USA -->  HAWAI  
Described by Mark Twain as "the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean", Hawaii's name alone brings to mind romantic strolls along the beach, swaying palms and hula dancers. In fact this textbook cliché is not at all far from the truth, its year-round balmy climate - rarely dropping below 27 degrees - laidback lifestyle and tropical flora and fauna completing the bucolic picture.

The volcanic archipelago that makes up the USA's 50th state stretches over 128 islands. Some of the volcanoes (most notably Kilauea) still spew lava today, a dramatic contrast to the palm-fringed golden beaches that line the coast. Hawaii is home to 1.2 million inhabitants, only one percent of whom are indigenous Hawaiians. The remaining fusion of people from all over the world, including large numbers from Japan and Europe makes the islands a real cosmopolitan hotpot. From hulas to disco, junk food to tea ceremonies, shrines to surf clubs, Hawaii has a bit of everything.

The majority of visitors to Hawaii tend to stay on the island of Oahu, the most built-up - and hence least typically Hawaiian - of the islands. The resort of Waikiki in Oahu's main city Honolulu is, needless to say, renowned the world over and though touristy, makes an excellent base for further exploration, with all the amenities you could possibly need right to hand. The other main islands, namely Maui, "Big Island" (or Hawaii island), Kauai and Molokai, each have their own charms and varying amounts of tourism. Wherever you go, though, you're pretty much assured of good weather, lovely beaches and spectacular natural scenery, which, after all, is why most people come here.

Waikiki, Oahu
North Shore, Oahu
Diamond Head, Oahu
Polynesian Cultural Center
Maui And The Old Lahaina Luau
Swimming With Dolphins, Oahu
Kilauea Volcano, Big Island
USS Arizona
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