Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii is the 50th state of the US composed mainly of volcanic islands. Also the very last state declared as the US territory in late 1950’s. We were on the island called Maui. Many travel magazines have described Maui as the paradise on Earth. Precisely the reason I wanted to explore this region. Like many places I have visited, Hawaii had been on my list for the longest time. The state of Hawaii has multiple islands, we chose Maui – because of its natural beauty. If you are looking for adventure, Maui is just the island for you; to hike, zip-line, do many other adventure sports along with some awesome water activities.

75% of Maui island is covered by the dormant volcanic mountain called Haleakala. It’s believed, Haleakala is in fact a mix of two volcanic mountains. This mountain is on the east side of Maui. All the touristic activities take place on the west and south side.  Eastern part of Maui, is usually cloudy, rainy but the west and south side is almost always sunny and the eastern mountains also block the wind so tourists can have the most ideal weather experience on Maui.

Maui, Hawa...Hawaii
Clean streets of Maui, Hawaii

One of the first things we did as soon as we arrived was attended Luau. It was a buffet at a resort in South Maui, Wailea – an event full of music, dance and orchids showcasing Polynesian culture. This is a must do to experience Hawaiian-Polynesian culture.

WEATHER
It was on average 82 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 28 degrees Celsius) on the island in February 2016. Everyone here surfs. When it’s a day off or a weekend, all they do is surf. Locals’ main activities are all water activities, everyone here has a perfectly toned body.

I recommend at least a week-long stay. Rent a car. It’s relatively easy to drive around.

PLACES

West Maui:  Lahaina
West Maui’s Lahaina area has a few awesome museums where you can learn about the history of Hawaii and its people. Interesting thing I found out about this state; after becoming a part of the US in late 50s – Hawaii’s own Polynesian culture started deteriorating. Future generations would only speak English, their native tongue was slowly disappearing. It wasn’t until early 2000, that Hawaiians deliberately made an attempt to revive their culture. For a state that seemed to start late, I was very impressed by their heritage preservation efforts. People here are multi-lingual, they have very well adapted to the American setting, keeping their culture in tact – also very cleverly integrating it with tourism.

Lahaina, yellow bus
Lahaina

PARKING (West Maui)
Parking can be a big issue in Lahaina.
Parking tip:> There are plenty of free public parking lots in Lahaina. But if you can’t find one. Right between the intersection of Dickenson St/Luakinu St and Dickenson St/Waine’e St you can find ‘Republic parking’; for 3 – 8 hrs it costs $5. If you park just a block ahead (closer to the main Lahaina market) It costs $5 for 1-2 hrs [2016 rate].

Lahaina is a great area to walk around, it is one of the main tourist areas on Maui. Awesome places to dine, one of which is, Cool Cat Cafe: – I recommend: Blue suede shoes cheese burgers – for the lovers of blue cheese burgers.
Best beach is in the Kaanapali area. About a few minutes (drive) north of Lahaina (although technically the same area). Kaanapali has a big mall (Whalers village) where you can park your car but it’s expensive. We were lucky enough to find a public parking spot, which is right next to the mall. If you get confused, ask the vehicle ticket person at the mall to point you to the public parking space.

South Maui: Kihei
Our hotel was on the south side of Maui. Tourist mainly flock western side – but we chose South side – as we had read in the reviews that the south side would be less crowded. Our hotel was just across an awesome beach from where you could get the best sunset view on Maui. All beaches are public on the island of Maui.

Kihei, Beach area
Sunset – Kihei, Beach area

Food (South Maui , Kihei)
Closer to the hotel we stayed at there was>
Cafe O’Lei: This was about 6-min walk from our hotel.
Recommend: Li Hing Mui Margarita

Coconut’s Fish cafe: A few minutes drive from our hotel (30-35 minutes if you walk fast). According to CNN Coconut’s Fish cafe is one of the best top 10 food joints in the US. I would say, it does live up to the hype.

Both affordable.

East Maui
East Maui is all Haleakala –  also the no. 1 biggest attraction of Maui. Haleakala mountain offers hiking experience, watching sunrise 10,000 feet above sea level, wildlife spotting, walk through a mystical bamboo forest. It’s a natural beauty jackpot.
Activities:

Haleakala

Haleakala Summit
Haleakala Summit

Haleakala is humongous – considering 75% of Maui is all Haleakala – there is so much to do here in each side of Haleakala.

  1. Road to Hana (all day trip)
  2. Watch sunrise: Make sure to wake up early for this. To get there on time, you have to leave your hotel room by 2:45 a.m. if you are on the South side. For those living on the west side, will have to leave even earlier.
  3. Explore the Haleakala mountain. Go for hiking. We tried, Halemau’u trail and Hosmer’s Grove trail
  4. Part of the Haleakala National park> Pipiwai Trial: This trail was something out of a dream. Nothing like I had seen before, forest full of bamboo, gave me goosebumps – very mystical and spiritual.
Haleakala Summit
Haleakala Summit

North Maui
We were on the island for 8 days – so after we were done with all touristic activities – we had enough time to also check out the Nakalele Blowhole. If you do not have enough time – you can skip this. But if you do, do not miss out. It isn’t a protected area, hence you will see plenty of sign boards saying something like, ‘..explore at your own risk’. Please do not go so close to the blow hole, it is in fact very dangerous. Blowhole area looks a bit like alien planet. It took about 2 hours drive to get to this place from Kihei (south Maui).

Nakalele Blowhole
Nakalele Blowhole, North Maui

Overall Must dos:

  1. Attend Luau
  2. Explore all the best beaches of west (Kaanapali) and south Maui (Kihei).
  3. Go snorkeling: We went snorkling at Molokini crater. Water was absolutely divine. I have never seen water so clean. You can see all kinds of aquatic creatures from the boat, you don’t even have to jump in the sea. It was that clean!  Molokini is a protected area, you are not allowed climb the rocks of Molokini. Snorkling will be limited within a certain area only. But highly recommend it for sure. Besides Molokini, this package also included watching sea turtle on south Maui.  As a bonus, we also got to see humpback whales. Turns out it was a whale mating season, so there were multiple male humpback whales trying to impress one single female whale and ended up very close to our boat. Boats are not allowed within 100 yards of whales, but if whales decide to come close to the boat, there’s nothing the captain can do but stay put. It was an awesome sight!
  4. Explore Haleakala: Watch sunrise, hike Pipiwai trail, and other trails of the mountain.
  5. Zip-line
Snorkling at Molokini crater
Snorkling at Molokini crater

All in all, I found Maui very similar to Nepal. Hawaii is literally at the top most level in the landscape of international tourism. When I say, Maui is very similar to Nepal – I am not even kidding. Except for the ocean, everything else in Maui reminded me of Nepal. From long and winding road to Hana, to summiting Mt Haleakala, seeing the sunrise above the clouds, to beautiful weather – it felt very much like going back home. If such a small island can offer so much, Nepal being a bigger country would naturally have much more to offer, if only managed well. Still, having said that, Maui of course has its own charm that cannot be compared to any other place; especially its people and culture – very unique and one of a kind. If Maui is on your bucket list – I hope you wait no more to book a trip.

Watch a snippet of our trip:

Maui, Hawaii from Shailiza Manandhar on Vimeo.

Watch this on Youtube

My Top 5 TED Talks

  1. The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Watch this TED talk and discover yourself as Chimamanda Adichie exposes your biases against the world and reveals, how a single story can skew your world view. After watching this, I hope you’ll give people a chance. A chance to show you, who they really are.
  2. The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen by Hans Rosling
    As advanced data analytic tools become ubiquitous, as people start learning statistical programming languages – it will only enable more people to use data. Regardless of the protest behind ‘democratization of big data’, people will continue to work on making sense of data to seek a better understanding of the world they live in. And this is one of the many gems generated through free visualization tool developed by Hans Rosling’s own nonprofit Gapminder (software has now been bought by Google). 
  3. We should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    This is Chimamanda Adichie’s second video I am recommending. Since I’ve discovered her work – I have grown a huge admiration for this lady. In this TED talk, Adichie beautifully puts everything that I ever wanted to say about being a feminist.
  4. Educating a New Generation of African Leaders by Patrick Awuah
    The reason this is one of my favorites is because I relate to the conditions of Ghana to an extent. West African countries like Ghana and Nigeria are in far better position than Nepal. I am definitely not comparing these countries, but our struggles are very similar. Year after year our political leaders make new promises. At the end, we are led nowhere. So, where does the solution lie, is something Patick Awuah tries to answer on this TED Talk.
  5. We are the Stories We Tell Ourselves by Shekhar Kapur
    Who am I?
    A contradiction.
    Everything’s a contradiction.
    Need I add more?

Top 5 Manufacturing Industries of Nepal

I had been wanting to work on an svg animation for a very long time. Finally managed to create this simple animation. There’s a lot more to work on, until then here’s a quick preview: http://shailiza.com/animation/ 

This was inspired by the awesome animation of Adam Coulombe.

You can also access my source files at this GitHub account: https://github.com/shailiza/svg-animation

My process involved:

  1. Drawing in Illustrator – grouping each object appropriately.
  2. Further edited svg file.
  3. Added CSS, JavaScript. Majority of my time was spent in Illustrator and CSS.
  4. Followed by endless debugging.


Adam has done a great job explaining the process. I recommend you to go through his post.

Note: This only works when run from the HTTP protocol for security reasons. If you are having issues getting the SVG to load, be sure you are testing from a web server or running on localhost.

Top 5 Manufacturing Industries of Nepal
Top 5 Manufacturing Industries of Nepal

Data Source: cbs.gov.np. National Census of Manufacturing Establishments of Nepal 2011/2012, Central Bureau of Statistics, Government of Nepal.

यो मन् मेरो नेपाली मात्र होइन अरुपनि धेरै हो

मेरो मन् जति नेवारी हो, त्यतिनै मैथलीपनि हो

मेरो मन् जति नेपाली हो, त्यतिनै अमेरिकनपनि हो

मेरो मन् मैले भोगेको दुख हो भने कमाएको सुखपनि हो

मेरो मन् मैले भेटेको सबै मानिसहरु हो, घरमा पालेको, बाटोमा भेटेको जनावरपनि हो

मेरो मन् जति ग्लोबल हो,  त्यतिनै लोकल पनि हो

मेरो मन्, म जहां जान्छु त्यो सबै हो

म कुनै परिभाषामा सिमित हुन चाहन्न

म सबै  हुं, तैपनि म सबै हुइन

मेरो मन् नेपाली मात्र होइन अरुपनि धेरै हो….

Sanskrit Prayer from My School Days

To the universe, to the unknown that I will never know:

त्वमेव माता पिता त्वमेव
त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव
त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणम् त्वमेव
त्वमेव सर्वम् मम देव देव

 

Free Download – Kathmandu Skyline People Vector

My cousin asked me if I could add people to an existing layout and so I did!

Again, I’m providing A4 size Illustrator (AI) and PDF (with illustrator editing capabilities preserved) versions of Kathmandu skyline with people walking and cycling. You can manipulate the layout for brochures, presentations, posters or for any other purposes.

kathmandu skyline + people
kathmandu skyline + people

You can find all free downloads here:

http://shailiza.com/downloads/ 

Let me know if you face any issues downloading the files or if you have any other questions.

Happy Designing! 🙂