JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH SARAH ETINAS FROM OAHU, HAWAII.
SARAH IS A SOON-TO-BE COLLEGE GRADUATE AND ASPIRING TRAVEL WRITER. SHE HAS BASICALLY SPENT HER ENTIRE LIFE IN HAWAII, WHICH EXPOSED HER TO STUNNING NATURAL LANDSCAPES AND SO MANY WONDERFUL CULTURES. THEN, THERE WERE HER TRAVELS, WHICH HAVE ALREADY TAKEN HER TO FIVE DIFFERENT CONTINENTS AND OVER THIRTY COUNTRIES.
Which is the best month to visit Oahu and why?
The best time to visit Oahu is definitely in April. It’s just before the heat and the huge wave of tourists that happens in the summer. That also means that accommodations are usually cheaper in April than most other months (with the exception of the very hot September).
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of Oahu?
If you can afford to have a car, that is considered to be the best option on Oahu. If you can’t, taking the bus isn’t a bad second. For just $5.50/day, $70/month, or $770/year, you can get on and off the extensive bus system as many times as you would like.
What are the top 3 must visit places in Oahu?
The first place I have to add to this list is a waterfall hike. I love waterfalls, and the short hikes on Oahu get you to very rewarding waterfalls. Manoa Falls is great if you’re new to hiking and you’re looking for a well-trodden path. Waimano Falls could be what you’re looking for if you’re hoping to find a rope swing in the jungle and pretend to be Tarzan for a bit. If you do a bit of digging, you’ll definitely find an Oahu waterfall that’s right for you.
My second must visit place is either Lanikai or Kailua Beach. Honestly, they have very similar atmospheres, so either one will make a great visit. The stunning teal color and calmness of the water that is hard to find elsewhere on the island constantly draws both locals and visitors to head over again and again.
Lastly, I can’t forget the North Shore. The North Shore has a very unique feel to it. It’s almost like a combination of old-time, country Oahu, a surfer’s paradise, and a tinge of tourism. It’s definitely worth a day trip.
Which is the most celebrated holiday of the year in Oahu?
As Hawaii is part of the United States, the typical holidays celebrated in the U.S. can get pretty big. As for a Hawaii-specific holiday, May Day is very popular across the Hawaiian Islands. Nearly every school across the state hosts some sort of May Day celebration, and there are also a few official May Day competitions that are held. A May Day celebration is quite the affair with multiple hula dances, tons of flowers, and, most importantly, a May Day court. The May Day court is composed of a king and queen, as well as a princess, a price, and a Kahili (kind of like a pole with a decorative cloth at the top) bearer for each of the eight Hawaiian Islands. If you happen to be in Hawaii at the end of April or the beginning of May, that’s your chance to attend one!
Which is the most happening area in Oahu and why?
Kakaako is definitely the most happening area. With walls covered in bright street art thanks to the annual Pow Wow festival, delicious restaurants like Moku Kitchen and Bevy, and monthly events like the Honolulu Night Market and Eat the Street, Kakaako has to be the answer to this question.
Where can one find amazing street food in Oahu?
On Oahu, there is no single amazing place to find street food. If you’re looking for street food, there can be booths on the side of literally any road – including highways, where you can grab some fresh fruit, dried fish, poi (a traditional Hawaiian dish made of pulverized taro), or huli huli chicken (it’s kind of like slow-roasted teriyaki chicken).
Where to head for affordable shopping?
Overall, shopping on Oahu is quite expensive. If you are looking for discounted rates on items like clothes, bags, or shoes, Waikele Premium Outlets is the place to go. If you’re hoping to get cheaper (and more authentic) souvenirs, head to the Aloha Stadium swap meet on a Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday morning.
Which is the most loved local food in Oahu, both sweet and savory?
For the savory item, I have to go with a spam musubi. A spam musubi is a rectangle of sticky rice topped with a slice of spam all wrapped in a single sheet of seaweed. This delicious and cheap snack (each one usually goes for less than $2) is kind of emblematic of Hawaii’s mixing of cultures, as, to make it, the Hawaii-associated spam was added to a traditional Japanese dish. For the beloved sweet food, the answer has to be shave ice. Now, note that I wrote “shave” ice, not “shaved” ice. If you happen to come across any place that says “shaved” ice, know that it’s not authentic and will probably be a disappointment. If you find a place that says “shave” ice though, this refreshing fruity treat is definitely worth a try.
Which side of the road does Oahu drive on? Is it cycle friendly?
On Oahu, just like in the rest of the U.S., we drive on the right side of the road. As for cyclists, while Oahu is trying to become more cycle-friendly, it hasn’t really gotten there yet.
Would you recommend any popular local apps to tourists for transport, food and hidden gems?
The apps “Official Hawaii Visitors Guide” and “Oahu” actually do a great job of sharing hidden natural gems, like beaches and hikes, as well as delicious food stops.