We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
462 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Kauai Trip report for day 0 - April 16 2013 and day 1 April 17 2013

See my trip reports from Maui that I posted in Maui forum.


Pictures for days 0, 1 below.

Please fee free to give me your critique and mention your favorites directly on google or as comments here.


This is my first trip to island and so I would need some help to identify the aerial views in the album especially the remote areas.

Also because there are so many waterfalls I am not sure of their names and location.

Our flights from Maui to Honolulu and Honolulu to Kauai were on time and we reached at 5:15pm.

In Honolulu we actually stayed on aircraft and just moved into our new seat assignments.

The pilot put us down hard. Seeing the island from the airplane window my wife asked me if any movies were shot here and not wanting to ruin the suspense I told her that I am not sure - LOL.

I got my rental from Avis and was glad to get Ford fusion with lot of space (convertible in Maui).

We checked into our hotel in Lihue and drove to Poipu for watchign sunset.

We reached just before sun went down but enjoyed the magicient display of colors that followed.

I have seen many sunrises and sunsets in my life at various places but have never see a sunset so vibrant.

The colors were different - more purple than orange.

After the sunset we drove back to Lihue, shopped for groceries and went to bed early.

I kept helicopter tour on day 2 as a secret but I think when I told my wife we need to be ready by 8AM, she somehow knew where we were goinng (wife always knows). Our trip checkin was at 8AM and we just made it in time thanks to close location of airport. We chose doors off option. The weather was partly cloudy and we went clockwise aroudn the island. Since the sun was rising in the east many pictures were backlit and hence dark. Also canyon was in shade and I had tough time capturing photos. But I managed to get some clean one by looking east. Later afternoon trip is probably better to get pictures but it depends on weather. I had expected to see Napali coast again but we would not get another look rest of the trip with cloudy skies and lookouts from Kokee park fogged out. So I am glad we went on this trip.

Some highlights - Jurassic falls, side trip to watch whales along Napali coast, many waterfalls, Kee and Tunnels.

The ride was smooth and the whole experience was amazing. When we reached Jurassic falls my wife was overjoyed (Jurassic park being her favorite movie). Later she told me she wants to land there on next visit but I am not sure if the Robinsons would allow us. This was teh favorite part of the whole trip for my wife and after seeing the island in 1 hour, none of the other sights would impress her. Ideally it would be nice to go on this tour on the last day as a grand finale but I planned it on first day so we could reschedule if there were problems with weather or other logistics.

After the the heclicopter, we drove to Dani's (Lihue) and had a nice breakfast. I would highly recommend this - it is fast, has a varierty of items. We ate papaya first time on this trip and it was so sweet and delicious. I should try and eat more fruit on my next visit.

This would be busiest day on the island. Since we were staying north in Princeville for next 4 days we wanted to see south shore sights. It ended up being a busy day. We visited Kauai Coffee first then proceeded to drive up on Waimea cayon drive (use this drive and not the other one). We stopped at various lookouts but by the time we reached Kokee all lookouts were fogged there. We should have tried to reach there earlier by skipping all the morning stops and visiting them in afternoon.

We waited around the Pu'u o Kila lookout where we met a lovely couple who are visting Kauai 6th time. They gave us some tips and showed us video of a whale breaching outside their condo in Poipu.

Seeing no change in cloud cover we drove down and spent the evening at Polihale state beach. I know the beach is vast and has amazing beach but the road is horrible. I would recommend skipping this and going to Poipu or doing this just once. After the sunset we were so hungry because we skipped lunch after the brunch.

Being a huge fan of Thai food (already ate at 3 different Thai places in Maui) we drove to Toi's Thai Kitchen in Eleele Shopping Center. I would warn against going to this place at all costs. The food was horrible - mushy rice with deep fried chicken is not Thai fied rice. There is nothign Thai about the two dishes we ordered. Calling it chinese fried rice is also an insult to China as well. Being very hungry and not wanting to send the dish back, we tried to eat it but finished only half of it. They do not even take credit so I had to go out get cash to pay them. I tried to tell them that we did not liek teh food but they blamed it on rice. I just wanted to get out of there so I just got out of there. My wife was so disppointed with me and more than the hunger that hurt me. After a wonderful day our evening was runied by this horrible place and they did not even have dessert to wash off the bad taste. This is the worst restaurant I have been to in the past 5 years.

We then drove (exhausted and hungry) straight to Princeville after brief stop at macdonalds to wash off bad taste with yogurt parfait. It was almost midnight by the time we reached our condo but were refreshed seeing the stars and the ocean from our lanai.

Level Contributor
9,385 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Love your pictures, especially the sunsets. Thank you for sharing; look forward to more.

Nova Scotia Canada
Level Contributor
658 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Your pictures are wonderful-we returned to Nova Scotia from Kauai April 26 after spending 8 days there-did not manage to go on helicopter ride-chicken I guess although we are avid photographers and loved our time there.

Level Contributor
850 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Beautiful photos, keep em coming! On-island in 6 days and counting!

Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
Level Contributor
17,871 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Aloha from Kaua'i!

Glad you had such a good time here and enjoyed yourselves.

Toi's Thai Kitchen is a favorite spot here for many - wonderful family owns it and we especially enjoy that you can get anything vegetarian on the menu. Sorry that you had an unpleasant experience there but that is not the norm in my experience of going there - we love it!

Mahalo for your Trip Report - hope you can come back here someday!

Malama Pono,


Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
462 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

@koloagirl - I understand that many like Toi's kitchen. May be they were having bad day but they did not handle my complaint in a professional manner. I am not a picky eater but because the food was not tolerable, I had to vent my frustration.

Level Contributor
7,159 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Loved your Kauai trip report and photos...Kauai looks stunning.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
462 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Thanks for the feedback folks.

This is my first trip to island and so I would need some help to identify some of the aerial views in the album especially the remote areas. Many of the mountains may not have names but I am sure the beaches and waterfalls have names.

Troutdale, Oregon
Level Contributor
332 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Your shots from the helicopter were GORGEOUS! I'm also partial to your last photo in Princeville as well. Love your night time shots! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing the rest.

Level Contributor
845 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

Your pictures really are very good!

Buford, Georgia
Level Contributor
3,593 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Long trip reports - first visit to Kauai

wondered where you Kauai vacation review and photos were. Looks like a great start!

Edited: 06 May 2013, 05:35