Northern Marianas



How fast can you say CNMI? The residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands refer to their Pacific homeland by its initials, saying the letters as quickly as possible, so that they come out in an exotic-sounding blur. But you might also add the letters U.S. when you say the name, because the Commonwealth, which contains all the islands of the Mariana Island chain except for Guam, is a U.S. possession. The U.S. wrested the islands from Japan in some of the most bitter battles of World War II.

Travelers looking for traditional island life, good diving or beautiful scenery are likely to prefer the island of Rota, which is hardly the sleepy place it once was, but which still has a friendly ambience and secluded beaches.

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