Our first excursion outside of Waikiki was to downtown Honolulu, where we took the bus to Chinatown. As soon as we got off the bus, we felt like we were in a different country as we were the only non-Asians around. As we strolled up and down Chinatown, we also checked out the small but beautiful Foster Botanical Garden. We really enjoyed its quaintness and all the unique and exotic flowers, plants and trees. Lunchtime found us at Legend Seafood Restaurant, a busy and loud Chinese establishment, where we enjoyed some great dim sum and the constant chatter of Chinese and Japanese. This was my first taste of dim sum and I enjoyed pretty much all the different dishes except for the tripe, which is cow stomach. It just didn’t moo-ve me!
We next made our way to the Honolulu Harbor and went up in the 10-story-high Aloha Tower, where we got a great aerial view of downtown Honolulu and the surrounding harbor and ocean. We also did some more shopping around the Aloha Tower Marketplace. We were hoping to go to the Hawaii Maritime Center and aboard the historic Falls Of Clyde ship, but the center and boat were temporarily closed. So we explored Honolulu’s historic district, where we passed by the closed Iolani Palace, the residence of Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last ruler, and many other historic buildings and churchs.
We then made our way back to the harbor for a sunset dinner cruise along the Navatek I, an amazingly smooth state-of-the-art water vessel. We enjoyed our Hawaiian buffet as we sat and chatted with a honeymoon couple from Arizona. We also got to witness not only a beautiful sunset but a stellar moonrise too, as it was one day away from a full moon. I had heard that you really should see Hawaii from the water, and this was definitely a great and different way to enjoy Oahu. After returning to the hotel, we took in a fun night of the Waikiki nightlife.