In my post about Tumon Bay, I mentioned that there are two places where you can rent a parasol with a couple beach chairs. I went to the first one I visited and chilled at Tumon Bay Sports Club. They are well known near the Guam Plaza as they are the closest one to the hotel. Their prices vary depending on the day with weekends and holidays having a $5 premium added. You don’t have to go there but if you don’t walk all the way up and down the beach it is hard to know where to relax if you have nothing with you. The Tumon Bay Sports Club definitely provides you with everything you could want although the staff at the “club” can be a bit annoying at times if you are looking for a place where you can just chill out and enjoy the beach.
When you enter the Tumon Beach area from Nana’s cafe, you are almost always inundated with people approaching you and asking if you’d want to pay to use the parasols. They are friendly in how they talk with you and make sure you know all of the prices. I was being cheap and took the rear row at the Tumon Bay Sports Club but was upgraded as they wanted to remove a few parasols. You can have a group of up to 3 people under one parasol and they will bring an extra beach chair for you. This seemed to be more popular for the ladies who tended to go in groups of 3. Technically you have one parasol for the entire day but if you appear to leave for good they will give your chair away. I’m not sure how it works if you return later, say after lunch, but I would guess you just complain and they’ll give you another chair. The coordination between the staff was terrible. They shout at each other trying to figure out what to do with all of the people and to fit them in properly. I was told by one person to just sit anywhere and another person kept hooting and hollering at me until he could confirm that I did indeed pay.
The available sports on the beach were vast. You had options to get inner tubes, various paddle boats, and kayaks. You could even rent a ski-do or get one of them to take you out on a banana boat or other “popular” rides on the water. Being the person who just wants to do his own thing, I decided that I was happy with just sitting on the beach for the day and not upgrading to anything else. I was also happy just wading into the water by myself and enjoying the cool water. Sometimes the young people would throw water around but it wasn’t so bad. Kids are kids as they say and if you are on vacation you just enjoy watching them do stupid things and see what happens when they get into trouble. Sometimes the staff would join them in playing various sports. They don’t have a lot to do during the day aside from getting people to enter the area. I felt it was nice of them to help build the atmosphere but sometimes it can be annoying, but not in a bad way. The best thing I found about the area is the ability to people watch. I was happy to post photos on Instagram and make people jealous, and I was happy to read various news articles on the Olympics as it was happening at that time. I was even happier to watch the various people do stupid things.
People-watching is a fun activity on Tumon Bay Beach. I started watching a group of 3 girls enjoy a holiday together and seeing a few guys try to help them take photos was an interesting scene of failure. The girls were busy taking selfies and a couple times a group of guys tried to see if they wanted help but they kind of ignored them; obviously no nanpa1 for them. The group of guys next to them were always fun to watch. They were a bit noisy but not too noisy and they were busy playing catch and baseball in the ocean. There were about 10 guys and they split up into smaller groups to have fun. At one point they buried a friend in sand. One of the staff decided that their foam baseball bat was necessary and they spent the next 20 minutes building a sand penis on him with the bat as a base. Let’s just say that all of the padding and pouring of water over the penis was… … colourful. I couldn’t help but wonder if they knew how bad they looked when trying to finish off the penis… There were also 2 Russian couples that had a little trouble with their seats. They wanted to sit together but they didn’t have any parasols together. They tried to complain but nothing was happening. They ended up sitting apart and they looked annoyed at the Japanese kids next to them. I sometimes think that the language barrier combined with immature “adults” led them to be annoyed but after a little while they warmed up to their neighbours.
Tumon Beach is a fun place and I would happily go back again. I would pay for the parasol again only for the ability to people watch. After I visited the Tumon Bay Sports Club I learned of another area just 100 meters away that was shaded, much quieter, and free. While that area is a lot better to relax, I found the parasol was a better place to enjoy the atmosphere and to see what was going on. Balance is very important and spending a day or two at the Tumon Bay Sports Club would have been all that I could have afforded, and tolerated. Don’t be afraid to hang out there, especially for people watching, but also don’t be afraid to just head around and see what you can see.
Note: While I called this place the Tumon Bay Sports Club, I cannot confirm whether or not this is the official name of the shop.
1: Nanpa is a Japanese word meaning to pick someone up off the street.