Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu

After our hike up to Diamond Head, we took TheBus into Downtown Honolulu to have a look around.
We chanced upon Aloha Salads and decided to make it a healthy lunch.

I tried a fantastic tropical salad with chicken, coconut, lychees, pineapple, mandarin oranges, and strawberries.  Delicious!
There were herbs growing in the window box next to our table.
We then embarked on a walking tour of downtown.  We were immediately impressed with the architecture and how old Hawaii met new (check out those skyscrapers in the background).
We passed the retro Hawaii Theatre.
Most of the buildings downtown were a couple stories high and reminded me of something you might see in the Wild West.
We passed Wo Fat's Chop Sui House.  This restaurant inspired the villain in Hawaii-Five-O
We stopped at one of the Asian markets in Chinatown for some sweet treats.
We popped into an Asian bakery to pick up some fresh cakes.
Lei stores are common in Chinatown.
They feature an amazing array of flowers carefully refrigerated.
We walked a bit more and then stopped to sample our baked goods outside a small botanical garden.  We tried a red bean bun and a wife cake.
Just beyond the fence we could see lovely white Cattle Egrets so named because they are often seen riding on the backs of cows feasting on ticks and flies.
These guys were on their own though hunting in the grass.
They really were beautiful birds.
We walked past Kuan Yin Buddhist Temple.
Further along, we saw another temple, Izumo Taisha, on River St.
I liked how we could see the lush hills outside of Honolulu behind the downtown corridor.
We passed the Cultural Plaza Moongate Stage.
Outside along the river we saw a statue of Sun Yat-Sen.
I enjoyed the top-line summary of his teachings:  Make the Purpose Sincere.
Extend the Boundaries of Knowledge.
Search into the Nature of Things.
We passed a pedestrian street lined with produce stalls.
We particularly liked the apple bananas which were so small, cute, and sweet compared to regular bananas.
Copious amounts of ginger were also on display.
The afternoon was quite hot.  We ducked into Honolulu Coffee Company for an iced coffee.  We enjoyed watching the business people pass through the courtyard outside.
We downed the iced coffee in a jiffy and were on our way again.
I particularly liked this blue reflective high rise.
We continued our walk and could see 'Iolani Palace in the distance framed by trees.
The State Capitol building was really unique.  It had a bit of a 1970s vibe and was surrounded by shallow water.
There were even fish!
We passed a statue of Father Damien who dedicated his life to serving the lepers of Molokai before himself succumbing to the disease.
We passed under the seal of the State of Hawaii and into the inner courtyard.
We could actually see into the chambers of the state legislature from the courtyard.  It was all very open and accessible.
Encouraged by a sign describing a self-guided tour, we hopped into the elevator and headed to the top floor.  I liked how the floors were labeled according to their governmental function.
We emerged on the top floor and admired the blue sky peeking in.
We could see skyscrapers in the distance standing proudly.
The flag of the state of Hawaii flapped in the breeze.
I noticed this collection of boxes in an open alcove and curiously went in for a closer look.
Hawaii Revised Statutes - there must have been hundreds of them.
I also liked the Office of the Lieurtenant Governor.  They seemed very welcoming:  Aloha - Come in...
The Office of the Governor wasn't quite as welcoming.  We got an Aloha but not an explicit invitation to come inside.
On our way out, we saw a statue of Queen Lili'uokalani, the last reigning Hawaiian monarch.
Here we see the crest of the royal family.
'Iolani Palace was quite stately.
A lovely gazebo sat in the grass.
King Kamehameha commanded a presence across the street.
We took a cursory look at a few more spots including Kawaiaha'o Church, the first Christian Church in the kingdom of Hawaii..
We passed Washington Place, a Greek Revival Palace.
Our final stop of the day was City Hall which was airy and full of light.
I liked the fact that they still had an old-fashioned suggestion box to 'Tell  it to the Mayor'.
We hopped on TheBus to head for an early dinner.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu
Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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