Adventures

K&A In Thailandia: BANGKOK AND KHAO SAN ROAD

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 Bangkok is a big city. And if you’re spending any time there I really recommend checking out JJ Market one day – it’s a huge market where you can stock up on all your Thai souvenirs. I spent a few hours in there any felt like I was suffocating with all the options. 

For those who are into Muay Thai, you can watch some fights at an arena just across the street from JJ Market. I’m not so much interested in the fights, so I spent an afternoon walking around the market while Airec went to see Muay Thai.   
    
    
    
    
  

Nightlife in Bangkok seems to happen in little pockets scattered about. But the main attraction is Khao San Road. This street is lined with bars and clubs, and for some reason struck me as a smaller, Asian Vegas. Everyone’s stumbling through the bars and debauchery runs rampant. Like I said, Bangkok is a big city so if you’re going out you’ve basically gotta commit to a specific neighborhood for the evening. Khao San is actually a couple of blocks wide and has a lot of options, so you never feel limited and definitely will not get bored.  

Between jetlag, heat and dehydration, we rode the struggle bus all over Bangkok. It was a good time though. 

Stay tuned for an update on the next leg of our trip – The Islands! 😍 

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K&A In Thailandia: Arriving in BANGKOK and Lopburi

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It’s been quite some time since Koko and Airec last got together for a blog post. Life has thrown us in all different directions but here we are now, traveling the rich lands of Thailandia. There is so much to do here and so much to see. Not saying that we didn’t have time to timely write a blog post every day (we did but I mean, we’re in fucking Thailand) but it was hard to sit down and stare at a screen when we could have been riding a train to a distant city or playing with monkeys or falling off a motor-scooter. So we decided to split each city into its own blog post. And what better city to start off with than Thailand’s capital: Bangkok.

After arriving at separate times (Koko holding down the fort at Khaosan River Inn), we were finally reunited after three years at 4am. We drank a few beers, exchanged stories from the void and talked about finally embarking on our wanderlust.

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On the first full day of our trip, we got to see temples and MONKEYS!!! We woke up around 11am and got our shit together and headed to the train station. We would have gotten up earlier, but I arrived super late and we drank some beers and these kids from Russia were loud as hell, but then what did we expect, we were in a hostel.

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It was a hot and humid train ride from Bangkok to Lopburi. The ride was approximately 3.5 hours . . . one way. And we were already burning daylight. It’s a good thing that the town was small and getting around on foot was easy. Aside from all the KFC advertisements and 7-11, we noticed that the town was full of free roaming monkeys! Well, Crab-eating macaque to be exact. The city was flooded with them, running around, taking food from humans and I didn’t want to stand around to find out if they fling dung. That is a first world fear my friends, and this fear was ever so real when we entered the Phra Kan Shrine. After paying a few baht we got to enter the old Buddhist temple and . . . you guessed it . . . played with monkeys!!!


Getting manhandled by little baby monkeys was an experience. Needless to say, they loved Koko more than they loved me. Which I didn’t mind actually, so HA, jokes on them. We ran across the street after that to check out a live Wat (or temple for those of you who aren’t Asian or explorers). We didn’t get in though since our stomachs and bladders were winning the course of action. We found a local restaurant where I got some instant noodles with some pork and Koko got some iced coffee. I remembered sitting down there and it reminded me of my time in child labor. I mean, helping my parents with their restaurant, on my own free will of course 😦

For those of you who weren’t born in an immigrant Asian family, well, you had a different childhood, I tell you what. The food was good, and cheap (even though prices were determined on the spot by two different people but it was still cheap and I didn’t care).

All of the eating though got my tummy a working. Walking to the toilets (they don’t call them restrooms in Asia, cause you don’t really want to rest in there) before we headed out for the Kings Palace, I encountered three things that I will soon become familiure with in Thailand: Paying to use the toilet and there’s no toilet seat but a porcelain hole in the ground and no toilet paper!

I was not prepared for this with my first-world mentality and decided to wait till I got back to the hostel. When I returned to Koko, I shared my amazement in the third world and she tried to educate me on how developing countries do it. After she explained to me about how to use the water and your hands and washing your hands, I was still not sold on this method of up-and-coming countries’ toilet practices. Which then got me to wonder about her own toilet experiences in South Africa, but that’s not for this blog post.

The final place we visited was Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, or The Kings Palace.

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It was a long day and an even longer train ride. When it was all said and done we were ready to head back to the hostel and rest until the next day of adventures . . . Which will be BANGKOK AND KHAO SAN ROAD!!!

Bonus picture: Cute little baby

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8 Things We’re Going to Miss by NOT Going to EDC

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By Koko and Sype.

The Electric Daisy Carnival will always and forever hold a special place in our hearts. We both have been to 7 EDCs, and hopefully more. So we say with deep regret that we will not be attending this year’s extravaganza. KokoKai won’t be able to attend because, of course, she’s in SOUTH AFRICA, and Sype will not be attending because he can’t stand the thought of an EDC without Koko there. (Airec here, Koko is a liar. I can live a future without her, I just choose not to.)

the picture of our credentials of past EDC, Koko and I are in all 4 of em, the only members of our group to do so
Credentialing of EDCs passed, Koko & I are in all 4 of ’em, the only members of our group to do so

We will be back again in the future, but for now here are some things that we’re going to MISS about EDC this year.

1. Preparing for the trip/the road trip there.

I (Koko) recently had a dream about the Zipper Squad renting a giant yellow school bus for the road trip to Vegas and to EDC.

But for real, the journey into the desert is full of aspirations, hopes and dreams of a young adventurer into Wonderland. If you’re driving or flying into Vegas, you get the pre-festival jitters just visualizing the magic that awaits you at the Motor Speedway. Whether it be seeing random cars with EDC on the back of their windows, hanging with your close mates or passing a beer to a random fellow EDC attendee from a moving car, cherish this journey and make the best of it. With so much energy and enthusiasm, the trip into Vegas is like a mental pre-game for EDC.

Jose and Daniel posing during a gas stop
Jose and Daniel posing during a gas stop

2. Vegas and its nightlife!

Anyone in Vegas around the time of EDC knows that the entire city goes absolutely apesh*t. Even if you don’t actually go to EDC, just being in Vegas for EDC week is an event in itself. EDM celebs decorate the pool parties as festival-goers and regular people alike dance the day away while splashing around and spilling overpriced drinks into the pool water. Oops. This might be your only night to really do the ‘Vegas thing’ and go nuts. Spend that hard-earned cash that you’ve been saving up, buy that random hot girl a drink and eat at all the buffets. Once EDC starts, the chance of you doing all this stuff is slim. We won’t tell (;P)

Blurry but it's us at a pool party
Blurry but it’s us at a pool party
The girls
The girls – EDC week funtivities

 

3. Seeing all of our favorite DJ’s in one space.

Dat 2015 line up doe. :O  I. Cant. Even. With. It. Like, it was really hard not to cry when I (Koko) saw the lineup for the first time. Most raves and festivals will have a few DJs you really want to see, but EDC is like the mecca of all festivals. Anyone who’s anyone will be playing at EDC. Not only do we have the pleasure of seeing our faves, but there’s always the discovery stage as well – a chance for up & coming artists to showcase what they’ve got to offer the EDM world. We get to see the famous people before they become famous.

4. The costumes.

The Zips thoroughly enjoy planning and creating custom, unique costumes for each day of EDC every year. Airec not so much because it intrudes on his masculinity. (Which is why he always has an awkward combined costume of bro and kandi kid.) Coordinating themes and characters then transforming them into outfits is something to look forward to, and is a platform for our creativity to come out to play. Not only will be miss our own dress-up time, but seeing everyone else’s costumes is something we will definitely miss. (Not just the hot rave booty.) People be wearin’ some crazy shiz, and no matter how outlandish, we appreciate EDC for providing a safe space to express diversity and creativity.

5. InstaGram ruins my life.

-For the days leading up to EDC, the 3 days of EDC, and at least 2 weeks after EDC, we’re just not going to look at InstaGram. Everyone and their moms are gonna be posting elegantly filtered photos and strategically edited videos all over social media about EDC. Not gonna lie, it’s gonna make us upset and a little jealous and angry that we’re not part of this year’s magic. If you’re going to EDC 2015, don’t expect us to like any of your IG posts. F*ck you.

6. The dancing.

Talk about an undercover cardio fest! EDC is like the triathlon; each of the 3 days is an athletic event. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. Well, you could try sprinting, but then you’re gonna be under a table an hour before EDC like Airec was in 2012. A Lady Zip decided to put on the step counter of her iPhone on for a day of EDC (for funsies) and it calculated over 20 miles of dancing and grooving :O Holy sweet Jesus, that’s a lot of steps for an “experience”. But  sports talk aside, EDC creates a space where everyone can dance their little hearts out underneath the electric sky; you can move, shake, wiggle, fist pump and undulate in whatever ways your mood desires, no judgements here on your creative dance moves. (especially Airec’s awkward Asian dance moves in which looks like he’s spazzing out.) And the icing on the cake is that you’ll accidentally lose like 10 pounds in the process. Dance monkey dance!!!

trying to us we are
Trying to dance, we are

7. The Magic in the Air

There is something to be said about EDCs atmosphere. Your head may be pounding and your body sore from the night before, but once someone yells out ‘EDC’ or just gives you the look of hope and passion for the night to come, your body will become possessed with this euphoric energy that will send chills down your spine and goosebumps on your skin. Mixed that with some fireworks and oh, the feels. These pyrotechnicians know exactly when and how to light off these glorious firework shows in such a way that they can cause 300,000 people to all stop what they’re doing and just stare up at the sky in complete awe of the beauty. The hangover that once was in your head will now be cured by the excitement Under the Electric Sky. It’s EDC, you can’t wuss out and let anything stop you from the adventure you’re about to embark on.

FIREWORKS!!!
FIREWORKS!!!

8. The friends and the memories!

The people whom you surround yourself with can make or break your experience. So make sure you surround yourself with the right people. For us it was the ZipperSquad that accompanied us through our magical ride. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t make the effort to meet other people, but it was the special group of people who helped us feel the warmth of EDC, transforming it from an EDM festival to a spiritual journey. Sure we raged, but we also frolicked around in what can be compared to Pan’s Neverland. Friendships will form and memories will be forged. Even now we still think of our time at EDC 2013, the best EDC so far (in our opinion). Cherish the time you have with one another because you never know when someone from your crew will randomly text you ‘Are we still meeting at the Zipper at midnight?’ to send tears down your cheeks.

The final group picture of EDC 2013 as the sun was rising.

Well there you have it. Make sure you be safe out there. It’s easy to forget about safety when you’re having fun . . . not trying to sound like the older sibling though. EDC is a magical experience, so enjoy it. Check out our other tips and write ups about EDC and festivals.

We dressed classy to get trashy for this trance event, POP NYE 2012/2013
We fancy, huh

The National Delivers a Majestic Performance at The Greek

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a little something i wrote with the help of my bros daniel and jose for our experience at The National and Portugal. the Man show at our blog Brosters

BroSters

Daniel, Me and Jose at the Greek for the National and Portugal the Man show after we got our overpriced beers and hotdogs. Daniel, Me and Jose at the Greek for the National and Portugal the Man show after we got our overpriced beers and hotdogs.

By Airec Sype, Jose and Daniel

Note: I’m still waiting for better pictures and videos since I only have a crappy iTouch

The National along with Portugal. the Man delivered a mind-blowing musical experience at The Greek Theater in Berkley, Cali., last weekend. Already having seen Portugal. the Man last December and broiling with enormous expectations for The National, I was mentally preparing myself for an awesome night of indie music with two of my best bros: Jose and Daniel.

I was prepared to go full hipster that Saturday night (although Jose hates it when I say that).

The Greek, whose full-legal-Google-Maps name is The William Randolph Hearst Greek Theater, is located on the UC Berkley campus. Actually to be precise, this legendary music venue is located…

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Adventuring to HAWAII!!!

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Drinking black coffee while reading some Hemingway
Drinking black coffee while reading some Hemingway

As I sit on an airplane, cramped up typing T-Rex style with my stubby Asian arms, on my way to Hawaii, I am writing this blog post. Yes, I know it’s an awkward way to start a blog post; it’s not fun or exciting or even wordy, just a statement. Also this is to emulate one of Koleana’s post about her on-flight experience to London. (Also too she told me to write a post about Hawaii before arriving.)

Anyways, here I start again.

I am currently sitting in a plane on my way to Hawaii, Honolulu to be exact. Since I am visiting a Unicorn, I figure it would be proper to listen to Markus Schulz, the one and only UNICORN SLAYER! I’m listening to the A State Of Trance 550 Closing Party set at Privilege, Ibiza, to be exact. Just-in-case any fellow trance listener or UnicornSlayers would like to listen along as you read.

Honolulu, I forgot which island it’s on again, I think Owahu or something like that. Being an American, I choose to be ignorant and not care about the native culture of the place I’m visiting.

Just kidding.

It is Oahu. I hope some of y’all already know my sarcasm so I don’t have to constantly defend myself. I know how to use Google; I’m not a dumbass (although I’m sure some of you guys might find that debatable).

I don’t really know much about Hawaii except that it is the 50th state of AMERICA!!!! (had to put that in all caps) and that it has a bunch of sugarcanes. Also, the Japanese attacked it in WWII, entering the Pacific War with the United States. Or as the natives of Hawaii calls us, the Mainland.

Some other random things I know about Hawaii, the people are some BIG people. I don’t mean like fat or obese or anything mean in that sort. I just mean they are some big boys. I also say that without a winky face. These Pacific Islanders are some of the thickest and strongest guys playing O and D line in the NFL. Not to mention, University of Hawaii has a pretty sick college football team in the WAC.

Needless to say, this little Asian boy isn’t gonna try to fight any Hawaiians on this vacation. Not trying to get my ass kicked.

On that note, this vacation should be mellow.

Well, I am gonna assume and plan it to be mellow. The last few weeks I’ve been going hard and balls to the walls, deff gonna take a break from that. Not going to lie, the people in San Francisco, work, and trying to finish off school at SFSU has just been stressing me out. It’s just those little things that gets ya cha know.

This trip is just some nice relaxing time. Some well deserved me time.

Here is a tentative schedule of my Hawaii trip:

Thursday:

-Get picked up from Koko at the airport

-Hangout at U of H while Koko is taking a midterm

-Prob write one of the two essays I have to do

-Go to the beach

-Go to Walmart and play around in the toy section

-Swimming at Cromwells

-Dinner at Gyu Kaku

Friday:

-Sunrise hike

-Walk through the city

-Cook dinner (a vegetarian dinner since Koko and Anglia don’t eat meat)

-Fishbowls/watch hookers

-Club/Bar

Saturday:

-Gym/morning workout (I’m glad she understands this and I know only a few of y’all do)

-Beaches/Learning to surf

-Napping on the beach

-Puka Dogs for Lunch

-Shower

-Nap

-Dinner at Café Maharani

-GO OUT!

Sunday:

-Lanikai – Pillbox hike & beach all day

-Dinner @ home

-Run fire drinks

-Early to bed for sunrise hike!

Monday:

-3AM stairway to heaven hike

-Home-shower/lunch

-Pearl Harbor in afternoon

-Parasailing (which both of us have never done before, which should be super exciting)

-Shirokiya Beer Garden

-Dinner at Shokudo

Tuesday:

-Get shaved ice

-Maybe squeeze in another Puke Dog before taking you to the airport!!!!

So yeah, that is the list that Koleana made for me, while drunk at a bar in San Francisco during Taco Tuesday at Underdogs. I’m sure we will add some things to the list and won’t have time to do all the things planned, since that’s how it seems to always happen anyways with our list of things to do.

Of course some people say, “Airec, didn’t you just come back from Miami and from Ultra Music Festival, why are you going on Vacation again?”

My answer to that is: Miami and Ultra was fun, no doubt, but it’s the same shit, different day, and different place. I do music festivals and rage all the time. This Hawaii trip is going to be different. Hawaii I guess is going to be more about inner searching, trying to clear the clutter of everyday fast-past-Airec-Syprasert-San-Francisco-life, and all that other bullshit.

Instead of focusing on drinking and topnotch world class DJ’s, this trip is going to be about hiking, hitting the beach, exploring, and (I never thought I would say this) vegetarian eating.  I know right, stupid Unicorn influences.

I’m sure my body is going to ache and starve for massive amounts of alcohol and the florescence lights and vibrant sounds of a music festival, but I expect this change in pace is going to be fun. Plus anything can be fun with one of your best friends at your side.

The only thing that I fear is how my school work is gonna be affected by this trip. I’m just throwing caution to the wind and saying “fuck it.”

Also another thing, my parents don’t know about this trip. HAHA. I didn’t tell my parents that I hopped my Asian ass on a plane to Hawaii. I figure if my dad can randomly take off to Laos and not tell me, I’m sure this is the same. Like father like son right. Of course I did tell him something; I told him I was boarding a plane to L.A. You know, just in case my plane crashes and I die, he at least knew that I was on a plane, so technically I’m not really lying, just half-lying (;P)

This is going to be a fun trip. I’m gonna take a bunch of pictures and I’m sure Koko will too. In about a week after, or maybe 2 or 3 depending on how much school work and how hung-over I am, I will write a post of my aftermath of Hawaii with the pictures. I hope this is one of the beginnings of my new blog adventures: Small Town Asian Boy See’s the World!

Till next time. Don’t do anything that I would do. Seriously, don’t. Haha.

-Sype

Koko meeting me at the airport
Koko meeting me at the airport

sunset at Dimondhead

Another TORQ Thursday with Gabriel and Dresden

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Gabriel and Dresden at TORQ ruby skye 2/22/2013
Gabriel and Dresden at TORQ Ruby Skye 2/22/2013

Last Thursday I danced, literally danced, on the line that separated house and trance with the help of legendary San Francisco based DJ’s Gabriel and Dresden.

On another TORQ Thursday night, the EDM promotion group brought in Josh Gabriel & Dave Dresden. I didn’t really know what to expect actually. I randomly saw them once at EDC 2012 (I believe), I’m not really too sure how good they were because I was a little blitzed when I saw them. So from whatever memory I could gather from that time I saw them, I decided it was worth seeing them again, even after working two different shifts for a combined total of 13 hours.

There were two things that I knew walking into their show: one, they have been around for awhile and are legends in the industry, and two, I absolutely love, love, effin’ love their remix of Sarah McLachlan – “Fallen.”

When I first heard of G&D remix of “Fallen,” I instantly fell in love with that song. If you’re listening to that song and have your headphones up, you’ll be able to fully experience the bass of G&D, which will beat your eardrums but yet it’s getting mended by the soothing melodic vocals of Miss Sarah McLachlan. It’s just a great marriage of euphoric melody and bass. Give it a listen and see for yourself.

So any who, there I am, standing in the middle of dance floor waiting for G&D to start, completely sober, [Yeah I know, being sober in a club is hard, but not if you enjoy the music then you can get drunk off the music (;P)], not knowing what to expect. Then the lights turn off, the only lights that are illuminating the club right now are those of the four screens in front of the DJ booth that flashed the names Gabriel and Dresden. Waiting and wondering what their first song would be, I started to hear a very familiar tune. Slowly I realized that it’s the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

Through the heavy bass and electronic song, I was able to decipher that it was a remix of RHCP “Otherside.” It was that moment when I instantly knew that it was going to be a good night.

The next thought that popped into my head was how were they going to fallow up “Otherside?” I was unsure about how they were going to keep up this energy that the crowd was now hungry for. My question was answered when I heard the melody to G&D classic track, “Tracking Treasures Down.” Although this track is an “oldie,” it still gets the crowd moving and grooving. Any other fans of EDM who knew this song welcomed it with cheers and roars, scattered by applauds; we were all happy to hear a classic.

Actually I found out later that the track G&D played was “Tracking Coconut Down,” a mash-up of their song with Cold Blue. In fact, their set was like mash-up galore! I’m not a mathematician of any sort (but I am Asian so that might count for something), but I would say a good 75 percent of their set were mash-ups.

There were ALL sorts of mash-ups in their set. A lot of their mash-ups included Top 40’s hits with EDM songs. Yes yes, I know how that sounds. I mean if someone asked me if I would like to hear Top 40’s hits at an EDM club, I would say F**K NO! But G&D has proved to me that it is possible.

The way these two men blend the vocals of Top 40’s hits into energetic EDM songs that were still considered as good songs was phenomenal. One of the things that I immediately thought of was that Harry Potter meme “what kind of sorcery is this?!” But whether it be magic learned from Hogwarts or amazing producing skills, G&D did it; their rendition of Top 40’s tunes made me hop around in a club with a fat smile.

In their Top 40’s throw down, I heard songs like “Sex is on Fire” by Kings of Leon, “99 Red Balloons” by Nena, “Mr.Brightside” by The Killers, “Track 2” by Blur . . . the list goes on! The combination of electronic beats with these alternative rock vocals gave G&D a sort of retro feel. I know that the songs I heard that night are not that old, but I was defiantly transported back to the 80’s when I was on the dance floor of Ruby Skye that night. Or what I thought the 80’s were like from what I gathered from watching movies.

My favorite “retroy” mash-up of the night had to be Eric Pryda “Allein” with Human League “Don’t You Want Me.” It’s really good, trust me. LISTEN TO IT!!!

Of course G&D busted out mash-ups of today’s top EDM hits; Such as their mash-up of Porter Robinson “Language” and Andain “Promises.” I know a friend who would have gone all soft for that mash-up.

For the first half of their set, I literally felt as the bass was attacking my face. The stuff that these two men were spinning just hit so hard, sending my skin into vibrating waves as each song hit that kick drum.

It wasn’t long before G&B started fading into their roots. As the night slowly transforms into morning, their hard hitting housey set started becoming uplifting, becoming progressive house, and arguably a little trancey.

I was so pleased, as well as many other older EDM fans in the crowd that night, when Motorcycle “As the Rush Come” came on. We . . . felt the rush come! LOL.  Another great euphoric song that was played in their second half, and also love so dearly, was Sander Van Doorn and Adrian Lux “Eagles.”

The song selection of the night was amazing. Gabriel and Dresden did an AMAZING job. I loved their entire set. It was full of energy and was pumped of familiar vocals that made the crowd sing along. Their set was defiantly a crowd pleaser, but these two men did it in a way that still holds their own flavor that makes Josh and Dave Gabriel and Dresden.

One of my favorite images of the night however was not of G&D, but a couple slow dancing to G&D encore song “Zocalo” (by no other than Armin Van Buuren feat. Gabriel and Dresden). Is it creepy that I think a couple slow dancing in a crowd that was jumping up and down, side to side furiously to an EDM song was heartwarming? Kind-of-but-not-really. As other people around this couple jumped around to the beat of the song, this couple found their own beat and only thought of them to be in the room, slow dancing away. I couldn’t help but appreciate this weird cinematic moment that was happening. I did not see this as a creepy Asian guy people watching, I saw this as one of the true essence of EDM, as music that can make people rage but love at the sometime.

Mariner’s Ridge Hike

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Went on a super legit hike with some friends today, it’s called Mariner’s Ridge (or Kaluanui Ridge Trail), and it’s a ridge line that connects to  the Ko’olau summit. Follow Kaluanui road all the way up and park before the dead end. There is a shingled house on the right, that a lot of folks call the “gingerbread house.” There is a “No Tresspassing” sign at the entrance to the trail… (O.o) dangerous. IMG_1160

We stumbled through some areas where the ground was a complete web of tree roots that were surfacing; creating a plexus of bark under our feet.

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This hike has all different types of terrain compiled into one awesome workout. We started off with a dirt path, with brush and bushes on either side.

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Then we went into forestry. This is the first hawaii hike I’ve done that had legit pine trees. The pine needles faced all directions off of the tree branches. Not much of the pine tree smell I’m used to experiencing in California.

Then the hike led into more of an open dirt path. I see draping valleys of greenery on either side of me as I’m standing atop the ridge line of the mountain.

Through some jungle like forest, I snapped a photo–now this is what most hawaii hikes I’ve been on have looked like.

Here and there, we happened across points that we could see different parts of the island. I have some semi-successful attempts at panoramic shots of the mountains and ocean.

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About 40 minutes up the mountain and we reached a clearing with a full 360 degree view from atop the mountain. When I realized there was no more trail is when we made the conclusion that we had reached the top!

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We opened up our bags and pulled out some drinks & snacks we had swooped from our Safeway pitstop on the way to the hike.

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After taking several photos, I sat down, drank my beer, and then we began our descent back down!

-KokoKai