HNL

Honolulu is a tropical island that is accessible by air or sea.


HNL

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

All the following places are accessible via TheBus: Ala Moana Shopping Center, Aloha Stadium and Flea Market, Aloha Tower Marketplace, Chinatown and Chinatown Cultural Plaza Shopping Center, Dole Cannery Square, Dole Plantation, Hilo Hattie Fashion Center, Kahala Mall Shopping Center, Kam Super Swap Meet, Maui Divers' Jewelry Design Center, Pearlridge Center and Pearl Kai Shopping Center, RainBowTique - University of Hawaii, Reyn's, Victoria Ward Center, Waikele Center and Waikele Premium Outlets, Windward Mall, International Marketplace, Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial, Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, Kualoa Ranch and Activity Club, Sea Life Park, Waimea Falls Park/Waimea Bay, Bishop Museum, Chinatown and Chinatown Cultural Shopping Plaza, Downtown Honolulu, East-West Center, Hawaii Okinawa Center, Hawaii's Plantation Village (Waipahu Cultural Garden Park), Hawaii Railway Society, Iolani Palace, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Kawaiahao Church, Queen Emma Summer Palace, Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island, Bellows Beach, Hanauma Bay, Kailua Beach Park, Waikiki beach, North Shore, including Haleiwa Town and Beach Park, Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach, Sandy Beach and Makapuu Beach Park, Aquarium, Foster Botanic Gardens, Hawaii Nature Center, Helemano Plantation, Honolulu Zoo, Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens, Koko Crater Botanical Garden, Lyon Arboretum, Moanalua Gardens, Wahiawa Botanical Garden, Blaisdell Center and Concert Hall, Diamond Head Theatre, Hawaii Theatre, Kahala 8-Plex Theatres, Kennedy Theatre, Manoa Valley Theatre, Signature Theatres-Dole Cannery 18-Plex, Varsity Theatre, Wallace Theatres at Restaurant Row, Honolulu Hale (City Hall), Judiciary Building (Kamehameha Statue), Prince Kuhio Federal Building, State Capitol, Washington Place, Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific, Academy of Arts, Bishop Museum, Blaisdell Center & Concert Hall, Contemporary Arts Museum, Hawaii Maritime Center, Hawaii State Art Museum, Mission Houses Museum, Byodo-In Temple, Central Union Church, First Assembly of God, Greek Orthodox Church of Saints Constantine & Helen, Kawaiahao Church, LDS Temple, New Hope Christian Fellowship, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, St Andrew's Cathedral, St. Augustine Church, Unity Church of Hawaii, Word of Life Christian Center, Circle Island-via North Shore, Circle Island-via South Shore, Diamond Head Crater, and The Gold Coast.


The first time I visited, stepping out of the airport in the evening, I felt the warm, moist air; it was like being in a greenhouse except one with no walls. It was a nice memorable moment.


A good, cheap inexpensive way to see the island outside of Waikiki, Honolulu is to hop on the Bus 22, 55, or 58.

${QuickSuggestions} Visit Honolulu, Hawaii.com, Google search: Gay Honolulu, and Gay Hawaii, Odyssey Hawaii.${BestWay} TheBus is a very convenient, cheap, and practical form of public transportation, take Bus # 19 or 20 from/to the airport, see the island outside of Waikiki, Honolulu is to hop on the Bus 22, 55, or 58. Other forms include taking taxis, driving, bicycling, and walking.

YMCA - Central Branch

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

YMCA - Central Branchoffers alternative accommodations on a walk-in basis, and they don’t take reservations. It’s best to show up at 10am to get a room as people check out or pay to extend their stay. Rooms are without air conditioning, available for both women and men. There is an outside pool, four racquetball courts, a sauna, and a gym. Single room with a shared shower for men only is $35/night while a single room with a private shower is $59/night. Inquire about a weekly rate for a better price.


The room was pretty bare, with a twin bed with springs that squeaked and a TV. There were shower facilities down the hallway. There was a restaurant that served breakfast, and I would order papaya each morning along with my breakfast – the papaya made it a more complete experience - tropical fruit in a tropical location setting.


I've revisited the restaurant where the ownership changed. I was able to get burnt eggs, Portugese sausage and rice for $3.50 plus tax from 8:30am-11am from a Vietnamese woman with an attitude, and no papaya, but frowns are free. This place is opened Monday-Saturday 8:30am-9:30pm or whenever she shows up. I thought she opened at 8am, the business card printed open 8:30am, It was open one day at 8:17am, another I waited till 8:45am before she showed up.


It's not exactly an ideal place to stay, but it is next to Ala Moana Shopping Center, five minute walk from the Hawai'i Convention Center, close enough to Waikiki and has a place to shower, sleep, and have a meal. It also offers a pool, gym, and sauna, free wifi in the lobby. Above all, for one person, it's easy on the pocketbook, and that's the bottom line.


TheBus # 19 or 20 will take you directly to here from the airport.

YMCA Branch Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(808) 944-6823

Ala Moana Hotel and Condomediums

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on November 26, 2005

Ala Moana Hotel, the room is decent, though upon a closer look, you can see the rust on the air conditioner was painted over, the bathroom door at the bottom was breaking apart due to the moisture. The bed was soft but supportive and comfortable to get a good night's sleep.

Mini-coffee maker, iron, ironing board, data port, air conditioning has no thermostat control-only off, low, medium, high settings, mini fridge, small desk area, tv, clock radio, $0.75 for local calls, wi-fi access in lobby $6.95 for a 24 hour period, $24.95 for one month, internet kiosks $0.15/minute, $9/hour, $0.35 per printed page, digital room safe for use will incur a $3.50 daily fee, to activate dial 4444 from the room telephone-a recording will inform you it will be activated in three minutes, to deactivate dial 4400 from the room telephone-a recording will inform you service will be deactivated.

Swimming pool closed for improvements, during which time free access to the pool Central YMCA on 401 Atkinson Dr may be used, get towel from Bell Desk, present your room card at the locker desk, you’ll need to sign a waiver release form.

Lap swimming 18+, Monday-Friday 5am-10pm, Saturday 5am-7pm, Sunday 7am-7pm


Family recreational swimming Friday 6pm-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 4pm-7pm.


Fitness center temporarily relocated to the Kona Tower, 4th floor, fitness hours 5am-9pm.


There are places to dine, Plantation Café daily 6:30am-1:30pm and 5:30pm-10pm, breakfast buffet $14.95 Friday and Saturday evening buffet 6pm-9pm, Sunday brunch 10am-2pm; Mahina Lounge, beverage service: Sunday-Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-12am, light deli service daily 1:30pm-5:30pm; Rumours, Thursday 5pm-2am, Friday 5pm-2:30am, Saturday 9pm-2:30am; in addition to room service available 6:30am-1:30pm and 5:30pm-10pm.


There's a big push hard sell sales on floor 17 with a constant bombardment of an infomercial by the elevator lobby to sell the converted condos, and you can lease back the condo to the hotel. Sounds like a very interesting concept. But there were also these tall omninus looking Swiss security guards that made me feel leary about the condo concept.


There are six elevators, one exclusive for in house staff, one becomes an express elevator to the top floor at 5pm, and I observed that the only service elevator was locked on another floor while the staff waited and trying to use the elevators for guests.


The hotel is a five minute walk from the Hawai'i Convention Center, Ala Moana Shopping Center which is also a major bus transfer point.


TheBus # 19 or 20 from the airport took us directly to the back entrance of the hotel.

Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Dr.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(808) 955-4811

Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by panda2 on December 20, 2005

We found this bargain place through Lodging.com but probably won't be using their booking service again. I got confused getting an email from Loding.com from a booking I had already made months ago and thought I had made another booking, as the email didn't state the original booking date. It took some research to find this out. Plus, Lodging.com now has removed the search feature by nearby landmarks, making it less useful.

We were issued card keys that didn't work, then the entrance lock was converted and changed, so we had to go back to the desk to get new card keys issued. The room was decent and clean, but it was definitely a downgrade to stay here compared to where we moved from. There were two twin beds, air-conditioning, mini fridge, a view of the next building, and no coffee in the room, not even instant. Coffee is available in their restaurant. There were two small swimming pools not really large enough to use. A 24-hour self laundromat is a plus. There's a bar and a restaurant on the premises. I tried their mahimahi omelet and it was very bland. The fruit bowl wasn't good, with bananas as one of the items on the menu that was crossed out. The fruit wasn't freshly cut and it mostly consisted of tart pineapple. I wouldn't recommend anyone stay here or dine at the restaurant.

Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki
175 Paoakalani Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
808-922-4671

Patti's Chinese Kitchen

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

Patti's Chinese Kitchen is a popular Chinese food restaurant with fast table service. Queue up, get your food and pay, and then sit and eat.


It is located on the street level of the Ala Moana Shopping Center inside the Food Court.


Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 9pm, Sunday 10am to 7pm

Patti's Chinese Kitchen
1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(808) 946-5002

Glowing Dragon

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on November 26, 2005

We came by this Chinatown restaurant place by chance glimpsing through the window filled with Chinese customers in the evening about 7:30pm but were on our way the the symphony.

We returned the following day for lunch, and it wasn't very busy at all. We ordered a shredded sharkfin with crabmeat soup $5.95, egg rolls $4.95, a beef dish prepared French style $9.95, steamed flounder with scallions and ginger $14.95, mango pudding $1.50. These were all choices spotted off the restaurant wall with the exception of the egg rolls and mango pudding.

The soup and eggrolls were good; the beef dish my partner liked, but I found it way too salty, the fish a little overdone, but otherwise very good. The mango pudding was acceptable but not outstanding. The atmosphere isn't anything to write home about, the service was decent and acceptable but it wasn't busy either, the food was very good. No alcohol is served here, but our waitress suggested we could bring our own or buy it from a nearby neighborhood store opened during the daytime. From the outside, there's an ad displayed about ordering two dishes, get one free, 10am-10pm with restrictions which I didn't inquire about. Credit cards accepted.

Daily 10am-12am

Glowing Dragon
1023 Maunakea St
Honolulu, Hawaii
808/521-4492

Polynesian Sunset Dinner Cruise

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on January 1, 2006

Polynesian Sunset Dinner Cruise offers a dinner cruise into the sunset. We purchased the Orchid package on board the Starlet for a three-course dinner with local entertainment.

A Mai Tai (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) drink is included, as well as a taro root roll, which was stale; beef; chicken; mahimahi; vegetables; and rice in a small but satisfying portion. The entertainment was satisfying, as well.

The Orchid Package was a good value for what we received: a decent meal with some good Polynesian local entertainment. I don't know if I would've been any happier spending more for a dinner cruise. I was quite pleased for the money and time spent here.

Daily: Departs 5:15pm, returns 7:15pm; round-trip ground transportation to your hotel is available.

Polynesian Sunset Dinner Cruise
Aloha Tower Marketplace
Honolulu, Hawaii
(907) 983-7827

Jose's Cafe & Cantina

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on January 6, 2006

Jose's Cafe & Cantina is just one of several places to dine on Restaurant Row, where the inexpensive $1 movie house shows older movies. Some of the other places were booked or more expensive.

The Mahi Mahi De Le Cruz $16, the fish was fresh and flavorful, was simply tasty and delicious and our best choice of anything else ordered here, worth a trip over here just to taste this dish. The Sopa was too peppery and crab burrito were alright but not great. Atmosphere and service were alright, outdoor seating available. Credit cards accepted.

Jose's Restaurante Mexicana and Cantina
500 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813
+1 808 528 3859

Eggs 'n Things

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on January 7, 2006

Eggs 'n Things is a busy breakfast restaurant with a very sizable Japanese clientele. There's also a menu printed in Japanese. When there's a wait out the door, which was frequent, give your name at the counter and you're given a pager, which will alert you when your table is ready.

The coffee was so awful my partner asked that it be taken away, and it was removed from the bill. I had ordered a omelet off of the white board without the green onions and asked for mozzarella cheese. The order had no onions but had a different cheese than what I had ordered. It took a long time for the order to come the first time, so I didn't send it it back to have it corrected. You certainly couldn't complain about not having enough to eat, but the food portions are way out of line. The food portions are too large, especially the potatoes (seemed like 2 cups worth) that could feed four people. Smaller food portions (1/2 cup potatoes) along with lower prices is what's needed here.

I left here quite full, but it was a less than satisfying experience. I wouldn't bother coming back here again.

Daily 11pm-2pm

Eggs 'N Things
1911 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 949-0820

Cheeseburger Waikiki

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on January 7, 2006

Cheeseburger Waikiki is a 24-hour burger joint where some of the staff wears a grass skirts. The cheesburger here was all right but not outstanding, as they would like you to believe. There's outdoor seating, weather permitting. One of the menu choices is a cheeseburger and a T-shirt for $20.

There was a T-shirt design they had on display that I wanted to purchase, but I was told a new shipment would be there in a couple of days. So I went back to get one, but none was in stock, and they were hesitant to ship me one, as they didn't know when or if they would get restocked, so they refunded my money.

Cheeseburger Waikiki
1945 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 941-2400

Assaggio's

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on March 5, 2006

Assaggio's, an Italian restaurant, is one of the finer restaurants, with a white-tablecloth atmosphere. The special of the day was good and the Italian sausage & peppers with potato, the fresh fruit with rum sauce and whip cream, and the fresh hot bread provided at the table were excellent. It is spacious, though can get loud with a full crowd, and the service mostly good. It's a great place to take a date or for special occasions, business meal, or just to splurge a little. They also will sell deli items to take home: homemade bread, rigatoni, homemade Italian sausage $8/pd or meatballs, marinara meatless tomato sauce, fettuccine, and linguine. Credit cards are accepted.

Their sausage tasted so good, I went back another day to find out where they get them from and found out that they're made on the premises and would be available for purchase. I asked for a couple of pounds to be set aside frozen for me on my departure date. If I didn't show to pick them up, they would just use it the next day. The same person was there when I returned and wanted an additional pound frozen, but they only froze the amount I had asked for. The rest must be only refrigerated and they were hesitant to sell me only refrigerated sausage for my long flight home. They were tasty at home, but the spices start to fade in taste after a while and they had cost four times as much as I could get at Costco.

Sunday-Thursday 11am-3pm & 4:30pm-9:30pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-3pm & 4:30pm-10pm

Assaggio's
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
+1 808 942 3446

Wolfgang Puck Express

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on March 5, 2006

Wolfgang Puck Express has a more limited menu from their regular larger restaurant chain. The breakfast pizza included choices with salmon or applewood smoked bacon. A pager is given to signal when your order is ready. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Credit cards are accepted. The food quality is good, but the quantity left us satisfied but not feeling full, wanting more elsewhere.

Breakfast 8am-10:30am, regular menu 10:30am-10pm
Wolfgang Puck Express
2570 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 931-6226

Lulu’s Surf Club

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Lulu’s Surf Club is a 24-hour restaurant with breakfast from 2am to 11am and a lunch and dinner menu from 11am to 2am. We came here on a sponsored event, and the drinks and food here were very good. They serve American and local dishes here. Items like eggs Benedict or a fresh fish omelet are available for breakfast, and an order of ribs is available after 5pm.
Lulu’s Surf Club
2589 Kalakaua
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 926-5222

Hula's Bar and Lei Stand

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

Hula's Bar and Lei Stand, a once popular gay disco at Kalaimoku Street and Kuhio Avenue, had a large dance floor and outdoor area. It closed and reopened at its current location, which is all enclosed, with views of Kapiolani Park, Diamond Head, and the Pacific Ocean. The windows are removed during the daytime so winds can circulate around the bar. My partner likes their local beer Mehana.


I visited its new location, it's better going there in the daytime where the music is more pleasant and low keyed, at night I didn't care for the loud music selection, there were unappealing second rate male strippers that would have been better if they didn't even try. Free wifi access with your laptop or use of two Macs in a corner for internet use.


Cover charge $3 Saturday evening till 12:30am


Hours: 10am to 2am, Happy Hour: 3pm to 9pm


Phone: (808) 923-0669

Hula's Bar and Lei Stand
134 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 923-0669

International Market Place

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

International Market Place has shops and artisan stands in an open-air setting. There is an International Food Court that has a variety of local and international cuisine and free Hawaiian entertainment 5 nights per week.


My last most recent visit was at night and it was too fake for me, a tourist trap. After being there for about fifteen minutes, I couldn't wait to get out of there fast enough.


Daily 10am to 10:30pm, 2330 Kalakaua Ave., next to Waikiki Town Center

International Market Place
2330 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 971-2080

Ala Moana Shopping Center

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

Ala Moana Shopping Center is a commercially successful, popular, busy mall for the tourist as well as the local. Local attractions include the Visitor Information center, lockers, department stores, shops, services, the food court, and restaurants. This location also serves as one of the major bus transfer points so a lot of people go through here.

A wi-fi freespot is located by the Apple store on the second level.

Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 9pm, Sunday 10am to 7pm

The bus: from Waikiki, nos. 8, 19, 20, 42 or 58; from North Shore, no. 52; and from the international airport, nos. 19 or 20.

Take the Ala Moana Shopping Trolley, the pink line trolley with eight stops in Waikiki. It stops every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday 9:30am-9pm and Sunday 9:30am to 7pm. You need the exact fare of $2.

Ala Moana Shopping Center
1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(808) 955-9517

Kodak Hula Show

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

The Kodak Huala Show had been going on since 1937. Photography was encouraged to promote film usage, but since digital photography is the norm, it's been discontinued. The performance was outdoors and by Hawaiian local dancers.

Performances were done Tuesday through Thursday at 10am, weather permitting, and lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Kodak Hula Show
Waikiki Shell
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815

Polynesian Cultural Centre

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

The Polynesian Cultural Centre, very successfully ran by the Mormons, has over a hundred performances from 7 to 9pm.

It is open Monday to Saturday except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and certain holidays. The parking lot opens at 9am; box office is open from 9am to 8pm; the Gateway Luncheon Buffet opens 11am; and island tours and cultural presentations begin at 12:30pm and close 6:30pm. Show-only (starting at $50) seating is farthest away from the stage, and you don’t get dinner. Dining options included the most popular Alii Luau (adult starting at $80, arrive by 5pm) and the Ambassador Menu Dinner served from 5 to 7pm. The Kamaaina Annual Pass, $29.95 per adult (proof of Hawaii residency is required for each pass holder), allows entry to the center.

You may add ground transportation or take TheBus # 55. The last bus depart from the Polynesian Cultural Centre about 9:19pm, check their latest schedule and inquire with the driver where the bus stop is.

Reservations: (800) 367-7060 or (808) 293-3333


Bus # 55

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Highway
Laie, Hawaii, 96762
(808) 293-3333

Steam Works

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on December 14, 2004

Steam Works, now closed, was a gay men's bath sauna, with lockers or small cubicle rooms to rent and a dark play area. If I didn't have lodging, this would be a place to go (open 24 hours). It was a place where I could have fun, go out, have some food or see some scenery, come back to play, sleep, and shower.
Steam Works
307 Lewers Street at Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii

Sea Life Park

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on January 6, 2006

Sea Life Park is 15 miles from Waikiki, off Highway 72. It's a tourist attraction that includes a show performance of dolphins, sea lions, and penguins. People sitting near the front rows of the performance will get wet.

There are various sea life areas in the park, including a reef tank, a sea turtle feeding area, and a penguin area. People may pay to participate in the feeding of penguins or in a underwater photo shoot. We were glad we didn't pay to feed the penguins. A gift shop and a restaurant are available.

Daily 9am-5pm, credit cards accepted. Accessible by car or bus nos. 22 or 58.

Sea Life Park
41-202 Kalanianaole Highway
Waimanalo, Hawaii, 96795
(808) 259-2500

Bishop Museum

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on January 6, 2006

Bishop Museum offers a glimpse into Hawaiian history. We started very late and only covered Polynesian Hall, Hawaiian Hall, and Kāhili Room during our visit. You should start early, as this is a very large place. Visitors with mobility issues may be limited on what they may see. There is a planetarium with shows available.

Daily 9am-5pm, except Christmas Day. Credit cards accepted. Phone (808) 848-4148 or 847-3511. Adult $14.95.

Accessible by car or bus no. 2, 10- to 15-minute service, and allow about 45 minutes travel time. We came by taxi, which cost almost $20 during rush hour.

Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice Street
Oahu, Hawaii, 96817
(808) 847-3511

Hawai'i State Art Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on January 6, 2006

Hawai'i State Art Museum, located on the second floor, is funded by a 1% tax to provide the public with the arts. There are three galleries: the Diamond Head Gallery, the Ewa Gallery, and the Sculpture Gallery. There was a screening of three short films shown continuously on DVD: I Scream, Floats & Sundays (2002), Kamea (2004), and Summer of the Serpent (2004). A T-shirt is available for a $20 donation.

Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm, free admission

Hawaii State Art Museum
250 South Hotel St.
Honolulu, Hawaii
(808) 586-0900

Blaisdell Center & Concert Hall

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on January 6, 2006

Blaisdell Center & Concert Hall had an 8pm evening concert. We managed to get the cheapest tickets for the upper balcony walking up to the box office just minutes before the start of the performance.

Bus nos. 2 and 13, Route B

Blaisdell Center
Department of Enterprise Services
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
+808 527-5400

Dole Cannery Signature Theatres-18-Plex

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on January 6, 2006

Dole Cannery Signature Theatres-18-Plex has a nice setting (the old Dole Cannery was once here). Just the entrance setting sets the mind for a fun, enjoyable experience. Ventilation was very poor when someone badly burnt something and the lobby was extremely smoky as we were exiting from our movie. Costco and K-Mart are nearby should you be early for your feature. We arrived early so we went over to Costco to eat some of their food, browse and shop, and came back in time for the start of the movie.

Telephone: (808) 526-3456

TheBus nos. 19 or 20.

Dole Cannery Signature Theatres
735B Iwilei Rd.
Honolulu, Hawaii
+808-526-3456

Diamond Head State Monument

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on January 7, 2006

Diamond Head State Monument, Hawaii's most famous landmark, got its name from early sailors of the late 1700s or early 1800s who  mistakenly thought that the glistening calcite crystals inside the tuff rocks were diamonds.

This military property is opened to the public to enjoy the scenic view. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for this hike. Bring a bottle of water, wear hiking boots or appropriate footwear, and do the hike either very early or in the late afternoon, especially on an overcast day, as it gets hot and there's no shade to rest along the trail.

Use the restroom at the comfort station at the trailhead before you start your ascent, as that's the only one available.

From the comfort station there is a paved trail, an uneven dirt trail, a landing (concrete lookout for a rest stop; I advise that you take a rest), a concrete stairway with 74 steps, a narrow 225-foot-long tunnel, another stairway with 99 steps, a tunnel leading to the lowest level of the Fire Control Station of Ft. DeRussy, a spiral staircase ascending four levels of the Fire Control Station, and an exit through to the exterior. Ascend a metal stairway to reach the upper most level of the Fire Control Station and Observation Station.

Entrance fee is $1 for trail maintenance. Keep track of the time, as the Tunnel Gate locks up at 6pm. Do not do this if your health isn't reasonably good or you're out of shape.

Daily 6am-6pm, Bus nos. 22 or 58

Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head Road And 18th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816
808-587-0285

Aloha Tower Marketplace

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on January 8, 2006

Aloha Tower Marketplace has its beginnings from September 1926, when the Aloha Clock Tower was completed as a lasting impression for arriving and departing passengers when travel was done entirely by sea, and mostly by stately liners of its day then. Housing the made in Germany largest clock in Hawaii, kept very accurate time. There's an observation deck for a view of the harbor open daily 9am-5pm, packages subject to a security search.

Today it has shopping, entertainment, dining. I feel this has less foot traffic and a more subdued energy than the more commercially successful Ala Moana Shopping Center. It's a little different and, in a way, a more pleasant, low-key experience with less people when I walked through here.

There we bought a couple of Hawaiian shirts, looked at some free entertainment by Pier 8 greeting passengers for one of the dinner cruises offered, with a Hooter's adjacent to the pier.

Store hours Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm, Sunday 9am-6pm

Restaurants daily 10am-2am (varies by restaurant)

Phone: (808) 528-5700

email info@alohatower.com

Bus #19 or 20

Aloha Tower Marketplace
One Aloha Tower Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813
(808) 528-5700

Max's Gym/Men's Club

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by panda2 on January 8, 2006

Max's Gym/Men's Club is a place where men cruise each other, if it happens at all. There's a membership fee for 1 time or 6 months plus admission fee for a locker or a room (variable room rates), good for 6 hours. There's showers, steam area, sauna, lockers, an inaccurate weight scale by the lockers, private rooms without a locker or any way to secure any valuables, two video viewing areas, one for regular movies, the other is porn.

I've visited here but wouldn't recommend it. The facility was clean enough, but there was not much else going on. Save your money or come and get fleeced.

Open 24 hours, credit cards accepted, phone 808/951-8232


Queen Kapiolani Garden

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on February 7, 2006

Queen Kapiolani Garden, established in 1972 behind the Honolulu Zoo, was something we just came across during our walk to Diamond Head. We stopped here for a little bit to admire the scenery. There are some beautiful flowers here to admire, along with a few picnic tables. The Lokelani is native to Hawai'i.
Kapiolani Park
Between the Zoo and Diamond Head
Honolulu, Hawaii

Makapu'u Beach Park

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on February 7, 2006

Makapu'u Beach Park has beautiful scenery that's good for bodysurfing, but check with a lifeguard on ocean conditions before going in. A fierce shore break, high surf, and strong undertow often occur in the winter months, which is dangerous for swimming.

Accessible by car or bus nos. 22 or 58.

Makapuu Beach Park
Windward side of the Island
Honolulu, Hawaii

Michelangelo’s

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on March 5, 2006

Michelangelo’s has no cover. It's a gay men’s bar with a pool table, booths, a large TV, soft drinks for $2, well drinks, house wine, bottled premium beer for $3.75, bottled domestic beer for $3.25, somewhat smoky environment, and an older crowd.

Telephone: (808) 951-0008

Michelangelo’s
Eaton Square, 438 Hobron Ln.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
808-951-0008

Shirokiya

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Shirokiya is a Japanese department store now locally owned after Japan's recent economy collapse forced them to change hands. There are things you can browse and purchase here from Japan, other than the electronics available elsewhere. Food stuffs can be seen freshly prepared, just as if you're in shops in Japan, with ingredients that may not be so readily available elsewhere. There's a Japanese buffet available here that isn't an all you can eat for a single price, it's charged by the items you placed on your tray. You pay at the cashier and find some seating in the dining area. It's a tiny little bit of Japanese commercial culture here without having to actually go there.

Telephone (808)973-9111, fax (808)973-9160

Email sales@shirokiya.com.

Shirokiya
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
+1 808 973 9111

Napoleon's

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Napoleon's is a bakery that makes a coconut turnover I'd chase after, and it's best when it's fresh. They have other turnover flavors and desserts as well. These are available at their own small retail outlet right after entering Sears, on the street level near the post office, or at Foodland.
Their main location is 94-1068 Ka Uka Blvd., Waipahu, HI 96797, Telephone: (808)677-7710
Napoleon's Bakery
94-1068 Ka Uka Blvd.
Waipahu, Hawaii, 96797
(808) 677-7710

P10A

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

P10A, a gay/bi men’s cruise place, $10 member, $15 non-member, three video screens, couches, stalls with plastic patio chairs, no shower facilities. It's not worth the time or money.

Monday-Thursday 6pm-6am, weekends 24 hours, Friday 6pm-Monday 6am

(808)942-8536

Angles Waikiki

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Angles Waikiki is a gay men's bar and pub that serves food and drinks. You see some transgender people here in the evening. No cover. Meet Sundays 11am for a catamaran cruise. They had some male strippers perform here and then mingle in the crowd afterwards for tips.

Daily 10am-2am

Information (808)923-1130, bar (808)926-9766
Angles Waikiki
2256 Kuhio Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 923-1130

Fusion Waikiki

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Fusion Waikiki is a gay establishment with dancing, shows, and a live disc jockey. Monday and Tuesday, karaoke, no cover, 10:30pm-1:30am; Fridays, drag show, Gender Bender Lip Gloss Revue at 9:30pm, and male strippers at midnight, $5 cover; Saturdays, drag show, Paper Doll Revue at 9:30pm, and male strippers at midnight, $5 cover.

Sunday-Thursday 10pm-4am, Friday-Saturday 8pm-4am

Telephone (808)924-2422

Fusion Waikiki
2260 Kuhio Avenue, 2nd Floor
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 924-2422

Ward Centre

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Ward Centre is a four-block shopping complex with shops, restaurants, farmer's market, and a 16-screen cineplex. We came by here in the evening to browse.

Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 10am-5pm.

Management informationconference room booking: phone (808)591-8411, or fax (808)596-4919

security/lost items: (808)597-1172.

email vwardinfo@generalgrowth.com.

Ward Centre
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(808) 591-8411

Ward 16

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Ward 16 is a 16-screen cineplex, part of the Ward Centre. Go up some stairs and an escalator to reach its entrance.

Telephone (808)593-3000
Ward Centre
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(808) 591-8411

Iolani Palace

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Iolani Palace offers a glimpse through the residence of the last two monarchs of Hawai'i, King Kalakaua, who built the palace in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili`uokalani. You must wear booties over your shoes to protect the finished wood floors prior to entering the escorted tour. We were briefed by our guide as we walked through the palace. At one point he told us about the sadness of the queen at being placed in house arrest after her failed attempt to restore power to the Hawai'ian monarch from the big business interests of the day, much like what's happening of the world's citizens with large corporate interests of today, as our fate awaits us. It's a beautiful palace to visit, and the sadness of the end of its royalty is felt.

Afterwards you may spend as much time browsing their gallery and gift shop. You must purchase your tour ticket prior to 3:15pm at the Barracks, and lockers are available to lock your bags and backpacks prior for the same-day tour, but be back to get your belongings before the Barracks closes for the day 4pm. The Royal Hawaiian Band performs on Fridays 12 to 1pm, weather permitting. Usually the first Sundays of the month are Kama`aina Sundays, where residents (with proof of id) are admitted free.

Grand Tour Palace/Gallery Tuesday-Saturday 9am-2pm. Admission adult $20, resident/military with ID $15, children 5-17 $5. Bathing-suit attire not permitted.

Gallery Tour Tuesday-Saturday. 9am-4pm Admission adult $6, resident/military with ID $5, children 5-17 $3, resident child with ID $2.

Pre-recorded tour information (808)538-1471, tickets & reservations (808)522-0832 or (808)532-0823

Email info@iolanipalace.org

Bus routes nos. 2, 13, 19, 20, 42

Iolani Palace
364 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96804
(808) 522-0822

Costco Iwilei # 687

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Iwilei Costco Iwelei is a membership warehouse shopping place within a 5-minute walk of the Dole Cannery Signature Theatre. We learned about this place from a security guard after inquiring about a place to eat nearby. At this particular location the food court is placed just outside of the membership warehouse, so anyone can queue-up the line to buy their food items there including pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, and soft drinks. I like it that we come here for some Costco food to eat, browse, and shop before the movie, and can take in the movie a short walk away. And browsing through their warehouse with food and drink from outside isn't permitted in the warehouse. One-hour photo processing and optical department are available. We bought some Hawaiian shirts made in Hawaii here.

Monday-Friday 11am-8:30pm, Saturday 9:30am-6pm, Sunday 10am-6pm, business members open one hour earlier weekdays.

Telephone (808)526.6108

TheBus nos. 19 or 20.

Costco
525 Alakawa Street
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96817
(808) 526-6103

TheBus

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

TheBus is Honolulu's public bus transportation around the island. From the airport, take a # 19 or 20 to Waikiki. The last bus to Waikiki leaves the airport at 11:45pm on weekdays and at 11:15pm on weekends. Buses run about 20 minutes apart during the day and 30 minutes apart in the evenings, and the ride duration is about 1 hour and 10 minutes.


The fare is $2 one way, and a transfer is issued at time the cash fare is paid, which is good for 2 hours. It is good for one use and must be handed in when boarding.



There's also a 4-day pass for visitors for $20, which is available at ABC stores in Waikiki, the Ala Moana Shopping Center, and at the Bus Pass office (811 Middle St., Honolulu, HI 96819), which is open Monday to Friday 7:30am to 3:30pm, excluding holidays.


Popular sites and attractions are available through this good public transportaion system.


Pickup a system wide Oahu bus map to familiarize yourself of the system.


Phone: 808/848-5555




HNL - Honolulu International Airport

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

HNL Honolulu
International
Airport consists of the Main Overseas Terminal, which serves most of the traffic, with shops, restaurants, a bank, and an ATM. This terminal serves gates 6-34; Makai Pier serves Gates 49-53; Interisland terminal serves gates 54-66 and has some shops, food, and an ATM; and the Commuter Terminal serves gates 71-80.

There were shower and sleeping facilities available at the airport. My partner used them before continuing on with your flight. These services were eliminated due to security concerns.

Visitor information booths are located in baggage claim areas, outside the foreign arrivals’ area, in the Interisland Terminal, near Gate 22, and on both ends of the main lobby. Hours: 4am-1am, phone: (808) 836-6413.

Ground transportation includes shuttles, taxis, car rentals, or TheBus, which is Honolulu's public bus transportation. From the airport, take a no. 19 or 20 to Waikiki. The last bus leaving the airport to Waikiki is 11:45pm weekdays and 11:15pm weekends. From Waikiki the first bus is 4:50am weekdays and 5:25am weekends, about 20 minutes apart during the day and 30 minutes apart evenings, allow about 1 hour and 10 minutes travel time.


Dole Pineapple Cannery Tour

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on December 12, 2004

The Dole
Pineapple Cannery Tour
allowed the public to observe the cannery operations and taste the pineapples being processed until the plant closing in 1993 and was converted to a retail and office complex. Exhibits and memorabilia in the shops help tell the Dole pineapple story.

The Shops at Dole Cannery, 650 Iwilei Rd, Honolulu, HI 96817, (808) 548-3711

Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm




Hawai'i Convention Center

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on January 7, 2006

Hawai'i Convention Center located 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu serves as a draw for large business meetings. The place is quite impressive unless somethings go wrong, like running out of food for lunch attendees, or a keynote speaker started talking on the 1st floor and the overflow space to listen is on the fourth floor while an escalator fails and hundreds of the audience is backed up trying to reach the other floor. It was not a pretty sight.

If you're attending an event here, a suggestion to stay at either the Ala Moana Hotel or the YMCA Central, both an easy, short five-minute walk, else you may have to deal with shuttle buses to get you to/from the hotel.

Phone 800-295-6603, main switchboard 808-943-3500, sales info@hccsmg.com, event inquiries eventinfo@hccsmg.com


Chinatown

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by panda2 on March 6, 2006

Chinatown looks roughly about the same passing through on a bus as I remembered it from years ago. This last time I actually stopped, walked around, shopped, and even visited a head shop and ate at a restaurant. It doesn't appear to be unsafe, as I thought it might be, though it still looks rather run down as it did years ago. It appears that not a lot of money has ever been invested here in this part of town. I couldn't choose which Chinese restaurant to try until after glancing in one restaurant filled with Chinese/Asian customers, then I knew it was the one I wanted to try. It was called Glowing Dragon.

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j38089-Honolulu-HNL.html

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