Category Archives: big island

Hawaii Travel Guide Review

Hawaii-Revealed-travel-guidebooksAndrew Doughty has written a series of highly controversial guidebooks to each major island under the title “Hawaii Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook. The series is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. His most recent update to the series was 2013.

The Books

Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebookdetails sites around Hawaii island (aka The Big Island), including the major cities of Kona and Hilo, Mauna Kea and Volcano National Park. He includes many off-the-beaten path sites that are highly controversial with local people.

The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed
details sites around Kauai island, including the cities of Lihue and Hanalei, Waimea Canyon State Park and the Na Pali Coast Trail. He includes many off-the-beaten path sites that are highly controversial with local people.

Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook
details sites around Maui island, including the cities of Kihei, Ka’anapali and Hana and Haleakala National Park. He includes many off-the-beaten path sites that are highly controversial with local people.

Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond (Oahu Revisited)
details sites around O’ahu island, including the cities of Honolulu, Kailua and Haleiwa and the Pearl Harbor Memorial and Punchbowl Cemetery. He covers O’ahu’s many hiking trails and vibrant culinary scene, and his app has the most up-to-date restaurant information.

The Controversy

What makes these guidebooks controversial is Doughty’s revelation to outsiders of places cherished by locals. Many of these places, such as Blue Pool on Maui, are highly fragile ecosystems not maintained by the state or the county, and thus, locals are not equipped to deal with the environmental damage that crowds of visitors unwittingly bring. Many of the places named in Doughty’s original set of guidebooks have been formally closed or fenced off because of severe harm to native plants and animals caused by trampling from visitor’s shoes and contamination from body products.

At least one community near Hana on Maui has become so outraged by the visitor traffic that they banned him from ever again visiting the area.

Where to Eat After Volcano Watching on Hawaii Island

You’re watching Kilauea volcano erupt in Kalapana near the new vent, Pu’u O’o. The sunset was glorious, and the evening lava show is spectacular. You’ve taken all the pictures you can, and you’ve oo’ed and aw’ed until your parched. Now your stomach starts to growl, and you realize it’s well after 8 PM. Where to go for dinner?

At 45-minutes away, Hilo is too far to make it in time for dinner (unless you’re willing to eat at Ken’s house of Pancakes again). The sidewalk there rolls up promptly at 9 PM. So Hilo is out. What else is there?

Pahoa is the answer. At 15 minutes away, you can make it in time for the last seating at any one of three good options.

  1. Ning’s Thai Cuisine
    –Ning’s is fresh and inexpensive. They use local produce in many of their dishes, including their summer rolls, which were packed with fresh basil and mint. No bar or alcohol service, but you can BYO. If you don’t have anything to drink in the car, there is a 7-11 down the street that offers a basic selection of beer and wine coolers. Ning’s is not fancy, but it’s deliciously inexpensive. We had a 3-course dinner for four after volcano watching and got out for about $50, including tip. On a Saturday night, they stayed open until 10 pm.
  2. Kaleo’s Bar & Grill
    –Kaleo’s is a relative newcomer in Pahoa town. They offer Pacific Rim and island fare as well as what you would expect from a bar and grill. Their list of appetizers includes blackened ahi sashmi and deep-fried mozzarella. Entree prices range from about $15-$35. They offer a full bar and wine menu, but they close promptly at 9 pm.
  3. Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant
    –Luquin’s has been around Pahoa for years, and it remains the best place in town for a cold beer, chips and salsa, which sounds divine after a few parched hours on hot lava blacktop. Their food is not what I would describe as authentic Mexican, but it’s good enough. Anyway, you can’t go too wrong with cheese, sauce, meat and tortillas. Dinner for four with two rounds of drinks and tip was $100. They serve food until 10 pm, but stay open later for drinks.

Service Details:

Ning’s Thai Cuisine

15-2955 Pahoa Rd
Pahoa, HI 96778
(808) 965-7611

Kaleo’s Bar & Grill

15-2969 Pahoa Village Rd
Pahoa, HI 96778
(808) 965-5634

Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant

Pahoa Rd (Across from Ning’s)
Pahoa, HI 96778
(808) 965-9990

Amazing Pictures of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii

Here are some more pictures of the amazing new vents at Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii taken in early July 2008. Got your own great pix of the volcano? Get Your FREE Photo Prints here.

For more details about how to see the current eruption, driving directions and tips for the best viewing, see my previous post “New Vents in Kilauea Volcano Spout Fountains of Lava”. For a humorous take on volcano watching, see “Volcano Viewing Etiquette”.

Boat next to active vent

Steam cloud billowing into sunset

Pu’u O’o vent at sunset with Pele’s hair

Newly formed land