My dear readers,
First of all, I would like to thank my Chinese readers who congratulated me with Chinese New Year. She-she !!!(thank you in Chinese)
Second, I know that my readers range from budget travelers to these who are not really concerned about saving few (or few hundred) bucks. I love you all, especially those who send me letters. But I cannot write different version of my TN for different audiences. So those who are not budget travelers please skip the next paragraph.
As you may remember, my previous trip to Jamaica cost $9 each way. It was advertised like this by Spirit airline. Actually I paid $118. $100 more was paid for different airports taxes. It was lot of airline bargains advertised recently.
United Airlines advertised $117 round trip from Atlanta to Honolulu. This low price was posted on United's website for a short time. My daughter discovered this and quickly bought the ticket for me. So, I went to Honolulu (Hawaii) for short 5.5 days trip from Jan 18 to Jan 24. It would be too hectic to go to the other Hawaiian islands from Oahu, where Honolulu airport is located. So I stayed all the time in Oahu. However 5.5 days is a little bit too long for Oahu. Oahu is the most developed and least interesting of four Hawaiian islands. Also most of the good places for diving and snorkeling on Oahu, located on North shore, are closed in winter due to the rough sea.
However I made several interesting findings which I would like to share with you, my readers. A week before the departure I called to Oahu, Hawaii and found that virtually all hotels and bed-and-breakfasts are taken. This is in-spite of high, usually triple digit, price for one night stay. When I came to Honolulu, I found that there are several decent hostels there charging $20 per night. And these hostels usually have some empty space. I guess the people who are going to Hawaii anticipate paying high price and even don't look for cheap accommodations. So I stayed in pretty nice, very clean hostel near the University, as usually, Lonely Planet recommended. My rented car was parked 30 ft. from my bed, which was quite convenient.
Famous Waikiki is solely devoted to dining and shopping. But what should I do there if I already have everything I need for life inside my little backpack and my main objective of visiting Hawaii was to lose some weight.
However, I found two places on Oahu, which were of interest to me: Hanauma Bay and Kaena Point.
Hanauma Bay, which use to be one of the wonders of the world is destroyed. All corals inside the lagoon (behind the barrier reef) are dead. The management, eager to serve tourists, brought wrong sand to the beach, a too fine one. And this sand choked the corals. In-spite all corals being dead, the lagoon is full of fish. You swim like in aquarium of fish soup. You may observe from very short distance (few inches) the private life of fish and it is very interesting. There is much less fish outside the protective barrier reef, which is difficult to explain. Do fish like human company?
Kaena point at the NW corner of Oahu Island is the only place on the island periphery which doesn't have a road. You can reach it only by foot or on bike. It is a very picturesque place with huge waves crashing on the rocky shore. I spent two days on Kaena and two days in Hanauma bay.
Honolulu also has nice China town with interesting sea food market, where I made picture which may puzzle you. Also there is a very good small aquarium at Waikiki. See pictures in attachments
Jan 27 2006