Waikiki Beach

Touristy & Developed. While It’s Hardly Paradise, It’s Still An Incredibly Exciting Place To Be


Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. March 8, 2013

Waikiki is a well-known beach and resort area on Oahu Island, the best known & third largest of the Hawaiian Islands after the Big Island of Hawaii & Maui, my last two destinations on this my second visit to the Hawaiian Islands. Oahu, nicknamed The Gathering Place, is very much the Hawaiian heartland. It is home to the regional capital Honolulu, Hawaii’s only real metropolitan area, & is by far the most popular of the eight Hawaiian islands with Hawaii’s ample volumes of tourists, mostly from the mainland & Japan. Waikiki itself is nothing more than a lively district of the capital, a heavily touristified stretch of half a dozen beaches in the heart of a host of resort style destinations, pricey hotels and general tourist tat, hardly a tropical paradise in the traditional sense or the idolized image of a desert island that Hawaii inspires in some. That said, the developed nature of Waikiki makes it an incredibly exciting place to be. And it’s still Hawaii after all – just being here oozes life is good vibes.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 8th 2013.

Waikiki Beach (map-pointer-icon) fronting Kalakaua Avenue showing the iconic pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel, a Waikiki landmark. Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 8, 2013.

A statue of Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian native, five-time Olympic medallist & the person credited with popularising the sport of surfing, fronting Waikiki Beach in O’ahu, Hawaii. February 26th 2013.

Lei – flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes – on the statue of the Duke Kahanamoku Memorial fronting Waikiki Beach. Duke Kahanamoku (full name Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku) was a Hawaiian native, a five-time Olympic medallist & the person credited with popularising the sport of surfing. A Hawaiian legend, when he died of a heart attack in 1968 his ashes were, fittingly enough, scattered at sea. The Waikiki statue immortalising Duke is today one of the most popular if not the most popular meeting point in Waikiki (a 24-hour webcam even streams from the site). Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. February 26, 2013.

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968)

Raised in Waikiki, Duke was a full blooded Hawaiian, who symbolized Hawai’i to millions of people. He developed into an Olympic champion and the world’s fastest swimmer. Between 1912 and 1932 he won three gold medals, two silver and a bronze in four Olympics.

He is known as the “Father of International Surfing.”

Duke introduced surfing to the Eastern seaboard of American, Europe & Australia. He became a hero when he save eight lives from a capsized launch at Corona del Mar, California in 1925 when using his surfboard. A movie actor from 1925-1933, he was elected Sheriff of Honolulu for thirteen consecutive terms from 1934-1960. He has been recognized as Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha since 1912.

He has honored his name, he has honored his race, he has honored his state, he has honored us all.

Text at the foot of the Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Kalakaua Avenue. Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

In Hawaii we greet friends, loved ones or strangers with ALOHA, which means with love. ALOHA is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship. The meeting of leaving people with ALOHA. You’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed. ALOHA to you.

– Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

Palm trees & tower blocks on Kalakaua Avenue fronting Waikiki Beach on Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 8th 2013.

Palm trees & tower blocks on Kalakaua Avenue fronting Waikiki Beach on Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 8, 2013.

Paddle ball on Waikiki Beach with the Waikiki landmark of Diamond Head in the distance. Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 9th 2013.

Paddle ball on Waikiki Beach with the Waikiki landmark of Diamond Head in the distance. This stretch of Waikiki is normally inundated with paddle borders or wannabe surfers taking their first waves – it’s the perfect spot for beginners & rarely, if ever, will you find experienced surfers in these protected, touristy waters (you’ll find them elsewhere on the island, namely its North Shore). Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 9, 2013.

Surfboards lined up on a section of Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 9th 2013.

Surfboards lined up on a section of Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 9, 2013.

A section of Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, as seen through the 'Miniature' effect on a Canon PowerShot G15. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 8th 2013.

A section of Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, as seen through the Miniature effect on a Canon PowerShot G15. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. March 8, 2013.

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