Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wax Museum of Saipan

Every couple of months, our staff at Marianas Eye Institute gets together for a staff outing. Recently, we’ve gone to race go-carts, played beach volleyball, gone to PIC happy hour, and now last week, visited the Wax Museum of Saipan.

I’ll have to tell you, I was impressed. I don’t remember ever being to a wax museum before. After all, there never seemed to be much appeal in seeing statues of a bunch of famous people. You’re there to look at the wax, and ooh and ahh at how lifelike/waxlike everything appears.

Well, the Wax Museum of Saipan is different. In fact, it’s really not about the wax nor the statues. It’s an interactive lively museum of the history of Saipan. I learned a few things about our history that I had wondered about and hadn’t understood from visiting other museums on Saipan. Saipan history is depicted in scenes using life-size statues and figures. It is amazingly well done. It starts with the pre-history of the Marianas, and moves, room by room and scene by scene to the present day. The grand finale is a replica of the Governor’s Office, where you can sit at the desk, flags behind you, and have your photograph taken.

Each scene has a written description of the scene in English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. The reading is brief enough that you get a good idea of the history without having to spend more than a minute reading – great for those like me who get a bit restless in museums.

The photographs throughout the museum are beautiful depictions of past and present scenes of Saipan life. There are sound effects and lighting effects, which bring many of the scenes to life.

The museum has also produced a documentary interviewing some of the local survivors of World War II. It’s playing in the reception area, and is worth seeing.

For local residents, the admission price is about the cost of a movie. If you are looking for a family outing, a place to take the kids on the weekend, an educational trip for your classroom, or a place to take a date, the Wax Museum of Saipan is a worthy option. I plan on going back.

The Wax Museum of Saipan is located in the heart of Garapan near GIG Discotheque. You may reach them at 233-7447. Support this great addition to Saipan.

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