Hilo: Day 1

After writing the previous post, I headed to downtown Hilo. Hilo is much less touristy. The buildings in downtown gave me more of a rural feeling compared to downtown Kona. There were many murals around town, which was cool.

Mural #1

Mural #2

Mural #3

I walked into a photography gallery and chatted with the owner there. He gave me some tips about what to do around town, such as the local parks.

Downtown Hilo

I had read about the local farmer’s market on the corner of Kamehameha Ave and Mamo St and I just happened to walk by it. I didn’t know what a longan fruit was and haven’t eaten a lychee fruit for a long time. One fruit seller let me try both. Lychee was much sweeter so I bought half a bag of that for $7. I also bought some Lady Finger bananas for $1 just to try. They ended up tasting like regular bananas.

Hilo farmer's market

I sat in the Mo’oheau Park across the street from the farmer’s market and ate some lychee and a banana. I admired a great tree in the park and wondered how old that tree is. I would see more big trees on in Hilo.

The huge tree in Mo’oheau Park

I wanted to see the statue of Kamehameha The Great so I sauntered my way there. Kamehameha was an Hawaiian king who united the Hawaii islands. It was also the phrase uttered by Goku in the Dragonball manga whenever he prepared to fire his fireball. I thought that was interesting.

Kamehameha The Great

After visiting the statue, I walked back to the hostel to relax for awhile. For lunch, I ate a BBQ sandwich across the street at Just Cruisin Coffee. I didn’t know what to do for the rest of the day so I asked the hostel worker. She told me about a Japanese park and Coconut Island that’s about a 30 minute walk from the hostel. I also wanted to do laundry, but there wasn’t a laundry service in the hostel. I washed one set of clothing in the bathroom sink before I left for the second half of the day.

I walked on Hilo Bayfront Beach Park. There were so many canoes parked on the beach that made it hardly a spot for relaxation.

Fisherman caught a fish!

The Japanese park, known as Lili’uokalani Gardens, was very scenic. As I was walking through the park I saw a purple rooster. I had to ask the owner about it. He told me he and his wife dyed the chicken and since then the chicken loves it. The chicken had a strange head though.

Another great tree in Lili’uokalani Gardens

Lili’uokalani Gardens

Another scene in Lili’uokalani Gardens

The man with the purple rooster

Coconut Island is right next to Lili’uokalani Gardens. It’s an island connected by a walking bridge. People there were having picnics and kids were jumping off a rocky platform. Idyllic for an idyllic day.

Looking at Coconut Island

Kids diving

On Coconut Island

I decided to take a different route back to the hostel since I don’t like to walk on the same street twice in one day. The afternoon sun was hot and part of the route didn’t have sidewalks. Finally, I saw a shopping mall, the Manono Street Marketplace. It was like an oasis to me since my water was running out. I got a Hilo Sunrise boba tea at Big Island Pearl Tea to cool me off.

Multi-colored Hilo Sunrise boba tea

On my way back to the hostel, a girl named Zurina text me. She saw my message on the hostel board and warned me about altitude sickness if I was going to Mauna Kea. When I came back I met Zurina in the common area.

Zurina is a college student looking to transfer to the University of Hawaii to study microbiology. She worked as a school teacher/counselor here on the Big Island. Zurina gave me a lot of advice for Volcanoes National Park and Mauna Kea. There is a bus that goes to the volcano from Hilo so I will be spending a day doing that. I will have to rent a car to go to Mauna Kea on a separate day.

For dinner, I cooked the ramen that I had bought the day before. It was so spicy and I liked it! I also checked the hostel situation again for Honolulu. I noticed I could stay in one hostel for the entire week so I called them and made my reservation.

That's some spicy ramen!

I went to bed around 8:30 PM and woke up at 6:30 AM. Today, I will take the 10:40 AM bus from Hilo to Volcanoes National Park, spend the majority of my day hiking there, then take the bus back.


  1. Thank you for your sharing of your experiences. Continue to have a great time sharing and please stay safe


Post a Comment