(FYI, I am back in Saipan already but wanted to catch up on a few other things on Tinian).
One of the other things I did in Tinian was visit a few of their sites. I came equipped with a tourist map (pretty much as much information as you might possibly get — which is still relatively limited) and knew that with the benefit of having a car at my disposal, I would be able to visit a few places.
Let me just say though… gas is a BIT pricier here… even more so than Saipan (which fortunately just lowered it’s cost by 10 cents so now is $4.80 a gallon).
(and yes, those are straps holding the Mobil sign in place)
I felt 100% like a tourist and definitely played the role — going somewhere and snapping a few pictures. At least I sat and ate my packed lunch at Suicide Cliff and chatted with some tourists there, welcoming them to the CNMI.
From the Tinian Dynasty hotel, you can head south and stay on the road while it veers to the left instead of taking the offshoot to Tachonga Beach. Then, turn right at the first four-way intersection and follow the road. It’s probably about a 3 mile drive before getting to the end, at Tinian’s Suicide Beach.
On the way towards this, you will pass a sign for the ‘Limestone Forest Trail.’ Intrigued and with the knowledge that this 100 m trail (honestly, it was just 100 m… super duper short) got me to a lookout point, I took the short offshoot.
The trail was not unlike other trails in Saipan — coral (and I guess limestone?) with trees surrounding it in formations around you.
At the end of the trail, the view looks out on the western side of Tinian — similarly to Saipan, also the side that is most populated. You can see the hotel here as well as all the ‘town.’
(Viewpoint at the end of the ‘trail’)
(The gray-ish building is the hotel)
Back on the road, you continue to follow it all the way to the end and as you crest the last hill, you catch a glimpse of the blue ocean. Something about seeing the ocean continues to take my breath away. At this historic site, unfortunately there were similarly lost lives from Suicide as the war took its tolls on the local Japanese living here as well as some of the local islanders. There were a few monuments around.
This particular monument seemed like a perfect combination of Chinese calligraphy and a crack down the middle weathered over time. Something about it just seemed to capture the essence of the sadness and pain that occurred on this spot even though I couldn’t read the kanji characters.
Most of the signs were in Japanese except for these two plaques in English. I wish I could read what they said to know more about what happened and was being sadly commemorated here.
The water in this small cove were perfectly blue and it was nice to sit in a shaded spot and just quietly watch the waves hit the shoreline. Sometimes it’s good to just take a breather and remind yourself of the bigger picture of things — so grateful for a break in my day at this beautiful and quiet (and now peaceful) place to take a moment.