In my earlier post – Bringing baby to Tokyo, I mentioned that I was transiting in Tokyo and on my way to Guam. It took us 6.5 hours to fly to Tokyo, and another 3 hours to fly to Guam. I got to learn about this beautiful U.S. territory in the western Pacific Ocean after first watching it on a Taiwanese Travel documentary show. It was a popular destination for many Japanese, Koreans and Taiwanese, but unexplored by most Singaporeans. Those hard core Korean drama addicts may have heard of this dreamy island because it is commonly featured as a favourite place for couples to get hitched.
In mandarin, this place is known as 关岛.
We did a bit of research before flying to Guam. And Outrigger resort is one with the most number of positive reviews because of its strategic location as well as accessibility to the shopping district. I was considering to either travel to Maldives or Guam and the latter obviously won the battle in the end because there were more activities for baby to do and
guilty duty free shopping in Guam.
There are three prominent duty free shopping centres in Guam – T Galleria by DFS (just opposite Outrigger), Micronesia Mall and Guam Premier Outlets (Check out Ross Dress for Less for great bargain buys).
I bought some nice dresses from Ross and did a bit of shopping at the DFS stores. If you are looking for Chanel and the like, Europe is still your better bet.
But I found a shopping haven in the ABC stores! There are many pretty beach dresses and costume jewelry and other knick knacks which I fancy. This is the same chain of stores you can find in Hawaii – and they sell practically everything from souvenirs, beach essentials to bananas and quick breakfast. Certain ABC stores close late as well (this one at Outrigger shuts at 1 am). I slipped out alone to do my own shopping after baby was fast asleep.
Years ago, I bought one of these dresses at the ABC store in Hawaii. And I was so elated to find more of the same dress in different floral print so I bought 4 of them this round!
We did much sightseeing during our one week stay in Guam as well. The fish eye marine park is one which baby enjoys very much.
This museum reminds us very much of the Busselton jetty in Perth. Both offers a glimpse of the marine life underwater in see through windows.
The Lovers’ point is another popular spot to visit. It tells of a legend of two lovers in Chamorro history who ended their lives in a cliff at Tumon Bay – read the moving tale here. The “locks” you see in the background of the photo are left behind by the visitors.
Latte stone are pillars which ancient Chamorro houses are built on. And today, they are a unique symbol of Guam. You can find more of these stones in Senator Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Memorial Park.
Being a beach destination, there are plenty of water sports for the adventurous. But with a young child in tow, we did not attempt scuba diving, snorkelling or Ocean walking. Instead, we spent the day admiring the clean beaches and baking under the sun in a paddle boat (after applying tons of sunblock!) Many of the hotels have private beaches and there are generally clean and not too crowded.
Notably, there is an Underwater World in Guam which is reminiscent of the now defunct Underworld World in Sentosa. It features one of the longest tunnel aquariums in the world and has more than 2000 animals representing 80 different species – some of which are imported from Singapore! The set dinner served at Underwater world tastes pretty good – it was prepared by the Sea Grill Restaurant just next to it. Starter was smoked duck salad, followed by a lobster and steak as the main and dessert was a pudding and cake. It also comes with a complimentary 3 day pass to the aquarium.
We also watched Las Vegas styled magic shows in Guam – Sand Castle and Encore! Between the two, Sand Castle is more elaborate with more costumes and dancers and they serve dinners and drinks during the show. The magicians are able to inject new antics to existing old magic tricks which is to the delight of the audience. Encore, on the other hand, is a more intimate magic show which is more tuned to family fun and laughter. If you only have time for one show, I would strongly suggest to go for the Sand Castle show.
There is a Wednesday night flea market at Chamorro Village to help you fight away the mid-week blues! Queues for the popular BBQ stalls were incredibly long and we waited 45 minutes for our turn. It is very popular with tourists and one of the reasons why they hold the flea market over a Wednesday is likely to encourage visitors to extend their stay over the week!
Guam has plenty to offer for the foodie. Jeff’s Pirates Cove is famous for their steak burger. The little one loves his fries. And we bought two “I love Guam” T shirts 🙂
Another popular restaurant is the Proa Restaurant which is near Chamorro Village. We ordered the BBQ trio which comes with red rice. One of the must try dessert is their fried banana fritters – our version of “Goreng Pisang”. They have it coated with coconut. Yum Yum!
Guam has been well known as a strategic U.S. military base, and it too suffered the tremors of the World War II where many of the locals were affected. We visited the war museum to learn more about the history and the aftermath of the war. There was a small section showing how the war has affected South East Asia including photographs of the streets of Singapore.
We rented a car and drove along the northern coast of Guam to immerse in the scenary of the Pacific coast. The weather was good in December and the skies were clear.
Overall, Guam is a nice place to visit if you wish for a location which is less travelled by Singaporeans. We feel safe in this U.S. territory and the people are generally very welcoming. It is quite similar to Hawaii in many aspects – the beach, the watersports and the ABC stores! Like Hawaii, it is rich in its history of the indigenious people and you can take time to explore the beauty of its landscape. You feel uplifted when you see wedding couples and their entourage coming to one place to celebrate – which is a common in Guam. Almost every hotel has its own wedding chapel and here is one very popular one – Crystal Chapel in Guam. The interior of it looks spectacularly beautiful with its full glass windows and views of the Pacific ocean. Unfortunately, the care taker did not allow me to go in to snap some photos. You can check out online images here.
Forget holding a wedding in Bali.
If your great grand aunt asks you, “Where is Guam?” You can chirp “Check Google Maps!”.
Hi Dr Donna! Thank you so much for the wonderful blog on Guam. I was worried that we would have nothing to do with 2 little ones in tow, while attending a friend’s wedding. How did you get around in Guam? Did you hire a car and drove to all your destinations? We went with your recommendation and booked the Outrigger for our stay. Really looking forward to it!