3 4As my cruise trip came to an end, I disembarked the ship in Honolulu, and travelled to the Hilton Waikiki Beach hotel. My first impression of Waikiki was a unique beachfront area with a balance between beach resort relaxation, and a shopping and dining haven.

On my first day I caught the local public bus to the Ala Moana shopping centre which features every fashion designer store you could imagine. Even delicious acai bowls are conveniently sold there. In the evening, I enjoyed eating at California Pizza. After that, I had an amazing shopping experience at the International Market Place, browsing the cute stalls filled with souvenirs and gifts, and visited ‘Ross’, a discount outlet designer store selling famous brands including Steve Madden, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, Nike, and Tommy Hilfiger to name a few. I definitely recommend a trip to this shop as I scored some great bargains.

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The following day, I spent a lazy time at Waikiki Beach Front and Kuhio Beach with perfect weather and calm ocean waves. Conveniently, you can hire beach equipment to surf the famous Waikiki Beach or stand-up paddle. Walking along the beach taking photographs of the special landscape was thoroughly enjoyable.


I spent my last beautiful night at Bill’s Restaurant on Beachwalk Ave with amazing cuisine and of course some delicious coconut water. Lastly, I did some last shopping  on the main avenues and prepared for my departure.


Waiting at Honolulu airport I relaxed with a Starbucks coffee, and purchased a bottle of coconut water for the long flight.


My final destination in Hawaii proved absolutely memorable and epitomised my idea of paradise. As they say in Hawaii, Aloha doesn’t mean goodbye but farewell. I can’t wait to return to Hawaii!

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Photographs by © MCTL








My first encounter with Hawaii was experienced on O’ahu’s North Shore, an absolutely beautiful region with chilled beach and tropical vibes. Turtle Bay Resort located in Kahuku provided comfortable accommodation, delicious dining and cultural activities, as well as a stunning locale to swim at secluded beaches and to view magical sunsets. Walks around the resort and its beaches, as well as reading in the sun on an ocean-view balcony contributed to a sense of freedom and relaxation in this tropical paradise.











En route to the Haleiwa market village, I even spotted a turtle on a small beach which was idyllic. Full of souvenir shops, surfboards, local art, cafes, and food trucks, I drank and ate a coconut and couldn’t believe how sweet and delicious it tasted.



An organised trip to the Polynesian Cultural Centre involved sipping on more coconut water, watching a canoe dancing pageant representing the nations of the Polynesian Islands, and exploring the centre’s activities with a canoe tour ride and 4D film. Of course one must dine like a traditional Hawaiian at a luau, complete with wearing delicate leis, and eating a meal of roast pig with tropical buffet selections which enhanced the entire experience. To conclude the day, there was an amazing performance with Hawaiian hula and an impressive fire dancing performance.





Another highlight at O’ahu was watching the final of the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters. It was fantastic watching the competition on the beach and being close to numerous international surf competitors which strode past me on their way to the surf. It was surprising how exciting the final was, including the round in which Gabriel Medina won the surfing world title. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach catered for the crowds with local food trucks. I particularly embraced tropical fruits with the help of tasty acai bowls, smoothies and papaya boats. Overall, the atmosphere was electric and I felt a part of the rich Hawaiian beach culture.

Dining by the beach watching sunsets and a last morning swim in the tropical waters of Turtle Bay Resort transitioned into a new experience – boarding a cruise. Checking in at the ship pier in Honolulu and setting sail that evening was the beginning of another fantastic adventure. Stay tuned for more travel posts that explore the Hawaiian islands.

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Photographs by © MCTL