I’VE seen these piles of old stones in Obyan Beach several times before and have always thought of them as ordinary stones, until a few months ago.
Those rocks may look just like ordinary piles of rocks, but as I watched a tourist who was so absorbed in trying to capture the whole site on his lens, taking photos of the stone formations from all angles, I finally saw the stones with new eyes.
Those piles of moss-covered stones are actually latte stones listed that play a big role in the history of the islands and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Just like all the other latte stones that remained and weathered the harsh elements of nature in the islands, the ones in Obyan Beach were ancient stones used by the Chamorro people to build their houses and shelter for their canoes.
As one of the most popular beaches on Saipan among locals and tourists alike, Obyan Beach gets a fair share of visitors each day despite the distance and the rough roads but not every one of these guests are aware of the Latte Site that sits just within the beach.
With its wide stretch of white, sandy beach and shaded trees, one tends to miss this significant historical feature which is just actually one of the many scattered all over the place.
From Obyan Beach and all the way to Naftan Point, historical features such as WWII Japanese bunkers, secret tunnels, machine gun nests, pottery shards and more relics litter the area.
These historical features make your visit much more enjoyable and interesting in addition to spending the day at the beach. For the more daring, you can try exploring the hiking trails that lead to the jungle or to more remote beaches in the area and you will be rewarded with a wealth of historical experiences and spectacular views.
The next time you go for a swim or picnic at Obyan Beach, explore through these historical remains a few meters down from the parking lot to your left and you will see a clearing with the latte stones in the center.
You may be interested to learn that a lot of people from other parts of the world would give anything just to visit these sites that you may have always taken for granted.