East Oahu’s Koko Kai Beach Park…aka China Walls

China Walls Koko Kai

China Walls Koko Kai beach park, more commonly known as China Walls, has always been a popular place to surf and swim. With crystal blue water that splashes gently, or washes violently, against a lava rock delta, and a perfect view of the Hawaiian sunset behind Diamond Head, it’s easy to understand why China Walls is so popular. On any given evening Koko Kai beach park is packed with surfers, swimmers, Instagramers tourists and acrobatic local boys doing all sorts of flips into the ocean. On days when the south shore of Oahu meets swell generated in the South Pacific, China Walls is one of the first places that the waves break. Surfers put on an exhibition when the waves are big, and beachgoers on the lava rock have a view of the surfing unlike anywhere else in the world.

Be Safe Out There!

An obelisk at the beach park warns of the dangers. Despite its beauty, China Walls has claimed many lives over the years. On days when the waves break, lulls in the swell invite beachgoers into the water, often before they consider how to get back out. Climbing out of the water at China Walls involves timing your climb between waves. The wall itself is covered in sea urchins and is remarkably slippery. This leads to a nearly daily situation in which swimmers need assistance getting back out of the water.

The advent of Instagram also marked a change in the environment at China Walls. Although China Walls was always a popular place, beachgoers posting pictures of the beach park have made china walls beauty a phenomenon known worldwide. Visitors from all over the world now make the trek out to Oahu’s east side to see the sunset, which goes viral on Instagram every evening.

The popularity comes with a price, as the number of people who find themselves in some form of peril at the beach seems to grow larger every day.

China Walls is a surf break like no other and is an incredibly beautiful backdrop under which the Hawaiian evening sky puts on a show daily. It is a place worth protecting and enjoying, and it’s well being is the responsibility of not only Hawaii’s residents but anybody who has experienced it.

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August 15, 2021

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