Places to Visit
I've added some interesting notes about some of the places I bring my guests and a few places you may not want to venture to alone. I'll let you decide but be forewarned: Should you choose to strike out on your own, you are your own keeper. Meaning, what I note here are facts, legends and observations, it is not a tourist's guidebook or study manual of where to find "supernatural" occurrences. The places I mention, like many places in Hawai'i, are very much like people; some will welcome you, some will not. To venture out alone is purely at your own risk.
If you feel compelled to offer something, the greatest gifts are your respect and Aloha.
What About Rock Stacking?
Rock stacking or balancing can be a performance art or a devotional. While the practice has become widely popular and examples can be seen in various places around the world, especially out in nature, it is important to understand that this is not a "Hawaiian" custom. Moving rocks around a heiau (an ancient Hawaiian temple) or other sacred or historical site compromises the integrity of the site. Remember, when visiting these places, it's best to Leave No Trace that you were there.
It is also important to note that, although you may have seen a popular surf movie showcase a young, local girl demonstrating her offering a rock wrapped in a ti leaf and placing it on the wall of a heiau to her visiting, surfer boyfriend stating, "It is a custom of my people," please do not attempt to copy this mistake.
For one, this practice causes those unknowing to inadvertently change and possibly damage a historical site. Two, it is taken out of context. And three, it is inappropriate - akin to me coming to your house and taking the leftovers out of your refrigerator and offering it to you as a gift.
Hawai'i is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Go check it out!
Should You Leave Offerings?
Additionally, in your travels throughout Hawai'i (not just the places I have mentioned), please - above all else - be respectful. Show respect to the land, to the people who live here, to yourselves. Do not move or remove plants or rocks. Leave no trace that you were there. No, not even an "offering" if you are not trained in the Native Hawaiian custom to do so. To leave a personal item may bind you to the place and affect you spiritually. To leave food, especially meat, well... you never know what you're feeding.
Practice "Leave No Trace" principles wherever you go.
Hawai'i, my home, is a wonderful place. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you. ~ Mahalo, Lopaka