Tag Archives: hike with kids

Luau – Experiencing the food and culture of the Hawaiian Islands

A visit to the Hawaiian Islands is not complete without experiencing a luau. Luau a Hawaiian feast featuring lively music and vibrant cultural performances from Hawaii and greater Polynesia.

Even though Hawaii is part of the United States, it has a very distinct cultural heritage that distinguishes it from other states. To enjoy this wonderful culture, we went to Luau one evening. After lots of research we picked Chief’s Luau and it was a good choice as it turned out to be an amazing experience.

We were picked up from our hotel and taken on a bus to Sea Life Park. Our guide was Cousin Ben and he was really funny. He entertained us for the entire journey, sharing some great jokes.

Once we got to the Sea life park, we were greeted with drinks and a seashell garland and then taken to our seat.

The whole thing was set right on the beach with a perfect view of the sunset. There was a stall selling souvenirs and a guy doing temporary tattoos. We joined the queue and all of us got a tattoo each. Chhori loved hers so much that she kept on talking about it the whole night.

While everything was being organized the guest were being entertained with spear throwing and leaf headband demonstrations.

We made a few headbands with the help of the staff which we wore through the evening.

The main course at a luau is kalua pua’a – pork roasted for eight hours in a pitlike earthen oven known as imu. They showed us how a pig is unburied before being served to the guests.

The food is buffet style and has kalua pua’a, fresh mahi-mahi and poi (mashed taro plant) and an array of salads and sides. I would say the food was OK as I was not overly impressed but it made us full for sure.

I actually enjoyed the hula and fire dancing. The chief introduced each dance and we enjoyed the Chief’s Journey through the Polynesian Islands which included New Zealand Haka and the Fijian Warrior Dance.

Also during this dancing, the volunteers were asked to come on stage to dance with the dancers. Chhori wanted me to go on the stage so we went on the stage together and we had a great time. It was fun as we danced with the drum beats.

We also went on the stage when they called for people celebrating anniversaries as we were there for our 6th anniversary as well. We were given a beautiful bouquet of flowers and drinks.

The fire dancers at the end was amazing and it was the highlight of the show for me.

Overall, we enjoyed the show a lot.

After the Luau was over Cousin Ben took us back to our hotel.

Some Popular Luau Dishes

Poi: Pounded taro plant root; a starch meant to be eaten with everything.

Kalua Pig: Pork prepared in an imu or underground oven and shredded.

Chicken Long Rice: A chicken noodle soup-like dish with bean thread noodles and ginger.

Laulau: Meat wrapped in luau (taro) leaves and steamed. Traditionally, this is prepared in an underground oven called an imu.

Lomilomi Salmon: A side dish made from salmon, tomatoes, onion and crushed ice.

Haupia: Coconut pudding.

Poke: The term literally means “to slice cross-wise into pieces” and commonly features raw fish served with a variety of condiments such as shoyu (soy sauce), green onions, kukui nut (candlenut), limu (seaweed). However, the dish isn’t exclusively fish-based and there are other variations as well.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Diamond Head Hike with 2 year toddler

While in Hawaii, we decided to go and do the famous Diamond Head hike.

Diamond Head Crater is the remains of an extinct volcano with the highest point of the hike being 760 feet. Diamond Head’s Hawaiian name is Le’ahi. After the Pearl Harbor attacks, the military used it as a lookout post installing pillboxes and foxholes to prevent Hawaii from future attacks.

The trail is around 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) with almost 200 steps and a steep uphill tunnel.

Initially, we were not sure if we would be able to do it as there were mixed reviews of the kid friendliness of the hike but after doing lots of research, we decided that we would do it with the worst case scenario being returning in the middle if it was not doable.

As suggested by many people, we wanted to start the hike early in the morning so got there by 8am. It was around 15 minutes’ drive from our apartment. We drove through Kapiolani Park (located at the end of Waikiki) headed towards Diamond Head on Kalakaua Boulevard. It was a beautiful drive that turns into Poni Moi Road and follows the Diamond Head Road going through a tunnel that leads to the center of the Diamond Head Crater where the hike begins.

We thought we beat the traffic and would be the first few people but we were so wrong.

Once we got to the car park, we found that the car park was already full and they asked us to come back later.

We were so disappointed and returned the carpark outside the tunnel which was full as well. We waited for a few minutes there and decided to go back and check again. Luckily the carpark was open and we were allowed to go in after paying $5.

We put our on sunscreens and started our hike. At the start of the hike, there is a sign that said most people take 1.5 – 2 hours to hike to the summit and back.

Chhori started to walk with us but after 5 minutes she wanted us to carry her.  I and AS looked at each other and wondered if we were going to be able to hike or not.

AS decided to carry her first and did the first part of the hike. First half is not very bad at all and we saw lots of kids, older people going or returning from the hike. There were so many people on the trail and we saw parents carrying babies in baby carriers as well.

After around 30 minutes of the hike, I took Chhori and continued our walk. I really enjoyed the hike despite feeling a little hot.

Then came the famous and very steep 99 steps. I told AS I am going to climb the steps in one go carrying Chhori.

AS was worried that I might have to stop and take it slow but me and Chhori counted each step and made it to the top in one go.

Once we climbed the steps, I was tired and waited for AS and my friend to catch up before making our way through another tunnel and up a staircase to the summit.

It was so good to see the wonderful view from top of the crater. We took heaps of photos and rested for a while before trekking down which was much easier than climbing up.

 

Overall we had a great day and an amazing experience.

Few things to remember if you are going for this hike

·         Make sure you carry enough water and sunscreen

·         Go as early as possible to escape the heat and parking drama

·         Make sure to wear comfortable shoes

·         It is possible to do this hike with kids but be prepared to carry them or turn back if needed

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO