Category Archives: oahu

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.

Best Places to Eat in Honolulu

What are the best places to eat in Honolulu?

Lucky you, Honolulu is such a fun food town with multiple ethnic influences melting into one tasty bowl. Here is a list of my favorite places to eat in Honolulu:

Traditional Japanese
Akasaka — Across from the convention center; great for lunch; They serve raw and cooked food. The broiled misoyaki butterfish and spicy tuna hand rolls are favorites; Review at . Make a reservation.

Modern Japanese
Doraku Sushi — Royal Hawaii Shopping Center (if there’s a wait, do NOT eat at the super overpriced place across the hall); Great for dinner with a group; Hip vibe with a creative menu; . Make a res.

Mariposa — Neiman Marcus at Ala Moana Shopping Center; Ask to sit on the lanai; Killer ocean views; Also good for a nice lunch or dinner with a group; Website at . Make a res.

Siam Garden Cafe — It’s the best Thai food you’ll eat outside of Thailand. I almost cried when I thought they’d closed in August, but they were just cleaning the place; Great for lunch and groups; Kid friendly; Website at . No need res.

There is also a dizzying variety of quick, inexpensive places to eat within walking distance of the Hawaii convention center located in the food court of the Ala Moana Shopping Center (Street level) – . I like the Korean and Japanese grills, but you’ll find it all there fast.

Whatever you decide,  you can always get take out and then eat it across the street at Ala Moana Beach Park while taking in sunset.

Duc’s Bistro — Chinatown; great for a group, food is served family style; Lamb chops are not to be missed; French Vietnamese; . No need res, unless it’s a group of 6 or more.

Super fancy dinners to impress (or seal the deal, in order of my preference)
Halekulani La Mer —
Alan Wong’s on King St —
Chef Mavro’s —
Michelle’s —
Happy eating!!!