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SAIPAN

Saipan presents spectacular views of craggy, wave-swept shorelines from the cliff heights. Here and there, reminders of the fierce conflicts of WWII lie quietly--tanks, artillery pieces and bombed-out concrete bunkers.

There is more to do and see than can ever be done in one vacation. There are four 18-hole golf courses, as well as world-class shopping, dining, sightseeing and other activities. Its one stretch of development, Garapan, is a tourist's party-town, with a great late-night scene, with discos, dance clubs and karoake bars.

There are WWII wrecks, caves and coral heads for divers to explore, and at one jungled spot on Saipan's north end, a steep stairway meanders downward into a deep chasm that extends all the way to the sea. At the bottom, a pool swells and recedes, and a hazy blue glow marks the tunnel where the pool connects to the ocean, beneath the massive cliff. Saipan's Grotto dive leads through the tunnel for a visit outside; then a careful return.

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