If you have time on your hands to explore beauty, read on to know how to see it, feel it and find it... in Oahu, Hawaii.
by smilingtraveller on February 18, 2008
Sweating, sunshine, awesome view and perserverence…If you’re a hiker, enjoy toning your leg muscles and enjoy the beautiful scenes that Nature can present then Diamond Head on the island of Oahu, Hawaii is the hiking trail for you and your partner/friend.Diamond Head is named after Western explorers mistook crystals in the rocks for diamonds.There is a entrance fee if you drive right into the base of the park. I believe it is $5.00. If you park across the street and enter by foot (through the Kahala Tunnel), it’s only a $1.00/person and it’s a great warm-up!It’s a 1.3km hike on semi-paved trail. So please, unlike some tourists, please wear runners or hikers and not high heels. Yes, there are some fashionistas that should be put into the record books for doing a hike like that in heels!There are 2 sets of steep stairs (1st set has 74 steps and 2nd set 99 steps) so take a break and go up at your own pace. I had a burst of energy so I went up quite quickly, but remember to pace yourself.At the summit you can purchase a certificate (for $1.00) to say you made it to the top. Climb through the crack of the look-out point and be presented with an amazing view of the Pacific ocean and the coastline of Waikiki. It’s an ideal place to get those great postcard pictures of the Waikiki area. Use your flash because you’ll get better pictures! It can be a little crowded so be sure to find a place to stand/sit and take a break. Congratulate yourself/partner!Take in the beautiful view and have a picnic! You deserve it!Remember:-hikers or runners-water-sunsreen for sure!!!-Hat-knapsack with snacks
by smilingtraveller on March 31, 2007
Bronze, mirrors, lights, laughter and love...You're allured by the unique Egptian and African decor in the foyer that makes you wonder what the upstairs is like with the beats and lights beckoning you to climb the spiral staircase.Zanzibar is a safe, upscale and yet relaxed nightclub in the heart of Waikiki. It isn't a far walk off the strip and there are two dancefloors. The main floor is much larger than the one in the back of the bar. The main dancefloor is a little small when it's a packed house, but it still makes it fun. The other dancefloor doesn't seems like one, but it is because I saw people dancing there. It seems to be a great place to sociliaze too since there are seats all around the dancefloor.The music is hip and the DJs do a fine job of taking requests, playin' old school and even local music. They have certain nights that showcase Spanish, Brazilian and even Hawaiian dance. The servers are wonderful and they have a VIP lounge if you just want to drink in private while watching people dance. It's a good place that hosts good security, good drinks, great atmosphere and enough room to have a seat between dancing to rest your feet. Everyone that attends there seems to an easy going group and just wanting to dance the night away.If you're looking for a nice night out that's fun and full of energy, Zanzibar will bring it all.You can also check out their website to get exclusive cover privileges. If you plan to frequent there a lot, then you can also get VIP access. I didn't have to pay cover because I signed up on the website. The management is professional and I hope you dance a little for me too when you go!
by smilingtraveller on February 17, 2008
Byodo TempleI feel like I’m in Japan as I look upon the giant Buddha and Byodo Temple. Lilly pads and a serene swan swims by…Welcome to Byodo Valley of Temples! This is a peaceful homage to the first Japanese immigrants who came to Oahu. When you walk across the bridge, you should proceed to the Bell House (bon sho). It’s a large, 5ft, 3 ton brass bell that was cast in Osaka and you’re supposed to strike the bell with a large soft log (shumoku). It’s ringing is supposed to spread the teaching of Buddha and resonates through the park.Byodo translates into "Temple of Equality". Everyone certainly feels the calm and serene atmosphere as they walk over the bridge to this beautiful temple. What makes me marvel at the temple is that it is entirely built without nails. The architecture is magnificent and attention to detail with the phoenix perched at either end of the entrance to the temple, signifies Japanese culture and tradition. There’s a 18ft golden Buddha that makes you more curious about Buddhism! If you’re looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and looking to learn about the true diversity of Oahu, then the Byodo Temple will take you all the way to Japan.
Kualoa RanchYou know when you see something so beautiful and your literally gasp? I did that at Kualoa Ranch. I usually do that when I’m humbled by Nature and this is one place that will be etched in your mind and heart forever.Kualoa Ranch is about 45 minutes from Waikiki and offers shuttles and excursion packages (including lunch) for those without transportation. It is considered to be the most sacred place on Oahu. Maybe that’s why I felt the way I did. It is an ancient site that was the residents of Kings and training grounds for royalty to learn social traditions. There’s no doubt that Hollywood felt this was a unique site and filmed many movies there (Jurassic Park, Godzilla and 50 First Dates).You have three main options to explore the ranch: ATV, Bus and Horseback riding. My groupie decided ATV; I wanted to horseback. If you ATV, they make you watch a video and do a training circuit to see if you’re safe and able to the tour. If you fail, you have to sit on a bus. You’ll go right into the park area and there are plenty of bumps so standing is better than sitting for sure! They’ll let you rest and take pictures and soak in the viewAs I’m making all this noise with my ATV (they are not quiet), I see a couple trotting by by on horseback and my inner feelings clashed with the medium by which I experienced this park. I felt like a bulldozer upon a beautiful forest.I highly recommend the horseback as it seems to fit with the mood of this place. You’ll never forget the view and certainly feel akin to royalty just to spend time in this sacred sanctuary. I highly recommend this place to everyone who visits Oahu.Check out the website: www.kualoa.com
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