The trail to the summit of Le ahi or Diamond
Head is fragile and of course you are asked to follow the stricked rules on this Trail.
The Trail was built in 1908 as part of a U S Army defense system. Mules used to haul materials on this trail for construction of Fire Control Station Diamond Head. The Kahala tunnel was built in the 1940's and it is the public entrance to the Crater.
Favorite thing: There are lots of magazines and brochures for tourists. These are available at the hotel and on the street. Look through them becuase they have lots of coupons for things. If you plan well, you can save lots of money by using them.
Situated opposite Waikiki's oldest hotel, the Moana Hotel and just down from the Royal Hawai’ian Shopping Centre, this is a huge open-air market that covers an entire city block of prime Waikiki real estate being bounded between Waikiki's two main thoroughfares, Kuhio Ave to the north and Kalakaua Ave to the south.
A labyrinthine sprawl of stalls and shops selling all manner of tourist souvenirs, the International Market Place really is the beating heart of Hawai’ian kitsch and tackiness – but don’t let that put you off, as there plenty of gems in there to tempt even the most hard bitten traveller and, let’s face it, if you truly wanted to avoid the rampant commercialism of Waikiki you wouldn’t be there in the first place!
For a start it is a great place to shop for T-Shirts and the ubiquitous Hawai’ian Shirt, as well as souvenir presents for friends and family back home such as Hawai’i license plates, shell bracelets and lei – but watch out if you’re looking for genuine merchandise as like as not, your ‘authentic’ Hawai’ian shirt will most likely have been made in SE Asia! Bargaining is expected here and you should be able walk away with plenty of good deals.
The market place is also a great place for kids as there are plenty of activities ranging from having your picture taken in a grass skirt or with a parrot to watching various stage shows including music and dance and excellent drumming displays. Other activities around include watching local sculptors at work on various native materials, getting one’s fingernails painted with tropical scenes or getting your palm read.
A good central meeting point is the Koi Carp pool by the huge Banyan tree in the centre of the market, or if you get really lost there is a yellow tramline on the floor that you can follow to get you back onto the street.
Fondest memory: Finally, we found the food court in the market to sell good quality Hawai’ian style food at some of the most reasonable prices in Waikiki – this reason alone had us coming back to the International Market Place time and again as well priced food was at a premium here. For those whose appetites are of a more liquid variety, there are several decent bars there including a ‘treehouse’ bar with live music.
This place is bound to have something for everyone.
Favorite thing: This is a free show sponsored by Kodak. It's of course very touristy, but if you've never seen Hula dance before, this is actually pretty good. You learn about the body language and what the music and dance mean. It increases your appreciation for the native culture. Remember to bring tons of sunscreen as it's really hot there.
Fondest memory: The Weather, the Beaches, the activities, & the people!
Place that I like is this
This unit is in a condo that's facing the ocean, right next to Hilton Hawaiian Village. Plenty of positive review.
If you are nervous of taking chance with individual property owner but want ocean view, you can try Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki ( http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60982-d87011-Reviews-Hawaii_Prince_Hotel-Honolulu_Oahu_Hawaii.html ). Some people complain about old/worn decor and small old CRT TV sets, but all the rooms there have full ocean view. NO such thing as garden/mountain/city view.
Ala Moana Hotel is less than $150/night. It's close to beach, but not on beach.
Ala Moana condo (individual rooms sold as condo to individual buyers) is also an option. Recently renovated. I understand that some rooms of the Ala Moana Hotel building were sold off as condos during the housing boom. The condos (actually rooms) are rented by individual owners, not the Hotel management. This actually turned out to be an issue as only 3 out of 4 property owner/manager never replied to my email inquiries re reservation. One did reply very promptly to my emails. You also need to watch out for room/cleaning service. It's separate from the charge for the room, and you need to order it in advance.
All of the above 3 options (actually 2 buildings) are close to Ala Moana Mall. You can get cheap meals in the food court. List of stores at Ala Moana Mall ( http://www.alamoanacenter.com/Stores/Alphabetical-Listing.aspx ). Longs Drugs (aka CVS) is there.
Also both locations are within walking distance to Hilton Hawaiian Village, which is actually a decent destination in itself. THey have nice gardens, penguins, restaurants that you can check. Driving there will cost you a few bucks due to parking fee.
Look into The Bus for transportation around the island and also the Waikiki Trolley (http://www.waikikitrolley.com/ ) that goes up and down the waikiki area. If you are there for 10 days, you probably can have a rental car for only half of the time? You could rent it when you arrive and than return it half way through. Maybe you (or one of you) can drive to airport to return the car and than take one of the hotel shuttles back to waikiki. Or return to a local place in Waikiki.
Lastly, check out McDonalds while there for breakfast. It's 'different'. :)
Fondest memory: weather. blue ocean
Fondest memory: We had heard of the Mai Tai Bar...great location and awesome drinks. What we didn't expect was to be serenaded by one of the local bands and to witness a gorgeous hula dance...definitely worth the money.
Favorite thing: Waikiki is very commercial but has lots of good shopping (expensive) and restaurants. I love going to the Korean and the traditional Hawaiian places. Walking along the Waikiki Beach in the morning when the sun is just rising is actually quite peaceful and pleasant. Hiking up Diamond Head, you get a breathtaking view from all directions. Just remember to bring a lot of water because it's pretty strenuous.
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