Waikiki, Oahu

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  • Waikiki
    by cjg1
  • Waikiki
    by cjg1
  • Shopping until she drops (January 2014)
    Shopping until she drops (January 2014)
    by cjg1
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    Torch Lighting Ceremony at The Royal Hawaiian

    by keida84 Written Jul 30, 2005

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    A great free activity is the torch lighting ceremony at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Mall. Every night at 6:00pm, the conch shell is blown signaling the approach of darkness. The beautiful dancers circulate throughout the crowd greeting all with handshakes and the greeting of "Aloha".

    Then two male runners appear, their torches ingited and held aloft, make their way through the crowd to light the torches that border the perimeter of the mall. There are a variety of dancers--from the lovely hula girls to the "keikis" (children).

    The torch lighting cermeony is free to all, I recommend you get there early if you wish to have a seat for the show.

    Blowing the Conch Shell Hula Girl Fountain and torches
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    Pacific Ocean City

    by KiKitC Written Oct 9, 2005

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    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)

    We could watch the hula show from our lanai
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    Catch a Sunset Ceremony if It's Your Thing

    by AKtravelers Written Jul 31, 2005

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    All of the hotels along Waikiki have ceremonies when the sun goes down. Even some off of Waikiki will celebrate a torch lighting or something (it's a little incongruous conjuring up ancient Polynesia at the Ala Moana with all that traffic going by, but they try). Most of them include Hawaiian music and dancers in traditional costumes, which vary from hotel to hotel. None of this really excites me, especially since it seems to reduce a culture to tourist marketing. However, if you're interested you can see such performances at the Hilton and Sheraton among others. The performances are always free, which is why this tip isn't listed under tourist traps -- after all, you can always walk away at no cost if you find it boring.

    Sunset Ceremony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
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    Visit Duke & Make your friends jealous via webcam

    by AKtravelers Updated Jan 12, 2008

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    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!

    Duke Kahanamoku faces the street in Waikiki
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    Waikiki Beach

    by Jim_Eliason Written Dec 7, 2004

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    One of the most famous beaches in the world and also the center of tourist life on Oahu. If your looking for peace and quiet you came to the wrong place. This is the place to see and be seen. The corresponding neighborhood also provides unlimited shopping and dining choices.

    Waikiki
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    Just watch!

    by FRONA Updated Jan 4, 2006

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    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....

    Turtles
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    "Brothers In Valor" Memorial

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    Honoring the World War II Veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. The plaques are huge, so I only put limited amount of information on here.

    “Veterans who served in these units, which are deeply rooted to Hawaii, have rendered significant service to their nation, often with great sacrifice.” —Lt. General Robert L. Ord, III, Commander, U.S. Army, Pacific. November 1995.

    100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), “The Purple Heart Battalion.”
    The 100th Infantry Battalion, except for some officers, was the first combat unit in the history of the United States Army to be comprised of Hawaii-born Japanese Americans. The unit was made up of 1,432 men and officers, most of whom were pre-war draftees serving in the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiments, guarding Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. On May 29, 1942, Japanese naval forces were approaching Midway. In anticipation of a subsequent Japanese attack on Hawaii, all Japanese-American soldiers in the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiments and others were placed into the Hawaii Provisional Infantry Battalion and then shipped off on June 5, 1942, to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, for combat training. Redesignated as the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), the unit received extensive training at Camp McCoy and Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for the next 16 months. All the while, the Army remained in doubt as to whether the 100th should be sent into combat, and if so, where and with which unit. Finally, in September 1943, the 100th shipped out to Oran, Africa, attached to the 34th (“Red Bull”) Division, and landed at Salerno, Italy, on September 22, 1943. For the next nine months, the 100th fought in the Salerno-to-Rome campaign through the bitter winter against a tenacious enemy, most notably in the battle for Monte Cassino. Here, it suffered huge casualties and earned itself the title “The Purple Heart Battalion.” The 100th landed on the Anzio Beachhead in March 1944, took over and held defensive positions, and thereafter participated in the break out towards Rome and beyond.

    Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
    2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801
Honolulu, HI 96815


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    Waikiki schmiki

    by FRONA Written Sep 28, 2004

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    we had a 5 hour overlay from the Big Island and I suggested we hop to Honolulu and Waikiki just for the sake of it. Boy I can tell you it took us almost hour and half by cab from the airport thru town and traffic. Waikiki is a nice beach but much too crowded and very commercial. I much more appreciate the NOrth Shore.

    waikiki
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    Solomon Enos Murals

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 6, 2014

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    These lovely murals are located near the front entrance of the Sheraton Waikiki and are by Solomon Enos and Carl Pao. The other two murals are located at the entrance into the Royal Hawaiin Center are painted by Solomon Enos.

    The mural in the Sheraton Waikiki are called "The Arrival", this piece honors the first inhabitents of the Hawaiian islands, the birds, fish, and plants. They arrived via air streams, migration patterns, and ocean currents, the vessels that brought life to the middle of the Pacific. The Gathering, a continuation of the "The Arrival" art piece, "The Gathering" offers hope. The gathering is about ideas. It speaks to how and when we come together and gather our thoughts, experiences, and stories, we can move together to a better place for everyone. We are in this transformational process of gathering our resources, consuming ourselves, digesting ourselves, and deconstructin ourselves. Like seeds that are digested by a bird, they go through transformation. The seed germinates because of what it has been put through, a maze of intestines, a breaking down, a rebirth, back into organic shapes again. When we gather and are open to change, we find our way back to what we know is truth that include us all.

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    famous resort

    by mindcrime Written Dec 8, 2009

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    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.

    Waikiki torches and high buildings painter at Kalakaua avenue Ala Wai canal Moana Sufrider Hotel

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    Victoria Cleghorn 1875-1899

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 27, 2014

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    Victoria Kawekiu F Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapu Ka’iulani Cleghorn
    1875-1899
    Born to Chiefess Miriam Kapili Likelike (sister to King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani) and Governor Archibald Scott Cleghorn. She was the only child born to the last ruling dynasty of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

    Princess Ka’iulani and her parents lived in Waikiki and created a tropical garden estate, in the area around this staue, known as Ainahau~Land of the Hau Tree. Ka’iulani’s favorite flower was the Chinese Jasmine, which grew wild in the gardens and was given the Hawaiian name – pikake – after the beloved pet peacocks that roamed freely around the estate.
    Princess Ka’iulani spent many years away from Hawai’i, being schooled as the heir to the Hawaiian throne. After the overthrow of the monarchy, Ka’iulani returned to Hawai’i and fought for the return of the throne to her Aunt Queen Lili’uokalani.
    After riding her horse in a rainstorm, Ka’iulani took ill and never fully recovered. She died on March 6, 1899, at the age of 23 and was buried at Mauna Ala, the Royal Mausoleum in Nu’uanu.

    To celebrate the life of Princess Ka’iulani, lovingly referred to by her people as the “Princess of the Peacocks”. Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, on behalf of the Kelley Family commissioned the statue of her as part of their commitment to restoring Waikiki’s history, and honoring Hawai’i’s favorite princess.

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    Hula Lessons

    by Yaqui Written Apr 25, 2014

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    The have many wonderful programs and events held at the Royal Hawaiin Center. The have hula lessons located at the Royal Grove section. Hula is the art of Hawaiian dance. It expresses all that we hear, see, smell, taste, touch and feel. Hula is life. The late kumu hula - dance master - Maiki Aiu Lake's philosophy expresses the depths of this Hawaiian art form. Puake'ala Mann, a kumu hula graduate of Hälau Hula o Maiki, shares basic hand gestures, footwork and body movements that accentuate mele - chant or song lyrics.

    1 hour, twice weekly

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    Kalia Fishponds Waikiki Historic Trail

    by Yaqui Written Apr 23, 2014

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    Had you walked across this road in 1897 you might have landed in Waikĩkĩ’s largest fishpond, the Ka’ihikapu, which measured 13 acres. All of today’s Fort DeRussy on the mauka (toward the mountain) side of the road was covered with fishponds. There were actually hundreds of fishponds in Waikĩkĩ. The fishponds were controlled by the chiefs, but maintained by the commoners. The fish grown in the ponds were mostly ‘ama’ama (or mullet) and awa (milkfish), both of which adapted well to brackish water. When the ponds were well cared for, the fish fattened quickly. The ponds functioned as “royal iceboxes” with readily available food for quests, especially the unexpected.

    Ancient Hawaiians believed their fishponds were inhabited by mo’o deities who were sometimes described as creatures with terrifying black bodies, 12 to 30 feet in length. Hawaiians believed these creatures were the guardian spirits of fish ponds, who not only protected the caretakers but punished those who abused their responsibilities. The reclamation of Waikĩkĩ began here in Kãlia when the U.S. military acquired 72 acres of land and started draining it in 1908 to build Fort DeRussy. It took over 250,000 cubic yards of sand and coral dredged from various O’ahu areas continuously over the course of a year to cover Ka’ihikapua and its sister ponds in Kãlia. The Hale Koa Hotel is used exclusively for U.S. military personnel and their dependents.

    Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
    2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801
Honolulu, HI 96815


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    Indian Banyan Trees

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 23, 2014

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    I had only seen these fabulous trees in magazines. So to finally see it in person, I was so impressed. It grows roots right from its limps and as the roots hang from the branches, these roots start to embed themselves into the ground, its starts to grows several trunks, so this fabulous formation begins. The aerial roots that grow into thick woody trunks which, with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk. Everyone was taking photos of them and they are located all over the islands.

    Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
    2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801
Honolulu, HI 96815


    This one was downtown.
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    Surfer on a Wave!

    by Yaqui Written Apr 27, 2014

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    This lovely sculpture is next to a Waikiki Historical Trail marker. Honolulu has so many, so when you are exploring, look around because you will probably find one. Not far from this sculpture is a huge Indian Banyan Tree.

    The plaque read:
    Surfer on a Wave
    Robert Pashby
    Sculptor
    Jen 2003
    Commission on Culture and the Arts
    City and Country of Honolulu
    Jeremy Harris, Mayor

    Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
    2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801
Honolulu, HI 96815

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