Saturday, October 16, 2010

Aloha to Hawaii's Paradise 2

When people think of Hawaii, the first thing that comes to their mind is definitely Waikiki Beach. It is because Waikiki Beach is the famous beach in Hawaii or rather; it is the world’s famous beach. The seeming endless summer weather of Hawaii attracts beach-lovers and sun-worshippers to Waikiki. The tropical weather is feel-good for every beachgoers. It is a surfer’s paradise where surfers can’t resist the huge waves of the ocean to play and dive with. Even the fresh breeze from the ocean is irresistible to savor. You’ll find yourself in an endless stroll of white sand that you don’t want to end. Likewise, the waters of the beach charm visitors to swam in it. Remember, even the fishes like it too! Waikiki is just that addicting that you can’t resist but to give-in to its allures.
Surfboard stack at Waikiki Beach.
I can’t get enough of Waikiki myself. Its beach is enticing for me. It is like a magnet that draws me closer to its shores. So in the morning we indulge again in the shores of Waikiki Beach. This time we explore the right side section after Kuhio Beach Park. This is pass beyond where the storage of surfboards are located. Waikiki is in fact a series of beaches. And each section has a name as Waikiki is a 2-mile crescent of white sand beach. The Waikiki Beach section we stayed today is what I can call the “proper” Waikiki Beach as the view of the beach here is the famous postcard picture of Waikiki or Hawaii where Waikiki Beach is crowded by beachgoers, sunbathers and surfers, perfectly line-up with palm tress with the spectacular view line-up of hotel buildings and Diamond Head (a dead volcano that is very popular in Hawaii) set against the marvelous sea.

Surfboards at Waikiki.
Surfing lessons in Waikiki Beach.
However, caution is needed in this section of the beach as the current is quite strong. Though the waves are not high, the currents here are not good for adults swimming with kids. There is no sheltered area the blocks the strong currents from the sea. Nevertheless, the beach in fronted by some of the high-end hotels of Waikiki like Moana Surfrider Westin Resort (dubbed as “First Lady of Waikiki” being the first luxury hotel built in Waikiki in 1901), Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, Sheraton Waikiki and dubbed as “Pink Palace” because of its color, Royal Hawaiian Hotel which was built in 1927. Visitors troop the area for a wide range of beach activity. Aside from swimming and sunbathing (which Americans really loved), morning jog, sailing on a beach catamaran and surfing are also popular activities. But some opt to read books or stroll by the shore to appreciate the scenic view of the beach.

Relaxing in the ocean front of Outrigger Waikiki Hotel
Waiting for you to relax...
Surfing is definitely one of the most popular water sports and beach activity in Hawaii. Its popularity has been associated with Hawaii, Waikiki and its beaches. It is because Hawaiian experience is not complete without surfing. It is what Hawaii is known for worldwide. Everyone in Hawaii surfs. And Waikiki Beach is one of the hotspots for surfing. The ocean waves were good enough to play surfing. It made me think that Hawaii is the surfing country of the world as surfer dudes and gals flocks the shores and waves of Waikiki. You can see some of them walking down the streets of Waikiki or from their hotels carrying their long surfboard going to the beach. They were literally everywhere in Waikiki. Surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture and Hawaii is one of its birthplace. The Ancient Hawaiian people did not consider surfing a mere recre ational activity, hobby, extreme sport, or career as it is viewed today. Rather, the Hawaiian people integrated surfing into their culture and made surfing more of an art than anything else. They referred to this art as he’e nalu which translates into English as “wave sliding. ” The art began before entering the mysterious ocean as the Hawaiians prayed to the gods for protection and strength to undertake the powerful mystifying ocean. If the ocean was tamed, frustrated surfers would call upon the kahuna (priest), who would aid them in a surfing prayer asking the gods to deliver great surf. Prior to entering the ocean, the priest would also aid the surfers (mainly of the upper class) in undertaking the spiritual ceremony of constructing a surfboard. (Source)

Diamond Head as seen from Waikiki Beach.
The crowds of Waikiki sunbathing galore all day long.
Surfing lessons is all-over Waikiki Beach. It is offered to almost everyone in Waikiki. You have to pay a fee for a quick surfing lesson by the beach. Afterwards, you can practice it right away in the waves! Hawaiian residents love the adventure of surfing. The water sport has a unique thrill adrenaline rush experience. Visitors also try it and enjoy the waves of Waikiki. As surfers are everywhere, and so are the surfboards. You can also rent surfboards if you don’t have one in case you want to try surfing. There is a storage locker of surfboards beside the Waikiki Police Substation. The City and County of Honolulu maintains and rents those nearly 600 surfboard racks and storage lockers in Kuhio Beach Park. A picture of the racks of surfboards has landed in numerous internet and travel magazine articles covering Hawaii. I have been fascinated with surfboards as some of it comes in colorful designs. Some were covered with a famous floral design and some are in cool colors.

Beach overload in Waikiki Beach.
A scene of a tropical paradise.
Waikiki Beach for the last time...
That day was the last time we spent a swim to Waikiki Beach. I find it memorable as I appreciate the beauty of Waikiki Beach. The scenic area and its crowd definitely make it the best beach in the world and the best beach I have been. As we exit the grounds of Kuhio Beach Park, there were beautiful man-made falls with ponds and flowering plants along the sidewalks of Kalakaua Avenue. My mom can’t resist but to take pictures with it. For me, it was a picturesque natural sight.
In the afternoon, we planned to hike Diamond Head but we got lost and misunderstand the right bus to take us to the hiking site. It was my idea to do hiking as the guides says there is a great view of Hawaii at the summit of Diamond Head. Diamond Head is an extinct volcano that is very popular in Hawaii’s postcard pictures. It is now a famous landmark and tourist site in Waikiki. So we end up riding a bus that takes us to another popular resort and hotel in Hawaii, the Hawaiian Hilton Village.

Along Kalakaua Avenue.
Beautiful landscapes along Kalakaua Avenue.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa is a popular hotel in the Waikiki area of the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii since 1957.
The resort sits on over 22 acres of prime beachfront property and features the largest swimming pool in Waikiki, over twenty-two restaurants, exotic wildlife, and botanical gardens as well as a branch of the Bishop Museum. The Hilton Hawaiian Village is the largest hotel of the Hilton chain with 3,386 rooms and with 7 towers and is also the 14th largest hotel in the world. (More about Hilton Hawaiian Village) The Hilton Hawaiian Village is not just a resort but also a complex of branded shopping boutiques and numerous restaurants. It is worthy visit for visitors as there are a lot of recreational activities to do in the resort for visitors to enjoy. But, what I really after to see in this 5-star resort is its beach-front fa├žade named Duke Kahanamoku Beach and its man-made lagoon. Duke Kahanamoku Beach is a section of Waikiki Beach on the far west end, in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and the Hale Koa Military Hotel. The beach is immediately adjacent to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. It is the widest beach in Waikiki and an offshore protective reef makes it a good beach for families with children. Swimmers should wear reefwalkers or some other protective footwear because the shoreline in this area has a rocky bottom. Public access to Kahanamoku Beach is via Kalia Road and Pahoa Place. (Source)

Hilton Hawaiian Village - the largest hotel of the Hilton chain of hotels.
  Duke Kahanamoku Beach at Hilton Hawaiian Village. (above and below photo)

 Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is a small, man-made wading pool in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oahu near the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and Fort DeRussy Military Reservation. The Hilton Hawaiian Village is adjacent to the lagoon. It is actually owned by the state of Hawaii and its official name is the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon. The lagoon is approximately five feet deep and its recirculation system draws about 15,000 gallons of water per minute from the ocean, completely recirculating the water about five times a day. The lagoon has a sandy bottom but the sand in and around it is rather coarse so you will probably want to wear sandals while walking in the lagoon sand. (Source

Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon and the Rainbow Tower of Hawaiian Hilton Village.
Statues of popular Hawaiian figures Alfred Apaka - Hawaii's revered singer/musician.
Iolani Luahine - high priestess of ancient Hula displayed at Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Duke Kahanamoku Beach has a wide beach shore perfect for sunbathing and picnicking in its white sands. From here you can still see the famous Diamond Head and can also relax in the park beside the Diamond Head Tower of Hilton Hawaiian Village. The lagoon was also a perfect spot for swimming with kids. The centerpiece island of the lagoon makes it more appealing. As we exit the village-style resort, we saw statues of popular and interesting Hawaiian figures like - Alfred Apaka - Hawaii's best-known singer and popularized Hawaiian music and Iolani Luahine - a native Hawaiian kumu hula, dancer, chanter, and teacher and regarded as Hawaii's last great exponent of the sacred hula ceremony.

A Kukalepa Memorial in front of US Army Museum of Hawaii.
US Army Museum of Hawaii.
US Army Museum of Hawaii.
War Tankers on display at US Army Museum of Hawaii.
Fort DeRussy Park.
Our next stop was US Army Museum of Hawaii and Fort DeRussy Park. US Army Museum of Hawaii houses a museum featuring the military history of Hawaii from ancient times to the Vietnam War. Entrance is free but we have not able to see the museum as it was close when we arrived there at pass 5 in the afternoon. We just did some photo souvenirs in its outside grounds where military relics and tanks are on display. The museum is on the grounds of Fort DeRussy Park. The park is actually United States’ military reservation in the Waikiki area. Within the park there is a large grassy park with picnic tables and barbeques, the U.S. military's Hale Koa Hotel as well as the US Army Museum of Hawaii.

After a quick sightseeing in Fort DeRussy Park, we hoop on the bus that will take us back to Waikiki Beach again to watch the stunning Hawaiian sunset.

Aloha to Hawaii's Paradise Part 2 is part of my Aloha to Hawaii's Paradise series where I share my ravel story to Honolulu, Hawaii last August 24-29, 2010. To continue reading, read part 3 - Hula in Hawaiian Sunset

You might also be interested in reading the other parts of the series.   


    1. would you prefer hawaii over guam? seems a lot of tourist in hawaii or is it because it was summer time when you went there?

    2. I think it is because of summer time actually those tourist are just few from the pics there are larger crowds in the midday and street corners.

      There's a big difference between Guam and Hawaii especially in the crowd type which is more livelier in Hawaii than Guam but it feels more Pinas in Guam than Hawaii except for the weather. It is difficult to prefer which, but I can say that Hawaii is literally the REAL paradise on earth.

    3. wow, "Hawaii is literally the REAL paradise on earth" for you.

      you actually dont have to convince me kasi the best spot Ive been to, hindi man lang pasok sa top10 ng iba.. hehe

    4. since pareho tayong magala, I give you a meow to that---and yeah. I already added you in my blog roll.cheers!!!

    5. Wow! Ang ganda talaga ng Waikiki Beach. ^_^ Though hindi ako mahilig magswimming siguro mapapatry ako dyan magsurfing and swimming.

      Thank you also for the detailed info regarding the place. Ang dami kong natutunan. :)

    6. @pusang-kalye: thanks for regularly visiting my travel blog.

      @Karla: I agree. I can't get over Waikiki until know. It's one of the best beach I have been! Going places aims to bring its readers imaginatively to the destination through sharing its travel stories. Thanks for reading and visiting the blog.

    7. would love to visit this someday...beautiful beaches indeed in hawaii!


    All comments and reactions are highly appreciated.

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