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Old 12-02-2018, 08:55 AM   #1
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Hawaii Travel

Just back from Honolulu and Maui so i'll share up on travelling cost and option.

Ticket
I took Scoot on promotion which works out about $640 per pax.
Scoot charges $20 for credit card processing fee.
20kg luggage cost $124 round trip.
So total works out about $784 per person.

Flight is about 6hr 20mins to Japan Osaka
~9hr from Osaka to Honolulu across pacific ocean.

Honolulu
Or rather O`ahu island where honolulu airport is on.
Waikiki is the tourist area where hotel, shopping, food and beaches are. This is the southern side of O`ahu island.

Transportation
You have 2 options on transportation here.

1) Rental a car
Which cost about $60 per day. Weekly rental is about $262.
Petrol is cheap as prolly 3 days of drive around cost USD$20.

I rented via below website. Recommended to have full insurance coverage (Loss Damage Waiver or Collision Damage Waiver they called it)
https://www.discounthawaiicarrental.com/
https://www.carrentalhawaii.com/

Two main concern of rental on this island. Car jacking is rumored to be rampant at tourist spot where you will be away from car for long duration such as hiking for 1hr.
The other problem is parking can be painful as hotel charges USD$20~USD$50 valet parking. There's some free parking spots which allows you to park 2hr during daytime, and 6pm onwards free till 7am/10am depending on side. I'll share this further via pm if you needed.

2) Public Transport (which i took for convenience not to worry about car problems)
From airport to waikiki beach area usually cab/uber would cost USD$40 (per direction) or so. Cab in US can be a little costly. So use shuttle services which cost about ($20+ per direction).

I booked hawaii23 (for $23 per 2 pax including 2 luggage) which was quite hassle free and quick.
Another i read on travel forums is johnny cab (for $25 per 2 pax).

Within O`ahu there is convenient bus service all around island and it takes approximate double the time (or triple if north shore area) compared to driving a rental.

TheBus (their local bus company) charges USD$2.75 per trip per pax. Just buy the day trip from the bus driver at $5.50/pax and you can take unlimited trip for that day.

Accomodation
Most would be staying along waikiki beach as North shore offers no convenience other than the beautiful beach which you could drive up.

Hawaii hotel comes with a hidden Amenities fee which can range from USD$10 to USD$50 per night!
Also higher end hotel has much higher parking fee if you decide to park at hotel.
Also factor the hotel location how many streets away from the beach as beachfront hotel can be quite costly especially at waikiki beach side.
Kuhio beach area has more budget hotels and its unobstructed view of sea (if you're taking sea view.

Also if you want ocean views hotel. Please do some homework especially if hotel has other buildings in between the beach and the hotel itself. You may end up paying for just some views between the building tower gaps which is pathetic.

A few worthy hotel which i stayed in 2 of them
1) Stay Hotel (cheap and very near beach about sgd$130/night and USD$10/day fee)
2) Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki (Comfortable 4 star hotel but abit further away from beach for about $200+/night and no amenities fee! This hotel seems to be cheaper if you book more than 4 days)
3) Aston Waikiki Circle (Directly opposite Kuhio beach! Booking via their website has a promo which they offer 1 day free car rental per night stay!! Oceanfront view cost USD$210 + $25 amenities fee)

There are many more but its up to individual budget to comfort. I saved up per night so more bags to bring home from outlet mall! I can share if you ask as i walked around the whole area looking at the hotel location and its view.

Locations of Interest
1) Waikiki Beach/Kuhio Beach
This is within heart of waikiki and is walking distance. Waikiki beach (towards western side of waikiki) has unobstructed water coming into the beach, kuhio beach (nearer to honolulu zoo) has a safety wall to lessen the heavy wave and is more suitable for family with children.

2) Diamond Head hike
This is one of the easy access location from waikiki and the scenery is beautiful. Consider this twice the effort compared to bukit timah hill hike.
Cost USD$1 per pax or if driving in USD$5 per car entry.
You will not be able to see sunrise or sunset due to operating hours from 6am to 6pm and last recommended entry is 4:30pm as it takes about 1.5hrs to hike up and come down.

3) Pearl Harbour
One of the must visit and can be free to to enter.
They offer 1300 free entry to USS arizona memorial (which you must have ticket to enter as its in middle of water.
Free ticket can be either via online booking for USD$1.50 fee which starts reservation 2 months before..........or you can do a walk in from 7am and ticket is while stock last.
I went for walk in at 11:30am and it was out!
Luckily i figured out they will have some return or unused ticket if you check with the counter or the USS arizona entry gate (where theatre and ferry venue is).

Typically spends about 3hr here as the USS Arizona memorial takes 75mins already for theatre playback on history and Navy ferry to memorial

4) Waikele Outlet mall
This is the main outlet malls where US brands like coach and kate spade are having sales.
Its about 30 mins drive from waikiki and parking is free and aplenty.
By public transport you can take TheBus service "E" along Kuhio Street (direction towards west)

Some tips here on savings.
1) Always register for waikele outlet membership as they offers coupon for additional discount such as 10% more or like $10 discount for $100 purchase etc. I wasted USD$25 not knowing this.
2) Some brand has additional discount of 10% for spending of USD$500 and above. Give a check if you're buying quite abit.

Kate spade was giving 70% flat discount for all priced items
Michael Kors was giving 60% flat discount plus 20% additional (making it 78% flat discount off all items)
Coach was giving 60% for all priced items and additional 20%~25% for some limited stocks item.

5) North Shore beach
One of the more beautiful and quieter beach on O`ahu
I remember reading one of the beach is also name quicksilver adopted beach for surfing competition where waves can reach 50 feet high on crazy season.

TheBus service "55" goes around whole north island from Kuhio Street stop but it can take between 2hrs to 3hrs to reach places like Laniakea Beach. I rented 1 day car for North Shore attack.

Some notable beach
a) Laniakea Beach - Is where you see sea turtles resting on beach. There will be officials there to guide and protect as its an offence to come into contact with turtles and fine is USD$1000
b) Sunset Beach - Has very beautiful view at sunset
c) Waimea Bay Beach - Beach of quicksilver surfing

6) Some Trails Hike
There are some hikes that has beautiful scenery and are quite leisure.

Makapu‘u Lighthouse - This is located at eastern side of island and is about 1hr stroll from parking area.

Kaena Point State Park - This is located at Western side of island and has beautiful nature scenery to walk along

7) Kualoa Ranch
Located at North-Eastern side of island. This is where Jurassic Park was filmed and some other blockbuster movies.
Typically cost about USD$60/pax per activity to hang around.

8) Polynesian Cultural Center
Located at North-Eastern side of island. This place is more of family place to visit and see the cultural of polynesian where they have shows and feast in the polynesian people. I skipped this as it cost more than USD$100/pax.

9) Tropical Farms
Just a mention of this as they sells fresh Macadamia nuts as compared to this with preservatives from supermarket. Maui onion is one of the nice favor which i dun get to eat here (i'm a big fan of Macadamia nuts).

10) Ala Moana Center
US 7th biggest shopping mall and hawaii biggest!
It has 3 tier, first tier is basic shops such as cosmetics, slippers, shoes etc
2nd tier is all designer brands
3rd tier is slightly lower end brands such as converse, zara etc.

Prices definitely higher than outlet mall but it has vast varieties.
Can take almost all TheBus service to reach here but i'll just mention service "8" for convenience.
To walk over from waikiki is possible and it takes about 40mins each way.

Apologies for the messy formatting as i'm still cleaning up the mess i brought back. Will touch up the above further when i find some time and also add in Maui as its really a nice place to spend more time.

Also between attraction it is possible to take public transport as i took bus to Pearl Harbour and found a way to transfer myself over to Waikele Premium outlet.

Last edited by Z_Dash; 30-03-2018 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:15 AM   #2
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Why is Waikiki infamous?
You might consider renting a car to drive round-island on Oahu to visit:
1) Byodo-In Temple
2) Polynesian Cultural Centre
3) Hanauma Bay (snorkel)
4) Waimea Bay Beach
Give yourself at least 2 days for the drive so you can spend more time at each point and return via North Shore and Waikele.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:29 AM   #3
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Been to 4 islands of Hawaii 3-4 yrs back and will be returning this time with my family.

Skipping Oahu this round. Staying at the Hilton resort on big island this round but boy at rates of usd$700 a nite for 5 nites better be an experience. My last Hilton resort in Hawaii was in Honolulu parking not cheap maybe just as costly as rental car
Will be spending 4-5 days each island -big island, Maui and Kauai. My fav island from my last trip is definitely kauai. Stayed at Marriott at coconut beach. Few ppl on beach makes it feel so private unlike beaches on the other island. Not been to secret beaches or know where they are so cannot compare. Must Makan place is On Kona imho but if u dining in up scale restaurant is definitely in Oahu.

Will want to visit the costco to get some goodies
Hershey macadamia kisses is unique on Hawaii.
The tuna jerky are great.
They produce a lot of coffee but all serve drip. Will find green beans this round.

What U wanna do really depends on who are going with you on the trip.
Spouse has done luau and didn't enjoy the experience and kids not into luau, not doing that. child not good with water so removed kayaking or snorkeling.
I had friends who went to do zipline and jump off cliff to the ocean. The islands has alot to offer really depends on what u enjoy doing.

different guides and recommendation online to go over how many days one should stay.
https://www.govisithawaii.com/2014/0...waii-vacation/

Last edited by patryn33; 13-02-2018 at 03:21 AM..
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Old 13-02-2018, 01:02 AM   #4
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Dun see any Hawaii thread so started this to get more inputs.

Will be going Oahu and Maui for 11 days trip.

Maui prolly just visiting the peak and beaches.

Oahu would be the infamous wakiki beach and pearl harbour......not forgetting outlet malls visit.

Anymore to share?
Oh man, you're in for a treat. I love Hawaii; let me hook you up with a few of my favorite places.

So... I think Oahu is a bit overrated! Waikiki Beach is pretty fun, but you won't want to spend too long there, because there are plenty of nicer (and less crowded) beaches on Maui. Spend a morning hiking up Diamond Head, though, because the view from the top on a nice day is spectacular.

Pearl Harbour: definitely, do it. The North Shore up around Haleiwa is apparently great (and in winter, when there are 30- and 40-foot waves booming on the shore, the surfing is absolutely spectacular).

But other than that, Oahu's pretty crowded and the traffic is disastrous. If you're heading toward downtown Honolulu in the morning, or away from Honolulu in the afternoon (e.g. if you're heading to the Waikele premium outlets), budget for double the normal drive time. Honestly, if shopping's your thing, save yourself two or three hours' drive: skip the outlet malls on Oahu; do your fancy-people shopping in Waikiki; and then go to the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina for your outlet shopping.

Two or three days in Oahu is probably plenty; you'll want to hop a plane to Maui as soon as possible (the airport, confusingly, is named Kahului airport, and its code is OGG for some unfathomable reason).

This is where it gets really good; Maui's my favourite island. A few things I've picked up:
  • Rent a car - you'll need one.
  • There are two main resort areas: the south coast around Kihei, and the west coast around Ka'anapali. I like the west coast better; Ka'anapali Beach is nicer, and Lahaina town (just down the road) is extremely cute (and has great shopping, galleries, and restaurants).
  • In fact: skip the Oahu outlet malls, and do your outlet shopping in Lahaina, at the Outlets of Maui. Drop into the Hilo Hattie outlet store for some reasonably authentic Hawaiiana. Then when you're done, it's a 5-minute walk to downtown Lahaina; grab some furikake fries at the Lahainaluna Cafe, and don't miss the (justifiably famous) shave ice at Ululani's right next door.
  • Go to a luau! I've taken family and friends to Feast at Lele, and it's pretty high quality.
  • You can do sunrise at the top of Haleakala if you want, but don't feel as though you have to: you'll have to wake up somewhere around 3am or so, and you'll be exhausted by the time you get back. A better way to do it: there are companies that'll take you on a late-morning tour up to the summit, and then you can ride a bike back down! The scenery's amazing; you can stop wherever you want on the way down for lunch; and it's not too strenuous; my mum and dad are both the far side of 70 and they did it just last year. If they can do it, so can you.
  • Even if you're a weak swimmer: go snorkeling! There are companies that do boat tours to Lana'i island, which includes snorkeling at a safe little beach, a bus tour of the island, and lunch and snacks on the way out and back; if you get lucky you might even see dolphins or whales on the boat trip. They'll give you a life jacket too. (I've been out with Trilogy Tours a few times; they're a bit pricey but they're great.)
  • It's worth driving the Road to Hana—a slow, twisty, lush drive around the wet eastern side of the island to the tiny little town of Hana, and onward to the back side of Haleakala National Park. Budget an entire day for it, and be patient: the road from Pa'ia to Hana is narrow and slow, and it'll probably take you a solid three hours driving each way, plus another half-hour beyond Hana to get to the back of Haleakala (bring your swimmers, there's some beautiful swimming holes near the Kipahulu visitors' center).
  • When you're driving the Road to Hana: stop off in the charmingly beachy town of Pa'ia to pick up lunch and supplies (and watch the windsurfers on Baldwin Beach); pick up some shave ice at Halfway to Hana; keep an eye out for Coconut Glen's, serving sublime coconut icecream out of a tiny roadside shack; and on your way back, stop over in Pa'ia again for a well-earned pizza and a beer at Flatbread Pizza Company.
  • Block out some time to relax and sit on the beach at your hotel. And get to dinner early - if you want to watch the sunset over the water from one of the waterside restaurants in Lahaina, or from the front deck at Hula Grill on Kaanapali Beach, you'll need to get there early to beat the rush.
  • On your way out, spend a morning up in the Iao Valley; it's a quick drive from the airport, and it's a spectacular hike up and around a lush valley carved deep into the West Maui mountains.

If you have time, hop over to the Big Island as well! You've got Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which, volcanoes!; stargazing up the top of Mauna Kea; the cute little town of Hilo; and some rather nice resorts over on the west side around Kona.

I'd do 3-4 days in Oahu, absolute max; and then I'd spend the rest of the time in Maui, or split it between Maui & the Big Island.

Last edited by Shiny Things; 13-02-2018 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 14-02-2018, 10:29 AM   #5
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Oh man, you're in for a treat. I love Hawaii; let me hook you up with a few of my favorite places.

So... I think Oahu is a bit overrated! Waikiki Beach is pretty fun, but you won't want to spend too long there, because there are plenty of nicer (and less crowded) beaches on Maui. Spend a morning hiking up Diamond Head, though, because the view from the top on a nice day is spectacular.

Pearl Harbour: definitely, do it. The North Shore up around Haleiwa is apparently great (and in winter, when there are 30- and 40-foot waves booming on the shore, the surfing is absolutely spectacular).

But other than that, Oahu's pretty crowded and the traffic is disastrous. If you're heading toward downtown Honolulu in the morning, or away from Honolulu in the afternoon (e.g. if you're heading to the Waikele premium outlets), budget for double the normal drive time. Honestly, if shopping's your thing, save yourself two or three hours' drive: skip the outlet malls on Oahu; do your fancy-people shopping in Waikiki; and then go to the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina for your outlet shopping.

Two or three days in Oahu is probably plenty; you'll want to hop a plane to Maui as soon as possible (the airport, confusingly, is named Kahului airport, and its code is OGG for some unfathomable reason).

This is where it gets really good; Maui's my favourite island. A few things I've picked up:
  • Rent a car - you'll need one.
  • There are two main resort areas: the south coast around Kihei, and the west coast around Ka'anapali. I like the west coast better; Ka'anapali Beach is nicer, and Lahaina town (just down the road) is extremely cute (and has great shopping, galleries, and restaurants).
  • In fact: skip the Oahu outlet malls, and do your outlet shopping in Lahaina, at the Outlets of Maui. Drop into the Hilo Hattie outlet store for some reasonably authentic Hawaiiana. Then when you're done, it's a 5-minute walk to downtown Lahaina; grab some furikake fries at the Lahainaluna Cafe, and don't miss the (justifiably famous) shave ice at Ululani's right next door.
  • Go to a luau! I've taken family and friends to Feast at Lele, and it's pretty high quality.
  • You can do sunrise at the top of Haleakala if you want, but don't feel as though you have to: you'll have to wake up somewhere around 3am or so, and you'll be exhausted by the time you get back. A better way to do it: there are companies that'll take you on a late-morning tour up to the summit, and then you can ride a bike back down! The scenery's amazing; you can stop wherever you want on the way down for lunch; and it's not too strenuous; my mum and dad are both the far side of 70 and they did it just last year. If they can do it, so can you.
  • Even if you're a weak swimmer: go snorkeling! There are companies that do boat tours to Lana'i island, which includes snorkeling at a safe little beach, a bus tour of the island, and lunch and snacks on the way out and back; if you get lucky you might even see dolphins or whales on the boat trip. They'll give you a life jacket too. (I've been out with Trilogy Tours a few times; they're a bit pricey but they're great.)
  • It's worth driving the Road to Hana—a slow, twisty, lush drive around the wet eastern side of the island to the tiny little town of Hana, and onward to the back side of Haleakala National Park. Budget an entire day for it, and be patient: the road from Pa'ia to Hana is narrow and slow, and it'll probably take you a solid three hours driving each way, plus another half-hour beyond Hana to get to the back of Haleakala (bring your swimmers, there's some beautiful swimming holes near the Kipahulu visitors' center).
  • When you're driving the Road to Hana: stop off in the charmingly beachy town of Pa'ia to pick up lunch and supplies (and watch the windsurfers on Baldwin Beach); pick up some shave ice at Halfway to Hana; keep an eye out for Coconut Glen's, serving sublime coconut icecream out of a tiny roadside shack; and on your way back, stop over in Pa'ia again for a well-earned pizza and a beer at Flatbread Pizza Company.
  • Block out some time to relax and sit on the beach at your hotel. And get to dinner early - if you want to watch the sunset over the water from one of the waterside restaurants in Lahaina, or from the front deck at Hula Grill on Kaanapali Beach, you'll need to get there early to beat the rush.
  • On your way out, spend a morning up in the Iao Valley; it's a quick drive from the airport, and it's a spectacular hike up and around a lush valley carved deep into the West Maui mountains.

If you have time, hop over to the Big Island as well! You've got Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which, volcanoes!; stargazing up the top of Mauna Kea; the cute little town of Hilo; and some rather nice resorts over on the west side around Kona.

I'd do 3-4 days in Oahu, absolute max; and then I'd spend the rest of the time in Maui, or split it between Maui & the Big Island.
Wow.......appreciate your effort to share.
This is the best info I had than surfing those travel blogs and stuff.

Unfortunately had catered 4 days in Maui and 7 days in Oahu.

Will definately drive up the peak at Maui to see the night sky and sunrise.
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Old 14-02-2018, 11:27 AM   #6
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Been to 4 islands of Hawaii 3-4 yrs back and will be returning this time with my family.

Skipping Oahu this round. Staying at the Hilton resort on big island this round but boy at rates of usd$700 a nite for 5 nites better be an experience. My last Hilton resort in Hawaii was in Honolulu parking not cheap maybe just as costly as rental car
Will be spending 4-5 days each island -big island, Maui and Kauai. My fav island from my last trip is definitely kauai. Stayed at Marriott at coconut beach. Few ppl on beach makes it feel so private unlike beaches on the other island. Not been to secret beaches or know where they are so cannot compare. Must Makan place is On Kona imho but if u dining in up scale restaurant is definitely in Oahu.

Will want to visit the costco to get some goodies
Hershey macadamia kisses is unique on Hawaii.
The tuna jerky are great.
They produce a lot of coffee but all serve drip. Will find green beans this round.

What U wanna do really depends on who are going with you on the trip.
Spouse has done luau and didn't enjoy the experience and kids not into luau, not doing that. child not good with water so removed kayaking or snorkeling.
I had friends who went to do zipline and jump off cliff to the ocean. The islands has alot to offer really depends on what u enjoy doing.

different guides and recommendation online to go over how many days one should stay.
https://www.govisithawaii.com/2014/0...waii-vacation/
Yes, is best to check in hotel and find a local tour package. No pint to drive there.
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Old 14-02-2018, 12:34 PM   #7
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Yes, is best to check in hotel and find a local tour package. No pint to drive there.
Never into tour package, will be driving. Family not into tour.
Going on hikes tour big waste of $$ imho

Last edited by patryn33; 14-02-2018 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 14-02-2018, 06:43 PM   #8
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Just curious.. what is the best way to fly there?
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Old 15-02-2018, 12:22 AM   #9
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Unfortunately had catered 4 days in Maui and 7 days in Oahu.
If you possibly can, call up and shuffle your bookings to flip those around - just ask nicely and they might waive the change fees. I guarantee you'll have a lot more fun with 7 days on Maui and 4 days on Oahu.

Just curious.. what is the best way to fly there?
This has always baffled me a bit - there's no good way to fly from Singapore to Hawaii!

The cheapest is usually Philippine Airlines through Manila (which is surprisingly reasonably priced, I'm seeing $660 USD r/t on a few dates in April); a quick scan of Hipmunk finds a few other reasonably-timed one-stops, notably Tiger Airlines through Osaka or either of the Japanese airlines through Narita.

All the other options have horrible 16-hour layovers (Asiana through Seoul, Air China through Beijing) or lolzy routing (Hipmunk tried to suggest SIN-DXB-SEA-HNL on Emirates + Alaska, which: no).
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Old 15-02-2018, 10:06 AM   #10
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I bought scoot on scoot promo at $600. Total up $700 after adding luggage and meals.

It's from sg transit Japan then Hawaii
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Old 16-02-2018, 02:49 AM   #11
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I bought scoot on scoot promo at $600. Total up $700 after adding luggage and meals.

It's from sg transit Japan then Hawaii
good deal.
travelling off season help
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Old 17-03-2018, 03:57 AM   #12
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Touchdown Honolulu and now camping waiting for next flight to Maui.

Too kiasee and buffered 5 hours from landing time to next flight which was grossly overkill as Honolulu airport clears exit within 15mins........and check-in to domestic flight within 10mins.

Slacking at lounge for next 4 hours luckily with my priority pass card.
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Old 18-03-2018, 03:56 PM   #13
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Maui really has a fair bit of things to try out.

1) Whale seeing & kaanapali beach tours (Maui outlet shopping too)
2) Haleakala peak sunrise
3) Hana town trail
4) Waterfalls trips

Difficult part is learning to drive left hand as handling gear and rearview mirror etc is mixed up.

The night sky is beautiful especially at Haleakala peak at night where I can see the whole milky way like scene!

Small compact car is sufficient to go up Haleakala Peak as I took the cheapest Ford Focus (equalivent to Chevrolet spark)
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Last edited by Z_Dash; 18-03-2018 at 03:59 PM..
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Old 19-03-2018, 08:47 AM   #14
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Recommend that you take a cruise: Norwegian Pride of America.

The 7-day cruise sails every Saturday from Honolulu and stops at Maui, Big Island, and Kauai before docking at Honolulu for the next departure.

It is the easiest way to visit 4 islands in 11 days, otherwise you have to:
* take inter-island flight (not punctual, with low baggage allowance)
* Check-in, check-out and drag luggage in and of hotel (half day gone)
* Travel between airports (another half day gone)
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Old 19-03-2018, 07:30 PM   #15
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Touchdown Honolulu and now camping waiting for next flight to Maui.

Too kiasee and buffered 5 hours from landing time to next flight which was grossly overkill as Honolulu airport clears exit within 15mins........and check-in to domestic flight within 10mins.

Slacking at lounge for next 4 hours luckily with my priority pass card.
Yeah, Honolulu airport is my favourite of all the airports in the USA when it comes to immigration; they're even faster and nicer than SFO, which is usually the gold standard for these sorts of things.

Maui really has a fair bit of things to try out.

1) Whale seeing & kaanapali beach tours (Maui outlet shopping too)
2) Haleakala peak sunrise
3) Hana town trail
4) Waterfalls trips
Told ya! Did you manage to squeeze in a luau? And don't forget to duck over to Pa'ia if you've got time.
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