Week 20: Kauai Island. Pualani Hanalei Look.

Pualani Hanalei Review

Finding a beautiful and original swimsuit that doesn't cost over $200 has always been a challenge for me. I consider myself somewhat of a bikini collector, and with every purchase of new "little triangles" I find that it gets harder and harder to impress me. After my frustration with shops in NYC where I could find only one(!) bikini top I liked at Billabong, I packed my 45 other swimsuits (the majority of them were gifts from online stores) and was ready to get bronzed in Hawaii.

After a few days on Kauai island my collection of swimsuits rose to almost 60! Kauai has so many bikini shops with an amazing range that it was hard to resist the urge to shop. 

Azerbaijani blogger from Baku Ulia Ali, style fashion and swimwear.

Hanalei definitely has the best shops in Kauai, and I specifically recommend you visit Bikini Hanalei (5-5084 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei) where they have Pualani bikinis. Their bikinis are bright, stunning and affordable, and they are of a great quality. Today I am showing off my photos in the Pualani bikini which was picked for me by the beautiful shop owner, Sandy Shope. In Bikini Hanalei you will also find mermaid tails that will match your swimsuit, so check it out if you are in Kauai :)

Pualani Hanalei Lookbook
By Marcus Bloss photographer, Kauai
Azeri model in Hawaii, Ulia Ali
Shopping in Hanalei
Pualani Hanalei in Kauai, Hawaii
Pualani Bikini in Hanalei, Kauai, Hi
Beach model in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii

Thank you to my husband Ben and Kauai photographer Marcus Bloss for this beautiful photoshoot!

I will share more photos from another shoot with Marcus Bloss next week!

Week 20: Kauai Island. Adventures with horses, scuba diving and flying high.

Adventures on Kauai Island. What do in Hawaii?

When Ben and I were deciding on which Hawaiian Island we wanted to spend our vacation, we were torn between Maui and Kauai. After giving it some thought, we decided that since Maui is more developed and touristic, we can visit it in the future. Kauai, on the other hand, is the most wild and adventurous island in Hawaii. Now seemed to be the perfect time to explore Kauai while we are still young and a little reckless :)

Scuba Diving

The most important part of out trip was getting PADI certified. Soon I will tell you how to get your PADI certification, and share my diving experience and learning process, but today I want to focus on the actual dives we did in Kauai.

I have always wanted to go scuba diving, but I had no idea that I needed to learn so much and pass so many exams beforehand. Luckily, Ben and I had already finished our scuba course in Manhattan (here). Make sure you apply for the exam and pass confined water skills portion in your home city before you go on the vacation. Afterwards, I suggest you pass your open water skills portion (4 dives in total, usually takes two days) somewhere you are really excited to dive, like we did in Kauai. 

We were diving in Koloma Landing. The surge was incredibly strong, but we still had a great time and really impressed our instructor. We passed every skill, never freaked out and weren't afraid to descend deeper (so far my record is 50 ft).

I think the highlight of our dives was seeing a few GIGANTIC sea turtles. I have a huge obsession with them, and I think I screamed underwater in excitement when I saw a turtle for the first time. We even swam next to each other which was an incredible experience. 

Now Ben and I are planning our next diving trip and thinking about taking the advanced scuba diving courses. Ben is interested in the Rescue Diver course, and we are both excited to get the Wreck Diver license. Wreck diving allows you to dive deeper and explore ship and aircraft wrecks underwater. We are also talking about getting Dry Suit certified this winter, as it allows you to scuba dive in icy cold water. My SO heard diving in Alaska is amazing. :)

Horse Riding

If you are ever in Kauai, I recommend you visit the Silver Falls Ranch on the north shore. The ranch is beautiful and it has many exotic birds and cute, little boars running around. But of course, our main reason for visiting the Ranch were the horses. Ben and I took the horse riding tour that travels through the wild, tropical land and lush gardens and takes you to Silver Falls. It was a long and beautiful ride and I loved my horse so much. 


Helicopter Tour

Kauai helicopter.

I was so grateful to Ben for organising such a wonderful Hawaiian trip that I surprised him with a helicopter tour over the whole of Kauai Island. Kauai is the oldest and the greenest Island of Hawaii. Over 80% of Kauai is uninhabited and wild, which makes it the epitome of savage beauty. Seeing the lush island in all its magnificence from a bird's eye view is something we will never forget. 

It is hard to describe all the wonders of nature we have seen, but I guess the most famous sightseeing was the Jurassic Park Falls in Hanapepe Valley. We were also lucky to see Waialeale MountainWaialeale, if you didn't know, is the second wettest spot on Earth and it receives about 450 inches of rain every year(!).

The helicopter tour was great and we loved our pilot/guide. I booked the tour from the Safari Helicopters and definitely recommend them.

I would also suggest you go zip lining and maybe even try skydiving in Kauai. In the next post I will tell you more about the St. Regis Resort we stayed in and suggest places to go (and not go!) in Kauai. 

P.S. I had to rewrite this post at least three times because Squarespace was crushing and deleting my progress. Anyone else experience the same problem with Squarespace when using Chrome?

Read my other TRAVEL posts here / Читайте мои другие посты о путешествиях ТУТ.

Week 20: Kauai Island. Allerton Garden Review.

Allerton Garden Review. Kauai Island.

Allerton Garden, also knowns as Lawa'i-kai, is a gorgeous botanical garden located in Poipu, on the south shore of Kauai island. The Garden was created by Robert Allerton and his adopted son, John Gregg Allerton, and was transformed into an exotic, lavish paradise with the help of the Hawaiian Queen Emma in 1938. 

Queen Emma was queen consort of Hawaiian King Kamehameha IV until his death in 1863. A year before the King's death, their son Albert also died, leaving Queen Emma mourning and lonely for the rest of her life. After the death of her family, Queen Emma shortly retreated to Allerton Garden, where she planted beautiful bougainvilleas that you can still see now!

The botanical garden is definitely worth visiting if you are on Kauai. Ben and I really enjoyed our 2.5-3 hour guided tour ($50 per person) and we were fascinated by the original garden rooms, exotic plants and fountains. Allerton Garden also has many hidden little treasures like old, intricate stone benches and dreamlike sculptures. It was so easy to imagine how lavish and exotic balls and receptions must have been on this transformed Hawaiian plantation.

Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii. Fig, banyan tree.
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii. Couple together.
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii
Allergen Garden Kauai, Hawaii. Banyan trees.

The picturesque garden has been used in many films and TV shows, including South Pacific, Starsky and Hutch, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jurassic Park. I am sure you would immediately recognise the Moreton Bay fig trees/banyans that impressed Steven Spielberg back in the 1990s so much that he included them in Jurassic Park. 

Dress - Vintage Dress from 80s (found in Topshop on Oxford street, London).

Similar here and here.

Week 20: Kauai Island. Exploring the Paradise in Zaful.

Zaful romper. Review by fashion blogger Ulia Ali.

This Week I am going to share not only the remaining Hawaiian beach looks, but I have also written a special Kauai Guide for you!

My husband and I stayed at the St. Regis Hotel in Princeville for the entire two weeks we were on the island. The hotel has one of the most breathtaking views overlooking the blue ocean, exotic flowers and green mountains that look like they are from a magical land. We took many iPhone photos on the hotel's many balconies and terraces, and shot this “Ulia The Explorer” look (ha!) that I wore for our road trip to the Waimea Canyon State Park. 

I wore this Zaful romper which has a great Safari feel about it and my new Patricia Chang Croissant Bag that I won in the giveaway she had last month on her Instagram. 

Patricia Chang bags Hawaii
Zaful romper in Hawaii.
Romper by Zaful in Hawaii.
Zaful review
Most original Croissant Bag
Zaful review in Hawaii.
Review on Croissant Bag. 

Romper - Zaful | Croissant Bag - Patricia Chang | Sunnies - similar here


Week 19: Hawaii. Tropical Beauty in Zaful.

Pink Zaful bikini review by blogger Ulia Ali.

Kauai island has one of the best beaches in the USA and I especially fell in love with this "secret" Hideaways beach in Princeville where Ben and I shot this beautiful pink bikini from Zaful. I have been trying to find a swimsuit in a beautiful shade of blush pink all summer and I was so happy that Zaful had this in stock.

What to wear on your honeymoon in Hawaii? Gorgeous pink bikini on Kauai island.
Model Ulia Ali in Princeville, Kauai in pik bikini by Zaful.
Gorgeous Hawaiian beach and a young woman in pink bikini. Blogger Ulia Ali.
Hawaiian girl in pink bikini with original back lacing.
Kauai island honeymoon.
Girl on Hideaways beach in Hawaii. Kauai island, Princeville.
Azerbaijani model and blogger Ulia Ali in Kauai, Hawaii, USA.
Swimwear by Zaful. Review

Swimsuit - Zaful| Flower - Local Souvenir Shop (similar here)