Mahalo for taking the time to read this! I travelled to Hawaii for the first time with my boyfriend and his mother to the Islansds of Oahu and Maui in May 2019 for 8 days.
Going to Hawaii was a little bit different from what I have expected from watching movies like Moana and Lilo and Stitch. There weren’t any hula girls and it felt like I was visiting Miami beach–just with a different culture, history and LOTS of scenery.
I really encourage anyone to visit the islands and do as much hikes as you can to take in all of Hawaii’s beauty.
I bought a ticket from Singapore to Sydney with Scoot for 218SGD but had a free upgrade to fly with Singapore Airlines instead. The seats were obviously more comfortable and I had meals! The only exception was that I was not able to use any in-flight entertainment.
Then, I had a 3 hour layover before my long and dreadful 10hour flight to Hawaii The one way ticket from SYD to HNL costs SGD230. The seats were not as comfortable as SIA’s but still better than the regular short haul Jetstar flights. In-flight entertainment would be an additional 7SGD which I did not pay.
In total, I spent 448SGD and 19 hours on my flight to reach HNL. To enjoy greater savings, I used Shopback to get up to 15% cash back when I booked my flights, accommodation and activities!
Honolulu has the most efficient public transport as compared to the other islands. However, it is still not as frequent as Singapore’s transportation system and does not conveniently reach to the outskirts of the city. Uber and Lyft can also be very costly too! Hence, renting a car was our best option!
We rented it for 3 out of the 4 days we stayed in Honolulu for 106USD as we had to pay 23USD per day for parking at our Airbnb which will be the case for most resorts. Also, street parking is almost impossible here especially if you plan on staying in Waikiki!
On the last day, we just bought a one day bus pass for 5.50USD to get around downtown Waikiki. Did you also know that the car plates in Hawaii have rainbows?! How cute!
Places To Go
From beaches to mountains to waterfalls, Hawaii is the perfect place to reconnect with Mother Nature with it’s plentiful scenic hikes.
Majority of the sights have an entrance fee but not for Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens! It is free and has the landscape! It houses lots of exotic plants and the fog covering the mountains makes it look magical!
Just a short drive away, in a peaceful spot, sits the Byodo-In Temple. It is a replica of a temple in Uji, Japan. There’s a koi pond and a bell to ring for good luck. There is a $3 entrance fee at the door.
The Diamond Head Trail is probably one of the easiest hikes on the island, taking one hour to complete. Be blown away by the spectacular scenery overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu! In fact the view is so good, it was used by the US military as a post for preventing attacks against Honolulu! We took the bus here instead of driving to avoid paying parking. There is a $1 entrance fee per pax.
Waikiki Shopping Street
For dinner – You have to go to Marukame Udon! They always have a long line but it moves pretty quickly. It’s so famous because their handmade noodles are so affordable, tasty, fresh and filling! You can also add on tempuras and fried croquette from $1 each!
Nightlife – If you’re looking for lively tiki bar visit Cuckoo Coconuts! They have live music! Though we didn’t get anything there they have so many cute deocrations for you to take pictures with.
Hanola Blowhole & Beach Cove
Kill two birds with one stone and take up a scenic drive to Hanola Blowhole and soak up the sun on Beach Cove at NO cost!
There is a lavatube in the rocky shoreline and when the surf is right, water will shoot up through this hole, sometimes as high as 20-30 ft.
During whale season (late December through early April), visitors may also see whales breaching or spouting at the surface.
Notable photo locations
Dole Food Company, founded in Hawaii, is the largest fruit and vegetable manufacturer in the world.
The Dole Plantation, located in Wahiawa is well known for the largest maze in the world ($8 per ticket) and their dole whip.
However, we didn’t try any of that but visited their super extensive souvenior shop and their free mini pineapple farm! There, you can see baby pineapples growing and even the in trend genetically-modified pink pineapples!
The Koko Crater Trail consists of 1,050 railway steps is an elevation hike and can be very difficult and strengthenous but the view of Honolulu will make it worthwhile!
Be sure to apply ample sunblock to protect yourself from the sorching sun shining directly upon you. Oh, and the best part? It’s totally free!
Waimea Valley Trail would be the last place to go on my list if I have to be honest. First off, this is a 45minutes to an hour trail to reach the waterfall and the entrance fee is a whopping $18 per pax!
On the trail, you’ll see some traditional Hawaiian huts and peacocks roaming. The walk was pretty decent but definitely not worth the price! Especially when you reach the falls it was really small and filled with so many tourists swimming!
This was probably my biggest regret and I would much rather go somewhere else with the time and money spent here.
Poi Donuts – which to try?
When in Hawaii… eat Poi! It is the traditional staple food in native Hawaiian cuisine, made from the underground plant stem or corm of the taro plant.You cannot miss out on this purple hue treat!
The instagrammable sign and pink wrappers and box are hard to give a pass! I got the classic poi donut and it had the right fluffy texture! I would say that this is my favourite among the 3!
This 24hour bakery is so popular that you have to get there in the morning to get your hands on their famous poi donuts! We arrived at 3pm and by then it was already all sold out. Hence, we got the Maple syrup coated flavour instead. It was very chewy but too sweet for my liking!
After missing out on the regular poi donuts, we headed out as early as 8AM to this bakery in hopes of getting some sweet classic donuts and boy they did not disappoint!
Places to eat local food
Places to go for dessert
I’m trying out this new way of presentation for my blog posts using InDesign!
Do let me know what do you think and if I should continue them in the comments below!