Sparsely populated, with a handful of small towns, Molokai is a last surviving piece of the old rural Hawaii. It exists in a kind of time warp: no packaged Hawaiiana, no high-rises, and more farmers than tourists. It is home to a greater proportion of Hawaiian people than any of the main islands.
Although the island has long had a reputation for being wary of outsiders, and is trying not to turn into another Hawaiian concrete tourist fun park, anyone who shows some respect and a aloha aina (love of the land) will be welcomed to a paradise of laid-back pleasures.
If you're looking for lots of night-life and resort-style 'action', this isn't the place. The first thing you see as you drive out of the airport is a sign reading 'Aloha! Slow Down. This is Molokai'. It's best to take that advice to heart and just sit back on the edge of one of the islander-built 800-year-old fishponds and watch the sun rise over distant Haleakala on Maui, then stroll along Hawaii's longest beach with barely another soul in sight. In the evening, you can watch the sun setting behind rustling palms and wind down with a little guitar music at the Hotel Molokai's oceanfront bar.
Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track