This piece of Maui is indeed paradise found, a place where people still speak the Hawaiian language, raise Kalo (taro) is small plots or loi, offer homegrown fruits and flowers for sale along the road, and share the aloha that has not been lost or commercialized. Of all the places on all the islands, the road to Hana has the look and feel of unspoiled Polynesia -- lavish vegetation, empty beaches, waterfalls flowing into exquisite pools. You will not be observing from a distance, but will be close enough to touch, smell, taste, and swim. The Hana Road is a rising, dipping, slithering mass of 600 curves - a spectacular journey through rain forest and jungle, past streams and water-falls, with postcard vistas of windswept peninsulas, deep bays and green valleys. Tiny villages, pop up unexpectedly in the midst of all this natural grandeur. The sprinkling of people, most with a high percentage of Polynesian blood, live simply, farming taro, bananas and other crops. This rutted and bumpy, paved road to Hana sometimes is called "narrow escape to paradise."
"Heavenly Hana," as it's known, is about a hundred years from the resorts of west Maui. Clinging to the foot of the volcano's eastern slopes that slide gracefully down to the deep curve of Hana Bay, Hana is a pretty ranch town swathed in pandanus and banana trees.