Swimming to Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’i)

As mentioned in my Oahu Favorites post, one of the best things to do is swim out to Chinaman’s hat (Mokoli’i) on the east side of the island.

With water shoes and at low tide you can walk from the beach area out to the small island. At low tide the water will be about waist high. However, I highly recommend bringing a kayak, boogie board, paddle board,  floats and/or fins. The swim is best recommended for people who are experienced in the ocean. Please be careful as people have died making the swim to the island.

If you decide to kayak, there’s a sandy area where you can grill out/eat lunch. If you get an early start this is a great place to pack a cooler and spend the day.

Getting there:

You’ll have to park at Kuala Regional Park. From there you can walk/swim/launch from the beach. Depending on the current and what your floatation device of choice is, you can get out to the island between 10-30 minuets.

On this day half of us kayaked while the other half swam/boogied.

Paddling out to Chinaman's Hat

Paddling out to Chinaman’s Hat

Small tide pools on the backside of the island

Small tide pools on the backside of the island

Back side of Chinaman's Hat

Back side of Chinaman’s Hat

Once you get to the island there are two paths that will take you to the ‘top of the hat’.


Hiking to the top

Hiking to the top

Climbing the top

Climbing the top

Top of the 'hat'

Top of the ‘hat’

The hike is only about 10 minutes with some slight rock climbing (you’ll need shoes for this). At the top you get amazing views of the Kuala ridge and you can see all the way to Kaneohe Sandbar!

Island Life

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