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GUAM    
  (Click for pictures at bottom of page)

When I told my friends we were including Guam on our winter 2001 trip they all responded with the same thing:
  "Why?!"

I've always wanted to visit this tropical island in Micronesia.  We had already taken in the other "nesias"--Polynesia and Melanesia and wanted to visit Micronesia.

Guam was part of our trip to Japan and we flew from Tokyo to Saipan on a Northwest 747-200 and then hopped aboard a Continental Micronesia 737-800 on down to Guam.  The Tokyo to Saipan jaunt took just over 3 hours. Saipan to Guam was 20 minutes or so.

When most people hear the word "Guam" they automatically think about World War Two battles and plenty of awful fighting certainly did take place on this island.  But it's really a pretty island and while the size of the tourist area is small compared to Honolulu, it has that Hawaiian feel about it.

It was raining pretty good when we touched down at Guam's ultra modern international airport.  We had planned to rent a car but we were tired (it was goin' on 7 and dark) so we cabbed it to the hotel and arranged to pick up the car the next morning.

Our choice for lodging was the Hyatt Regency Guam in Tumon right on Tumon Bay.  The hotel was absolutely beautiful although slightly beginning to show its age but only to the critically observant.

The room was huge with a king bed, bathroom to die for, and beautiful balcony overlooking the bay.

We only had time to spend one night here so we didn't get to see to much of the island.  We were tired from all our travel and elected to dine at the hotel's own Italian restaurant -- Al Dente.  We were expecting the usual "so-so" hotel food but this place was a knock out!  It was outstanding.  I highly recommend it.

The next morning we wolfed down breakfast, picked up our rental car, checked out and began exploring this pretty island. The sun was shining brightly and the temp was in the upper 80s. One stop came at the Hard Rock Cafe to obtain a shot glass for our collection.  

The water is just beautiful--just as turquoise blue as you'd expect on a tropical island.  We toured some of the World War Two battle sites, had lunch at Tony Roma's in Agana, and then headed back to the airport for our Continental Micronesia flight to Saipan.

One nasty thing about Guam is the Brown Tree Snake.  These slitherers are native to the Solomon islands but wound up invading Guam by accident.  They are everywhere and while they don't pose a serious threat to humans, they have driven out many local birds and animals.  Don't let this scare you, though.  We didn't see any of 'em and you probably won't either.


Not Very Friendly Looking, Is He?

If you're ever in this part of the world, I'd highly recommend a visit to Guam.  It had a really nice feel to it although mainland U.S. visitors were few and far between.  99% of all visitors were from Japan. A slightly higher Japanese to American tourist ratio than Hawaii!

Guam consists of mainly Chamorros but also has plenty of Filipinos and a few Micronesians.  Other ethnic groups represented here are Koreans, Chinese and Japanese.

GUAM IS PART OF THE UNITED STATES.  IT IS AN INCORPORATED U.S. TERRITORY.  DRIVING IS ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD.  A PASSPORT IS EXPECTED FOR AMERICANS--EVEN WHEN TRAVELING BETWEEN OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC ALTHOUGH A PASSPORT CARD OR ENHANCED DRIVER'S LICENSE SHOULD ALSO WORK.  CHECK AHEAD OF TIME, HOWEVER.  CURRENCY IS THE U.S. DOLLAR. (The immigration paperwork going into Guam is a lot more detailed than returning to the mainland U.S. for whatever reason.)

  Click here for photos of Guam


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