Guam

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Guam UnderWaterWorld cool colors

As our airplane descended toward Guam after departing Palau’s International airport in the wee hours of the morning, I reflected on how little I knew about the U.S. territory island called Guam. I knew the island of Guam, situated in eastern Micronesia, has had a strong U.S. military background; I also was aware that in the early 1960s – before I was born – my late mother was offered an elementary teaching position in Guam that she thankfully rejected in favor of remaining together with whom would eventually become my future father. I realized that my limited perceptions would be quickly morphed over the ten days that we would remain on Guam.

Tumon Bay is the center of Guam’s tourist infrastructure with modern hotels and stylish shopping malls. It would be difficult to beat lodging at the high rise Outrigger Guam Resort located on the eastern side of Tumon Bay with sparkling white sand beaches lining the lengthy coastline. The spacious rooms are modern and comfortable with outstanding ocean views elevated over the bay. Recommended is the upgrade to the Voyagers Club Lounge where guests enjoy a free tasty buffet breakfast from 7:00-10:00am and entrance to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 5:00-7:00pm nightly while taking in stellar views from the 21st floor overlooking Tumon Bay.

outrigger guam bbq groupWater sports such as kayaking and paddleboats are available in front of the Outrigger Hotel. For a memorable dining experience, be sure to join the staff at the Outrigger Hotel for its “Beachside Barbeque Dinner” that offers a variety of Chamorro foods just off the beach. The opposite side of the bay offers excellent snorkeling just in front of the lifeguard station fronting Ypao Beach Park. The ocean here teems with schools of needle nose and other tropical fish that swim among the hard coral.

Located across the street from the Outrigger Guam Resort are a variety of fine shopping complexes such as the DFS Galleria that houses a variety of high-end designer boutique shops including Rolex, Cartier, Prada, and Armani.

Lisa George Guam Underwater worldAlso adjacent to the Outrigger Hotel is Underwater World Guam, a large pristine aquarium where a variety of sharks, rays, turtles and tropical fish inhabit the spacious tunneled aquarium. It showcases over twenty sharks including black and white tip, leopard, and nurse sharks who menacingly bump large puffer fish and groupers that live among the schools of jackfish. Relaxed tourists can enjoy the aquarium seated underneath the tunnel with a cocktail in hand or the more daring can submerge themselves in the tank using the Sea Trek system that permits individuals to watch the aquatic world from within the tank 8-12 feet beneath the surface. Since the air is not compressed, travelers can fly within four hours of having swam with stingrays and a variety of sizeable sharks.

ladder Guam UWWAfter enjoying the underwater aquatic life, be sure to dine at Sea Grill where fine filets of fish and tasty lobster is available in a room that overlooks the neon lit street below at night. Chamorro seasonings, spices, and sauces add unique flavors to quench demanding appetites.

Even though the Chamorro culture has diminished notably due to outside influences from the Spanish, Japanese, and Americans, the south east end of Guam near the village of Inalahan enables visitors to get a glimpse of the Chamorro culture’s past. During an hour tour with a local Chamorro guide, guests visit the Mariano and Ana Leon Guerrero home from 1901 where sixteen children once slept in a large room. We also learned the Chamorro removed seawater outside the reef – higher in salt content – to make sea salt that they used to trade and preserve food. The Chamorro people also used the coconut and let nothing go to waste. The leaves were woven into place mats, and baskets. Weaving sturdy rope was accomplished by using a manual machine that intertwines the rope fibers.

Outdoor activities away from the water that are available in Guam include a multitude of hikes around the island, concentrated in the southwest central region near Mount Lam Lam, the highest mountain on earth. How can it be the highest mountain on earth? It depends on how the measurements are calculated. If measuring from the bottom of the extremely deep Mariana Trench, even Mount Everest standing at 29,040 feet would be miles below the ocean surface while Mount Lam Lam stands 1,245 feet above sea level. We hiked down toward Sella Bay. The sea view was lovely with wild orchids growing just off the main trail. Due to heavy rain, the trail was slippery, making relatively short distances hard to cover. After traversing one of the many heat-soaked mountain trails, we recommend cooling off in one of many waterfalls situated around the island. Lower Sinisa Falls is well know and suggested.

As our time in Guam and Micronesia came to an end, I reflected about the beautiful aquatic life, the lush green setting, and the friendly local people who speak English as if they were born on the mainland United States. Having visited Micronesia for the first time to the islands of Palau and Guam, we became aware that other places in the region are worthwhile to visit such as the preserved culture on Yap, the manta diving off Chook, and the historical significance of Saipan and Tinian during WWII.

Outrigger Guam BBQ lisa jenny lisaAs we departed in the early morning to Oahu, I realized that we had only caught a glimpse of what Micronesia has to offer and look forward to come back and learn more about the region. Since Guam is the modern hub of the area for those traveling from the U.S., we look forward to spending our first few days in Guam, relaxing in style and enjoying fine dining at the Avenue Restaurant situated within the Outrigger Hotel Resort where delicious fresh fish, lobster and steak is served with accompanied vegetables and an extensive fresh salad bar. Then we will be tranquil and prepared to appreciate the more remote areas of Micronesia.

 Guam Videos. Our next stay was at Outrigger Reef on the Beach in Oahu. We thank Outrigger Hotels and Resorts for inviting us! All opinions are our own and we cannot wait to go back!

Written by George Rajna

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080They were stationed in groups along the shores of Tumon. The Japanese. The American military. The Russians.

The Russians?

This was not 1944. There was no war. Nearly seventy years after the US military liberated Guam from three years of Japanese occupation, here I was. An American-living-in-Japan traveling with the Japanese to vacation in America. There was no shortage of irony here.

The Japanese I had expected – the island was a three-hour jag from Nagoya. Eighty percent of the tourists in Guam were Japanese. The American military was obvious. The navy and the air force had large bases stationed there. Tourist-wise, the Japanese and Koreans were the largest identifiable groups.

The Russians were completely unexpected. I’d lived in Nagoya nearly a year and fell into some sort of mild shock at the sight of hundreds of tall, stealth, light eyed beauties populating the shores of Tumon. The Russians, it turns out, were there on two week holiday. A holiday that began the day after I’d arrived. A holiday Avia Charters had capitalized on by opening a weekly direct service route from Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. A Boeing 737, with capacity for almost 200 passengers.

Tourism is nothing without airlift, Guam Visitors Bureau General Manager Karl Pangelinan was quoted as saying in a local news report. He projects Russian tourist arrivals to double by the end of this year, compared to last year. The day after I arrived, the staff of Guam International Airport welcomed almost two hundred Russian passengers with Chamorro songs and leis as they emerged from customs inspection. Many more were to follow.

025I thought about the influence the airlines have in shaping our travel plans. I’d chosen Guam for the flight length, the ease of accessibility, and the price. An airline, by designating new flight paths and pushing those paths out to adventurous – or simply flexible – travelers, has perhaps more power than any industry to influence our experience of the world. From New York to Iceland, Detroit to Barbados, Toronto to Cuba. An airline wields the power to tell us where – and oftentimes, when – to go.

The island itself was beautiful. Think a smaller, less crowded Hawaii with smaller waves. The water was a stunning blue, the sand blindingly white. But the biggest lure, for me, was the tranquility of the shores of Tumon. Each day I walked for miles, gazing out along the sea, setting up camp if and when I decided to go for a swim. There was little threat of danger in Tumon, the beach clean, well-patrolled, and only mildly populated. The majority of the tourists being of Asian descent made for tidy, peaceful days. The experience of the island was truly relaxing, a place I would certainly like to return to in the future.

The Japanese. Americans. Thousands of Russians. Who would have thought. And now, as a result of my interactions, I’m starting to think about a trip to southeast Russia.

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Nokia TrialFrom Nokia:

Our Trial a Nokia programme has been a source of much experience, comparison, inspiration and FUN for a number of years now. Whether you’re reviewing for a tech blog or it’s your first time using a Nokia phone ever, we love to see and share the stories and experiences that come from it.

In the article ABOUT WE SAID GO TRAVEL:
Spending the time to sit down and capture super high quality images isn’t always an option when you’re generally using your phone. So how does the Lumia 925 handle every day point and shoot?

Well, Lisa from We Said Go Travel has been testing just that. She’s been on a mission around Thailand to Malaysia, Philippines, Palau, Guam, Oahu and then back to Los Angeles. During her trip she has been exclusively using the Lumia 925 to capture her memories.Nokia Trial two

We are very excited to be using the Nokia Lumia 925 for photo and video on our travels. It really is amazing! We will be sharing more video, images and articles soon. Check out this new video from Palau shot on our Nokia Lumia 925!

WATCH: Palau Pacific Resort

Big trip map 2012 2013Hafa Adai Guam, Aloha Hawaii from our October 1st News:

We have started hopping home towards California after fifteen months of travel (see map), first to Palau where we swam with jellyfish and sharks and they use US dollars and then to Guam, which is a US territory with wide sidewalks and supermarkets with an almost ridiculous amount of choices! We had our first Couchsurfing experience with Jenny who is a military nurse in Guam with a three-bedroom condo, two dogs and a view of the sea. It was nearly mind-boggling to use the dishwasher, washing machine, Tupperware, walk the dogs and make dinner. One day while we were there was the most rain ever in history on a day in September and there was flooding all over the island. After so many months in hotels and hostels, it was wonderful to be in her home and meet her friends at a party on our first night. She took us in her car to a Chamorro Village where we learned about local practices of weaving, salt drying and coconut creations.

OutriggerDinnerEnjoy the best beach in Guam and the fantastic dinner BBQ at the Outrigger Guam Resort. We can highly recommend this gorgeous hotel and thank the marketing team for inviting us to visit. They connected us with their next-door neighbor, UnderWater World Guam and we enjoyed dining at Sea Grill and wandering around with 37 sharks in the SeaTrek experience. This is a great way to see rays, turtles, sharks and guitarfish up-close and from inside the tank! (see photo below)

JOIN US : Oct 3rd in Oahu, Oct 16th in Los Angeles and Oct 23rd for our online webinar with the University of Pennsylvania about Exotic Burma. We hope to see you or your friends at one of ourupcoming events!

We appreciate all of you who read our newsletters, articles, website and BOOK! Thank you to everyone for your support of our journey and all our writing. Connect with us on FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest,  SlideShare,  Twitter , and YouTube.

Happy and Safe Travels from Kauai, Hawaii! Mahalo and Aloha!

Lisa and George (Click here to sign up for this newsletter. )

More articles to enjoy : Enjoy George’s article about music on the road with Spotify, his article about flying vs. overland travel, and our Myanmar movie about a Hindu festival in Mandalay!

LG UWW Guitar Shark
Our memoir, Traveling in Sin, is available on Amazon.com.

 

By Lee Abbamonte

Travel opens your eyes and your mind to a whole new world.

Travel enables you to see the world through other peoples eyes and from other points of view.

Travel increases your awareness of other cultures and people.

Travel makes you smarter.

Travel is the best education you can receive.

Travel enables you to speak intelligently on a variety of global topics.

Travel shows you how global policy effects different countries and different types of people.

Travel brings you to places you’ve only dreamed about seeing.

Travel shows you landscapes you never thought were possible.

Travel shows you what real beauty is.

Travel shows you that everything is beautiful in its own way.

Travel makes books and television come to life.

Travel makes adventures happen everyday.

Travel makes dreams come true.

Travel gives you a sense of enormous accomplishment.

Travel gives you something to look forward to to.

Travel gives you options.

Travel is a lifetime journey that is never the same twice.

Travel makes the big world small.

Travel humbles you.

Travel puts things into perspective.

Travel shows you what poor is.

Travel shows you how unfair this world can be.

Travel shows you people overcoming the longest odds to live their life to the fullest.

Travel shows you triumphs of the human spirit.

Travel teaches you how to say “Cheers” in 30 different languages.

Travel teaches you the International language of beer.

Travel teaches you to appreciate wine and the beauty of vineyards.

Travel teaches you to try new things.

Travel makes you yearn to do new things.

Travel teaches you the difference between a traveler and a tourist.

Travel teaches you to become a traveler and not just a tourist.

Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. I am a travel writer, travel expert, global adventurer and have appeared on NBC, CNN, ESPN, GBTV, Fox News, Jetset Social and have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Smart Money, Slate, OK! Magazine, Peter Greenberg radio and many others. I’ve visited 306 countries and am one of the world’s most-traveled people.

“I believe in globalization of everything including people. I believe that I am a citizen of Earth. I believe that people around the world are at their core, basically good and the same. I believe that more people should experience the world and the way traveling can open their eyes and minds to different and exciting things. I believe in just being myself. I believe in life.” – Lee Abbamonte