Saipan Island

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The island of Saipan is a popular destination with tourists, most of which are Japanese. Most of the year tourists and alien workers outnumber the Saipanese and as a result, the island has lost much of its Micronesian character. The island's interior is hilly, while its eastern coast is rugged and rocky. Along Saipan's northern coast are numerous cliffs. Most tourists stick to the western and southern coasts though, as most beaches are situated there. Saipan is 23 km (14 miles) long and 8 km (5 miles) wide.

The main town on Saipan is Garapan. The Laderan Tangke Trail is a 3 km (2 miles) loop at the northern end of the island. The well-maintained trail runs through the Marpi Commonwealth Forest, which includes dense jungle that is often not accessible to hikers in other places. The trail also skirts the Laderan Tangke Cliff, which offers beautiful ocean views. Along the trail are numerous markers that explain the surrounding flora, fauna and geology. Birds that can be spotted in the area include the rufous fantail or the bright red cardinal honeyeater.

Saipan's airport is at the southern end of the island, 13 km (8 miles) south of Garapan.


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