The Ala Wai Canal is a man built freshwater waterway. It was built in 1922 and drains rainwater. Along the canal there are always joggers, people riding bikes, walking and outrigger crews in the canal.
The Hawaii Convention Center, golf courses, apartments, and condominiums line the canal all the way to the ocean and the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.
***No swimming is allowed in the canal***
Princess Kaiulani was Crown Princess of Hawaii. When the HAwaiian government was overthrown in 1893, she lead a campaign to restore the monarchy. She even had an audience with the US Congress, President Cleveland and President Harrison. The monarchy was never restored but she is remembered and loved by the Hawaiian people. Just recently a movie of her life was released in theatres while we were visiting Hawaii.
We visited this church (pic 1) one Sunday morning because we saw a leaflet that was saying that they had gospel songs during the mass and I never had the chance to see one live. We watched the Sunday worship (usually starts at 10.30am), it was kind of weird for us with all the people there smiling to each other and then singing all these songs about jesus with the keyboard based music on the background. So we just listen for some minutes and we left without destracting them.
Before we take the bus again we visited the statue (pic 2) of king David Kalakaua (1836-1991) the last king of the Hawaii. He is known as conservative monarch (really? How come?), he travelled a lot and wanted to brought hula, hawaiian music and surfing out to the world. He built the Iolani palace. He lost most of his power after 1887 when he was forced to sign a new constitution. Three years later he was very ill to rule and his sister Liliuokalani took his place on the throne not for too long though as the overthrow of Hawaiian kingdom came two years after.
St Augustine church is a weird roman catholic church in neo gothic style that we saw among the high rise buildings of Waikiki. We saw it next to the beach as we were walking along Kalakaua avenue. We went inside where there are some nice big stained glass windows. The local parish established in 1854 after the arrival in Hawaii from France of the priests that belong to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. From 1831 to 1839 hawaiian catholics were denied their religious rights. The first chapel on this spot was built with coconut fronds and wood from wrecks on the shore!
The church that we see today was built in 1901 upon the old chapel of the parish. It was named after the great doctor of the church Saint Augustine of Hippo. Prince David and princess Abigail Kawanakoa baptized their daughter Kapiolani here and gave as a gift the baptismal font. The church was renovated in 1910 and then again in 1925.
If you want to attend a mass here’s the schedule:
Monday to Friday 7.00, 17.00
Sunday 6.30, 8.00, 10.00, 17,00
Father Damien museum is located right behind the church.
Some years before VT and internet, for me Waikiki was something like the ideal exotic vacation, a tropical resort full of coconut trees and girls that put flower lei around your neck. Ha! The aloha spirit is only a motto written on cheap shirts now, the beaches are packed with tourists so if you want something more into the romance side you have to choose another island (we went to Kauai for that). Now, and having said all that you may think that this is a place to avoid. If you have only a week to spend in Hawaii yes but if you have more time Waikiki will be your base for the island.
The choices of the hotels are countless here and you can catch many buses to explore other areas of the island that are more remote, so let’s stop complain :)
Waikiki (spouting water in hawaiian) extends from Ala Wai Canal on the WN to Diamond Head on the east. Ala Wai canal (pic 4) is located just a few blocks away from the beach of Waikiki and it is more quiet, a less touristic corner. We walked a bit along the canal watching the canoes that were running there. It was in 1922 when this canal was dug to stop overflow of Waikiki (once separated from the mainland).
Although, the high rise hotels are spoiling the picture by lining along the long Waikiki beach it was nice to swim at the beaches in front Kalakaua avenue, see the unexperienced surfers or just stroll along this avenue and enjoy the street artists, the free hula shows, some cocktails and Hawaiian songs of course :) You may even catch a movie right on the beach (ask for sunset on the Beach program at your hotel)! Another activity you will do here sooner or later is shopping, there so many stores from little shops to huge malls that we felt sick! The prices were much better than in California though.
There are some really huge hotels like the Hilton Hawaiian Village or the Sheraton Waikiki that dominate the area but also some famous hotels like the Moana Surfrider (pic 5) dating from the beginning of 20th century that has some free tours and a small museum with interesting facts about the period that only princes and other rich people were coming to Waikiki.
Just in case Pearl Harbor wasn’t enough for you take a visit to US Army Museum of Hawaii, we skipped that. If you have kids you may interested to visit the Waikiki Aquarium or the Honolulu Zoo.
I wasnt thinking of going to Chinatown while I was in Honolulu I just stummbled upon it while I was trying to get back to Waikiki. It is located in Downtown Honolulu in the Financial district. They say its very large, about 15 blocks but it didnt look that big to me. Maybe I was just confused I dont know.
It is said that Chinese came to Hawaii in 1789. Now the area is not just Chinese but still is heavily Asian and includes Japanese, Cambodians, Laoatians, Vietnamese and Filipinos.
I didnt stay in the area very long but maybe on another visit to Hawaii I will stop by here and explore. I actually got more interest in Cinatown here after reading about the history and the temples and the people. Prior to that it hadnt even crossed mu mind to visit this area. I might be missing something.
I love street music and entertainment and Waikiki did not leave me disappointed. As you walk along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki you'll spot a variety of street performers. We saw musicians, magicians, clowns and even a dancing Elmo. They perform for the tourist crowds and have tip jars waiting to be filled. It seemed as though more showed up in the evenings to amuse late-night crowds.
One of the most popular things for tourists to do when strolling the Waikiki beachfront is to take a picture in front of the statue of Duke Kahanamoku. An Olympic gold medalist in 1912 and 1920, silver medalist in 1924 and a native Hawaiian, he is considered the man who put surfing on the map (though his medals were in swimming's 100 meter freestyle). Unfortunately, Duke's statue faces the wrong way. I say this because that's what Hawaiians say (he would NEVER turn his back on the ocean) but also from the perspective of a photographer (the sun is almost NEVER in the right place to get a good picture -- he faces north!). The best time to get a photo would be on an overcast day, though not during a storm.
Thanks to modern technology, everyone standing by Duke is on a live webcam located at http://www.honolulu.gov/multimed/waikiki.asp
So now another popular tourist idea is to call home (mind your time zones) and wave to your friends and family over the Internet. We've done this several times and it can be fun if kitschy! That's because EVERYONE will be envious of you in Hawaii!
We spent only a few hours enjoying the sun and the water at Waikiki beach. The water is so clear and warm. The beach can be a little crowded, but is still very relaxing. This was the beach at our hotel, the Outrigger Reef on the Beach (great hotel by the way), with a wonderful view of Diamond Head
How amazing is this beach!! I'm from England and have never seen anything that is remotely beautiful as this!! I was in awe when this view was laid out infront of me...it occured to me then that we were truly 'alone' on this island surrounded by water. It was quite funny though, because you could swim out really really far before it got deep but I kept hearing the Jaws music in my head!!
The shops were really cool too!! Everywhere you look there was a Crazy Shirts store and if you don't see an ABC store in Waikiki...its likely you weren't in Waikiki!!
Kapiolani Park is a big green lot under the shadow of Diamond Head where every afternoon many people go to run, walk, ride a bike or play. There are excellent views of Diamond Head and Waikiki beach and you'll taste the sporting culture of Hawaiian people.
Waikiki is the most famous place in Oahu. Lots of resorts, hotels, hostels and tourist (many japanese tourists). Go walking along the beach, seat for a while on the white sand, go swimming, look Diamond Head and breath the aloha spirit.
Waikiki Beach - just hearing that conjures up images of surfers, hula girls, luaus, everything that is Hawaiian. One of the world's most famous beaches, Waikiki is an absolute must while on O'ahu! The beach itself can be extremely crowded at times, so this is not the place to go in search of a secluded tropical paradise. But no where else in Hawaii can you find so much energy and excitement. Locals, tourists, businessmen, and surfers walk side by side here. There are tons of restaurants, shops, hotels, and people :) all along the beach and the avenues that parallel it. There are often live concerts and other events in the area, and on Saturday nights there is huge movie screen set up on the beach, and a movie is shown. A lot of fun! You already know about it, now experience it for yourself! Not to be missed!!!
One of the most noble feelings I got on Oahu was just snorkeling on a not very visited beach (Im not gonna say where ,-)) and I felt something near.. I turned around and this magnificent timid animal was slowly grazing... I just love them...please be carful with how you go about them because it is against the law to swim with, touch, hunt or come in certain radius of these animals.... they were on the verge of extinction and needed to be protected....
We visited Waikiki because the Kiwanis International Convention was being held there. Waikiki is a big CITY. Yep, with high standing buildings, high priced shops and high hoped tourists. The nightlife is electric and alive.
The best thing about being in Waikiki was the convenience of having all the stores so close. After the accident and surgery, I wasn't venturing out far, so it worked out well. (Many times, Gordie just ran out and brought something back to the room)