Wednesday, November 19, 2008

garapan street market

Saipan is a dominion of the United States. It is 71.4 square miles or 185 square kilometers with a population of about 58,000. (Osaka is 85 square miles or 220 square kilometers and a population of 2 million population...ack!!) 60% of the people in Saipan are Chamorro or Carolinian. The rest are Filipino, Japanese, Chinese and Korean--most of these people are in Saipan as contract workers.

The main language is English, but most speak Chamorro or Carolinian. Since tourism is Saipan's main industry, most people also speak Japanese.

Here is a story about the Chamorro. It was said that when Spaniards took over the Islands, they changed the peaceful islands. A certain Spanish commander fell in love with a beautiful Island girl, but she was already promised to a local boy. The commander was determined to be with her, but her family was against this. The only way for them to be together was to jump off a cliff together entangled within each other's hair. This tragic story was passed down through generations of these island people who became known as "Chamorro".

The Garapan area is where most of the hotels in Saipan are located. There is a great foodie fiesta called the Garapan Street Market. It is held every Thursday from 17:00-21:00. Located on the road right outside of our hotel.

There is live entertainment and lots of food to choose from. A lot of places were giving 5 choices for US$ cheap. There were also stands selling fresh veggies.

The hotel arranged a dinner for us on Thursday, so it would have been rude to change or cancel, we hope that the next time we go to Saipan (hopefully soon), we'll be there on a Thursday to try all this food!

I'll just let you enjoy all the photos, hopefully some of the excitement will come through.


Phoebe said...

I am so interested in the historic stories about how the culture came about. Thanks for sharing!

Aww that was unfortunate about not being able to go to the market. But maybe because your dinner will not last for 4 hours, perhaps you can still make it to some of the action. Take care!

K and S said...

Thanks Phoebe :)

Take care.

Jenster said...

What a shame that you couldn't eat at the street market. What type of dinner did the hotel arrange? Was this a tour?

Anonymous said...

That mango turnover in the top picture sounds good!

Angelo Villagomez said...

The Chamorros make up only between 25-30% of the local population. They area minority, but control the government.

Rowena said...

I've heard that there are brown tree snakes chance you didn't see one, did you?

Tamakikat said...

Food markets and you guys. What a dangerous combination:)

Shame you had dinner booked at the hotel but I'm sure that was good too despite the price tag.


K and S said...

No it wasn't a tour Jenster, we were on our own. It was teppanyaki.

I didn't get to try it Lori, but the price looked really good too :)

Thanks Saipan Blogger, I guess the info book I was reading in the hotel was totally wrong :)

Gosh, don't tell Satoshi, Rowena, he would freak!! (no we didn't see any)

We were having second thoughts of going to the dinner, Tamakikat

Take care everyone.

genkitummy said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun on your trip! The Garapan Street Market looks good!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Great and interesting posts. I have to confess i didn't know that much about the history of Saipan. Thanks for sharing!

K and S said...

Thanks Deb, embarrasingly enough I didn't know that Saipan was a dominion of the U.S.

Take care.

K and S said...

I think Mike would enjoy this, Genki :)

Take care.

nordwolke said...

Thanks for the Chamorro story, I like reading about local "sagas".

K and S said...

I'm glad you liked it Beadexplorer.

Take care.