Plastic flower lei in neon bright colours, tacky aloha shirts, all-you-can-eat buffets, coconut-shell bikini tops, motorized hip-shaking hula dolls… Waikiki is all that, and then some.
But there are also good reasons why everyone’s there: the shopping’s great, there are some nice restaurants, and let’s face it, there are worse things to be doing in life than sipping a mai tai cockail while listing to lilting ukulele songs as the sun drops into the Pacific ocean…
The infamous bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku – the ‘father of surfing’. The amiable Duke also acted in Hollywood and used his fame to spread the popularity of surfing all the way to Australia! Some locals have taken issue with the placement of the statue: Duke is standing with his back to the water, which for native Hawaiians signals disrespect to the sea. They say Duke would never, ever turn his back on the ocean!
And now, I leave you with the King in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii. There were several scenes filmed in and around the famous Waikiki Beach, complete with flower lei and aloha shirts in pure Waikiki style!