Somewhere Obscurely

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I've noticed Russians travelling internationally more and more over the past few years and I can't say they're my favourite types of tourists. I would politely describe them as 'new money'. My only complaints about the Bayview are that because of the extreme humidity everything constantly felt, looked and smelt damp see windows above , and the housekeeping were pretty hopeless.

We would leave at 10am some days with housekeeping on our floor at other rooms , and return at 5: I'm sure I'm not alone in not feeling comfortable being in a hotel room while housekeeping are cleaning it. I've never known any housekeepers in hotels to work after lunch! Feeling a touch dejected at the inclement weather it was still raining 2 hours after landing we did what any Australian does when there's nothing to do - found the nearest bar.

We were lured in by their advertising of a Monday Special of '5 beers of your choice and a plate of chicken wings for USD13 until 7pm'. This seemed like extremely good value. We walked into an almost deserted bar bang on 7pm to ask if we would still order the offer. The female bar tender took an instant shine to us and replied with a wink 'what time do you have? She replied 'then of course you can order it! With an almost empty bar being early on a Monday night and intrigued by our unusual accents she had never met an Australian she proceeded to absolutely drown us in beer, spirits, cocktails and shots all while telling us all about Guam and asking us all about Australia.

The bar was extensively stocked with various bottles I had never seen before and when I asked about them she would insist we try everything in sight. We were unsure whether we would be charged for all these drinks as we didn't really 'order' them she would say 'you haven't had that before? You must try it! We ordered some more food for dinner which was fairly standard American diner fare and continued to drink and drink and drink and drink. I knew mixing drinks was a bad idea but they just didn't stop - the combination of boredom from the rain and the excitement of arriving in a new place was lethal!

The bar tender was a really, really lovely young woman - a theme that would continue with all the locals we met. She also asked us why on earth we were visiting Guam - a question we would be asked many many times over the week. Interesting she was born in Saipan which is a small neighbouring island. It is also very similar to Guam in the reason Australians might travel there this year. She warned us not to visit Saipan as the economy there is terrible and the locals not very friendly.

At 11pm feeling extremely inebriated we made the sensible decision to head to bed. We had 5 food dishes between the 2 of us, and I am not exaggerating when I estimate we also had at LEAST 25 drinks between the two of us a mixture of beer, shots, cocktails and spirits. She hadn't charged us for most of what we drank. We gave her a very generous tip and thanked her for a great evening and stumbled back to the hotel room.

I wonder how many new GUAM inquiries are made as a result of this trip report. We have had some fantastic reports over the last few months.

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Nov 12, 10, 4, Melbourne. I've been intrigued by the idea of travelling to GUM for a couple years. Following this with interest! How's your head this morning? DAY 2 We awoke the next morning with somewhat sore heads and opened the curtains to see overcast skies and drizzle. A check of the local weather channel reveal rain for the next two days followed by sunshine later in the week. We had always planned an 'inside shopping day' during our visit so decided to do it then. The entire island is duty-free and this is a significant industry. We then headed to Micronesia Mall which due to the humidity and low light had a very depressing ambience but did find some bargains in Macys.

Retail shopping overall was very well priced although I haven't been to the states for a new years so can't compare to mainland prices. The food courts at these shopping centres seem especially popular. I should point out that Guam as a whole is pretty run-down. The duty-free in Tumon is new, sparkling and modern but the rest of the island is pretty 'ghetto'. This is the word I kept coming back to when describing the island.

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There are loads of crack-den type strip malls outside of Tumon with strip clubs, gun stores and really run-down, awful looking restaurants. Combine this with the terrible roads and endless beat-up pick-up trucks on the roads and its just, well, ghetto. It's like there was a huge investment in Guam in the 90s but all the wealth and hope moved out 20 years ago. This also had a knock-on effect with the locals. Although the staff we enountered esp wait staff were extremely professional and took real pride in their jobs, there's a lot of locals who just mope around the streets looking pretty dejected.

There's not much to do for locals especially when its raining except eat, drink and shop and if you have no money you can't even do that.


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Most locals we met had never left Guam and asked us with a sad longing about the rest of the world. I can't imagine spending my whole life there. I was expecting most of the locals to be caucasian Americans so was surprised to find almost all locals are the indigenous Chamorro people with their dark skin and mix between Asian and Pacific Islander appearance.

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It continued to rain all day - the terrible road can't cope with much rain so this is what you see out of the window: We also visited Premier Outlets which had a slightly better ambience i. You do need to dig through a lot of rubbish when you are outlet shopping to find anything good but there are some gems to be found - I found some nice desert boots which were oddly modern in amongst the other dated styles. For dinner we looked up the best rated restaurants in Guam. The reviews said there was 1 location in Tumon near the Hyatt which always had a line out the door while there was a second, newer, lesser known location at Tauming which was better food, service and wait times.

We attempted to find the Tuaming one based on the reviews address and google maps but, like the exact location of our hotel, this was way off and we couldn't find it at all we did drive past it a few days later - it's on the main road 3 heading north towards Tumon. We eventually found the Tumon location which is on the main road before the Hilton complex entrance.

Sure enough, there was a line out the door. We took this as a sign of a good restaurant and many people waiting were local Chamorros alongside Japanese tourists. We had to wait a good 40 minutes for a table as the line moved pretty slowly. If there is a group of 4 waiting first they will let tables of 2 sit empty while they wait for a table of 4 to become free rather than seat groups of 2 whenever tables of 2 become ready.

They also took an extremely long time to turn tables once pax left which was very frustrating when they are in clear view of the line. There's nothing more frustrating when you are waiting in a line at a restaurant than watching empty tables and oblivious staff! This seemed like such an obvious solution to a simple problem but the staff couldn't care less - I guess they're very set in their ways and efficiency is not a valued quality when you're on island time.

Nevertheless, when we were eventually seated our waitress was very friendly and professional a continuing theme amongst locals we met and once again asked us why we decided to come to Guam. The portions were huge and the food was good.

It promised local Chamorro fare which is traditionally bbq meat with red orange rice. The signature bbq was good but it was just meat and fat - not a lot of herbs, spices or flavour. I enjoyed it but prefer spicy Asian or Argentinian grills with more added flavour. We had a relatively early night after our boozy previous evening and kept our fingers crossed for clear skies the nest day we had not even seen the beach yet.

DAY 3 The next morning we again pulled the blinds open to see overcast skies but no rain. This didn't really mean anything as the weather changes very, very quickly in Guam and can be sunny one minute then pouring with rain the next. We were unsure whether it would clear up or rain so headed to the worlds biggest Kmart for the morning. I personally wouldn't bother going again - it wasn't that big and the stock was a lot of junk that seems to have been neglected from the mainland years ago.

We left the Kmart to clearing skies and raced home to finally get on our bathers and head to the beach almost 48 hours after landing. Sure enough, as we were walking out of the hotel it started to pour again. Frustrated, we decided to go and see a movie instead of trying to avoid the rain. It was an enjoyable movie and the perfect way to pass a rainy afternoon.

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It was still raining when we left the cinema late afternoon so went back to the hotel to mope around and wait for the rain to stop. It cleared a little in the evening so we walked down to the local Churassco grill for dinner. This was standard Argentinian grill where they walk around the meat on metal sticks and feed you until you can't eat anymore. The meat was better quality than Proa but also significantly more expensive.

The salad bar was fairly dull and straight out of the 90s. Upon leaving the restaurant it was absolutely bucketing down and we got completely soaked. The streets are not designed for rain like this and there was huge lakes forming at intersections. I was getting very frustrated with the endless rain by this stage as it was supposed to be the dry season and I felt like I was wasting a week doing nothing trying to avoid the rain and boredom at the same time is not easy in Guam. Running past the Green Lizard we decided to pop in for a drink as there was little else to do.

Our friendly bartender from Monday was not on but the two bartenders who were also took a liking to us and spent their time chatting to us almost jostling for position and ignoring other customers. When we arrived soaking wet they invited us to take our tops off! There's a swimming pool at Green Lizard for some reason and a few customers young adult guys and girls had already stripped to their underwear and had dived in and were horsing around.

It creates a fun atmosphere and the staff and management are very, very relaxed - I imagine things get pretty wild and loose later in the night if that is your sort of thing. We took it MUCH easier on the booze that night despite again being offered all sorts of additional drinks and headed to bed at a reasonable hour. They too asked us the standard 'why Guam?


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Day 4 I once again crossed my fingers and opened the blinds and took a HUGE sigh of relief to see a sunny sky with dry roads! We raced down to Tumon beach and spent a very enjoyable lazy day lying on the beach, and sitting in the water relaxing and generally doing nothing. I would describe the beaches as fairly good - the sand is quite soft and white although there is some seaweed, the water is warm and a striking bright turqoise I had never seen water that colour but very very shallow out to the reef and very rocky.

It was mostly Asian tour groups who are bussed in to use the facilities of the local beach club kayaks, jetskis etc. The best part of the beach is right near the shore where it's only knee deep so you can sit flat on the sand before the rocks start. If you are not a confident swimmer do not go beyond waist deep water in Tumon.

The sun was out, the beach was peaceful, the water was warm and life was good. After 2 days of moping around in the rain I felt like the tropical paradise was finally happening.

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There were some interesting military aircraft flying overhead doing all sorts of drills. I'm no expert at spotting non-commercial aircraft but on a good day Guam is a fantastic place for unusual plane spotting. Just another reminder of the huge military presence there. After spending the entire afternoon at Tumon Beach we headed back to our hotel room with a slab of very cheap Bud to enjoy on the balcony and watch the sun.

It really is a great view - the Bayview really earnt its name that day! You must log in or sign up to post here. Redemption to Guam Industrybuff , Feb 12, , in forum: Trip Reports and Trip Photos. December 12, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 1 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. A decent enough story, even if the premise is somewhat implausible. But this story really suffers from some atrocious editing. Basic spelling errors abound, demonstrating conclusively why one should never use spell check as a substitute for a grasp of basic English.

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