Guam, Asia Cruise Port
It may be a surprise to find that the Asian island and cruise port of Guam in the northwestern Pacific Ocean is actually a United States territory. While the Chamorros, Guam's indigenous people, settled here about 4,000 years ago, the U.S. took control of the island in the Spanish-American War as part of the Treaty of Paris. During World War II, the U.S. recaptured Guam from the Japanese; after the war, Guam became a U.S. unincorporated organized territory which gave political structure to the island's citizens and granted them citizenship. Since Guam isn't a state, however, residents can't vote in U.S. elections. The culture on the island is a diverse mix of American, Spanish, Filipino, and other traditions, although many aspects of the early indigenous cultures have sadly been lost. With its tropical climate and rich history, here are a handful of our favorite experiences while cruising to Guam, Asia:
- Covered in lush tropical foliage, the Guam Zoological, Botanical & Marine Gardens (or Guam Zoo for short) in Tumon is a privately owned facility whose goal is to provide a sanctuary for wildlife. The zoo is home to more than 20 species of endangered animals, along with other exotic and domestic animals from all over the world. If you ever had a desire to feed sharks? This is the place to do it.
- On Nimitz Hill, history lovers will find the Guam Pacific War Museum, which contains military exhibits related to the U.S. Marines and their involvement here during WWII.
- Within the capital city of Hagatna is the Chamorro Village, where both residents and travelers can congregate to shop, eat, and drink. Since the mission of the market is to promote the small businesses and products of Guam, it's a great place to find authentic souvenirs as well as a plethora of local produce.
- When it's time to just kick back and relax, you'll find Ypao Beach Park at the southern end of Tumon Bay. Not only a gorgeous beach in itself, it's a fantastic spot for snorkeling thanks to colorful fish and coral reefs.