7 Curiosities about Hawaii (Island Kauai) that might surprise you

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I spent exactly 10 days on the oldest island of Hawaii – on KAUAI. And I didn´t spend those days in hotel resorts but at places of locals thanks to couchsurfing. I also hitchhiked and camped a lot. That is why I got the opportunity to learn a lot about this gorgeous island called “Garden Island”. And in this article I would like to share with you 7 curiosities about Kauai that I find interesting.

1 – Roosters & chickens on each corner

Believe it or not but on each corner you can find roosters and chickens. Literally everywhere. On beaches, streets, in front of bars, on isolated paths, hiking trails, in the trees. Simply unbelievable. When I ask locals why and how that is possible, most of them told me it is connected with a huge hurricane which happened in 1992. They don´t know how or why it has happened but since then roosters are literally everywhere on Kauai.

And trust me it is not the best feeling being waken up at 2am by crowing of roosters while camping on precious Hawaiian beach. 🙂

Chickens and roosters everywhere …

2 – Hawaiian language is disappearing

In 10 days I met only 1 person who could actually speak Hawaiian language. Unfortunately this language is slowly disappearing from its culture and the only phrases used on Kauai are ALOHA (hello) and MAHALO (thanks). Locals claim that their parents or grandparents were able to speak Hawaiian, however, present locals were taught only English at school and also English was spoken at their homes. I find it very sad that a language is disappearing from its own culture. I suggest that in about 100 years there might be no one who will be able to speak Hawaiian.

3 – Buildings lower than palm trees

You will not find any higher building than a palm tree on Kauai. Firstly I read about it in  a book of Lonely Planet but then I started noticing that when I got there. Small one floor wooden houses are usually built on Kauai, sometimes double floors but you won´t find any higher building over there, and definitely no skyscrapers.    

4 – In 2 hours around the whole island

From the most western part of the island – POLIHALE – to the most northern part (now accessible) – HANALEI BAY – you can get in 2 hours by car (without any traffic jam of course). Kauai is super small and you can simply go around it in few hours. However, don´t be fooled by its size. There are so many activities which can be done on this island. 10 days on Kauai was definitely not enough for me.

Island is small and huge at the same time 🙂

5 – Weather gets crazy on Kauai

Man would guess that on such a small island the weather would be the same everywhere. Mistake! Probably it is because of the mountains in the North, but it is usually super sunny in the South and super rainy in the North. So if you plan camping, I do recommend staying in the South where you won´t avoid sunshine while on the same day you could get super wet from the rain in the North.

In the South it can be sunny, in the North super rainy at the same time 🙂

6 – Shaka greeting

Have you heard about so called “shaka” greeting? It´s hand greeting while extending your thumb and little finger and at the same time holding the three middle fingers curled. It is also called ” hang loose”. This gesture symbolizes “aloha spirit” and may mean hello, good-bye, thanks, no problem. Everyone on Kauai greets others with “shaka” greeting, especially if someone does you a favour. It´s a cute gesture and visible on each corner of Kauai.

Shaka greeting with Happy people 🙂

7 – No plastic bags on Kauai

I cannot be sure about this fact for 100% but only bags I got when I did groceries (especially in Big Save chains) were made of paper. Even after buying some souvenirs in Koloa, it was all packed in paper bags. I believe that people on Kauai try to protect its environment and its beautiful nature. Because the whole island is about nature, green mountain hills, rivers, beaches. They protect what´s worth …

View from the Kalalau Lookout

So in 10 days spent on Kauai I had a chance to learn a lot. I found out that nowadays so called “hula hula” dance is a simple tourist attraction for people staying in hotel resorts. I found out that there are no more than 10 000 people living in one town. That nightlife almost doesn´t exist in most of the towns of Kauai. That there are no promenades, bars or restaurant on beaches. That after you land to Kauai there will be pleasant Hawaiian music waiting for you at the airport. I found out that many strangers will say HI or ALOHA to you. I learned that Hawaii is not only about luxurious vacations in hotels but also about adventurous backpacking, hitchhiking, hiking and camping. Kauai is small paradise on Earth and you can find more information about this Garden Island on Kauai.com.     

So dear MiliMundo readers, if you want to find out more about Hawaii, sign up below and all the articles will come straight to your email. And trust me, I  am planning to write many articles. About financial budget, itineraries, Kauai people, my personal experiences …

Mahalo for reading and sharing my article. 🙂

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7 Curiosities about Hawaii (Island Kauai) that might surprise you
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4 Responses

  • #1 false. #2 false. #4 Kilauea is Kauai’s true north, not Hanalei. #5 Kaua’i has 7 distinct micro-climates. While the north shore is wetter than the south, it’s not SUPER rainy. #6 SOME people greet each other with Shaka. Lastly, having been born and raised on Kaua’i and kanaka maoli, I have NEVER heard our traditional dance referred to as “hula hula”. It most definitely is not only performed for tourists; with thousands of practitioners on this and the other islands of Hawai’i. There are several restaurants with bars located on the beaches. Happy you enjoyed our most precious island home. Me Ke Aloha Pumehana.

    • Well, a bit of critical comment but still thank you. My article is the result of my 10 day stay and my first impressions on Kauai, I am not an expert about this island but I wanted to point out what I found interesting in those 10 days … And honestly #1 is TRUE – roosters have been everywhere 😉 And most of the beaches I have been to do NOT have any promenades or bars which is amazing (Polihale, Kekaha, Salt Pond, Lyndgate, Harbor, Hanalei beach) 🙂

      • In addition to being not true, #2 is a bit of an insensitive/ ignorant comment due to the history of the Hawaiian language. As is the comment about hula- for many people hula is spiritual. While the comment is critical, it’s constructive. You should take it to improve your content instead of spreading misinformation (especially since you were only on Kaua’i for 10 days, there’s a lot to learn 😉 )

        • You are right, also thank you for this comment. When I asked people on Kauai why their language is disappearing (or why they don´t speak it), not many people could explain it properly … As I said before, my article is a summary of my 10 day stay and its purpose was to highlight mainly the positive things about Kauai 🙂 I didn´t want to insult anyone.

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