After spending a week in Kona on the Big Island I went to Waikiki in Oahu for a few days. Waikiki is completely different compared to the Big Island. It's more densely populated and down right congested in the Waikiki area. It's very touristy and crowded. There are shops and restaurants everywhere. It almost reminds me of Las Vegas but on a smaller scale. I didn't realize until this trip that Waikiki is a completely man made beach. Waikiki is situated on the leeward side of the island and the waters are much more calm. Waikiki beach is great for beginner surf boarders and also paddle boarders. Most of the major hotels are situated right on the beach or within walking distance. The beach itself is a little crowded but not uncomfortably so. The views of the ocean and of Diamond Head in the distance plus the fact you're on holiday more than make-up for it. I really enjoyed my hotel. At first, I was surprised the pool seemed so small. It turned out, most people head for the beach instead. So, the pool at my hotel was never crowded. On other days, I joined the throngs of people for shopping and dining. After visiting Hawaii so many times, I feel it's quite safe to say that I should go where the Japanese tourists go to dine. They seem to have figured it all out. Even though it's warm weather in Hawaii you can still buy winter clothes. There's quite an extensive range of designers available. This I am sure, has to do with the number of tourists that visit Hawaii. I always manage to pick up some great bargains for winter clothes in Honolulu plus a few ornaments purchased for next year's Christmas tree.
While I was there, news came out about the closing of the International Market Place in Waikiki. It's a landmark and has been around since 1957. What started out as a market for local vendors and musicians to gather has over the years turned it into a very touristy area with stalls selling products made in China. It's now going to make way for a huge department store and shopping mall. Even though I've never actually bought anything from any of the shops in the market, it is sad to see a local landmark disappear for commercial development
Shopping or not, there are still many other sights to see in Oahu. I visited the famed beach where Elvis Presley made his movies - Hanauma Bay which is on the South-East coast of Oahu. This beach is postcard perfect. It's steep downhill walk to the beach or you can catch a trolley ride there. Once there you will be rewarded with a beautiful cove enclosed by reefs. The water is shallow with plenty of tropical fish which is very good for snorkelling. You might even see the odd Monk Seal too! Hanauma Bay is one of the most popular beaches on Oahu and at one point was closed to the public because of extensive damage to the coral. It's easy to see why it's so popular. The rocks and reef surround the beach and keep the waves at bay making this a very child friendly beach.
I love visiting Hawaii. I really appreciate the Aloha Spirit which is to extend charm, warmth and sincerity to everyone. I also love the culture and the food. I enjoy the music and like to wear Aloha wear like many of the locals. After all, If you don't wear it in Hawaii when are you going to wear it? It truly is a relaxing holiday when I'm in Hawaii hanging by the beach and soaking up the rays! Aloha and Mahalo!