Having been to Guam for a few times in the last two years, I’ve always been amazed how easy it is to fall back into the rhythm of being on the island. Everything’s so easy here — from the wifi buses, shops, to the sushi experience and even the occasional visit to the market.
My first time to visit the island, I was greeted by Filipinos and Chamorros who were too friendly for words. It was like going to Hawaii (only smaller) without the 19-hour flight to boot.
Visas, Itinerary, and What to Expect:
Since Guam is part of the United States’ territories, as a Filipino, you’ll need to apply for a US Visa to enter as a tourist.
It came as a surprise to me when one of my friends asked me about how to get a US Visa for Filipinos. I’m not saying this to spite anyone but I honestly have no idea. I’ve had a US Visa since I was a kid, I only had to worry about being able to renew it and I honestly don’t want to give out tips on how to make sure you get the 10-year one without having to experience it for myself.
But I’ve noticed that as long as you state that you will be returning to the Philippines and hand them a full itinerary of everything you’ve done, then you won’t have a problem. Swear!
Anyhow, Guam is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean which makes it a prime destination of neighboring countries (mostly Japan and Korea) to visit and enjoy the beach. You’ll see more Japanese walking around than you’ll find Chamorros and probably tons of Filipinos who’ll be attending to the stores.
As per going around the island, you’ll be able to find buses like these will be able to help you! It costs about $25 for an entire week to use this bus to go around as much as you can. It goes from Tumon (where Duty Free is) to Tumining (stops at Guam Premium Outlets). And as a personal favourite, the bus has free wi-fi!
Coffee, Food, And Where To Eat:
Food in Guam would mostly consist of Japanese or barbecue. Probably one of my favourite finds is this nice sushi place called Uncle Sim’s and another hole in the wall further down. What’s great about their food culture is that small restaurants, even scary looking ones, all have good food.
Many of the restaurants here (unless you hang around the Tumon area) are all reasonably priced and as a Filipina, have big servings like the ones in the United States.
Oh and Eggs and Things (pictured above) probably has one of the best breakfast food you’ll ever have on the island. They’re only open during the morning and some time in the afternoon. But be careful because the line here is especially long in the mornings that sometimes you’ll find yourself sucking it up and eating oatmeal at McDonald’s instead. Or not. Who knows?
As for the coffee, hands down – you’ll fall in love with Hawaiian Coffee. The beans are all exported from Hawaii and spread all over the island. And so, if you’re looking for a great coffee place I can highly recommend going to Honolulu Coffee or Port Mocha Cafe.
For Honolulu Coffee, it’s located inside the Plaza, and Tumon Sands while Port Mocha is inside the Micronesia Mall or at Grand Plaza Hotel.
What to do while in Guam:
1. Ride a submarine
Easily one of my favourite experiences was riding a submarine, looking through the windows to see corals and fishes. At one point in my life, I was so entranced with the ocean that I thought about becoming a marine biologist (ha!) and so this experience really helped fuel that dream again. Although I have to admit that the entire journey to get here took longer than actually going around the reef, it was also a fun experience for anyone who wants to see the ocean floor.
For more information about Atlantis Guam, please go here
2. Enjoy the open beaches
If you enjoy soaking up in the sun or just want to play music while lying in the sand, then Guam is a great destination for you! Honest.
The beaches are open, the water is clear, and you’ll find yourself falling in love with the walk from one end of the island to the other. If you’re lucky to stay in a hotel with a bar that overlooks the beach, then I definitely recommend making it a priority to watch the sunset from there.
If not, then hotels like Outrigger Beach Resort has a bar that’s open to the public with plenty of shows throughout the week.
3. Visit the Chamorro Village Night Market on Wednesdays
The market is only open on Wednesdays and I highly suggest getting there before the dinner crowd comes in (it opens around 5pm). You’ll be able to try tons of different food that can only be found in Guam or the Pacific Islands while also a few favourites like barbecue and steak.
4. Become a tourist for the day
Since Guam is small, most of the activities you can do involve swimming, snorkelling, visiting beaches, and so on. However, there are some tourist areas you can go to too. The most famous one being Two Lover’s Point which overlooks majority of the island and the Pacific Ocean.
Two Lover’s Point was actually a cliff where two mythical lovers jumped off since they didn’t want to be separated from each other by arranged marriage by their respective chiefs. The cliff can still be visited today but at this point, the tourist destination has become much more popular with the love locks surrounding the entire area.
Aside from this, you also have the Fish Eye Marine Park, Underwater World, and the War Museum where the latter also overlooks some parts of the island.
5. Shop! Shop! Shop!
I think I can vouch for majority of the tourists here in Guam when I say, that’s basically what you come for!
I’m not a big shopper myself but I do enjoy the occasional splurge. Especially because Guam is tax-free, tons cheaper than the States and other Asian countries, and you’re practically visiting America.
In 2016, my aunt, mom, and I decided to spend a week in Guam for the Black Friday sale which ended up saving on tons of money for one item but also spending more for many others. It was actually my first black friday experience and many store sellers told me that going on the sale here was calmer than going to the States. It’s worth it though especially if you live in Asia.