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It's spooky to think Hawaii is the 50th State of the USA, but I am flying there for a week's holiday next month, yippee! Smile

I'm on a budget and I might not get beyond Oahu, so I wondered if anyone had any suggestions of where to go/what to do.

Even though I'm staying at Oahu, I'd like to see beyond the tourist ceremonies, PVC grass skirts and shopping.

Interestingly, under Religion, the guidebooks just list Catholic and Protestant churchs, Buddhist temples and synagogues. But I know there's more than that! Roll Eyes

<small>"Follow the grain in your own wood.” ~ Howard Thurman</small>

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Originally posted by Black Viking:
I'm living on Oahu right now. What do you want to know? Smile

that's mad! lol excellent!

ok, I'll be going mid Feb, and although I know that Oahu island is the most built up and commercialised, due to budget and time, I will probably spend most the week there... I have a few questions, so can I get back to you in a day or so?

I hear the North Shore is very natural and green and worth driving to??? I'm disappointed the big surfing contest is in March coz my boo is a bit of a surfer.

Two questions please - safe natural beaches to swim at, and also I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to find some indigenous Hawaiian or Tiki culture. If you can suggest anywhere that local artisans display their work rather than the commercial tourist stuff I'd be really happy. Sculpture, paintings, that sort of thing. Probably no money to buy stuff, but I'd love to see what is happening there in art.

And anywhere you'd recommend to eat in downtown Honolulu that is fresh asian/fusion (non-American) type food??

Thanks for any suggestion in advance!!! Smile
I've never been to Hawaii before, so I'm pretty excited.

Although I'm NOT impressed that I have to have fingerprints taken due to new GWBush Homeland security requirements. I find that an OUTRAGE. upset
Sure, get back to me whenever.

Beaches are easy. The North Shore is beautiful and worth seeing, but the turbulent waters are better suited for surfing than swimming. I wouldn't suggest swimming on the North Shore, it's dangerous. If you're into sunsets, the best place to watch is Makakilo Beach. For swimming I prefer Magic Island. It's a cove (not actually a separate island despite the name) in Ala Moana Beach Park. There is a large rock wall that acts as a wave break and makes swimming quite enjoyable. If this is a romantic get away, go at night when the moon is out and the cove is relatively deserted. Wink

I'm not to well versed on the local food (I actually prefer "American" food) or art exibits, but I'll ask around and see what I can dig up.

As for as tourist traps, many are expensive but some are still worth doing once. The Polonesian Cultural Center is awesome. It's not cheap, but it's worth it. They have a website you can easily find. The Honolulu Zoo is one of the best in the world (if you like that sort of thing) and it's pretty cheap. I strongly suggest going to Waimea Falls Park. It's touristy, but they do a good job of articulating the "Hawaiian Experience". They do a cliff diving show that is quite entertaining. You also should consider taking the organized hike up Diamondhead Crater. I've never done it (I procratinate) but I've heard nothing but good things about the experience.

I'll look into the food and the art thing. Let me know if you have any other questions. Smile
Thanks so much for the info and suggestions. Magic Island sounds nice.
I'm glad you mentioned the Polynesian cultural Centre, coz I noticed it in the guide books.

I'm buying a map of Hawaii tomorrow, so I'll look up all these wonderful places and get an idea of a possible itinerary.

Now what about you, BV? How did you get to live in such a paradise? Smile
I have a rather practical question please?

I'm keen to do the hike up to Diamond Head and also to the Crater. Both sound great.

Do I need to take proper leather hiking boots... which are heavy to carry in luggage... or would walking shoes be fine?

Over here 'hike' means walking overland through rugged country, rather than a long walk. Smile

You guys say woods we say bush. Confused
No, there aren't many Afican-Americans here at all. Those that are here are usually military, so there only here as long as they're stationed here.

The racial climate here is a little strange. Hawaii is predominantly Asians (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Philipino) and Pacific-Islanders (Samoan, Tongan, Tahitian, Hawaiian), but there are no clear lines drawn. Hawaii is often refered to as the "Melting Pot of the Pacific" for good reason. Nearly all of the people here are mixed in some way, possibly many ways. I knew a girl in my graduating class who had eight different nationalities in her backround. White people tend to fall into one of two categories, military personel and filthy rich (but never both Big Grin), and there aren't very many of either. There are very few native Hawaiians left, although there are quite a few people with varying degrees of Hawaiian blood in them. The (mostly) pure natives live on their own island, Ni'ihau. This island is privatly owned and reserved exclusively for native Hawaiians, no one else is allowed to live or even visit there. Ironically, the Robinson family that owns the island is a white family.

This "melting pot" thing leads many people from outside of the state to believe that there is no racism or prejudice here, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It just looks a little different. It's not as much a racial thing as it is a cultural thing. Anyone who was born and raised here is considered to belong. If not, then they are and will always be an outsider. This is determined mostly by a "walk like us, talk like us" standard. For example, since the culture is blended with influences from many different places, there is a local dialect that reflects this. It uses words from many different languages (including English)with a very odd sentence structure. Even after all the years I've lived here I still can't speak it, although I can understand it almost perfectly. Being bi-racial myself, I look as if I belong here, but as soon as I open my mouth they know better. I find it quite amusing, actually, that when I tell someone what high school I graduated form, no one believes me until I show them my class ring!

To be honest, I never really liked it here. This always sounds strange to people because they tend to think of Hawaii as paradise, but I never saw it that way. The many years I spent on the mainland were much more fulfilling, largely because of regular contact with African-Americans. Now my goal is to finish college as quick as possible so I can get the hell of this rock! I'd much rather deal with racism and prejudice in an environment where I have some sort of an advantage. Smile

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