Sunday, December 31, 2017

INDEX

THAILAND

Ao Sadet from Silver Cliff's restaurant - east coast of Ko Phangan

INTRODUCTION - WHICH ISLAND OR BEACH?
ADANG
ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK
BU BU
BULON LAE
CHANG (big Chang eastern Gulf)
Little Ko CHANG, Andaman side
CORAL ISLAND
JUM
KANCHANABURI
KRADAN
KRABI, RAILAY, TON SAI
KHANOM
KHAO LAK
KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK
KHO KHAO
KUT (KOOD, KUD)
LANTA
LAO LIANG
LIBONG, HAT YAO
LIPE
MAK (MAC, MAAK)
MAYA BAY/THE BEACH/PHI PHI LEY
MUK (MOOK)
NANGYUAN
NGAI (HAI)
KO PANYI/PANYEE
PATTAYA
PHANGAN
PHANGAN PART 2
PHANG NGA BAY
PHAYAM
PHRA THONG
PHUKET
PHI PHI
PHI PHI NEWSPAPER ARTICLE BY TEZZA
RAILAY, TON SAI AND KRABI TOWN
RAYA/RACHA
ROK
SAMET
SAMUI
SIBOYA
SICHON
SIMILAN ISLANDS
SIMILAN ISLANDS LIVE-ABOARD 
SUKORN
SURIN ISLANDS
TARUTAO
TAO
WAI (WHAI)
YAO NOI
YAO YAI



General Thailand Information

SOME TIPS ON NOT DROWNING
WET WEATHER INFORMATION
SNORKELLING IN THAILAND
THAILAND'S NICER BEACHES


INDONESIA:
Approaching Gili Trawangan, Lombok on Perama's direct boat from Bali

BALI
BALI'S BEST BEACHES - incl THE BUKIT PENINSULA
BALI - AMED
BALI - BEDUGUL AND LAKE BRATAN
BALI - CANGGU
BALI - JATILUWIH RICE TERRACES
BALI - JIMBARAN
BALI - NUSA LEMBONGAN
BALI - NUSA PENIDA
BALI - NUSA DUA, TANJUNG BENOA AND GEGER BEACH
EAST BALI - PADANGBAI AND CANDIDASA
BALI - LOVINA
BALI - MEDEWI
BALI - MUNDUK
BALI - PEMUTERAN AND MENJANGAN ISLAND
BALI RICE TERRACES EAST - SIDEMAN
BALI RICE TERRACES CENTRAL - TEGALLALANG
BALI RICE TERRACES WEST - KEBUN VILLAS
BALI RICE TERRACES TIRTAGANGGA + WATER PALACE

BINTAN

LOMBOK - THE GILI ISLANDS
LOMBOK - THE KUTA LOMBOK AREA

PERAMA SLOWBOAT - FLORES/KOMODO/LOMBOK

SERAYA & KANAWA ISLANDS + LABUANBAJO - FLORES



MALAYSIA
Taking it easy on Tioman Island, Malaysia

GORGEOUS TIOMAN ISLAND
CHERATING BEACH
KAPAS ISLAND
LANGKAWI
LANG TENGAH
PERHENTIAN ISLANDS
REDANG ISLAND
SIBU ISLAND



AUSTRALIA


Cruising down Whitsunday Island

CRUISING TROPICAL ISLANDS ON A BUDGET
BUDGET RESORTING ON THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS NTH QLD
SPENDING TIME AT AIRLIE BEACH - NTH QLD
CAPE TRIBULATION - NTH QLD
DUNK ISLAND - NTH QLD
FITZROY ISLAND - CAIRNS -  NTHE QLD
CRUISING THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ON LINERS
BYRON BAY - BEACH PARADISE
NOOSA HEADS - MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE
MAGNETIC ISLAND NTH QLD
TOP END - DARWIN
TOP END - DARWIN BEACHES
TOP END - KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - NITMILUK (KATHERINE) GORGE and KATHERINE TOWN
TOP END - MANDORAH and WAGAIT BEACH
TOP END - MATARANKA THERMAL POOLS
TOP END - THE TIWI ISLANDS



GREECE
Cute church - Naxos

GREEK ISLAND HOPPING


TURKEY

Beach, forest-clad medieval ruins and up-valley budget accommodation at Olympos in Turkey
BUDGET CRUISING AND PARAGLIDING THE TURQUOISE COAST
THE NORTH AEGEAN COAST
THE SOUTH AEGEAN COAST



SPAIN
Looking south to Tossa de Mar
INTRODUCTION
BARCELONA
IBIZA
L'HOSPITALET DE L'INFANT
MALLORCA/MAJORCA
MONTSERRAT

PYRENEES
SAN SEBASTIAN
SITGES
TOSSA DE MAR


USA - SOUTH WEST

THE BEACHES

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

GRAND CANYON TREKKING

YOSEMITE TREKKING



USA - HAWAII

- OAHU'S BEST BEACHES

MAUI'S BEST BEACHES
MAUI: THE ROAD TO HANA
MAUI - HALEAKALA VOLCANO
MAUI - THE IAO VALLEY
MAUI BEST DAYTRIP - LANAI ISLAND

READERS' TRIP REPORTS
Trip reporter Rachael and Andy on Ko Muk

Read the trip reports or submit your own


THE FORUM


Yon Cassie has a lean and hungry look (image Deco Dermots)

Questions, comments, shoot the bull.


GENERAL

Sammy BinLiner steps out to the hot-tub seminar in The Worry Collective

JUST FOR LARFS - PART 1
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 2: STONES FROM THE JOKER IN THE GLASS HOUSE (1 thru 11)
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 3: THE WORRY COLLECTIVE

ABOUT THIS SITE


LADY TEZZA'S TRAVELLING JAPAN

Sumo grand champion Hakuho.

The basics - Osaka - Kyoto - Hiroshima & Himeji - Takayama - Tokyo - Kyushu - Daytrip to Mt Fuji National Park - Accessing your money - Other helpful stuff







Thursday, December 14, 2017

LANAI

VISITED AUGUST 2017

HULOPOE BEACH from the FOUR SEASONS RESORT

My quick visit to LANAI was the best of my 3 weeks on MAUI - and MAUI is not short on great excursions. Every day I went trekking volcano craters, ridge-hiking, jumping into waterfall pools or doing a beach craw, sometimes to key snorkeling spots. But LANAI was my pick.

OVERVIEW
The 6th largest island in HAWAII, LANAI is actually a MAUI sub-district. It is only 9 miles/16km from MAUI'S west coast. Please excuse miss-spelling of KA'ANAPALI. (modified Google Earth image).


LANAI is close to MOLOKAI too. 
Note the relative lack of height on LANAI - it is a former DOME VOLCANO which because of less viscous output tends to spread laterally instead of vertically. Heavy erosion has also reduced height - the central caldera rim has disappeared except in the north-east: LANAI'S highest point is there - at 3370ft/1030m, considerably lower than MAUI'S highest point (10020/3055 although WEST MAUI in image is less at 5786/1764). MOLOKA'I reaches 4961/1512.

This lack of height plus the fact that MAUI shelters it from the wet NORTH-EAST TRADE WINDS means LANAI is a pretty dry island. Indeed lack of water was a big problem during the island's 3 agricultural stages, SUGAR, BEEF CATTLE and PINEAPPLES. None survive today, although at one stage LANAI was the world's leader in island pineapple production and was often called PINEAPPLE ISLAND.


LANAI'S low mound shape as seen from KA'ANAPALI BEACH on MAUI.
Total length is abt 23km/14.2mi in this shot.


This map (might be clearer if you click-expand) gives the impression that there is lots of settlement on LANAI. In fact about the only decent collection of housing/people is at LANAI CITY - those other places are mainly areas of tourist interest:  go there and you are likely to be on your lonesome. Total POPULATION is about 3100. There is one school, one hospital and one traffic light on the island, all in LANAI CITY which has a population of abt 2800. City it aint. 
(image alohaisles.com/)

GETTING THERE
There's a whole bunch of trips out of MAUI which Google will find. But being a bucks-down backpacker I wasn't prepared to spend a bundle on some snorkeling excursion, golfing thing or cross-island scenic trip on off-road bikes/dune buggies/luxury 4wds yada. A dude in my dorm in LAHAINA told me of the LANAI FERRY which will get you across there - after which you can sorta do your own thing. Sounded good.


LAHAINA HARBOUR on the MAUI west coast. EXPEDITIONS LAHAINA ferry to LANAI 
5 departures/returns per day - see website for times.Cost me $60 return from the pier ticket-office but maybe online bookings cost less. I considered $60 GOOD VALUE in my quest to include another island on my TEZZA'S BEACHES AND ISLANDS list - and subsequently EXCELLENT VALUE considering I judged it my #1 day trip.
Note LANAI in background - a bit of telephoto in this shot.


I was expecting a refurbished old-style ferry (LAHAINA is a refurbished old-style whaling/surfer/hippy town) but what we had here is a modern fast catamaran type craft could do the trip in comfort in around 35minutes (these panorama shots click-expand nicely).


On leaving the harbour was this nice view of surfer-dudes working what is known as HARBOUR REEF (HARBOR fer yu Yanks who spell sensibly)
LANAI in background, maybe a bit small - wide-angel in use.


A bit further out, nice view of MAUI WESTERN HIGHLANDS behind LANAI and....


The KA'ANAPALI hotel strip to the north. 
Note calm seas - the straits between the islands are sheltered from the north east trades 95% of days so this is usually a benign crossing.


Day trip snorkeling boats on the approach to NAMELE HARBOUR, no doubt from MAUI - I've read LANAI is a top snorkeling location. I didn't check this area - later had a look at nearby HULOPOE BEACH.

NAMELE HARBOUR
Docked. I've learnt over the years to sit back in my comfy seat and let everyone else "debark". I mean any waiting transport is not gonna take off -why join the slow shuffling lines?


The island shuttle van was waiting outside the pier area to shuttle people to accommodation, the golf course or up to town for $10. 
The driver was a font of information on the island geology, geography and history.


Distance to town is about 10mi/16km and takes 20 mins. The initial climb from the coast to the caldera floor (which is approx 1200-1500ft/370-460m above sea level) is winding and scenic. Once on the.....


....CALDERA FLOOR....
....it was reasonably flat but equally interesting.
This used to be sugar cane land, then cattle ranching and finally the world's biggest pineapple plantation. Doesn't look it here but a lot of the journey was thru very DRY looking country - this is a real rain-shadow area. Despite this the soil is very rich volcanic based - the pineapple people solved the low rainfall problem by planting thousands of those COOK ISLAND PINES you can see - dew from the passing moist trade winds condenses on their needles and drips to ground, apparently increasing the height of the water table by a very useful amount.
None of my pix illustrated the above well, so I pinched this one from  https://holeinthedonut.com/

LANAI CITY....
....is just a town - as said population is about 2800. Straight line distance from northern-most house in image to southern-most is 1.3mi/2.1km.


DOLE PARK


Town central is DOLE PARK, a nice area of grass and Cook Island Pines. There is no shopping center/CBD as such - the park is surrounded by the island's main institutions like the hospital. police station, Dept of Motor Vehicles, the high/elementary school, several churches and banks, plus a couple of small supermarkets with a larger one just a few blocks away.


Also surrounding the park are several cafe/restaurants, craft shops, realters etc - most in converted houses such as the art gallery above.
This place had some real nice stuff:albeit a bit pricey for this bottom-budget backpacker - best value to me was the volunteer staff member, so bored that he kept me busy for 30 minutes with a huge amount of interesting answers to my questions about the island.


Also in a converted cottage - the LANAI ANNEX of the UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII.

LANAI CULTURAL AND HERITAGE CENTER....
....is in a purpose-built structure across the road from the park. This has picture-boards, models, audio-visual stuf, photos, maps yada on the island's history and economic development. I spent nearly an hour in there - a history/culture nerd could stay a lot longer. Admission free.


One of many displays featuring the cattle ranching days


Ditto the pineapple growing days

The geology section had lotsa stuff including this relief model - my arrows show NAMELE HARBOUR and LANAI CITY.

RESIDENTAL AREAS
I spent the last half hour in town wandering the nearby streets - this is the main road heading north-west out of town. Most side streets were a bit narrower, some much narrower - one lane wide .


Just about every house was EARLY PLANTATION STYLE.  Most had been built by the DOLE AGRICULTURAL CORPORATION to house imported workers. For 20s/30s/40s places they were in very good condition - according to my art gallery friend LANAI CITY had been undergoing a REAL ESTATE BOOM because of the high number of mainlanders and people from other Hawaiian islands seeking retirement or holiday homes - once purchased they RENOVATE like crazy, about which the locals say: WE TOO! 
Subsequently LANAI has the highest prices for commensurately sized houses of any small town in the USA (although pretty tame compared to my homeland - $US1 million buys a pretty ordinary house in a pretty ordinary Sydney suburb - not that Sydney is a small town).


It was kinda nice to see even the few new places were being built in the original style. This proposed joint was to be on what looked to be a fire-affected lot. 
There were not many of these new places but my friend told me heaps of the old joints had been extended - keeping with the original plantation style.

BACK IN THE VAN
Then it was into the van which was returning these people to an early afternoon ferry. I was heading to adjacent HULOPOE BEACH - the driver took a detour and dropped me off.
Interestingly one of the passengers in shot was a MAUI resident thinking of retiring to LANAI - had a bunch of questions for the driver.

HULOPOE BEACH....
....is pretty gorgeous. About 450m/490yds long and plenty wide even at the top of the tide, it has clean sand, clear water offshore and faces south-west, meaning it is a lee shore 95% of the time (when the north-east trades are blowing) and so has smooth conditions - the only time you would get waves and chop is during/after the infrequent storms to the south.
It is on FOUR SEASONS LANAI RESORT land (the resort buildings are in background) but the resort welcomes beach visits from outsiders by providing excellent change sheds and picnic facilities this end of the beach. Cynics will say HAWAII'S strict PUBLIC ACCESS TO ALL BEACHES LAW leaves the resort with no option, but it doesn't have to provide and maintain such excellent facilities.
The only reason I didn't give HULOPOE the BEST RESORT BEACH award on my MAUI'S BEST BEACHES PAGE was because the resort itself is somewhat out of the reach of ordinary holiday makers, unlike KA'ANAPALI on MAUI'S west coast (okay, KA'ANAPALI'S resort prices made this cheapskate traveler's eyes bleed - one reason I was staying in a backpacker dorm back in wonderful LAHAINA).


GOOGLE EARTH IMAGE - beach, resort, harbour. I forgot to add a linear scale - it is 920m/1005yds between the placemarkers of the RESORT and HARBOUR.


There were quite a few people in the water the eastern "public" end of the beach, both locals and what appeared to be a day-trip group from MAUI getting some beach and snorkeling time. I took my face mask out - some okay coral and fishies along the western headland just out of left-frame: the reef extending out into the bay under most of those people. With the benign sea conditions I was not surprised by no rip currents etc.
Those are GOLF COURSE CONDOS on the far headland. Most were built by the resort, but mainland showbiz and IT celebrities have constructed their own holiday homes there. LANAI is very big with this group. BILL GATES got married on the 12th hole. LARRY ELISON of ORACLE bought 98% of the island off THE DOLE CORPORATION and redeveloped the FOUR SEASONS resorts. He has also spent a lot of money on LANAI CITY facilities.


The western end of the beach had sunlounge-umbies set up for FOUR SEASON guests. A benign-slope walking track leads up to the resort - less than 5 minutes. A couple of beach attendants for guests but note - NO LIFEGUARDS (no doubt the beach guys would have rescue/CPR skills - hell I have and I don't work in that industry) although the gentle surf would preclude the necessity. Irregardless - keep a close eye on yer kids: they can get into trouble in the BATH, let alone a small-wave/currentless beach.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT
After the beach I wandered up to the resort which seems to have no restrictions on outsider access. Recently refurbished by LARRY ELISON, it reeked of UNDERSTATED ELEGENCE, whereas most of the hotels back on MAUI did the overstated flashness routine. Costs are mind boggling - check the booking sites: it's hard to get a room at the above joint under $US1000 a night. The beach hotels on MAUI go for $300-500. Strewth, even the latter is more than my WEEKLY teachers' pension.


Part of the cool pool area


I grabbed a beer at the pool-side bar. Interestingly, beverage and food prices seemed not too much higher than main street places back at LAHAINA - and those don't have the outlook or cachet of this place.


Sweet


FOUR SEASONS LANAI RESORT from GOOGLE EARTH. Golf condos to left.



I MISS THE FERRY!!
I gave myself 40 minutes to get back to the 1630 ferry - 10 across the beach and 30 via the coastal "track" which I'd read had some good photo opportunities...


....which was not wrong. The resort/golf course headland from towards the end of the opposite western headland. A little further on....


....the often photographed PHU'U PEHE (SWEETHEART ROCK)

BACK ON THE TRACK (yellow)
Maybe I spent too much time searching for the best camera angle. But my main trouble was I'd last checked Google Earth about a month before - thought the coastal route (yellow) was only a little more than the direct road link (blue) - turned out abt 1500m vs 650m and although starting well deteriorated to bush-bashing the last 500m. I HATE BUSH BASHING on account....


....my old shins are kinda thin-skinned and get knocked about easily by sharp undergrowth.


Consequently the ferry had just left the pier when I finally made it.
No worries, there was a later service at 1845 and my dance-card for back in LAHAINA was empty, so I strolled back to the beach on the direct road route (less than 15 minutes - DUH!), had a beautiful swim/relax and made it back to the pier in plenty of time.


The 1845 arrives.

1930 LAHAINA HARBOUR
"AS THE SUN SINKS SLOWLY IN THE WEST WE BID FAREWELL TO THE LANAI FERRY" to paraphrase JAMES A FITZPATRICK: "TRAVELTALK MOVIE SHORTS" 1929 on.
Actually we are bidding HELLO to mainland MAUI (um ALOHA may seem more fitting but it also means farewell).
Keen-eyed readers might notice we are heading OUT of harbour - because we were doing a short MAN OVERBOARD PRACTICE DRILL: something any safety freaks will appreciate.

So there you have it trendsetters. I urge you to make room for a LANAI visit during your MAUI stay - it looks and feels so different to the bigger island: relaxation personified. HALEAKALA and the ROAD TO HANA might be more the 2 must not misses to gain a good idea of MAUI but I found LANAI even more enjoyable.



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IF YOU SEE MISTAKES OR HAVE EXTRA INFORMATION PLEASE POST BELOW. 
BUT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE ASK THEM IN THE FORUM SECTION WHICH I CHECK MOST DAYS WHEN NOT TRAVELING - WHEREAS I REVISIT THESE INDIVIDUAL LOCATION PAGES ONLY OCCASIONALLY.