Take a step back in time - visit Hana, Maui
February 6, 2009 · Print This Article
Hana is a sleepy little village located on the back side or east side of Maui shrouded in the mists of ancient Polynesian song and story. Safe anchorage for canoes, fertile soil and good fishing made it a natural haven for early Pacific navigators.
When you travel to Hana, you are stepping back in time and visiting a part of the island that few tourists rarely get to enjoy. The drive to Hana is absolutely lovely and an experience in itself. The residents of Hana (and Maui for that matter) have no intention of making the treck any easier as this is a way of protecting “old Hawaii”. However, it is worth the effort.
You will be traversing over 54 one way bridges and 600 hairpin turns (including roads so narrow you should honk your horn as you travel around the corner just in case someone is coming from the other direction) it takes to travel 34 miles to Hana town. Waterfalls, bamboo forests, banana trees, lilikoi, guavas and papayas and every color of green will greet you as you make your way down the road. You will also enjoy the shorebreaks, views from cliffside vantage points, and waves crashing along the craggy shorelines.
Plan on spending the day driving to Hana as the trip will take you at least 3 hours if you dont make any photo and/or hiking stops. Also, there aren’t any little cafes, etc along the way so I suggest stopping off at a deli, purchasing an inexpensive cooler, loading it up w/ice, sodas, snacks and perhaps sandwiches.
While you are loading up your cooler, keep in mind there are very few restaurants in Hana. Hotel Hana Maui offers a wonderful happy hour as they will have beautiful hula and song. The 2nd (and only other choice) is outdoor dining at the Hana Ranch. I like their breakfasts of fish, eggs and rice (very local).
The key to Hana is take your time getting there - it really is the time to “stop and smell the flowers!” Have a fabulous time - you get to experience old Hawaii - no golf courses, tv or radio!
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