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Camping on Oahu
01-10-2011, 07:21 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2011 07:31 PM by kaniamea.)
Post: #1
Camping on Oahu
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Honolulu or are just looking for an inexpensive and adventurous accommodation on Oahu, you can go to the Malaekahana Cabins campground, located on Malaekahana Bay.

I have been to this campground many times in the past and have seen the place growing and changing over the years. It used to be a walk-in campground (meaning that you could just arrive and there would still be room), but nowadays you need to book in advance because it has gotten a lot busier. The campground prides itself as one of the safest campgrounds in all of Hawaii (security is located on the campground), so many families come here.

Depending on the season you come here, the winter can be muddy, rainy and chilly. I just came back today from a weekend visit there and it was chilly especially in the night (last night it was somewhere between 60-62 degrees). So if you plan to come here in the winter and a cold front is heading to Hawaii (as was the case this weekend), make sure you bring tons of blankets and warm clothes with you.

Because of the recent rainfall on the island, there were many mosquitoes and I got bitten at least 50 times! This has never happened before when I was camping there in the past. I don't remember seeing any bugs there, but this last weekend was really bad. It was like being in the Amazon rainforest (at least this is how I imagine it). The mosquitoes also seem to be quite smart because I was wearing long pants and socks and even though I was completely covered, the mosquitoes found the exposed areas.

Also, there are many chicken on the campground and they are quite entertaining. They will for sure visit you while you're eating Smile

The prices at the campground start from $8.34 per person for a tent site (as of January 2011) and go up to $130/night for an eco cabin. There are also grass shacks and yurts that are somewhere in between $40 to $100.

Even though I like this campground I have to say I'm a bit disappointed by the management. The common areas are in a poor condition. For example, from the 4 so-called hot water showers (the water is not really hot) two of them had broken doors, one had a very sharp water beam (it was so hard that it hurt to have a shower) and only one was working well enough. Also, the toilets were often times clogged up and wouldn't flush. It seems like that toilet paper is provided once every morning and by lunchtime it is gone from all bathrooms so bring your own.

Also, the campground used to have lights in the evening, but now they cut that expense as well so it is pitch black in the common areas and the campground at night.

It is a nice place to visit though if you like adventures. Keep in mind that there is no food available on the campround. The closest supermarkets are in Kahuku and Laie. However, all stores in Laie are closed on Sundays because it's a Mormon community.

Below are some photos I took this weekend for you to enjoy!

Common Area
Eco Cabins
Grass Shacks
Malaekahana waves, chickens, scenery...
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01-10-2011, 07:27 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2011 07:32 PM by kaniamea.)
Post: #2
RE: Camping on Oahu
And two more beautiful sunrise pictures...
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01-10-2011, 11:54 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2011 11:58 PM by WonderinginWaikiki.)
Post: #3
RE: Camping on Oahu
That is too funny,I took my family camping and fishing in this area Saturday in Huaalu near Laie. We were hanging out with another family with kids the same age as ours and everyone had fun. I had my netbook with me and showed them this website and my pictures of the sunsets. Yes,the mosquitoes were very bad too until I started burning Coconut husks and that took care of them for the rest of the evening.
What I have found that is very common here is parents not cutting their son's hair since birth. I recently cut my son's hair for Christmas pictures because my son finally asked to have it done. Many adults from the mainland would confuse my son as a girl and it was getting to be too much for him. On the bright side, every girl in his age group is in love with him though. That hasn't changed since his haircut,lol,and here I thought that I was going to need to buy a baseball bat because of my daughter.
Getting back to this thread. It is now assumed that you are camping because you are homeless and you're treated as such and that is really sad. Maybe some are but since when is that a crime? That is why "Homeless Safe Zones" as a nationwide program can benefit everyone and not just the homeless. Instead of donating food and clothes to organizations such as the Salavation Army,Purple Hearts(which has always been my first choice) and Goodwill Industries,you can make a direct donation to a family and see who you are helping and maybe adopt that family. Homelessness in Hawaii isn't just for bums,winos and the disabled anymore,it's whole families who are holding down two jobs and still have no place to live. Also ending leaseholds would benefit families also. You can buy a place ,just to be kicked off five or ten years down the road and the leases are raised so high that only the rich and elite can afford it is also wrong.
As far as the condition of that campground, the same standards used on slum lords should also apply here too and it sounds like for safety reasons too. All it would take is a couple of calls to the health department and I know what a few readers are thinking here too,"but won't that raise the prices to camp there?" They are going to raise the prices regardless of whether you call of not and you know that is true.
Camping is suppose to be about a child's memory of good clean family fun outings,not dirty and disgusting places where they were afraid to go to the restroom and playing in the mud and then cold freezing showers afterwards.
I enjoyed the pictures because pictures don't lie and I'm only disappointed that you didn't post pictures of the inside of the restrooms to show the true conditions of disrepair of this business and that is what it is,whether state or privately owned and operated. This would be their embarrassment and not the readers. One of the responsiblities of this forum is to tell the truth and make it as close to fact as possible for the readers and future visitors of this wonderful place in spite of what we feel and see.
Ok,now the author of this thread has informed the readers and visitors of this site,it is solely up to you as to whether you want to visit or in this case,camp here. We are not under any circumstance,sugarcoating the truth here. It's not all peaches and cream as you might think. It is what it is and my only suggestion would be to wait until spring and give this place a try when there is no more mosquitoes and the sun stays up later and bring your flashlights and your own toilet paper.
To be honest with our readers here,some of the best camping is on the side of the road in these areas though. There are plenty of places here where you see that and families fishing and the keiki sleeping in sleeping bags and this is legal. The tent bans only apply to public parks located in tourists prone areas of the island and is not enforced all over the island anyway. Only where the local LEO's see fit.
Drinking alcohol is permissible outside of high tourists areas and the local LEO's don't pay much attention to it unless you get behind the wheel of a vehicle and don't litter. I will admit that the rules are pretty loose over here and it's always better to ask these same questions to the locals of each area you visit. One word of warning, all the rules are strictly enforced in the Waikiki area and is best to keep it down and not force an officer to do his job. You have to put yourself in his shoes and think like they do and they do give lots of breaks most of the time but a few are strictly by the book.
As this site expands,we will include more to this thread as we experience them and can honestly relay our thoughts and concerns as we have thus far. Hawaii is a wonderful place and we intend to keep it this way just as the locals are keeping the country country and those that have visit or surf on the North Shore will tell you,they don't need to be policed or told what should be common courtesy to all of us anyway. That should be a no-brainer already. Huh
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01-11-2011, 06:23 PM
Post: #4
RE: Camping on Oahu
Good point about the photos. Next time I will add pictures no matter how disgusting they are. I wouldn't have even thought about taking a picture in that moment. All I thought was to get away from it! But one thing for sure I noticed is that they add new accommodations all the time because they make direct money from that, but when it comes to keeping things in shape, they are lacking.

Another example: I used to like one of their yurts. It had a coffee maker and small fridge in it. When I booked it again (back in 2007), suddenly both were gone. But the price was increased. Also, what I don't like is that when you book a yurt, cottage, or grass shack (basically anything that's not a tent site), they require a safety deposit. But the thing is that they don't refund you the money if you don't call them to remind them about it! I didn't know that, so a few times I never got my deposit back until I finally called them and they told me that I have to let them know. Otherwise they don't refund because they don't keep credit cards on file. If they do it like that, they should at least tell you this at the time of booking, but in my case, they never did.

I also agree that it's come to the point that people assume you're homeless if you're camping on a roadside beach park. Not to mention that I wouldn't consider it safe, especially if you're by yourself or female. Sometimes even merely walking in a beach park that is considered a local hangout spot (in a remote area) makes me feel uneasy and watched.
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01-11-2011, 08:00 PM
Post: #5
RE: Camping on Oahu
Actually,we are lucky that crime here isn't like it is on the mainland and not so doggie dog here. A woman can still actually feel safe here in spite of lack of proper lighting and such. We don't have people walking across any borders here and thinking that they can do anything to anybody and think that they can get away with it. Here,where are you going to go? We still have certain crimes like people breaking into cars and every once in a while,someone will rob a bank but they usually don't get far,so it doesn't happen often.
You still need to think about locking stuff up and not leaving purses and wallets on the front seat of your rental cars. We don't have shootings here everyday like on the mainland. Not that it doesn't happen but it's rare.
This camping site needs people like us to either make them shine or give them a blackeye. That is the whole point in promoting tourism properly and that raises important tax dollars for our city,county and state budgets. In recent years,the powers to be have seem to have forgotten that and Mufi seemed to have been the leader and he is no longer in office and barely holding onto a jub today with the hotel assc.
From now on,I will be thinking in just that manner,looking at the pros and cons of any business. They have comercials on the radio and TV about investing and buying locally here but they seem to forget about the basics and why people don't buy locally. I will be the first to admit that I only buy locally if only the price is right and how I am treated when I walk into the door. Is the place clean and free of trash inside and out. In this case,this camping site got a failing grade easily. They don't even get the benefit of a doubt. You should provide their phone number so that the decent people of this forum can call them and express our feelings.
I will tell you though,that things that were put into this thread are all common place here right now. Even the restrooms at the airport are bad and that is the last place you would expect to see that.
You find a good example like above,feel free to put it here.
Saigontodd Find all posts by this user
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