About Hawaii

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Hawaii US State

Hawaii, a U.S. state, is an isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific. Its islands are renowned for their rugged landscapes of cliffs, waterfalls, tropical foliage and beaches with gold, red, black and even green sands. Of the 6 main islands, Oahu has Hawaii’s only big city, Honolulu, home to crescent Waikiki Beach and the Pearl Harbor memorials. Capital: Honolulu Statehood granted: August 21, 1959 State flower: Hawaiian hibiscus Population: 1.42 million (2014) State fish: Reef triggerfish



The Road to Hana Hana, on the eastern end of Maui, is considered to be the last unspoiled Hawaiian frontier. The optimistically named Hana Highway, an attraction in itself, has saved Hana from “progress.”

After three and a half hours of 54 narrow bridges, 600 switchbacks, Tarzan vines and roadside waterfalls, you arrive to find a couple of general stores, the award-winning Travaasa Hana Maui hotel and not much more. Life here is laid-back—more of a yoga and tofu kind of place than disco and mai tais. Hike up past seven tiered pools fed by mountain cascades through an enchanting bamboo forest to Waimoku Waterfalls.

Later, bask on crescent-shaped Hamoa Beach. Summerset Maugham declared it the best in the Pacific. I think you’ll agree with the slogan on a hat in the Hana general store: “It’s a long way from Waikiki.”

Did the Earth Move?
Another memorable roller coaster drive takes you inland to the summit of Haleakala, Maui’s enormous dormant volcano. Starting at sea level the sub-tropical landscape gives way to pines and eucalyptus and upward to a chilly and sparse Mars-scape where the huge crater lies. Lots of companies offer sunrise tours with descents on bicycles. Bring a jacket and mitts and be prepared to ride the brakes all the way down. Or, if a wake-up call in the middle of the night isn’t your idea of fun, save shuteye and money by driving your own rental car at a more agreeable hour.

Let’s Do Lunch
At Matteo’s Osteria, Chef Matteo Mistura has created an unpretentious Italian eatery with terrific food and service. Consider The Perfect Lunch: for $21 you choose from three starters, a small pizza or pasta dish and a glass of wine. His Super Food salad with kale, cabbage, sprouts, quinoa, carrots and seeds with a lemon/mustard/honey dressing is guaranteed to energize. www.matteosmaui.com

Stellar Sushi
On an island renowned for fresh fish, Japengo restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Maui was voted Best Sushi and Best Pacific Rim Cuisine at the 2015 Aipono Awards. Consider the Dragon Roll with shrimp tempura, asparagus and flying fish roe on the inside wrapped in avocado eel and sesame seeds. You can also have one of the chefs create a roll to your specifications. The dramatic and chic atmosphere complements the cuisine, especially if you snag a table outside on the patio beside the waterfall. www.hyatthotels.hyatt.com

Kahuna of the Kitchen

Just up the hill from the Cannery Mall in Lahaina, Star Noodle has a casual vibe but the Asian food is seriously delicious. Garlic noodles and Pad Thai top my list of favourites. And be sure to ask about the “cocktail of the day” or experiment at the sake bar. www.starnoodle.com

Take the Kaanapali Trolley Home to several world-class hotels, condominiums and vacation club resorts, a beachfront shopping complex, 36 holes of championship golf and what has been called “the best beach in America,” there’s probably something to suit every one at Kaanapali. Incidentally, Kaanapali, once the playground of Hawaiian royalty, was the first planned resort community in Hawaii. They got a lot of things right. You can stroll along a beach path from one property to another and over to Whaler’s Village for some retail therapy and plenty of fine dining choices. Or hop on the free trolley that goes to the various hotels, Whaler’s Village and into Lahaina. www.kaanapaliresort.com

Cliff Divers and Hula Lessons
Get a seat just before sunset at the Cliff Dive Bar on the grounds of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. Order a Black Rock lager and enjoy the traditional cliff diving ceremony in honour of Maui’s Chief Kahekili who took this leap many moons ago. You might pick up a few moves from the hula dancer too.

Cowboy Country
Makawao is the biggest little town in the region locally known as Upcountry Maui, famous for its Hawaiian cowboys, or paniolo. Since the late 19th century, horseback-riding paniolo have wrangled cattle in Maui’s wide-open upland fields. In Makawao there are also lots of working artists. Spend the afternoon meandering through the eclectic shops, boutiques and art galleries. At the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center visitors can take classes and explore free gallery exhibits. The combination of its paniolo heritage and its lively artistic community make Makawao a unique stop on your visit to Maui.

For a snack, follow the locals to get a famous cream puff from T. Komoda Store. Lines can be long in the morning when everything’s fresh, so come early (closed on Wednesdays and Sundays).

Longhi’s, Created by a Man Who Loves to Eat
Longhi’s, a Maui tradition since 1976 has two locations, one in the Shops of Wailea, the other in Lahaina. Everything is good but my favourite light snack is the steamed California globe artichoke served with lemon butter and liberally sprinklings of Parmesan cheese. For breakfast try the famous Eggs Beni and a freshly squeezed juice combo. www.longhis.com

Aloha Wear
The sight of breaching whales has been known to stop traffic on the road between Wailea and the old whaling town of Lahaina. Head to Hilo Hattie’s for the most flamboyant Aloha

you can find. This Hawaiian emporium is your one-stop shopping spot for aloha souvenirs, including chocolate covered macadamia nuts and island coffee. www.hilohattie.com

Your Home Sweet Hawaiian Home Once you’ve experienced all the comforts and conveniences of home, you will probably agree that staying in one of the luxurious properties of Destination Residences Hawaii (formerly called Destination Resorts Hawaii) is “the way to go.”

All of Destination Residences Hawaii’s vacation rentals offer the comforts and conveniences of a home with the full service amenities of a resort such as housekeeping, concierge, front desk check-in and a manager on duty 24 hours. It’s the best of both worlds. I stayed in a tastefully decorated two-bedroom penthouse in the Wailea Beach villas, ideally located between The Shops of Wailea and Wailea Beach. I had a huge modern kitchen, laundry facilities, living room, den and vast terrace with a state-of-the-art barbecue. I was steps from a pool and the beach. Wailea Beach Villas was named the 2014 number one Hawaii Resort by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler. www.drhmaui.com

Culinary Theatrics Japanese-Style
At Teppan-yaki Dan you and new friends gather around communal tables outfitted with a central grill. Your chef will dazzle you will some juggling feats using his knife and spatula as he sizzles lobster, steak, chicken, volcanic onions and more good eats. Enjoy the “fireworks.”www.kaanapaliresort.com

Dinner in a Canoe?
Roy Yamaguchi is one of Hawaii’s most famous chefs. At Roy’s Kaanapali, located in the Kaanapali Golf clubhouse, try Roy’s Dim Sum Canoe for Two containing pork and shrimp lumpia, baby back ribs, ahi poke, shrimp sticks and chicken potstickers. Leave room for the signature Melting Hot Dark Chocolate Soufflé. www.royshawaii.com

Indulge at Kea Lani
Named Top Spa in Hawaii by Travel + Leisure magazine, the new Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui offers energizing spa treatments that utilize the latest spa technology and are inspired by Hawaii. In addition to a full range of treatments, the Spa also offers Maui rain showers and a mud bar. My favourite time on Maui is around sunset when the sky turns tangerine and magenta, the birds go into a chirping frenzy in the trees, flowers perfume the air and the traditional torch lighting ceremony ushers in a magical evening.

There’s no better place to savour the evening than at Fairmont’s poolside Ko restaurant. Run by award-winning chef Tylun Pang, the menu is inspired by Hawaii’s sugarcane era when the cuisines of plantation workers of many nationalities became a sort of Hawaiian melting pot of Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese influences.

Not to be missed on the appetizer (pupus) menu is Ahi On the Rock. The sashimi-grade tuna comes to the table with a hot stone so you can sear it to your liking and then dip it in orange/miso sauce. The variety and quality of fish and seafood on Maui is astounding. Catch of the day is more like catch of the hour. If you haven’t tried monchong, butterfish or opah, this is the place. Save room for the passion fruit crème brûlée.

Must-eat local delicacies during your vacation to Hawaii

Is Hawaii Islands your dream destination? Do you want to experience all that this tropical paradise has to offer? Then you surely need to plan a vacation to Hawaii and visit Honolulu, its capital city, soon to sample the diverse culture, tradition, and of course, Hawaiian cuisines. While soaking up Hawaii’s one-of-a-kind cultural mix, let us explore extensively the unique quality and flavors of delectable Hawaiian cuisines.

Like its cultural diversity, the traditional dishes of Hawaii are characterized by a hodgepodge of European, Polynesian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese influences. Here are some of the local delicacies that you shouldn’t miss savoring during your Hawaiian sojourn. Poke Have you ever heard of Japanese sashimi (raw fish)? When in Hawaii you can look forward to savoring ‘

, which is the Hawaiian version of Japanese sashimi. The Japanese prefer to slice the fish thin. However, Poke is mostly served in bite sized hearty cubes. Ahi (tuna) is the most common type of fish you will find being served as Poke. Apart from this, there are many kinds of fresh saltwater fish as well served as Poke. The raw fish is first cut into chunks and seasoned with a splash of soy sauce, sweet Maui onions, Hawaiian sea salt, and sometimes some limu (seaweed type of plant). The poke bowl is the latest invention. It comprises of a bowl of rice topped with a heap of poke.

Kalua Pig
The Kalua Pig is a popular Hawaiian pork dish. This special preparation entails placing a whole pig in an underground oven called imu. The pork is roasted slowly for more than 16 hours until it turns out to be extremely tender and retains smoky flavor. The pig is smoked with koa wood, banana leaves and sea salt. It is mostly served over rice and hoisin sauce. However, you will love this mouth-watering, juicy pork dish served with pineapple brown fried rice.

Loco Moco
Loco Moco is the ultimate comfort food, unique to Hawaii Islands. This traditional homemade fast food can be found everywhere across Hawaii. It is however not served in upscale restaurants and hotels. This mountainous meal consists of a heap of white rice topped with a sunnyside-up egg, a hamburger patty, and smothered in gravy. This popular dish can be enjoyed during breakfast, lunch or dinner. Loco Moco originated in Hawaii after World War II.

Poi is a native Hawaiian dish. It won’t look pretty or mouth-watering at the first instance. However, this paste like purplish dish is indeed delicious. It is essentially made by mashing steamed or baked taro (a root vegetable staple to the earliest Hawaiian settlers) with a stone pestle, and adding water gradually until it turns sticky, smooth and thick. It is mild and slightly sweet in taste, and is often served with pork lau lau as a dipping sauce.

Pork lau lau
The Pork lau lau is at its finest a Hawaiian soul food. This pork dish is made by wrapping fatty pork in taro leaves, and pressure cooked in a steamer oven. It is only eaten after becoming extremely tender. The Pork lau lau is also traditionally cooked in an underground imu oven for several hours. It is often served with sweet potato and salted butterfish. The Pork lau lau is usually served inside the taro leaves, although the leaves should not be eaten. The leaves are only used to keep the flavor and moisture intact, and finally creating intensely succulent and juicy pork.


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