Waikiki Travel Tips: 14 Things to Know Before You Go

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Published on April 21, 2017 by Chris

Things you need to know before you go to Waikiki on Oahu in Hawaii. Waikiki is small, it is 2 miles of sandy beach long, and about 4 city blocks wide. Waikiki attracts 72,000 visitors every day and Waikiki accounts for 42% of Hawaii’s tourism revenue.

Waikiki Meaning: “Wai” means fresh water, and “kiki” means spring—thus its nickname, “Spouting Fresh Water.” It is basically the Las Vegas Strip of Hawaii.

Waikiki is not Japan: Lots of Japanese tourists, lots of Japanese writing, busses for Japanese only, shops that cater to Japanese, Japanese Food…

Hotels: The Moana Surfrider, built in 1901, was the first hotel in Waikiki.

Transportation: Walk! Parking in Waikiki is expensive
– Royal Hawaiian Center for validation.
– JCB Card for Waikiki Trolley
– The Bus is pretty good too

Shopping: Duty Free Store — Everyone Can Shop there and it’s duty free
– And yes, they accept Yen

Coupons: Pick up the Free Maps and Tourist Magazines — lots of great deals.
– Especially in the Japanese ones.
– Visitor Information Center, located in a Gazebo at the Diamond Head end of the Waikiki strip, Corner of Kapahulu and Kalakaua

Language: English and Hawaiian — but also Pidgin English.
– only state in the union with 2 official languages.
– In Waikiki you would think Japanese is a third official language
– Say Aloha!
– Hey Brah = Get your attention
– Braddah = Brother
– Wahine = Girl

Weather: Pretty Warm Year Round. BUT HUMID!!!!

ABC Store: Located on every corner. Everything you could possibly need.

Booking Stands: Avoid them like the plague — oh, and avoid timeshares!

Free Entertainment: Lots of free entertainment in Waikiki:
– Evening Hula at the Hula Mound,
– Hula, Ukulele Lessons at the Royal Hawaiian Center
– Buskers on Kalakaua
– Friday Fireworks at the HHV

Food: Check out my Cheap Eats in Waikiki Video
You say soy sauce, we say shoyu
Spam: Spam is super popular in Hawaii. The difference is locals know how to cook it right, creating Spam musubi and Spam sushi.
Saimen: Local-style noodle soup.
Musubi (Spam Sushi Roll):
Loco Moco: rice, fried egg and hamburger patty, topped with gravy and a dash of shoyu.
Bento: A sushi lunchbox.
Shave Ice: Literally Shaved off a block of ice
Plate Lunch: A fixed plate meal, two scoops rice, one scoop macaroni and an entree.

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