Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana islands are a commonwealth in political union with the United States. There are 15 islands but 90% of the population lives on Saipan – famous to soccer fans as the location of the Roy Keane incident before the 2002 World Cup. It was also the base for the Enola Gay's flight to Hiroshima in 1945.

There are numerous WWII memorials, some on the cliffs where Japanese soldiers committed suicide in preference to capture by US forces. Saipan is quite westernised and well-developed, with gambling and diving being popular activities. There are three golf courses. Most hotels are giant resorts.

Place (USA)

Northern Mariana Islands flag

Why you should go:

You want to play golf in the Pacific

Why you shouldn't:

It is hardly a tropical island paradise where you can get away from it all.

Map of Northern Mariana Islands