Aloha from the beautiful, serene and adventurous island of Maui!
This here is my photo diary No.1 from my week in Maui, spent with some of the most awesome, talented, fun-loving people: Ayla, Nikita and Sam. It was a week of International photo shooting fun, we hiked, drove, and adventured all around the island! Being this was my 3rd time back in Maui, below is an overview of things I've done and may suggest for anyone who is curious about visiting Maui!
Something new that I've done differently for this trip was my take on videography! I gathered a collection of footage from each day! (Which is super new for me!) Click below for my youtube playlist and you can watch some funny moments, gorgeous scenery, BTS of photoshoots, food porn and more of the 8 day adventure!
(There's even one where I decided to check off yoga via 12,000 ft high on a tiny ledge!) #abitproudofthatone
BADASS Coffee & Co: Majority of my mornings began with a delicious cup of Vanilla Macadamia nut coffee and a stroll to the beach. Our generous hosts from vrbo gave us a lovely little sample gift bag, made up with some of the highlights of Maui and got us hooked to the incredible aroma and smooth taste from the moment we arrived! (Thank you Diane + Cam!)
#Floorfinds became a thing for this trip with how much cool little things (snails, cool shells and rocks) Ayla kept finding whenever she walked around... while I had a #PumeriaAHH for whenever I saw the flowers on the ground.
Day 2: First day of Adventure + Beach time
Twin Falls : This was photoshoot spot #1. It was about 15 mins in on the road to Hana, and offered a short hike, chance to explore mini waterfalls and some cliff jumping opportunities. They offer tours aswell depending on the seasons/weather and their Farmstand offers delicious coconut chips, banana bread, fresh coconuts and more!
*Note: BRING BUG SPRAY! The ladies & I got murdered with 20+ bites each!
**PPS: If you love Pineapple, always go for the farm stands/farmers market (they're fresher + sweeter!) instead of buying them at chain grocery stores there.
PAIA - Fish Market : This place was recommended to me by quite a few people and I see why; they offer an incredible array of ocean catches, we tried 4 dishes and got ourselves some cold beer ... all the dishes were fabulous, from ahi tuna, salmon and ono' they were all done incredible good. Fresh, well seasoned, cooked right, great portions + price! So even I would recommend everyone who stops in Paia to give this place a go! *Note: Lunch is super duper busy, so go before or after if you plan on sitting in for the noms.
Mama's Fish House: is a famous ocean front restaurant in Maui, it's a must go for anyone's first time (imho), being they offer a lovely menu for fresh catches which can change daily + a breathe taking view. Their Polynesian dishes are all impeccably plated, tasty, fresh and flavourful. The place is definitely on the pricer side, however for a special trip out to Maui - this place is absolutely worth it. *Make reservations!*
Day 4: Coconut's Fish Cafe, Farmers Market, Sugar Babe/ABC store run
Coconut Fish Cafe: is a friendly family styled restaurant which offers up a great healthy menu of fresh, ono (delicious) food. My friends & I really enjoyed their fish tacos, ahi poke and fish salad. (Being this is casual-fun dining, the price is also very affordable to quality of food here!)
Sugar Beach Bake House: This bakehouse smelled absolutely divine when Ayla & I stepped in and be awe by the large amount of fresh baked goods. Sugar Beach prides themselves with using the freshest ingredients inspired by local flavours and produce, they offer delicious mini pies/cakes, banana bread & cookies! (The banana bread + Banana cream pie + cheesecake was a great treat!)
Day 5: Haleakala Mountain for 5am sunrise, 12,000 ft Yoga
Itinerary: Wake up at 4am, get dressed in our warmest items and drive 2 hours out to Haleakalā! (Why?) well because we take sunrises in Maui really serious!
Haleakalā makes up 75% of the island of Maui. This volcano is located on the East side of Maui, known as 'House of the Sun'.
At 10,023 ft high, Nikita & I checked off a decent yoga session on a sight ledge!
(Thank you so much to Ayla + Sam for capturing it all on video and photos!)
*TIP: Check weather/sunrise or sunset times, on avg the drive is 1.5-2 hrs from Kahului area and because it is so high up - dress warm! Bring water, gravol (car sick/elevation sick) and snacks if you plan to stay up there for awhile. There are tons of places which offers bus tours... however I found this being an excursion which could easily be done if you've already rented a car, so unless you plan on getting super adventurous (ie: biking tours), stick with your loved ones and drive up!
"Some moments take my breathe away, and this was one of them.
Theres nothing like being on top of the world with those I love." /e
Day 6: Road to Hana, hiking, waterfalls, photoshoots,
Paia for dinner at Cafe Mambo!
Road to Hana: is a 2.5-3 hr beautiful coastal road connecting Kahului to Hana. It's known to be a difficult drive because of its sharp 180 turns, 59 bridges, 620 curves and abundant amount of 'share the road' narrowed pathways. However being I am officially a Road to Hana surviver, I really don't think it's that bad. Just stay alert, focus, don't tailgate and avoid speeding. (aka: drive responsibly) ..
(+) I recommend trip planning for max time + explore efficiency. The first time my friends & I did this road we had poor planning and ended up turning back because it got dark! I'd recommend this as an early morning drive! (:
There are many adventure opportunities on the road, including 'Twin Falls' as I've mentioned earlier in this post, however if you plan on hitting them all - I highly suggest consider staying over night to do that. For this time we opt for a day trip, we managed to hit the Pipiwai Trail (Haleaka National Park) - a very simple, beautiful hike through forest, Bamboo, reaching to Waimoku Falls, and cooled off in the Oheo Pools (also known as 'The 7 Sacred Pools').
On the road to Hana, if you love Banana bread... be sure to make some fruit stand stops and grab a loaf, they are fresh baked daily - super delicious!
Cafe Mambo (Paia): A funky decor'd place we walked by while we were in Paia, the duck fajita's caught Nikita's attention so we decided to try them out. We ordered their loco moco (popular local dish consisting of rice, gravy, burger patty and eggs!) and duck + tofu fajitas! All items were well portioned to price and tasty. I loved our table being right by the opened windows, it was awesome to feel the warmth from the outside and hear the hustle and bustle of the night life in Paia.
Day 7: Whale watching, packing, Lahaina - Tattoo's + piercings/Shaved Ice/Shopping
Ululani Shave Ice + Lahaina Luna Cafe
Luna Cafe: This spot's crazy fries are bomb! Their motto is 'simple dishes made gourmet' and I can high5* to that! Everything is made fresh to order and their food is a lovely offering of asian inspired dishes and local Hawaiian ones. Being they're situated right next to Ululani's, our crew would usually grab some mahi mahi, tacos or hot dog and then have the shave ice afterwards.
Shave Ice: THE BEST shaved ice I've had up to date is from Ululani's. The dessert comes in a cute colourful cup, filled with soft fluffy ice + an incredible array of fresh tasting toppings, and house made mochi was perfect for a post tattoo/piercing treat!
Maui 2016 was a wonderful adventurous trip. T'was a beautiful blend between spontaneity/fun, bonding, food and healing. On this trip I had the chance to get to know my friends on a much deeper level and I feel beyond blessed to have started my year with these three. Cheers to wanderluster's who understand my soul and dire love for travel!
(+) there will be more photo posts of Maui 2016 to come, I've been hopping all over the place and working quite a bit this year, so in terms of content update and write up's I'm currently on a catch up/re-organize phase on Lov3stia. Thankfully I have friends who have been asking me about 'WHAT SHOULD I DO IN MAUI!?" enough times for the past few months, so that I finally got myself cornered in my writing mode today and committed to not getting up until this part one is up and published!
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