Excerpts from 750-word article


Ponce de Leon was way off course in seeking the Fountain of Youth on the Florida coast. He should have crossed the Pacific to Hawaii. There, as every visitor knows, you shed ten years on arrival in Honolulu when a garland of orchids is draped around your neck, and the donor whispers a seductive "aloha" in your ear. It gets better. Next morning you buy a flamboyant shirt or muumuu and learn to heed islanders who tell you to "hang loose". From then on stress is something you heard about once, long ago and far away..........


Sadly, far too many visitors arriving on Oahu from the mainland use its capital, Honolulu, as no more than a stop-over. All too soon they move on to what they perceive as the 'real Hawaii'. But Oahu is the real Hawaii. Four-fifths of the state's population live here. It is your initiation into a world of Polynesian culture wrapped in American know-how. Landmarks are as famous as Diamond Head, Waikiki and Pearl Harbour. Here you can shop in bazaars for Polynesian crafts and in modern malls, attend a beach luau or a dinner show featuring top Hawaiian entertainers; stay in modest accommodation close to Waikiki Beach or a luxurious hotel of international acclaim.

Honolulu's most famous beach is Waikiki, where you can rent a surfboard, ride in an outrigger, a canoe or Atlantis submarine. Or simply set up your sunshade on the sand and enjoy. In the Waikiki area, and around the island, public transportation is TheBus, a bargain at U.S. $2 a ride.