Mike Chowla


Maui is what people expect when they think of Hawaii, especially the resort areas. The resort areas are in the rain shadow of the mountains and thus are sunny and dry. On west Maui, there are miles of the white sand, palm tree lined beaches that everyone envisions of when they think of Hawaii. Maui gives the feeling of civilization with its high rise resort buildings and multiple McDonalds.

The road to Hana is the major thing for tourists to do, outside of the beach. In my opinion, it's over-rated. The main road to Hana has the reputation for being a difficult drive but I found it more tedious than difficult. It has lots of one lane bridges but driving it didn't take any particular skill. It's just slow and tedious. Instead of taking the main road back from Hana, we continued on the backroad which traverses the South portion of the island. This portion of the island is wild and beautiful. For the first half of the journey, the road is terrible with large unpaved sections and often very narrow. It's passible by regular cars. However, it's not a road that's capable of the heavy traffic due to long one lane sections so part me feels I should tell people not to drive it. But that southern part of the island has a wild beauty which is the best thing I saw on the island.

I still can't quite make up my mind of what I think of Maui. It's too developed and commercial for my taste. But it can be quite lovely too. I really enjoyed snorkelling off of the beach. Like I said above, for most people who are looking for a resort centered experience, it's probably the best island to visit. But if you want an experience where you feel like you've left civilization for a while, Maui is not it.