This may well be one of the more controversial reviews of the dream destination that is Hawaii. This review is by no means an attempt to deter others from visiting the Central Pacific islands, but rather an attempt to manage expectations prior to arrival.
Beauty & Busiest
Hawaii has, for several decades, been considered the ultimate holiday destination for thousands of people worldwide. Its gloriously white sandy beaches, exceptional temperatures and stunning oceans have attracted thousands upon thousands of travellers, who have generally found the islands to be the perfect destination.
This is not unsurprising when you consider the warm welcome and faultless beaches available, along with the fascinating history including active volcanoes and Pearl Harbor. So what’s not to love? Hawaii is undoubtedly a beautiful destination and the beaches are absolutely superb.
However, much like the shock of the backdrop to Egypt’s pyramids, what’s not promoted in the brochures is that the utopic coastline is a marriage between heavenly beaches and hectic urbanisation. It is entirely possible to sunbathe on what is likely to be one of the most beautiful settings on the planet, but ignoring the town and city noises only a few feet away can be an unwelcoming realisation.
A not-to-miss attraction when visiting Oahu is definitely Pearl Harbor, the tragic scene of Japanese bombing that brought the US officially into World War 2. Visitors to the site can travel out, across the water, to a platform that sits above the sunken USS Arizona.
This experience is a haunting and humbling one that guarantees to leave all visitors horrified and reflective. However, it can be incredibly difficult to absorb the true horror of the site and give the respectful reflection that this area truly deserves when it is so busy that movement is restricted.
Study of all of the memorial artefacts is impossible when the numbers of visitors are so high. The site is free to visit and attracts multitudes of guests from across the world.
As far as evening entertainment goes, there are a variety of options. The entertainment geared towards tourists is often Luaus or BBQs on the beach. Be warned – these offerings are usually incredibly highly priced and may involve audience participation.
Honolulu is surprisingly not the most welcoming city in the evening. At dark, the streets can be littered with drunks and teenager groups. Most people keep themselves to themselves, but it can be an unnerving experience for any tourist who was expecting paradise to continue past nightfall.
Hawaii is a truly wonderful destination and should never be taken off anyone’s bucket list. That said, it is important that tourists understand some elements of the reality before they arrive to avoid the disappointing shocks that might otherwise occur. The above complaints can all be overcome with forward thinking and prior consideration and in doing so, visitors to Hawaii are guaranteed a positively memorable trip.