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“A little waste of time”
Review of Chinatown

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Honolulu Food Tour: Best of Chinatown
Ranked #92 of 324 things to do in Honolulu
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Buzzing with vendors, shoppers, business people and tourists, this sliver of Downtown Honolulu is an exciting mix of history, mystery and fun. Amid the lei stands, noodle factories, hole-in-the-wall eateries and herbal medicine shops, the Oahu Market attracts locals recognizing it for savory selections of fresh meats, fish and produce. Remember to frequently look up from the street level while walking around the district since many of the old buildings that were renovated have retained their original façade and completion date on the second story.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
142 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“A little waste of time”
Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

If you are going around, you can make a short visit to this place, but in general we did not find a lot of excitement there. Definitely it is not entertainment for half of day, moreless just for half an hour and do not expect much from it.

1 Thank FruhMi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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532 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Maybe I missed something...”
Reviewed March 4, 2014 via mobile

Walking through ChinaTown in Honolulu really transported me mentally. I totally forgot that I was in Hawaii. The smells, the sounds, were so different than others I've been hearing around Honolulu.

There are several fresh fruits and vegetable markets. Fresh Seafood and fresh bread. A seemingly popular juice/smoothie bar which didn't appear very clean to me, so I opted not to have one. It's located in this "square" like food court with tables right in front of it.

I purchased fresh fruits and kept browsing. I didn't find much, so I started to google "things to do in Chinatown Honolulu" and the results suggested that I had already seen it all.

I, then walked around a bit more then wandered beyond the stalls and smells. I found a small park that was so quiet and peaceful, even more so it seems, because of the hustle and bustle of what I had just left in ChinaTown.

I stayed at the park for a bit then wandered towards the water. There I came up on "Aloha Towers" which seemed to have seen better days. I had luch there at Gordon Biersch (I'll leave a review of that separately). It's located on the ground floor overlooking the water in the back.

So, should you visit Chinatown?
Yes, if you are looking for fresh fruits and vegetables.
No, if you are sightseeing, unless, I missed the "sights"and you want to go see for yourself, then, by all means, go.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Terry J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
456 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
“Yum food!”
Reviewed February 26, 2014

Head straight for Maunakea marketplace when in Chinatown- in my opinion the only place worth it - and their "food hall" serve AMAZING made on the spot from scratch food that you eat at communal tables. The chicken pineapple curry at the Thai counter was out of this world.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank Adele H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salinas, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A peek into another culture”
Reviewed February 15, 2014

You are stepping into another world when you go to Chinatown in Honolulu, Hi. If you are expecting blocks and blocks of stores like San Francisco, you will be disappointed. This is a living breathing neighborhood and looks smell and feels like it. Tiny stores and huge open air markets are crammed together over a few blocks. Park next to the tiny flower shop on the east side of Chinatown that always has 3 old ladies sitting just inside talking and laughing and making beautiful leis. Parking is also good in the lot on the beach side. The neighborhood surrounding Chinatown is a cross between up-coming hip and seedy dangerous.
Chinatown itself is beautiful in its natural state. Stall after stall of fresh produce, amazing window displays in front of pharmacies, and beautiful flowers. There are two open air markets; one is all produce and flowers, and is an amazing rush of sensations. The other is a huge wet market with every kind of meat, fowl, fish and things never named can be bought. There are both amazing places to see. There is also all the chintzy stuff and souvenir stuff to get there too.
But the piece de résistance is the food court. You can get a myriad of Asian cuisine types here. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese; you name it, it is there. The soups come in huge bowls and are rich and flavorful with fresh shrimp, meat and veggies, made to order. My favorite is a Filipino stew made of peas, onion, carrots, chicken livers and quail eggs all in a creamy spicy brown sauce! Seating is at long communal tables and everyone there are mostly locals having lunch. Chinatown Honolulu is not for the visitor who is looking for a shopping expedition but it is a wonderful immersion into a very special world.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank vdoolittle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kauai, Hawaii
Level Contributor
306 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“It's small”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Do not go there at night! It's nice to walk around during the day and check out the restaurants and little shops.

Visited January 2014
Thank 2bumdrifters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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