Atop Saipan’s highest mountain

IF there is one place that offers you a perfect view of the whole island from a 360 degree angle, it is Mount Tapochao, the highest point of Saipan.

Last weekend’s gallivanting saw me and a buddy slowly urging the small car we took to navigate the rough and bumpy roads snaking its way up the mountain. We knew the roads were fitted for an ATV or a 4×4 vehicle but we still took the chance, hoping our car won’t give up on us and leave us in the middle of nowhere.
After a nerve-wracking climb, we finally reach the top. I took in huge gulps of the cold, early morning air while trying to catch my breath. Mt. Tapochao is indeed a perfect place to meditate and get in tune with nature.
My first visit to this mountain was during Good Friday this year when the roads and the whole place littered with people, tents and cars. We had to walk all the way to the top as the roads were barely passable.
Last Saturday, it was totally different because my buddy and I had the whole place to ourselves. It was eerily quiet, save for the howling of the winds. I felt like we were intruders but it was wonderful to be standing at 1,545 feet above sea level and marvel at the amazing panoramic view of Saipan and the island of Tinian.
Mt. Tapochao carries both historical and religious significance for the people of CNMI. Several markers are planted at the top of Mt. Tapochao to serve as constant reminders that Japanese spotters positioned themselves on this mountain to direct cannon fire to the advancing American forces during the bloody World War 11.
A slight drizzle started to fall, interrupting the peace and soliloquy I was enjoying for a moment. I am still looking forward for a chance to watch the sunset from this point. I know words would be inadequate to describe its splendor.

(this article is originally published HERE)

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