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Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

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Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

We're a group of three couples planning a trip for Sept. 2014 (yeah, I know that's a long ways out, but you don't know these people). We think we've narrowed location down to Kauai's northwest coast, about which we can find plenty of info, or Molokai, about which we can't find much. The two big questions are:

1. Considering weather and that we all like to snorkel, which part of the island should we be looking at for a September stay. We've found a couple places near Waialua that look great, but I remember looking across from our condo on the NW coast of Maui this past May, and seeing all those clouds stacked up against the sea cliffs on Molokai's NE coast.

2. What's the straight poop about snorkeling on Molokai? Malinowski's guide for Maui, Molokai, and Lanai says you really have to get in a boat to find good snorkeling on Molokai, which seems to contradict the few posts in the recent snorkeling thread on this forum. If I can say with a straight face to others in the group that snorkeling at Kumimi Beach is as good as at Tunnels and Ke'e on Kauai, we're in!!

Mahalo for any help.

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1. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

I have never snorkeled off of Moloka'i........but I know nobody says it's 'great' like Maui. Is it close to Kauai? Maybe....

Have the other couples been to Hawaii? If not, I would take Kauai. If so, what kind of travelers are they?Moloka'i doesn't work for everybody, and it can be a major culture shock for many.

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2. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

Yes, snorkeling on Molokai is better than Tunnels or Ke'e. You probably know what a low bar I think that is :-)))

I have enjoyed my two stays on Molokai but probably won't go back. OTOH I try to go to Kauai 1-2 times per year. Molokai just doesn't do it for me. Now if you want great snorkeling but the feel of a nearly deserted island, Lanai is the place to go. I love it as much as I do Kauai but for very different reasons. And you'll never have to fight for a parking place :-)

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Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

Thank you so much for the insight, swmarket. Yes, the other couples have been to Hawaii, but only Maui. And then, staying at a motel in Kihei (nothing wrong with that; just giving you an idea of their perspective). Can you please expand some on the "culture shock". Does that have to do with the lack of commercialism and tourism, and the general pace of life, or are you referring to stink-eye (or worse)?

Edited to add thanks for your comments too, Shea. I'm getting the idea that I need to steer this bunch towards Kaua'i. ;-)

Edited: 10 August 2013, 03:43
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4. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

Moloka'i is just not the "friendly Isle" it once was. Sure-for those who've been going for years (like our beloved Dolphin) it always will be. But the island has the worst employment rates, a lot of drug problems, and the problems associated with that. Is it a terrible, horrible place---NO--but it requires a delicate approach, so to speak. And even then, some people come away saying they felt unwelcome and didn't want to ever go back.

I think your friends are ready for Kauai..........but not Molokai. Pardon my blunt words, but I won't gloss things over just to make it look good.

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5. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

Exactly the kind of honesty I was hoping for, swmarket. Thank you so much! (And my wife, who's heart has been stolen by the northwest Kaua'i coast, thanks you too. :-))

Edited: 10 August 2013, 04:01
pzp
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6. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

"Friendly Isle" is a misnomer for Moloka`i. Nowhere else in Hawai`i have we been treated as badly. And yes, we do know how to behave; we live here.

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7. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

I never got any unfriendly vibes but I went almost 20 years ago and almost 10 years ago, so things may well have changed, and I certainly trust sw and pzp's experiences. I just personally couldn't get into it. The snorkeling was just ok, the hiking not nearly as good as Kauai, there's no decent restaurants. I don't mind cooking and did, but at least a couple of nights I would have liked a break. Papohaku is a great beach but was never swimmable when I was there. Kumimi is the only halfway decent snorkeling. Visibility isn't very good anywhere. When Molokai Ranch was there, there was more to do and a cool place to stay, now, meh. I've been reading the occasional TRs that are posted to see what's up and they certainly don't inspire me to rush out and plan a trip there.

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8. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

I was thinking of you, to some degree, PZP.

I haven't been over there in years either. The most priceless memory I have was doing a historical survey with my mom many years ago. That was something I treasure.

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9. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

More good insights and perspectives....thanks, again. For whatever question may have remained, that seals the deal; we're (happily) headed to Kaua'i with this group. Have to say though, it is a bit disheartening to read that even Kama'aina are treated badly or made to feel unwelcome on Moloka'i. Not wanting to speculate or open a can of worms, but do you think that has anything to do with the Hawaiian sovereignty movement?

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10. Re: Molokai vs. Kauai's North Shore

Aloha,

I understand that the Molokai guys dont like the Oahu guys beacause we are such great dancers.

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