’s say 14 hours later we finally woke up from our cryosleep. Full we energy we wanted to discover Guam.
Packed our beach gear, towel, swim suit, sun scream, beer and my lovely boom box JBL charge 3!!!
What a fun. Later that day we wanted to experience the night life in Guam so we hit the road and walked along the strip in Guam (Pale San Vitores Rd). Rolex, Gucci, Hard Rock Cafe etc….

What I recommend is the bar next to the slingshot. There we had a pleasant conversation with the barkeeper, which also gave us some recommendations for Guam and also for Saipan. The bar was between Uncle Sim’s Ramen and the slingshot. There you should try out the hard cocktails, not a zombie there is even a harder one!!!

Second morning and we headed to the Guam National Wildlife Refuge….. It was close :(. Anyway there was a small little gravel road, which lead to the Coconut Beach. No people, just a beautiful beach, it is a visit worth. We drove the road until there was no way left…. Or better said a gate that blocked the way. Also worth to visit: the Marbo cave on the east side. Little walk of 5 minutes from a small “parking lot”. Take your swimsuit with you!!!
Before we went back to our favourite beach (next to our apartment) we had a really delicious local meal. The place was called Terry’s Local Comfort Food. Mhhhhhhhhhhhhhm

Time for rum, beach and music!!! We hit the beach next to the blue lagoon condos and enjoyed the evening. Some hours later we had some additional company. That means we head good conversations and even one guy organized a kayak for us! In the middle of the night under full moon light, my friend and I tried to kayak around. We needed some attempts until we found the balance. Simply Awesome!

Next day was road trip around the island. For sure we did not see everything but here a small list what we have seen.
  • Lunch at the beach between Paseo de Susana park and Alupang Beach Tower
  • Sella Bay Overlook
  • Fort Nuestra Senora de la Soledad
  • Inarajan Natural Pool
Additional note due to a hit and run we had not so much time that day :(.
After these days our Guam adventure was already over and we had to head to Saipan.
***Click here for the story on Saipan***

Underwater World Saipan

We had the pleassure to dive around Saipan. Our choosen dive company was speedy turtle and the price was average on Saipan. I did two dive, one at Lau Lau Beach and one in the Grotto on Saipan. My friend did two other dives near some ship wrecks. Anyway the dives were interesting and also the grey barren dive scenery at Lau Lau Beach was interesting due to the awesome rope route trough the different holes and tunnels. For me it was the perfect start after my last dives on Palau. Enjoy the pictures and the movie! The Grotto is a must for all divers on Saipan!

Saipan Adventure with a small glimpse of Guam

It was already time again for my next adventure.

This time I booked a cheap flight to Saipan. My diving buddy joined also.

Our travel path was following:

ZRH Frankfurt by bus
Frankfurt Seoul Saipan Guam

  • One night in Frankfurt
  • Stopover of 9h in Seoul
  • approximately 4 days on Guam
  • 7.5 days on Saipan

The reason why I booked a flight to Saipan is simple: the price of the flight ticket.
Maybe it was an errore fare again? 550 CHF for the flight from Frankfurt to Seoul to Saipan, which included a flight with the A380, awesome.

Chapters:

Frankfurt and Seoul
Guam
Saipan
Underwater World Saipan

Frankfurt and Seoul

This adventure did not start as planned….
With a sick throat and some pain, Frankfurt was just a filler day for relaxing and getting used to holidays.
But on Monday I had a little bit more energy, with that energy we had a glimpse on the Dome and had a walked around the Römer, where we also enjoyed the sun and the classic music from a violin player nearby. It was time to start the adventure, we grabbed our lagguage and went to the Frankfurt Airport, where our flight to Seoul waited.

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I was so excited. A380 was waiting for me, this was my first time in an A380. Simply amazing airplane, this technology, just awesome. Arrived in Seoul we took the arrex express to the city, it took us 43 minutes and 8’000 Won. Arrived in the center we headed to the N Seoul Tower from the Myeong-Dong station, we walked to the cable car station where we also took the cable car to the top due to the limited time we had in Seoul. On the top of the hill we did not miss the N Seoul Tower Obervatory Combination Package. Two entries, two beers and one big cup of popcorn. A M A Z I N G ! Let the pictures speak for themselves. Also that day we enjoyed an awesome coffee next to the train station, some time later it was already time to head back to the airport because our second flight to Saipan was waiting.


In Saipan a stopover of some hours waited for us. The duration was not the problem but the time of arrival. It was in the middel of the night to be exact,we arrived at 2:30 am and our next flight with the United to Guam was at 8:40 am. We did what everybody does at the airport, walk around, eating, drinking, listen to music, have a conversation and of course sleeping somewhere comfortable. It was finally time to check-in some minutes later we could board our turboprop airplane.

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Finally we reached the ground of GUAM.

***Click here for the story on GUAM***

Taipei Free half day tour

We took the afternoon tour, for more information:

http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/tour/index.htm

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First we did the Chiang Kai-shek Mermorial Hall, which was huge. The soldier change at 14:00 was nice to watch.

 

The Longshan temple was also awesome and incredicle in its architecture.

 

After the look around in the temple we had a strol in the market, where you could eat delicous food. Unfortunately our tour was really dense packed and we had to be on time back at the airport. But still we could taste some delicious food.

 

At that point it was already time to think about going home and go back to real life.

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Cheerio WWW

 

 

 

Peleliu

We were so excited. We could visit Peleliu awesome and moreover we will fly with a Cessna.
A W E S O M E ! Thank you again J & C.

This time I will just let the pictures tell the awesome flights to Peleliu and the flight back we flew via neighbour island (monkey island / Ngaur Island).

Landed on Peleliu we waited for Mr. Relaxed, who brought us our bikes for our ride on Peleliu. First stops were the near tank ruins, the bloody nose ridge and the memorial (Shinto Shrine). The top and the view was worth the climb! On top we had a toast on all fallen soldier and also on our spectacular trip in the pacific. Near to that there was a small walk way through the forest which was fortunately cleared from land mines only rule was to walk inside the marked white area. Outside the white marks you were in the red area the danger zone which was not cleared by people therefore it would have been lethal to cross the line. On that walk way you still could find some equipment from the soldiers. Ammunition shells, cans etc.

We headed to the north to watch what is left on the island. Arrived at the north we had a chat with some locals. They invited us for Nga-Nga.

In South-East Asia, the leaf is daubed with lime paste and topped with thin slices of an areca-nut; then the leaf is folded, like wrapping a present, to the desired shape and size. Finally, the wad is placed between the teeth and the cheek and pressed with the tongue to allow sucking and chewing. Sometimes it is held in the mouth for hours; others sleep with it. The interaction of the ingredients during chewing produces a red-coloured saliva. Most of the betel juice is spat out as red spittle.
Funny experience and nice cultural tradition.

Back on the bike we organized some snacks and drinks at the local market. Also we wanted to visit Mr. Relaxed but we could not find him unfortunately but anyway we ordered a beer at the bar with local bartenders in it.

It was already afternoon and we had to head slowly back to the airfield. So back on the bike we hit the pedals until we reached the museum.

https://goo.gl/maps/CUe3LbeL1Rk

Museum on Peleliu

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Maybe some of you have seen the HBO series “The Pacific” there are two episodes about the war on Peleliu and the capturing of the airfield, really interesting after our holidays we watched the described episodes!!! Also in the movie you could see the bunker, which is now as shown above the museum of Peleliu. Nice idea.

Without any navigation equipment and or maps we drove to the south. Unfortunately we took a detour and landed on the Beach orange tree. Where we meet the friends from our diving company (fish n fins). We had a nice talk with them but also had to hurry a little bit. Because we really wanted to jump in the water and snorkelling around. We did not lose any words and grab our snorkelling gear and jumped in.

It was time to grab our bike and find the airfield for our pick up. We were kind in a hurry because we had no real clue where we were and where the airfield was. So we put the 5th gear in and drove like maniacs until we found our lovely airfield. Some minutes later we could already hear the noises of the Cessna. It was so exciting!!!

We were really lucky because our Pilot picked us up first so we had to fly first to the other island which was more in the south. So for us we had more air time. On that island our pilot offered us fresh bananas, mhhhh were they delicious.

Later that day we ate dinner at a really good restaurant where the price quality ratio was spot on! It was called Anthias Cafe and we ate there several times. Also the breakfast next morning there was great.

***Click here for the Rock island and kayak adventure***

Road trip on Palau

We are ready for our car trip around Palau!!! But still deep down in our feelings we were afraid about the strange insurance text for the rental, what if …..
We paid already so we have to go trough it. Yeah I know first world problems. The more you have the more you can lose. Nevermind lets roll. Inside the mustang first thing was to check the stereo and set up the playlist. Did that, done that, ready to rumble.
After trying out all gimmicks in the Mustang, of course even the roof has to be opened, a must! We were ready.
First we went to the south south south part but sadly there was nothing special. One thing I have to mention.
At this place there was a really really old building like a ruin.
https://goo.gl/maps/v8kgshoAcuv
Nice location for a good hostel/hotel maybe one day I have enough money for investing ;).

GPS re-checked, location and destination localized. Next destination was west coast (is the best coast).We drove a while and enjoyed the weather with good music. Until we reached the coast in the north west.
https://goo.gl/maps/jYQnjhG7wxq
There we have seen a funny small island in the shape of an elephant.

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Back in the car we headed to the waterfall in the north.

We got there, and it was a short hike down into the falls after we paid the entry fee of about 10$. It was so beautiful. You could also have the chance to zipline down the hill. Unfortunately there was nobody who did that.

We continued the hike down, and the way down was not really prepared for flip flop tourists but we did it and survived. A bunch of people kept slipping and sliding on the rocks down into the falls, so pelase watch out. Once we did make it (across a scary bridge!) …it was amazing. My mind was so blown. There were rocks to sit on underneath the water and we just hung out (of course, had a photo shoot), and got to lie in the sun. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

One the way up, back to the entry we had also a swim in the different pools which were created by the nature, was also amazing!!!
So far I did not tell anything about the funny jungle monorail, from the engineering point of you it was technically simple and just awesome. Raw mechanic a really though device.
The whole hike and the different place in that area was astonishing. A must visit on Palau!!!
Next destination was a small war canoe from old ages but unfortunately not that spectacular…. Right know during writing this blog I found out that instead the war canoe we could have visited the lighthouse in the north with an amazing sight but yeah it is how it is.

After the canoe, we drove what’s called the “Ring Road” on the way to the Palauan capitol. It was beautiful! They views of the tropical jungles and ocean were so amazing. The capitol was incredible, too.
The palace, how we called it, looked like Versailles.
https://goo.gl/maps/yHxX1e3fJWS2

After that location we drove to a friend of us, where we had to deliver some goods from Switzerland. Chocolate, Elmex, gummi bears and even more good stuff. At this point I want to thank J & C for the nice hospitality and the good banana milk shake and last but not least the organization of our next day on PELILU!!!

For dinner, Math persuaded me to try an Indian dish.
I forgot the name of the whole dish, but also Nam was included, ohhh that was sooo delicious. Thanks Math for the idea!!! Also that night we met our friend of our diving trip from fish n fins. This professional dive photographer had some amazing equipment and he also told us some breath-taking stories. AWESOME company. Big greetings to Hawaii!
http://www.marinelifephotography.com
At this point I am asking myself which new types of fish, flora and fauna he could add to his photo collection. I think I have to ask him!!!

After the dinner we enjoyed a small party at our hotel, with DJ M with his Oboem loudspeakers. Invited was a Korean girl, a Philippine guy (Mr.. T) and we both. Oh we had a crash!!!

***Click here for the last two adventures on Palau***