Friday, 9 November 2012


We rode the Waikiki Trolley to the Aloha Tower stop where we took the free walking tour ‘Honolulu in 1941’.   The tour starts in the port and goes through Chinatown.

Our first stop was the 10th floor of the Aloha Tower, which was built in 1925 at a cost of $190,000.00 a lot of money back then.

There were great views of the port of Honolulu, Sand Island and the airport.

In some places on the pavement in the port area you can still just about see faint white lines that were used to mark the area where lei sellers stood when ships arrived.   There was only one cruise ship in the day we were there, but you could imagine how busy it must’ve been back when all visitors arrived by ship.

In the 1850’s Chinese labourers came from Guangdong Province to work in the pineapple and sugar plantations.   They quickly figured out that this wasn’t going to make them rich, so once their contracts were up they started restaurants and small businesses.

The area has been devastated by fire, once in the 1880’s and once in 1900.  Apparently the second fire is intriguing as in 1899 bubonic plague broke out and the area was immediately quarantined.   However, in 1900 a fire started to burn down plague infested homes quickly got out of control and destroyed the entire area.  Some historians believe that the ‘out of control’ fire may have been deliberately left to burn as the Chinese merchants occupied prime real estate and were economically powerful.   If that was the case it didn’t work as merchants simply rebuilt in the same spot.

As we walked along Gary, our guide explained that some of the older buildings were made of brick
and some of volcanic blue stone, some buildings have also been clad with a façade, so I hope I’ve got these the right way round!
I seem to think this building is police station and if I remember correctly the outside is one that appears in Hawaii 50.
Quite a few of the buildings were used as dance halls and/or brothels girls came from many different places, LA, San Francisco, to work in Honolulu especially during WWII, on arrival they were all examined for public health reasons.

The Lai Fong Department Store has been owned by the same family for over 75 years, when you think of the size of stores these days it seems very small.
Wu Fat’s another regular in Hawaii 50.
We passed the tattoo parlour that originally belonged to ‘Sailor Jerry’ we’d never heard of him, but he was apparently world famous, no photograph as there was a huge van parked in front of it. 
The market was really interesting although I have to admit I wasn’t at all sure about some of the things on offer.  One of which was ‘chicken fingers’ which is actually chicken’s feet, while we were assured that they were actually very tasty I’m not at all sure we could be persuaded to try them.
Some of the other things for sale in the market.
One of the entrances to the market, wouldn’t you know it just as I pressed the shutter someone appeared in the entrance!
We stopped in the Ruby café were DB discovered manapua, pork baked inside a bap, he thoroughly enjoyed that and said it was very tasty.  I have to admit the coconut cream buns were nice as well!
The restored Hawaii Theatre.
Gary, our guide was very informative, there's a lot to see and it was really interesting, we had a great time.
Have fun, we are!

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