Waikiki Travel Tips: 14 Things to Know Before You Go

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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