Northern Mariana Islands — Shopping and Leisure
Saipan hosts the vast majority of Northern Mariana Islands shopping opportunities. Shops are open seven days per week throughout the islands. Although these islands are known to be notoriously expensive, Garapan’s DFS Galleria Saipan contains a surprising number of bargains. Many of the designer clothing items, perfumes, and cosmetics sold at this duty-free center are cheaper than their equivalents sold in Japan or the mainland United States.
Garapan’s other major shopping destination is Hafa Adai Shopping Center, where Boarderline, Saipan’s only skateboarding and surfing shop, is among the most popular destinations. The oldest supermarket on the island, though, is the Joeten Shopping Center, which has sold toys, clothing, and other essentials in Susupe for more than 60 years.
Woodcarvings, coconut masks, wishing dolls, and decorations made from coconut crabs are the most frequently found handicrafts, but visitors should always check to make sure these items are locally made instead of knockoffs from Indonesia, Thailand, or the Philippines. La Moda Isla, one of Saipan’s biggest souvenir shops, sells unique items from across the Northern Mariana Islands and Asia. Another Saipan shop, Fu Dogs and Qi, is the only place on the island where visitors can admire and purchase Asian antiques.
The Garapan Street Market on the community’s fishing base may be primarily known as a food market where several local restaurants allow visitors to sample their best dishes at cheap prices. However, this Thursday evening market is also filled with arts and crafts vendors as well as live entertainment at its south end. ABC Stores is a popular Saipan chain selling beach wear, sunscreen, towels, snacks, and everything else visitors may need during a tropical vacation.