Friday, July 13, 2012

E-travel Exploring: Waikiki

Aerial View of Waikiki Beach
picture source 
One of the tips I can share in itinerary planning for our adventure vacations is by researching well about the place and its points of interest. I actually call it, e-travel exploring. After e-travel exploring, I then can determine the minimum number of days we needed to explore the area and other nearby places of attractions.

In this post, let me share with you, my e-travel exploring Waikiki.
First, I try to understand the place. From Wikitravel: Waikiki is a district of the city of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It is one of the best known beaches in the world, and was the favorite playground of the Hawaiian royalty in the 19th century.

Second, I look for pictures online of the place and the surrounding area. Do the images speak strongly to me?
Public Domain Royalty Free stock photo of Diamond Head by Andrew Schmidt:
If yes, I then, search for things to do, which of course must include:
1. Hiking
2. Photographing Nature
Since we live close to the ocean, if the place I am considering is right next to the sea, I consider it to be a bonus that we could:
1. Enjoy Riding the Waves ( surfing or body surfing)
2. Snorkel.
3. Go tidepooling.

So, now, what I found out about Waikiki is that it has all of the things I love to do: hiking, fun with the ocean waves, snorkel, tidepooling, which all meant wonderful time of photographing nature.

Third, I then search for Waikiki hotels. I usually choose for a hotel in a strategic location, such as: proximity to where we hoped to be exploring more. Also, I check for reviews about foods in the area. Do I need to bring my own rice? Do they serve a lot of vegetables? In some places we explore, rice is not served at all. If I can not eat rice, I feel weak and get headache/migraine, and that would mean very unpleasant hikes. Thus, I have to find out before hand if rice is served in the area, if it is, then, I don't bother stopping at a local supermarket to look for rice. A bonus for rice lovers that are visiting Waikiki, rice is part of the diet here, having a strong Asian influence. And enjoying sea foods in Waikiki is a given. :)

After finding hotel, I then refine searches for things to do.

The must do hike in Waikiki is a short hike to the peak of of Diamond Head (2nd picture above), O'ahu's signature backdrop, which is an ancient volcanic crater, where the peak offers breathtaking view of Waikiki. The hike is short, only 0.8 miles all the way to the peak, climbing 760 ft. For those who are not very used to hiking, the climb of 760 ft in 0.8 miles can be steep and exhausting, but because this is short, am sure everyone can get to the peak if they take their time. Plus there are miles of hiking trails in the tropical rainforest of Waikiki.
Banyan Trees in Waikiki Forest, public domain royalty free stock photo by Andrew Schmidt:

Waikiki is also popular place for snorkeling, and just the mention of underwater caverns, coral reef, green sea turtles, diverse fish species and possibly swimming with the dolphins (lots of) excites me beyond description. 

After carefully exploring the things to do and places of attractions, I start making our itinerary. However, for now, I save the itinerary in my dreams. :)
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  1. Fantastic tip in planning a getaway or vacationing. My oldest son has been to Waikiki and he loves it there. One day, maybe, one day it will be my turn :-)

  2. You will be a great tour guide one day, because you planed out your trip beautifully, and complete. Great tips you shared here!

  3. Joining you in dreaming I'd love to see those Banyan trees in Waikiki someday! You are the ultimate expert when it comes to wonderful journeys....I call yah wonderwoman for that and more! :-)

  4. I have been to Hawaii a couple of time, and I love it there! I think the weather is more for my Asian blood. Waikiki is a gorgeous area to be!

  5. haha! i love e-traveling! :)