Our one day adventure in Honolulu last week included a brief visit to Chinatown, since the restaurant where we had planned to eat lunch, Soul de Cuba, was nearby. See my previous entry.
Honolulu's Chinatown is a bustling little area with a historial designation smack-dab on the edge of downtown Honolulu.
It is an exciting mixture of businesses, gift and art shops, bead and gem stores, eateries, restaurants, bars, food and flower vendors, grocery stores and markets loaded with fresh produce, meat and fish markets and exotic food products. The smells and sights and looking at many a building's facade will make you think you have been transported to a busy little street in any Asian country. All within a 15 block -25 acre area!
The Bank of Hawaii makes a statement in this neighborhood with it's red columns and Asian architectural details.
It takes time to walk the several neighborhoods in Chinatown, and we usually love to stroll and take our time....unfortunately, on this trip we only had a couple of hours to spend there as we were flying back to the Big Island that afternoon and needed to make it to the airport in time to beat the 'after work' traffic.
A tiny little 'pagoda' style pergola graces the roof of this business building on Mauna Kea Street.
A vendor on the sidewalk had a display of narcissus. The art of carving narcissus bulbs is an ancient and honored Chinese tradition. Along with the Chinese New Year's festivities in February, there will probably be some narcissus bulb carving competitions and exhibits.
The colorful Mauna Kea building facade is just the entrance to a warren of many little shops, eateries and businesses built around a center courtyard.
The Asian Cultural Center on Beretania Street also houses many shops, jewelry stores, travel agents and restaurants, including a vegetarian and a dim-sum place! A stage in the courtyard is the setting for many cultural events which are held throughout the year.
As we were waiting for our cab to take us back to the airport, someone from one of the restaurants in the area came out with a pail of watery leftover rice and dumped it into the street.... in less than a minute, every pigeon, dove and bird in the area got the message that dinner was served and flew in for the banquet!
As I was working with the photos I realized I didn't take any pictures of any of the food markets! I will make it a priority project for our next trip to Honolulu's Chinatown.