Tourism in Hawaii is one of the main industries – unless you are on Molokai Island. The saying “One of these is not like the other” kept running through my head my first few days on Molokai as it’s nothing like it’s other island siblings – and of course – that’s why I loved it.
I spent my last week on the “Friendly Island” soaking up the culture and sun of Hawaii on the little and relatively unknown island of Molokai. There’s only 1 hotel and 2 liquor licenses on the whole island to put things in perspective.
Tourism seems sort of like an afterthought there – but don’t take that to mean there isn’t anything to do. There’s plenty to do if you are looking for a relaxing cultural holiday. It’s home to the tallest sea cliffs in the world, miles of empty beautiful white sand beaches, waterfalls hikes, and and you can visit the old leper colony of Kalaupapa, now a National Historic Park.
The week included hiking, kayaking, cultural presentations, hot bread runs, mule riding, and a few history lessons. However the most important part of my week was meeting the people and families of Molokai. There’s a lot to this island if you just slow down, listen, and be willing to talk story.
I love a place so slowed down and unpopulated that grass grows in the middle of the road.
The view from my lanai at the one hotel on the island. So basically i have the best hotel view on the entire island.
The west end of Molokai is the dry side of the island. Spent the day driving around the beautiful and empty beaches.
Cheesecake with fresh mango sauce. Oh so worth it at Hotel Molokai!
The ancient Hawaiians were aware that without breath there was no life so they adopted a greetingwhen meeting each other called Ha – meaning breath of life. Foreheads and noses together and inhale. Better and more meaningful than a handshake!
Shady bread. Do the hot bread run after 9pm in #Molokai – go down a back alley behind the town bakery and order your loaf of Hawaiian sweet bread with fillings like cinnamon and butter for $7. Sometimes the best things are the hardest to get to – or in this case – find.
The mule ride to the remote village of Kalaupapa was a nail biting 2 hour ride descending the tallest sea cliffs in the world. What an adventure!
Molokai sunset – pretty in pink.
If you were in Molokai this weekend you could take a swim in a waterfall. Sound tempting? Our Halawa Valley hike ended here for a dip. Wish all hikes had this ending!
She told me she used to come to this spot as a young girl and practice her hula and oli (a chant of long phrases in a single breath) here. It was great practice to try to raise her volume against the power of the wind gusting up the valley. Not to mention that it is a stunning and moving view.
I love hidden beach trails like this. It leads to Papohaku Beach in Molokai. A huge and practically empty white sand beach
Disclosure: I was a guest of Molokai Tourism during my time on the island. However all opinion here are my own.
Sherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She’s a co-founder of Briefcasetobackpack.com, a website offering career break travel inspiration and advice.
Additionally, she runs an around the world travel blog writing about her travel and expat adventures at Ottsworld.com.com.