Saturday, January 26, 2008

Baby Trail

After the cruise, we had 6 days in Oahu to hang out and check out the sights. Instead of blogging about it by day, I am going to break it up by attraction. However, I just want to start off by giving my general impression of Oahu.

Oahu is a lot like a major city (yes, including the glory of traffic jams), especially in the downtown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach area. There are tall buildings, fancy eateries, and high-end shops. It is also home to 75% of the state's population. That's roughly 91,000 people living on one tiny island. To break it down even further more, thats roughly 1470 people per sq miles (vs 106 people per sq miles in Kauai). Including the tourists, Oahu is overcrowded with people.

When in Oahu, rent a car. I can't stress that enough. Even if it is just for 2 or 3 days, renting a car will save you lots of headaches and time. Luke and I didn't know better and took theBus to get around. While theBus makes sense for the locals or for a few days, it is not the way to see the island. If we could have a do-over, we would rent a car for 2 days to drive around the island and see things outside of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.

Perhaps it is because we had difficulties getting to places, but I like Oahu the least. Don't get me wrong, it is still a sunny tropical paradise and I would gladly visit again, but it is not as picturesque as the other islands. It could've been the weather too because after my Christmas post, the weather turned cloudy and windy until the day we left (darn it!). So, I don't want to be too negative about Oahu because I think a lot of has to do with our bad luck with the weather and transportation problems. Still, all those things did not dampen our spirit and we made the best out of everything. In the end, we did see all the major attractions and had very yummy food too.

One of the first things we did in Oahu was the Diamond Head. From the top of Diamond Head, we saw a fantastic 360-degree view of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, southeast coast, and leeward coast. Coming from Waikiki area, always take Bus #22, the Beach Bus.

The bus dropped us off at the bottom of the Diamond Head State Monument bus stop. It's about a 20-minute walk from the bus stop to entrance. In the picture, we were still on our way to the park entrance.

We paid $1 per person and started walking. Another thing to note about Oahu is that nearly everything that was free on the other islands now has an admission charge.

The trail to the summit was not a difficult walk, despite of what I read in the books. In fact, it was surprisingly easy, even with just sandals on. The posters at the bottom of the trail had said that it would take 1.5 hours round trip, we made it in under an hour. =] The trail has a flat surface and hand rail throughout. Very very safe. Nothing in comparison with our adventure in Kauai.

Luke and I taking a break. There are several rest areas with scenic outlook.

To reach the top, we had to walk through a tunnel. Luke will probably complain about me posting this picture (and in my defense, I shrunk the picture), but I mainly want to show the tunnel. If you look carefully, you can see me behind his head.

Hundreds and hundreds of steps.

Almost to the top.

Here you go, the view from the top. The stretch of sand you see in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (the speck of pink) is Waikiki Beach.

The southeast coast.

It was extremely windy on the observatory deck with too many people. We took a few pictures of the view and started heading down. Good thing I wasn't wearing a dress, eh?

Shortly, we were back down at the beginning of the trail. I just realized that there aren't many pictures of Luke in the post. So here is one. :)

I will end this post with a little video we took on the top of Diamond Head! It is mostly a video of random tourists though...

video

2 comments:

  1. Yes yes yes, the Bus sucks ass. Sure, it's great for locals, but for tourists who don't have hours upon hours to waste on things such as "waiting for the bus" get a damn car.

    And one other thing, I am truly fugly as hell. Thank you for still loving me Tong! =D

    ReplyDelete
  2. i hope its good weather next week i'm there!

    ReplyDelete