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Nature at its best – Oahu, Hawaii

This blog post is for everyone who asked about details about the trip and for their queries about Hawaii. Shankari put the words exactly in my mouth – Its the ideal India we are used to – Remember those summer holidays when we cousins used to crowd up at our grandma’s home ?? Perched beneath the lushest trees, crowding under the bushes, trying to cook in miniature clay vessels (choppu), busy making chillipowder from bricks for sambar – Thats what I got a glimpse of in Hawaii.

Plants and trees that we know of from our childhood we can see it there – mango tree, drumstick, badam tree, veli mullu tree (the tree with big thorns with yellow flowers) and ofcourse coconut. These trees are found all over, especially in the quiet parts of the north shore. We visited Oahu – capital is Honululu. I actually wanted to visit Mauii but could not get tickets. We got tickets on our miles had a pay a little more but you could get a decent rate between 500 to 600 dollars when booked in advance, ie from Sanfrancisco.


Accomodation:

There are too many hungama hotels in Waikiki – A relatively quiet one we stayed is the Aqua Palms, Ala moana Blvd – Right opposite to the Hawaii Hilton Village. Very decent rooms, excellent service, very neat rooms. The service was really great.

Must do :

Most big hotels have an Orbitz representative at the front desk. Tours depending on your personality is available. Examples of tours are

  1. Rain forest treking ( worth every penny for filling our lungs with the fresh mossy air ) – Only with a guide
  2. Helicopter rides can get to the parts of the rain forest that are not accessible by foot
  3. Adventures activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, jetskiing, etc. For the very ( to the power of infinity ) brave – lock urself in a cage and dwelve into the waters for a brush with the Sharks
  4. Dinner cruise – We did not do this. Did not feel it was worth it.
  5. Trip to Mauii – A one or two day trip to Mauii from Oahu siteseeing and back. We did not do it. For the first time we did not want to rush and see everything
  6. Submarine tours – Not for me. So dont know much details about it.

We did the rain forest treking and helicopter ride – It was very memorable. Some are best done by ourselves with a rental car.

  1. Pearl Harbour – Must visit, do it at the last day because its a couple of minutes from the airport
  2. North shore – North shore and west shore are not much disturbed by the invasion of tourists. Beaches in North shore are very rough and most of the beaches have rocks covered with moss so its very dangerous. Tide is also very high.
  3. Drive along the north shore you can find local shops selling tropical fruits and if your lucky like us, find some tender coconuts.
  4. Dole Plantation – Its a cute place, Dont miss the toy train ride and feel like a kid. Be patient they are going to introduce Sugarcane, Banana, Mango trees to you. Also find lots of hibiscus. Pineapple ice cone and a farmers market that sells papaya, mango and tender coconut are a must-trys
  5. Waikiki Beach safest beaches with some land fill, virtually no waves- very good for a non-swimmer
  6. Water world Its best for kids, but eh ? so what if you are over 25 ? We did enjoyed it. Entry ticket is 45 dollars per person. With that you can do all the water rides you want to. Kids fee are little subsidized.

Good to knows :

  • Read reviews of hotels before checking in.
  • You have to pay a price for views of mountain and beach from your room.
  • All fast foods found here are at the island

Dont Miss :

  • Ducking into the waters in Waikiki. The waters are very safe here. Various activities like water cycling ( dont know if thats the right name ), boating, skating lessons are found here. This stretch of beach is very very busy thanks to the beach front hotels, but at the same time also very safe with number of sea patrols. Waters are not deep because of the land fill. Waves are not huge. After the stint at the beach buy a couple of cheap mats and relax under a garden of lush coconut trees with the sun shining. Heaven ! I am in Heaven !
  • Tropical delights – Tender coconut water, mangoes, guavas in the North shore – I was surprised to find people toooo civilized in Waikiki that they did not know that you can drink the tender coconut water..What a pity !!!
  • Grilling fish – if you are non-veggie. The fish that we tried was whole aku ( baby tuna ) – Our room had some plates, cutlery and a mini-refrigerator. If you go to china town you the get the catch of fish the same day. For that you have to go there pretty early round 6 AM. 6AM me ?? On a vacation day ?? Forget it. I got the whole fish that was brought in one day earlier in a foodland. Cleaned it with fork and knife and massaged it nicely with salt and pepper (lots of it !!). Refrigerated it and had a ball of time grilling. Its THE BEST MEMORY from Hawaii for both of us !!
  • Kona coffee – Best place to try it is the Wailana Coffee house on AlaMoana opposite the Hawaii Hilton
  • Coastal and rain forest drive – There are three highways H1, H2 and H3. Cover as much as possible to have incredible view of the beaches and rain forest. Some areas are not accessible. Enquire before driving. We had a GPS in the car.

Dining :

  • — Its better not to dine in a restaurant for dinners unless you know what you are getting into. Very expensive. 40 to 50 dollars for an entree meal and a drink for two.
  • — Dont hope for an indian restaurant.
  • — Wailana is a favourite coffee house serves best coffee. Open 24 hours a day
  • — All american fast food are found, Jack in the box, McDonalds etc

Budget :

For a couple would be around $ 2500 to $3000 for 5 days stay including the airfare and rental car.

All said, both Ravi and I are busy now applying fading cream to remove the tan, dont realize how much the sun can tan you in such a short span !! I am atleast 3 shades darker, darkest in the face !!!

I have posted some fotos to flickr. You can see them here

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June 6, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

12 Comments »

  1. Hi,
    your weblog is interesting. I hope successful for you.

    lititia

    Comment by Lititia | June 10, 2006 | Reply

  2. Hi Revathi,
    Came through Sudha’s blog. You took nice arial view photos of the places. So this is how a pineapple plant look like…Wow, never seen them before. We get to see a glimpse of Hawai from your photos. You brought me a smile when I read about velli mullu.:) Wanna drink that ellaneer. Fish looks yummy.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Nila | June 10, 2006 | Reply

  3. Excellent post!!
    Bookmarking it keeping in mind I will travel to Hawaii one day..:):).Very useful post indeed!
    I love the food pics too.

    Comment by sailaja | June 10, 2006 | Reply

  4. Hi, I was wondering ,whats afading cream.I have a whole lot of tan from swimming last weekend.let me know how to get rid of it.

    Comment by parvathi | June 10, 2006 | Reply

  5. Revathi,
    You are definitely making me feel like going to Hawaii. I hope God is reading this. 😉

    Comment by Vaishali | June 11, 2006 | Reply

  6. Hi Revathi,
    Thanks for the detailed information.Nice photos.
    Vineela

    Comment by Vineela | June 12, 2006 | Reply

  7. Great Revathi! Thanks a lot!

    Comment by Inji Pennu | June 13, 2006 | Reply

  8. yeah you have given a good description. One thing we decided when we went to Maui was to not eat from fast food joints, but savor the local food and we enjoyed every bit of it. There are places that sell something called aloha mix plates that cost 5.99 or so, yummy. the other must try is their chicken coated with coconut ( i used to eat chicken then)

    Comment by Shankari | June 13, 2006 | Reply

  9. Ah Honolulu. It was home for two wonderful years. As you rightly said, it was home away from home for me.

    Came to your blog via Indira’s and when i glanced on the right hand side, what do i see? Nature at it’s best – oahu, hawaii. and got all choked up.

    ah well. one day you will see me blogging or commenting from there. the locals say that if you live over extended period in hawaii, it will get in to your blood. and you would long to be back. and people actually return. ask any Kama`aina (that’s hawaiian resident). so, there’s hope for me. 🙂 dont u think so? 🙂

    thanks for this and the other post.

    -Mathy

    Comment by மதி கந்தசாமி (Mathy) | June 15, 2006 | Reply

  10. Hi
    Thanks for the comments.
    – Parvathi: Fading cream removes uneven pigmentation on the skin. The pharmasist gave it. U can ask for a pharmasist and he will give u

    I really hope that you visit Vaishali. Good luck.

    Wow Mathi.. U lived in Honululu, Anyayam, poramai porami 🙂

    Comment by Revathi | June 16, 2006 | Reply

  11. Nice website revathi,and super cool pics of hawaii.Am sure u had a nice time there.I have got a question.Do we need a visa to enter Hawaii if we are staying in US?thanks

    Comment by Sadhna | June 20, 2006 | Reply

  12. Hawaii is a STATE in the United States, Same as california, If you are in the country then you can come here

    Comment by Anonymous | July 27, 2006 | Reply


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