This is a pretty epic and long post so get comfy. Oh my gosh guys..Honolulu, Hawaii..where do I even begin? It was a pretty last minute (within a month and a half or so) decision to head over there for Christmas. We basically had been talking about how great Hawaii would be then a few weeks later (and lots of research), tickets were booked and then I convinced (so easily) Nanz and Euge to join us! It was so great. I’m not one who is always dreaming about traveling or have that wanderlust feeling but ever since I was young, Hawaii was one of the only places that I was dying to go to. I kind of forgot about it and of course real life got in the way but when Jason and I started to discuss the idea of a Hawaiian Christmas for real, I was SO excited. Actually when I was in highschool, I proper looked into applying to Hawaii University hahahaha #ohsonaive.
Anyway there’s so much to see in this post so I’ll write more about each thing with the photos and I’ll try to give as much information as possible but if you have any questions, feel free to ask! I hope this guide will be helpful if you’re planning to go to Hawaii soon (which you should) and I hope you like my #ddholidaze Travel Video above!!! I’m hoping to get more #ddtv videos out once a week (or at least not 2-4 weeks apart!) so let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see! I’m thinking of doing a Q&A video soon so let me know if you have any questions!!!!!
Waikiki Aquarium – 2777 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
North Shore / Turtle Beach – 61-635 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Dole Plantation – 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786
Lum’s Inn – 674 Kilani Ave, Wahiawa, HI 96786
Lanikai Juice – 66-215 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Hono’s Shrimp Truck – 66-472 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Rainbow Drive-In – 3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
Waikiki Beachside Kitchen – 2556 Lemon Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
Ono’s Seafood for Poke – 726 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
Lemona Hawaii Shaved Ice – 421 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815
Musubi Cafe Iyasumi – Address: 2427 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
HI Steaks inside Food Pantry – 2370 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Heavenly Island Lifestyle – 342 Seaside Ave, Honolulu HI 96815
Highway Inn Kaka’ako – 680 Ala Moana Blvd #105, Honolulu, HI 96813
Karai Crab – 901 Hausten St, Honolulu, HI 96826
Other places not pictured but also delicious:
Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill – 559 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
MAC 24/7 Bar + Restaurant – 2500 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815: we didn’t go but looks good!
Lucky Belly – 50 N Hotel St, Honolulu, HI 96817
Eggs ‘n Things – 343 Saratoga Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815: the line is always insane here but I guess it must be worth it!
KICKS/HI – 1530 Makaloa St, Honolulu, HI 96814
fishcake – 307 Kamani St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Mori Hawaii – 1050 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814
Number 808 – 66-165 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Paiko – 675 Auahi St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Ala Moana Center – 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814
Hotel Renew – 129 Paoakalani Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
The Modern – 1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815
Driving up to North Shore! Google Maps was seriously our saviour. I don’t get how ANYone managed to get around before Google maps or even Mapquest! Remember when you had to PRINT OUT the directions from Mapquest? OMG what would happen if you made a wrong turn and totally off track!? Geez thank gawd for the internet 🙏
Sweet ride right?? We top-down-ed it most of the right, SO FUN! I never considered getting a Jeep but damn this baby was fun!
Quick Pitstop for breakfast at Lum’s Inn! We stumbled randomly upon this little spot but it was SO DAMN GOOD. Literally felt like someone’s mom was cooking breaky and you were just over for a quick bite. If you’re up on your way towards North Shore, I really recommend this place!
We also randomly saw the Dole Plantation on Google Maps about halfway towards North Shore and thought hey why not! Turned out to be super fun and interesting to learn about the start of Dole! Love me a good pineapple 🍍
At Dole, they had supposedly the world’s largest human maze or something and we were sooo excited mostly cos I’ve never been in a maze BUT we were sorely disappointed. It had just finished raining so it was extremely muddy with giant puddles you couldn’t even cross, and honestly it wasn’t that big at all. Boooooo.
BUT they did have DOLE Pineapple ice cream with pineapple chunks!! The best 🍍🍦
Then we were back on our merry way up to Haleiwa, North Shore!
And we made it Turtle Beach!!!!!!
I’m sorry, total photo water beach palm tree overload but JUST LOOK AT THAT SHIT!!!
We then made our way to Haleiwa, this cute little town area with really great restaurants, food trucks and Number 808, a super awesome surf and street shop!
Walking along Kamehameha Highway, we stumbled on this one random shrimp truck (forgot the name) and had to try the coconut shrimp. SO FKING GOOD X_X DEAD
We walked further down the highway towards this one food truck road divot with a bunch of trucks and decided that instead of lining up for Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, we went for Hono’s instead. We did a combo of the spicy shrimp and beef short ribs and omfg soooooo good #drooling
And then of course we couldn’t resist a little acai bowl action from Lanikai Juices!
Back in the car and back down to Waikiki! Fun fact: this was the first time I had ever been in a car with Jason driving! We don’t have a car in Hong Kong or Shanghai so I’ve never seen him drive until now! I was of course so worried and nervous at first cos he hadn’t driven in years but duh of course he’s good at driving!
And since we had the car still, we did one final stop for dinner at Rainbow Drive-in! This spot was recommended to us by alot of different people, and the food was pretty good but not the besssssst.
We YELP alot when we’re on holiday so being a bit jetlagged, we woke up super early on this day and needed a spot for breakfast. Jason found this tiny cute little hole in the wall called Waikiki Beachside Kitchen that just had this one guy running the whole place including prep, orders and cooking. So good really felt like we were having breakfast in someone’s little kitchen.
Hotel Renew where we stayed was so great. They provide free towels and beach mats and is located literally 3 minutes walk from Waikiki beach. We had been warned that Waikiki would sooooo crowded especially during Christmas time but were surprised to find the beach was huge so there was PLENTY of space and we easily found a nice open spot. Maybe people who consider Waikiki crowded have never been to Shanghai or Hong Kong cos shit gets crazy crowded up in here.
Sunglasses are Celine Thin Preppy
Post beach back in our hotel just freshening up before we walk around the shops around Waikiki. This was the pano view from our hotel balcony: see far left that’s the beach right there!
OMFG I think this was properly top 3 of my fave meals in Hawaii. Poke at ONO’s seafood was so fking good and delicious and AFFORDABLE too! The line was barely long and we ordered a bit of everything and it was just so good. I make alot of poke at home now and I’ll never be as good as ONO’s but man…I love poke sfm.
Best travel crew! Best thing about traveling with Nanz and Euge is that we all have the same travel priorities. Food is always the first on our list and we don’t care too much about sightseeing (well depends where). Having good travel buddies always makes a group vacation 100000x better.
You can’t go to Hawaii without having some shaved ice! It’s literally shaved ice with flavoured syrup and sometimes fruit chunks inside (think of a fresh version of Singaporean Bobo chacha). We got pineapple (cos Hawaii, duh) and Kona coffee (also cos Hawaii, duh) and both were so good. There are quite a few shaved ice places around but we walked a bit further just for Lemona which was so great cos it had more of a Japanese influence and all natural ingredients.
Next stop: Food Pantry Supermarket. Guys, I can’t explain how happy supermarkets make me. Yes I’m a fatty little 8 year old at heart and browsing through supermarkets make me so excited, especially one in Hawaii! I mean..just look at all that Spam!!!! We didn’t go too spam-crazy so we only got 2 special flavours each but man…so dangerous!!!
Jason’s true love: RUFFLES
Got a couple of these for Jason! SO HANDY actually. It’s so hard to finish a whole can of spam and for some reason, every time I try to save the leftovers (uncooked) in the fridge, it always goes mouldy for some reason!! UGH #SPAMPROBLEMS!!!
We got this insane Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings flavour to try..on the beach..and it was glorious.
The next morning, me and Jason went to check out Musubi Cafe Iyasumi to fulfil my dreams of SPAM MUSUBIs. Surprisingly, this was actually my first time ever having a Spam Musubi! I’d seen so many friends who passed through Hawaii eating them and I’ve been dying to try one ever since.
OKAY CAN YOU JUST MARVEL AT THIS MAGNIFICENT TOWER? Okay we weren’t that crazy…half of these were for Nanz and Euge too!
We attempted to hang out around the “downtown” area but I think that day was December 25th,so proper Christmas day so eeeeeeverything was closed and there was noooooothing going on. We ended up just heading back to Waikiki and having another beach day!
What a beaut!
Post-beaching we had our proper Christmas Dinner at some place that I can’t remember now cos it wasn’t very good so we were all REALLY unsatisfied and ended up heading to a second dinner at this spot called Heavenly Island Lifestyle that we just randomly stumbled on! This acai bowl was SO GOOD.
Jason went all out and ordered the pork belly eggs benedict that was SO GOOD then me and sha shared the berry French toast!
On our last full day, we headed out to Kaka’ako area to check out a few cute stores we had researched. Our Uber driver on the way there was telling us about this thing called “TOM TOM” where a bunch of artists from around the world took over quite a few walls in the area to paint huge murals and art pieces. He was like “yeah I’m pretty sure the event is called TOM TOM..” and when we got there…we realized he was talking about POW WOW HAWAII. Omfg he thought it was called TOM TOM…LOL DYING!!!!!
Our ultimate favourite store in the area was Paiko (which you can see in the video). The shop is SO GOOD it deserves its own blog post..so I’ll do that…soon.
The weather that day was really on and off so we did a bit more mosey-ing around the area and finally headed to Highway Inn for lunch, which we heard was amazing. The food was pretty good and we tried alot of really traditional dishes like this Chicken Laulau dish! Basically it’s steamed chicken wrapped in luau leaves which are the big leaves that grow on taro plants.
Later that night for our last dinner, it was actually Euge’s birthday! We had originally planned to go to The Pig and the Lady for his birthday dinner but last minute switched it up to Karai Crab which was another recommendation from another Uber driver! GOOD CHOICE US cos the food was SO DAMN GOOD and our server was SO NICE he gave us like 4 or 5 extra HUUUUGE king crab legs for free!!! What a great place, really recommend it if you’re there with loads of people! Also a good tip: get the garlic noodles!!
Finally on our last morning, we just tried to soak up as much fresh clean air, unclouded Vitamin C and just as much Hawaii as we could.
Love you Honolulu! So nice to meet you and hope to see you again soon! Actually next time we’re planning to travel to the other islands like Maui so let me know if you have any tips!