Whenever we have travelled, we have always made it our business to drive wherever possible. We are really comfortable driving in foreign countries, and it adds to our sense of freedom and independence to be able to do things at our own pace. No rules, no real timetable. We just stop when something piques our interest.
For a week, everywhere we went in Waikiki, Diamond Head was there in the backdrop. Located at the far eastern shore of Waikiki, it’s the iconic geographical landmark. Whether on the beach, in a bar or restaurant along the ocean, on the lanai of countless Waikiki hotels and condos, the majestic mountain that is actually a volcano cone sits up proud for everyone to see.
If you read the guides, listen to the locals, or take notice of all the coupons in the weekly free publications that are found all over O’ahu, then you will quickly come to the conclusion that Hanauma Bay is THE place to snorkel here. We would definitely agree. Sure, we found some other areas that also looked great, but if you want somewhere that is easy to get to, easy to snorkel, and where you can actually get to see live fish and other ocean creatures, look no further than Hanauma Bay, located on the lower East Shore.
Whenever you visit a major world city, the guidebooks always cover the key attractions and places worthy of visiting. In some cases, they are well justified, whilst others fit very much into the cliched tourist attractions. For first time visitors, the tourist attractions are sometimes necessary. But for frequent travellers, it is usually the sights that are off the beaten oath that derive the most value. Pearl Harbour stands out from the crowd. It’s noted in every guide book and every major forum online and for very good reason.
There is never a dull moment on Oahu, unless you want there to be. Throngs of people move up and down the main strip at most hours of the day, either heading towards Diamond Head (East) or Ewa (West). These are the directions you will get if you ask a local which way to go. If you ask for a direction south or north, you will get ‘mauka’ (toward the mountain) or ‘makai’ (toward the ocean).