We happened to be in Oahu during the Chinese New Year celebrations so we headed into China Town to check out the festivities and get some dim sum. Unfortunately the restaurants my friend recommended were closed because everyone had set up shop out in the street fair. So we wandered around taking it all in, including the dancing dragons in the main plaza.
There were two dragons in this performance, but the golden one came to my side of the crowd and worked his way around the crowd as he moved to the beat of the drums.
Many offered money to the hungry dragon. Some he accepted gingerly, while others he played with for a bit!
The cutest thing was seeing him duck down to little kid level to include them.
Here’s the view those chosen to give an offering saw. He looks a little fierce, yet friendly and cute all at the same time. 🙂
There were huge crowds for blocks as everyone wandered the street vendors finding fun little toys and different types of Asian food to sample. We’re not usually the type to enjoy being in a crowd, and the hubs wasn’t too keen on being in the midst of all this activity. I knew he was hungry so we made finding dinner the priority.
Luckily, we soon spotted this booth with a massive wok whipping up pancit. We got two orders along with some lumpia and found a curb to sit on to enjoy it. Although not the dim sum we had planned on, it was still yummy and satisfied our bellies so we were in a better mood to enjoy the scene.
As the sun faded we caught another pair of dragons dancing. This time it was a white and black dragon. I liked the white dragon, who turned out to be female!
We had heard that the swap meet at Aloha Stadium was a the best place to find good deals on Hawaiian attire so we headed out on a bright sunny morning to see what the merchants were offering. We didn’t realize just how big the event was and only made it about half way around the stadium before we were ready to call it lunch time. Along the way we found lots of Hawaiian shirts for the hubs, several maxi dresses for me, quite a few new pieces of jewelry and plenty of sauces, jams and other yummy specialties to take home.
While browsing the booths we got a little hot and decided to try out the fresh chilled coconuts. The guy cuts an opening right after you order and plops in a straw, so you’re good to continue browsing. It was a bit awkward to carry, but the novelty of it was just as refreshing as it’s contents. We ended up giving the empty coconut to a young boy who was waiting with his dad while his mom finished shopping. It was the perfect toy for him and he giggled as he continuously picked it up and dropped it on the pavement.
We also headed out toward the middle of the island to see the old ruins of the Royal Family’s summer retreat. The road to the trail looked like a tunnel carved through the jungle.
And the trail through the bamboo forest had a very similar feel.
After a short, easy hike we came through the trees to find this. There’s something that draws me to old things and the ruins were no different. While the hubs took a break in the shade I checked out the crumbling walls from several angles.
There were a variety of offerings left at the base of this sign. I’m not sure if they were given to gods or ancestors or both, but it’s obvious there are a fair amount of visitors to the location.
Inside the walls you could see how they had been smooth at one time. And I spotted a studly mainlander through the doorway as I turned back around.
We couldn’t tell if the large area of rocks in front of the structure were pieces that had fallen down over the years or if there had been some sort of wall or pathway here originally.
Hot and sticky from our hike we decided it was the perfect choice to head back to the car and over to the Dole Plantation for another Dole Whip. And we were right. It was the perfect way to wrap up the afternoon and start the next round of relaxing!
Next up I’ll share photos from the garden tour at the Hale Koa along with a few activities we did during our last days on the island so check back soon for that.