Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hawaii 2012: The Streets of Waikiki

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The East and the West have converged to create a tropical paradise in the form of Hawaii.  In these islands, Honolulu is the capital city where one can experience diversity in culture and food; the climax of which can be found the beachfront neighborhood that is Waikiki.

On a Sunday, I was thankfully given alone-time and I decided to walk the length of Waikiki before going to the world-famous beach strip.  The ultimate goal of this walk is locating Hawaii’s biggest mall, Ala Moana Center, which was at the western end of Waikiki.  I know, I was in the tropics and the first thing I did was go to a mall?  Scandalous!  In my defense, I walked the whole 2.5 miles from my hotel to the mall so I could sight-see as well.

There are a lot of souvenir shops along the way.


The streets were clean and the drivers and pedestrians were disciplined and adhered to traffic rules (this seemed like a foreign concept to me, coming from the Philippines).

Sunday seemed like a lazy day.  Maybe everyone was either lounging at the beach, sipping pina coladas, and rubbing sunscreen all-over their bikini-clad bodies... or maybe just staying home.  Then again, maybe they were at the mall.  I'll know soon enough.

Ooooh, Coach.  There's no shortage of boutiques here in Kalakaua Avenue (the beachfront avenue).  But I wasn't here to shop.  Yeah, I'm lying through my teeth.  It won't be long until I splurge on useless souvenir items and clothes... and a faux leather jacket.  Anyway, moving on...

I was getting impatient and tired midway.  I wished I had taken a cab but since I'd be spending dollars, I thought it would be expensive.  I realized later on that there are free shuttle services to and from Ala Moana.  I rode one coming back but for the meantime, I was still walking.

Cheesecake Factory!  We had dinner here one night.  I'll talk about it more in future posts.

Told ya, there's no shortage of boutiques here. 

I took photos of every nook and corner to remember all the things I've seen.  I love how Waikiki is a beach and a garden at the same time; the buildings are just incidental.

Fort DeRussy.  It says on the surfboard monument: "This green expanse in the middle of Waikiki is Fort DeRussy, named in honor of Brigadier General Rene E. DeRussy, Corps of Engineers, who served with distinction in the American-British War of 1812.  It started in 1908 as vital American bastion of defense, but today, it serves as a place of recreation and relaxation for U.S. military personnel and their families..."

Good to know I learned something during my personal tour.

Finally, I found Ala Moana Boulevard!  I must be close to the mall then.  All that walking and photographing and learning about historic sites exhausted me!

So where was that elusive mall?  I didn't want to ask anyone for directions; I was too shy.

I passed by Hilton Hotel.  Did I make a wrong turn somehow?  Apparently, I did.  Good thing I finally had the gust to ask random strangers how lost I was.

I found it!  Welcome to Ala Moana Center - Hawaii's largest and United States' fifteenth largest shopping mall!  Yup, these are the things that make me excited.

It is pretty large but it ain't nothing on SM Mall of Asia.

That concludes my walking tour of Waikiki streets.  I hope this is helpful but as I said before, there's a free shuttle from here going back to Kalakaua Avenue towards the eastern end of Waikiki.  I'll be posting about the beaches next, I promise.


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