Waikiki is the most touristy city, in the most touristy island in Hawaii and is located directly by the beach just half an hour from Honlulu International Airport. The city is not that big, and Waikiki beach can easily be walked several times in a day. All these things describing a place that I normally would get sick off, restless from and eager to get away from, but for some reason Waikiki still manages to hit it off as a really laid back place and after spending five days here at the beach, could easily hang around on for another few days. The fact that the beaches are crowded and that international conglomerates have heavily penetrated the beach city market with chain restaurants and brand stores does not bother me at all. It makes it quite convenient, as all their offers are not shouted at me by pushy beach sellers and people handing out flyers. It is all just there, in a neatly organised city that it is comfortable to live in.
We spent our first night at Polynesian Hostel, located right in the middle of everything. It was our choice of accomodation since all accomodation in Waikiki is pretty expensive for backpackers, and since the other hostel right by was not open for after midnight check-ins. Since the rooms were really simple, being just a double bed, with a shared bathroom in the hallway we chose to switch to Hostelling International Waikiki the next morning. Both these hostels could not have had a better location with just one block of walking to the beach, to the restaurant area and the shopping area. They also had a daily schedule of free activities, like yukulele and hula dancing lessons, lay making classes and various cultural shows.
What we spent most of our time on was simply laying on the beach and surfing. The water is shallow far out from the beach, so even though the waves were pretty small, they stayed for long, making them fun to play in. We did have a littlebit of a swell when we were here and it is usually more waves in the winter, so I don’t quite understand how the surf board rentals manage to go all year round though.
One of the days we also took a taxi up to the strating point of the Diamond Head hike trail, not far from the Waikiki beach. Even though locals had told us that it was a steep and really tough hike that would be a full day trip, we managed to get to the top, take some pictures and get back down in just over an hour! Being well ahead of our time budget we jumped into a taxi again to see the 27th annual Great Hawaiian Rubber Duckie Race, where 20 000 rubber duckies were realeased into a narrow canal, racing for the entertainment for some and for the charity causes for others.
We also got to spent some time at Ala Moana Beach Park, more commonly known as Magic Island. Being just a walk away from Waikiki Beach, it was quite different. It seemed like a place where more of the locals were hanging out and relaxing at a more quiet beach and having barbeques that we also got invited over to. Instead of having a chartered beach holiday experience that I feared, I have found a place that I have gotten pretty fond of and that I easily would come back to if I was ever given the chance.