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With Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach, Oa'hu Is No Los Angeles
A colleague came back from Oa'hu and commented that Oa'hu is no different from Los Angeles. I was shocked. I asked him if he climbed Diamond Head State Momument. He didn't even know that people can climb it.
If you have only one day free on the Hawa'ii island of Oa'hu, I recommend two activities: climbing Diamond Head State Momument and experiencing Waikiki Beach. Not everybody is able to hike Diamond Head but if you feel that you are able to, then it is on the list of must do.
What is Diamond Head?
Diamond Head is an extinct volcano, and it received its named because some explorers thought the calcite crystals deposited there were diamonds. Now it is state park that is accessible by car or bus. The main attraction is to hike the trail that takes you to the 761-foot summit. The trail to the summit was built in 1908 as part of a defense system. The park will not admit anybody after 4:30 p.m., and the park closes at 6:00 p.m.
What To Expect on the Hike?
First of all, there is one restroom area in the park and it is at the beginning of the trail. Once you start the hike, there is very little shading, and it could be quite hot. To minimize the heat, I chose to climb it in late afternoon around 3:00 p.m. It is a steep climb, but I was surprised to see an unprepared hiker in heels doing the climb. Fortunately, there is a definite path and for the most part, there are railings. Combining the steepness and the heat, it is not an easy hike. Basically, since one is not scaling the inside of the crater like spiderman, it is a steep and winding trail that then culminates to two sets of steep stairs and then a tunnel. I was prepared with a flashlight, but it is really not necessary because the tunnel is illuminated. By the time you reach the top, you will find an awkward approach to a flat level. I called it awkward because you have to climb up to the top level without hitting your head on the top enclosure. Then, immediately, you are hit with forceful gust of wind. I was watching where people were talking pictures and learned that one needs to climb to the top pillar to capture the breathtaking view to Waikiki.
Oa'hu has a friendly bus system. If you plan ahead, you are able to ride the bus around the entire island. But if you are Oa'hu for a day, you have to see the beautiful beaches near the hotels and motels. Waikiki Beach is a great place to watch people, and you can also hear the live bands playing Hawaiian music at the hotels and see female Hawaiian dancers. The most spectacular view, of course, are the Waikiki sunsets. A number of tourists could hang out by the concrete piers. I don't understand how my friend can compare Oa'hu with Los Angeles if you have appreciated the beauty from Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach.
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