Guam: 1/2 day

(on my way to Korea last week, I had a one-night layover in Guam)

My hotel was up the hill near the north end of Tumon Bay, a west-facing horseshoe bay with a narrow beach and lined with hotels (about 10 minutes from the airport). I had a view of the water, and fast Ethernet internet access. No wi-fi in the room, which meant I couldn’t use the internet on my smart phone, only on my laptop computer – and here I was beginning to think the smart phone almost made the computer useless!

The road, on the inland side of the hotels with no view and no real breakfast options, was full of high end shopping malls and low end strip malls, bars, massage parlours and strip clubs. And lots of typical American chain stores and restaurants (ABC Stores, Subway, Burger King, Circle K, Outback Steak House, etc.) In other words, not very pretty or exciting once away from the beach. Not surprising, given that Guam is a US territory (and uses US$).

Apparently they get a ton of Japanese visitors, with an increasing number of Chinese visitors. To wit: I recognized the cold Mr Brown’s Coffee cans from Taiwan (recall, that’s the one whose logo reminded me of a Simpsons’ style Mexican caricature).

There were a few public beach access points, and I meandered up and down the beach (only 15-20 minutes to walk most of the length of it, in one direction). The beach wasn’t terribly wide, but adequate. The water was warm, shallow and calm due to the protecting reef. There is some algae, and some rocks. Parts of the beach are better than others.

The native culture is called Chamorro, whose language has a Spanish influence due to 300 years of Spanish colonial rule. You see Hafa Adai (“hello”) everywhere (e.g. at airport and on restaurant menus).

Well, it was a nice break to my long flights. Unfortunately on the way back my layover is 4.5 hours in the middle of the night!

Tumon Bay, Guam

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