The island of Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten is shared by French and Dutch culture.
The northern half of the island is Saint-Martin, the French side, while the
southern half is the Dutch Sint Maarten.
Cruise ships dock at the pier just outside Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch
side. A short taxi or water taxi puts you right in the downtown shopping area.
Marigot, the capital of the French side, is a short bus or taxi ride away to the
western side of the island.
It is interesting to note that both sides of this small island maintain their own
unique culture and tastes, and just as you would expect in visiting the mainland,
each is quite distinct. Despite the different cultures, the island's residents
co-exist quite amicably, and regularly travel freely throughout the entire island.
Perhaps one of the best known tourist stops on the island is Maho Bay, adjacent to
the main runway of Princess Juliana International Airport. Here one may photograph
large jumbo jets only a few feet high as they make their landing only yards
away from the beach.