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Experience cultural fusion on a tropical island.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a commonwealth of the United States. Under the Covenant that established the political affiliation with the U.S., the CNMI has been able to maintain control over its own customs and immigration. We pay taxes to the CNMI government at a much lower rate than the US. (The maximum tax bracket here is 9%). Social Security and Medicare taxes are withheld and paid to the US at the normal rate. The CNMI is under the jurisdiction of the US Postal Service so mail costs are the same as stateside. Just a couple of years ago, the CNMI was connected to the US telephone numbering system and we now have access to free 800 numbers and are able to direct dial to the mainland. We do have a very active Internet hookup with several different ISP,s on island.

 Food & Entertainment:  Food Chains include: McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Pizza Hut, Tony Roma's, Jollibee's,  Winchells and the newest addition is Taco Bell.  Keep in mind that we also have a variety of local restaurants, pizzerias and BBQ stands.

Many of the hotels have great restaurants. Actually, eating out is one of the better deals on island as there is no sales tax. There are many ethnic restaurants to choose from including Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Indian and Italian.

There are floorshows in the large hotels and outside of the hotels there is a multiplex movie theater, many Karaoke bars, two shooting ranges and a couple of bowling alleys. Plus many small and not so small pubs where you can socialize, drink, and watch the fabulous sunsets. There are also regular seasonal events such as art shows, off island talent and many many local festivals.

Shopping:  There is one large local chain of large grocery/department stores. There are several other single outlet large grocery stores and numerous Mom and Pop stores. A Price CostCo warehouse store opened in 1995. We also have Ace hardware stores and if you can't find it here, there is a Kmart on the neighboring island of Guam. For major shopping, some people go to Guam, which is about 40 minutes away by air. There are also a number of good computer stores on Saipan or Guam. There are some bookstores and music stores but they are rather small and limited so a lot of this shopping is done on the Internet or by catalog. Most things are available either in Saipan or Guam.

Pets:  Dogs or cats can be brought into the CNMI but have to go through a quarantine period at your expense. Since the quarantine laws change so rapidly, we obtain updated details when needed. There is one veterinarian on island who runs a small clinic and hopefully will soon to open kennel.

 Churches:  The island population and the Filipino population are mainly Roman Catholic. There are also various Protestant churches as well as Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Muslim, and Bahai.

Housing:  Apartments or homes are readily available in the community. Rents for a 2 to 3 bedroom apartment or house can range from $300 to $1500 per month depending on amenities and of course, a western view of the ocean.

Transportation:  The island is long and the business districts, etc. are rather far apart, necessitating a car. There are usually used cars available from people leaving island or from one of many new and used car dealerships.

Schools:  There are both public and private grade schools and high schools here. Many of the private schools are church related, but not all. There is also the Northern Marianas College, a public 2-year college.

Health:  The government operates a hospital on each of the three main islands. The Commonwealth Health Center (CHC), on Saipan, is the main referral hospital for the Commonwealth. The CHC is an 80 bed facility staffed by 40 U.S. and Canadian physicians plus a compliment of nurse practitioners. Specialties include Surgery, Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Radiology, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine, Family Practice, Psychiatry and Public Health. Additionally, specialists from Hawaii are brought in occasionally for temporary clinics. There is also the Pacificare clinic, an HMO that has 2 to 3 physicians and 2-nurse practitioners/PA's and their own pharmacy as well as three other smaller private clinics. The Seventh Day Adventist Clinic operates a dental clinic and an optometry clinic. There is a also a couple of private dental clinics and one government dental clinic. There are three fitness centers, including Gold's Gym, the Curves' for women  a fitness center at the Hyatt Regency and one at the Aqua Resort club.

Outdoor Activities:  There are many tourist type activities including 5 beautiful resort type 18-hole golf courses (local greens fee with cart is $30 to $35), para-sailing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, windsurfing, (Saipan is on the world circuit for windsurfers) swimming, tennis, parachuting, sunbathing, snorkeling, surf and cliff fishing. Numerous white sand beaches and a large lagoon on the western side of the island are perfect for picnics, bonfires and beautiful tropical sunset viewing. For the athlete, there are a number of sponsored events throughout the year that include bike races, tri and bi-athelons, marathons, Xterra competitions swimming events, and tennis and golf tournaments. We also have a local Hash Hound Harrier group that runs weekly hashes. For the adventuresome, boonie-stomping or bushwhacking through the expansive undeveloped island interior jungles will often reveal old WWJI sites and relics for those with a keen eye. Saipan also has several cave systems for the spelunking enthusiast.

Travel Opportunities:  Saipan is centrally located in the western Pacific Ocean making the island a perfect Jump point to many areas of the Southern and Eastern hemispheres. Many of the expatriates here vacation in places like Thailand, China, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia. Shorter trips that can be accommodated by taking a long weekend occur most popularly to places like Ball, Palau, Chuuck, Pohnepei, Hong Kong, Japan, Caims, Australia and our closest neighbor of Guam.

 


Saipan
Saipan


Saipan is the main island in the Northern Mariana island chain of approximately 7 or more islands. Saipan, Tinian and Rota, the principal inhab...

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