The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a commonwealth in political union with (and in practice, close to a territory of) the United States. The islands are in the Micronesia region of the Pacific Ocean, between Japan, the Philippines, and Palau.
The earliest settlers in the Marianas chain are thought to have descended from the Malay race and to have migrated from the Malay peninsula via Indonesia or the Philippines. Early Chamorros were farmers, fishermen, hunters, and built their houses on large stone pillars known today as "latte stones" (a few of which still exist on Tinian and Rota).
The first European in these waters was Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, who landed on nearby Guam and claimed the islands for Spain. Not content to claim the land, the Spanish also helped themselves to whatever else happened to be lying around. The natives responded in kind, helping themselves to tools and other items from Magellan's ships. Angry at this, Magellan first dubbed the islands "Las Islas de los Ladrones", (The Islands of the Thieves), but in 1668 their name was changed to Las Marianas after Maria Anna of Austria, widow of Spain's Philip IV.
Nearly all of the islands' native population died out during Spanish rule, but new settlers from modern-day Micronesia repopulated them to some extent. Sold to Germany from 1899, the Japanese took over in 1914 and turned the island into a military garrison. During World War II, the Marines landed on June 15, 1944 and eventually won the bitterly fought three-week Battle of Saipan.
Under U.S. administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the U.S. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the U.S. was approved in 1975. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978. The Marianas are self-governing with locally elected governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature, but the United States government handles defense and foreign relations. Local residents are U.S. citizens by birth but do not pay federal taxes or vote in the presidential elections, instead they elect a non-voting representative to the U.S. government.
The economy benefits substantially from financial assistance from the US. The rate of funding has declined as locally generated government revenues have grown. The key tourist industry employs about 50% of the work force and accounts for roughly one-fourth of GDP. Japanese and Korean tourists predominate. Annual tourist entries have exceeded one-half million in recent years, but financial difficulties in Japan have caused a temporary slowdown. More Korean tourists go to the CNMI than Guam, while more Japanese tourists go to Guam than the CNMI. This change is reflected by a shift in airlines servicing the islands, with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines offering direct service to Saipan from Seoul, South Korea, while JAL and ANA offer direct service from Japan to Guam. Air service is now offered from most major Chinese cities as well (including Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou).
The agricultural sector is made up of cattle ranches and small farms producing coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons. Garment production used to be the largest industry, but the last garment factory closed in early 2009.
The northern islands of the CNMI are mainly populated by Caroline Islanders (a Polynesian group with origins in Kiribati), while the southern islands are populated by Chamorros. In recent years, the CNMI has allowed many migrant workers.
Tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature variation. Dry season December to June, rainy season July to October. The typhoon, or hurricane, season lasts several months and starts in late August to early September and lasts until January.
Southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs. Northern islands are volcanic.
Immigration to the CNMI was transferred to the US federal government in 2009. US citizens can enter with proof of citizenship (passport). Entry to the CNMI is permitted to all foreign nationals allowed into the rest of the US: travelers under the Visa Waiver Program & those with a valid US visa.
Additionally, the CNMI (along with Guam) participates in the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program. This program allows visa-free entry up to 45 days for citizens of Brunei, Malaysia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan (only on non-stop flights from Taiwan), & Hong Kong provided they have a valid passport, proof of return/onward travel, and is only valid to those arriving on commercial, scheduled flights. Citizens of some countries that are eligible for the federal Visa Waiver Program—Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, & the United Kingdom—are also allowed entry under the Guam-CNMI VWP and may enter under either program. Travel to other regions of the US outside CNMI & Guam under the Guam-CNMI V.W.P. is not allowed. Residents of Hong Kong must present a valid HK permanent identity card and are allowed entry with either a Hong Kong S.A.R. passport or British National (Overseas) passport. Residents of Taiwan must present a valid R.O.C. National Identification Card in addition to an R.O.C. passport. Citizens of Russia are eligible for parole (essentially the same as visa-free travel) to enter the Northern Marianas Islands (but not Guam). Because of differences in entry requirements, a full immigration check is done when traveling to/from Guam.
The CNMI is a separate customs jurisdiction from the rest of the U.S. Travelers (including US citizens coming from a point of origin in the US) pass through CNMI customs on entry.
The main international gateway into the Marianas is Saipan. There are frequent flights from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, but visitors from the US will have to connect in Guam or transit through the previous countries listed.
There are no scheduled ferry services to the islands. Occasionally yachts, cruise ships, or military vessels stop in port for a brief visit.
Scheduled flights on Cape Air/United Express connect Saipan to Guam several times a day and Rota 4 times a week. Freedom Airlines offers twice daily flights to Guam via Rota, in additional to a more frequent Tinian service. Three other islands have airstrips that can serve (expensive) chartered flights.
The CNMI has many World War II bunkers, which fall under the National Park Service as "War in the Pacific" parks. There are also memorials on the northern end of Saipan to the Japanese soldiers and civilians who feared capture by U.S. forces and committed suicide by jumping from the cliffs into the ocean.
The Marianas' top activity among Americans is scuba diving and snorkeling. In additional to the coral reefs you might expect, the waters around the islands were the scene of fierce fighting during World War II and there are many ship wrecks and even rusting tanks stuck on the seabed.
Many Asian (particularly South Koreans) visitors come to the CNMI for gambling (especially on Tinian), and karaoke/hostess bars. Saipan has a thriving (but illegal) prostitution industry, most of the workers being from China or the Philippines.
Cockfighting is a weekend activity at the Saipan Cockpit. Betting on the outcome is legal.
English is the official language and universally spoken, but 86% of the population speaks a language other than English at home, including the native languages Chamorro and Carolinian. Basic Japanese is also spoken by many in the tourist industry. Tagalog, Chinese and Korean are also used widely.
The CNMI uses the U.S. dollar exclusively ("$", ISO code: USD). It is divided into 100 cents.
The islands are fairly expensive due to their remote location, comparative wealth and the profusion of free-spending Japanese and Korean package tourists, so figure on at least US$100 a day for travel in any comfort (this being also the entry requirement). As in the mainland US, tips of 10-15% are expected.
Major credit cards are accepted at most retailers and restaurants. On Saipan, the major banks, and some restaurants and stores all have ATM machines. Bank of Guam has branches on Tinian and Rota, complete with ATMs.
While all American and Japanese favorites are readily available, local Chamorro food (or touristy versions of it) is also offered in speciality restaurants. Filipino, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Italian and Mexican dishes are also widely available. Most of the hotels have expensive but good quality restaurants, especially Hyatt Regency in Garapan, Aqua Resort in Tanapag, Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio.But you can also find good quality restaurants not only in hotels, one of this is : "The Coffee Room N-106" in Garapan.
McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and Winchell's Donuts are all available.
The main beers available in Saipan establishments are Budweiser and Miller products, usually sold in bottles only. However, a few places do serve Fosters or Victoria Bitter on tap, and a few have Miller Lite on tap as well. Other brands widely sold are San Miguel (Philippines), Tsingtao (China), Sapporo (Japan, bottled in Canada), and Corona (Mexico). Plenty of stores on Saipan have low-priced, good quality wine available, and there are plenty of harder drinks as well as mixers available everywhere.
Saipan's accommodation options are concentrated towards giant package hotels. Rack rates are often ludicrous but heavy discounts are available, especially outside the Japanese holiday seasons. Cheap motels are few, hostels are nonexistent, and camping is not recommended due to security concerns. Options are even more limited on Tinian and Rota.
Northern Marianas College is Saipan's community college option, and they have satellite campuses on Tinian and Rota. Public and private schools are also available for children from preschool age to high school.
U.S. citizens can work freely without needing a permit; however citizens of most other nations need a permit from the Department of Labor. Most businesses prefer to employ Filipinos, and also citizens of Thailand, China, South Korea and Bangladesh. The minimum wage is $5.05 per hour.
Natural hazards : active volcanoes on Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially August to November).
Crime : people have reported their cars being broken into in Saipan's tourist areas, and some people have also had their apartments or hotel rooms burgled. Don't leave valuables lying around and use common sense when walking around tourist areas, especially at night. That said, Saipan is safer than a lot of other destinations, with muggings and other violent crimes against tourists being extremely rare.
The Commonwealth Health Center is Saipan's overburdened and understaffed public hospital. There are also many excellent but expensive private clinics. The Seventh-Day Adventist clinic is noted for their dental care and vision centre. Health care on the other islands is scarce.
Veneration of the elderly, ancestors, and departed family members is a large part of Chamorro culture. Always give respect to the older people in the room.
Countries that maintain a consular presence in the CNMI include Japan .
The Northern Marianas are part of the North American dialing plan. The country code is 1, and the local area code is 670.
Mail is handled by the U.S. Postal Service; the state code is MP and the postal code is 96950. The main post office branch is in Chalan Kanoa, other branches are in Capitol Hill as well as Tinian and Rota. Most hotels can send mail for you. DHL and FedEx also offer courier services.
Internet access is widely available. The top level domain for the Northern Marianas is .mp.
All departing travellers must pass through US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints; if you are continuing on to Guam, you need a US Passport, a valid US visa, or to be a citizen of a Visa Waiver Country as the US government controls Guam immigration.
Travellers returning to Japan from the Northern Marianas are not allowed to bring any US beef products (including beef jerky) due to current trade restrictions; any such products will be confiscated and destroyed by Japanese customs officials.
New for 2016, with more photos and new images, a macrophotography section and updated dive site and marine preserve info. Guam and the Marianas can be aptly described as hard coral kingdoms. Some 400 species of coral and over 1000 species of fish inhabit these incredible reefs. There is much diversity and intense growth competition on the healthy reefs. This guide is intended to bring to the diver the most popular and unique dive sites of the Mariana Islands. Guam, Rota and Saipan are places known for their wide array of beautiful hard corals, variety of fish and other marine life and plethora of invertebrates. Plus, there are numerous World War remnants that wreck divers love beneath these waters. Approximate dive positions are shown on the maps and each site is introduced with general location, most frequently dived depths, and type of dive that can be expected, the dominant marine life and the logistical requirements.
YES, THIS TITLE HAS BEEN UPDATED for 2017! Saipan Living 2017! A comprehensive guide for moving to, finding a job, working, living, retiring or vacationing in the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.An "on the ground" overview of life on Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) researched, compiled and presented by a (former New York City dweller turned rat race escapee) CNMI resident and author with over 10 years of experience observing, exploring, writing about, offering tours of, answering questions and personally enjoying Saipan living!Where exactly is Saipan? Is it a place I can escape to? What's it really like? Can I retire comfortably there? What taxes will I need to pay? Will I be able to vote in the US elections? Do I need a visa or passport to go there?Read Saipan Living 2017, and discover Saipan for yourself! Find out what it's really like to live on Saipan from current, up-to-date, on-the-ground information that not even the ! Get answers and information and learn everything you need to know about visa & passport requirements, job opportunities, labor laws, expat communities, pets, churches, schools, gun laws, crime stats, the economy, dating, land ownership and much, much, much more! This unique volume includes: An A to Z index of relevant topics from "accommodations" to "zoning laws"with specific, up-to-date information and answers to the most frequently-asked questions as well as "tropical island lifestyle" details you probably haven't even thought about thinking about--details and nuance that the CIA website, travel guides, and even blogs don't get quite right. Indexed TWO ways for your convenience: (1) by Frequently Asked Questions and (2) by topic!You get:The truth about Saipan including the good, the bad and the ugly• Reassurances for your concerns from to mosquitoes to humidity to crime• A step-by-step checklist for your relocation• Tips and advice for a smooth transition and adjustment• Support and resources for your unique lifestyle• Contact numbers, websites & email addresses for vendors, organizations and all govt offices• The latest updated information as of January 2017 including entry requirements, cost of living, job search, school life and more! • The latest census information with "reality check" modifications from those who actually live there! • Facts as well as valuable opinions from past, current and even future residents! • Completed tax forms with instructions to show how to pay taxes on Saipan! • 10 years of questions collected from the saipanliving.com website, along with the actual responses from past, present, and even future residents. • Actual "relocation scenarios" featuring people's real concerns and the answers they received! • Photos of the islands you won't find anywhere else. • "The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly!" Yes, it's not all peaches and cream! • Chamorro, Carolinian, Filipino, Chinese, Russian, Korean, American, Japanese viewpoints and perspectives on Saipan living.Yes, you get all this and more to help you decide if Saipan is the right place to visit, vacation, venture into business, retire or simply escape the rat race!
The content in this book has been completely updated for 2017 but retains the "classic" cover! To receive the edition with the new cover design, please order at www.saipanliving.com. where you can also order and download the new PDF. Saipan Living. The 2017 Relocation Guide! A comprehensive guide for moving to, finding a job, working, living, retiring or simply vacationing in the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota. An "on the ground" overview of life on Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) researched, compiled and presented by a (former New York City dweller turned rat race escapee) CNMI resident and author with over 10 years of experience observing, exploring, writing about, offering tours of, answering questions and personally enjoying Saipan living! Where exactly is Saipan? Is it a place I can escape to? What's it really like? Can I retire comfortably there? What taxes will I need to pay? Will I be able to vote in the US elections? Do I need a visa or passport to go there? Read Saipan Living 2017, and discover Saipan for yourself! Find out what it's really like to live on Saipan from current, up-to-date, on-the-ground information that not even the ! Get answers and information and learn everything you need to know about visa & passport requirements, job opportunities, labor laws, expat communities, pets, churches, schools, gun laws, crime stats, the economy, dating, land ownership and much, much, much more! This unique volume includes: An A to Z index of relevant topics from "accommodations" to "zoning laws"with specific, up-to-date information and answers to the most frequently-asked questions as well as "tropical island lifestyle" details you probably haven't even thought about thinking about--details and nuance that the CIA website, Wikipedia, travel guides, and even blogs don't get quite right. Indexed TWO ways for your convenience: (1) by Frequently Asked Questions and (2) by topic! You get: The truth about Saipan including the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly • Reassurances for your concerns from to mosquitoes to humidity to crime • A step-by-step checklist for your relocation • Tips and advice for a smooth transition and adjustment • Support and resources for your unique lifestyle • Contact numbers, websites & email addresses for vendors, organizations and all govt offices • The latest updated information as of January 2017 including entry requirements, cost of living, job search, social life and more! • The latest census information with "reality check" modifications from those who actually live there! • Facts as well as valuable opinions from past, current and even future residents! • Completed tax forms with instructions to show how to pay taxes on Saipan! • 10 years of questions collected from the saipanliving.com website, along with the actual responses from past, present, and even future residents. • Actual "relocation scenarios" featuring people's real concerns and the answers they received! • Photos of the islands you won't find anywhere else. • Chamorro, Carolinian, Filipino, Chinese, Russian, Korean, American, Japanese viewpoints and perspectives on Saipan living. Yes, you get all this and more to help you decide if Saipan is the right place to visit, vacation, venture into business, retire or simply escape the rat race! Another goal of this book is to help shape the on-going transition of what Saipan living means and what itcould mean in the future. It includes: • Predictions of Saipan's future • A manifesto on what Saipan really needs • Interviews with people who've lived there since the 1970s www.SaipanLiving.com
Guam is a special mix of urban development and natural beauty. Surrounded by miles of stunning coastline and rich coral reefs, it has one of the most diverse marine life communities in the Pacific with nearly 400 coral species and over 1000 different fish. A melting pot of cultures make up the population and a great variety of marine life, history and natural formations highlight the surrounding seas. These islands can be aptly described as hard coral kingdoms. There is much diversity and intense growth competition on the healthy reefs. This guide is intended to bring to the diver the most popular and unique dive & snorkeling sites of the Mariana Islands. Guam, Rota and Saipan are places known for their wide array of beautiful hard corals, variety of fish and other marine life and plethora of invertebrates. Plus, there are numerous World War remnants beneath these waters. This book has 108 pages with over 120 full color photos. It is a handy 8.5 inches high by 5.5 inches wide. Approximate dive positions are shown on the maps and each site is introduced with general location, most frequently dived depths, and type of dive that can be expected, the dominant marine life and the logistical requirements. The author is internationally published marine photojournalist Tim Rock, who lives on Guam. Standard shipping is media mail and can take up to a MONTH to get there. I recommend Expedited shipping to get this book in a reasonable time.
Our Northern Islands is a first person telling of the first expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.
There is always room for you in Northern Mariana Islands!
Here’s the Dragon Dragon Travel Journal deal.
You wander the world having adventures, and such. Dragon Dragon provides you with 200 pages to document your travels, discoveries and insights. That’s it. Simple. Beautiful. True.
To help keep things organized, we’ve given each journal a unique continent, country or city name.
Wherever you go in this life, a Dragon Dragon Travel Journal can help make the going better and the remembering easier!
"I don't always design travel journals, but when I do they are the kind of travel journals that people throw parades for." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS TRAVEL JOURNAL has been carefully crafted by the legendary nomad Cormac Younghusband to help make your trip unforgettable, fun and organized—with plenty of room to help spur spontaneity and document new discoveries.
This journal can help you plan, live out and record every stage of your journey to Northern Mariana Islands—from pre-trip, to getting there, to being there, to getting home, and afterwards.
"Northern Mariana Islands food is among the world's finest. They do this thing with the thing!" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
The first part of the journal is for PRE-TRIP PLANNING and contains sections for important information, a page to write about what inspired you to make the trip, a page to write about the who, where, what, when, how of the journey, a page to make note of your travel companions, a number of pages to organize your travel research.* Plus, you will find sections for drafting an itinerary and keeping a journey to-do checklist.
The second part of the journal deals with GETTING THERE, containing sections to describe getting there and arriving.
The third part of the journal is all about BEING THERE. There are sections for: tracking the stuff you buy and for your daily adventures there are 50 two-page daily records to keep notes on: day #, date, weather, places visited, what happened today + thoughts on what happened, the highlight of the day and extensive notes (with a handy reminder list of things to write about). Because there are about 51,395 people in Northern Mariana Islands, there's also a section to record the names and contact info of the people you meet along the way.
The fourth part of the journal is for GETTING HOME, that fateful day you depart and the days that follow. There are sections for describing your departure, for making your own top 10 highlights lists, a country radar to help you create a signature review of the country, and an afterwards where you can sum up the meaning of your trip.
When a trip is over, Cormac Younghusband recommends you start planning your NEXT TRIP. To help, there is a section where you can make a travel wish list.
Also included is a COUNTRY BRIEF to give you important info on the destination and a MAP to give you an idea of the lay of the land. Plus, at the back of the book there are sections for: generic packing ideas, measures and conversions, and pages for notes, sketches, maps and such
"Find a place in the world you haven't been, and go there. Keep on trucking, my friends" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * Research Such As: places to go / explore, places to stay, places to shop / must have souvenirs, cultural / sporting events to attend, historical / religious sites of interest, pubs-bars-places-to-party, beaches / forests / natural wonders to see, parks & gardens to wander through, things to eat and drink / dining experiences, festivals & events to attend, stuff for kids - seniors - and such, experiences to experience, important local customs, etiquette, laws, and such.
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"Why visit Northern Mariana Islands? Because, it's there." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
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WHEREVER YOU'RE GOING, YOUNGHUSBAND WORLD TRAVEL JOURNALS HAS THE PERFECT JOURNAL FOR YOU.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Most Canadian visitors to the Northern Mariana Islands do not experience problems.
Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.
Tourists can drive in the Northern Mariana Islands for 30 days using an internationally recognized driver’s licence (Canadian licences fall into this category). If you are staying longer than 30 days, you must obtain a local licence.
There is no public bus system on Saipan, but shuttles run between the major towns.
Travel between the islands is done by airplane.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.
Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention FAQ for more information.
The Northern Marianas are subject to typhoons, especially from August to November. Resulting damage can be severe. The rainy season extends from July to October. There are active volcanoes on the islands of Pagan and Agrihan. Volcanic activity can cause minor earthquakes and tidal waves. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.