Waikiki Travel Tips: 14 Things to Know Before You Go

Transcript

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– 14 things you need to know before you come
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to Waikiki in Hawaii.
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I’m Chris, this is Yellow Productions.
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I do travel guides that are fun,
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informative, and entertaining.
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This is part of my series on Hawaii
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and in this video I’ll be telling you
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14 things you need to know before you come to Waikiki.
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Number one, we’ll start with what is the meaning
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of Waikiki, that’s important to know.
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Waikiki translates roughly to spouting water
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and as you walk around Waikiki
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you’ll see lots of fountains and streams
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as an homage to the name spouting water.
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I think the other thing to know about Waikiki
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that’s related to this is it is kind of like
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the Las Vegas strip, just subtract
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the casinos and add the beach.
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Okay, number two, Waikiki is small.
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It is two miles of sandy beach on the ocean
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but it’s only three to four blocks inland.
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So it’s a really small place.
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The next thing to know related to it being small,
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there’s really only two main streets
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that run down Waikiki.
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There’s the main street that runs along the ocean,
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it’s a one way street most of the way.
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And then there’s Kuhio which is an
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inland street, it’s a two way street.
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Thing to know number three, Waikiki is crowded.
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Waikiki is where most of the tourists in Hawaii come.
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The Hawaiian government estimates that 72,000 tourists
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every day are in Waikiki.
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And the money that is generated and spent in Waikiki
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accounts for 42% of all of Hawaii’s tourism revenue,
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about two billion dollars.
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So if you’re thinking of having the beach
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all to yourself on an island paradise, that is not Waikiki.
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You will be sharing that beach with 72,000
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of your closest friends.
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It’s fun and exciting but not tranquil and lonesome.
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Number four thing to know, Waikiki is not Japan.
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Okay, that’s an odd statement but if you walk around
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Waikiki you’ll notice there are a lot of Japanese tourists.
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I’m staying at the Sheraton Waikiki, I think 90%
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of the people that stay there are Japanese.
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Lots of things are written in Japanese,
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many stores will accept Japanese yen,
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there’s tons of Japanese restaurants.
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There’s trolleys that’ll take you around that only cater
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to Japanese but it is the United States of America,
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not the United State of Japan.
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Number five thing to know, hotels.
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Waikiki is home to most of the hotels on Oahu.
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The Surfrider hotel is the original hotel in Waikiki.
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It was built in 1901, so check that out.
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It’s got a bit of history.
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If you want to save a little bit of money
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check some of the inland hotels, the ones
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that aren’t right on the beach
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because you’re a pretty close walk wherever you’re staying.
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Okay sixth thing to know about Waikiki,
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we’ll talk about transportation.
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My first suggestion to you is walk.
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Parking in Waikiki is pretty lousy.
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You’ll be paying a fortune to park.
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The hotels all have parking if you’re staying here
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but if you’re driving in from someplace
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park your care once and then walk around.
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Some of your other transportation options
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within Waikiki, there’s a number of companies
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that run these trolleys through Waikiki.
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The most popular ones, the Waikiki Trolley,
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I’m pausing for this plane to go over.
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(plane flying overhead)
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Waikiki Trolley operates the Pink Line.
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It basically runs a loop through Waikiki
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taking you up to Ala Moana Center.
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It cost two bucks to ride or if you have a JCB credit card
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you can ride it for free.
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You’d never know that because it caters
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to Japanese and JCB is a Japanese credit card.
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Guess what, someone who comes to Waikiki
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on a fairly frequent basis, I have a JCB card
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just so I can take the Waikiki Trolley for free.
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The other thing about transportation, there’s also the bus.
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The bus is the Hawaiian Bus Company.
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You can take that in and out of Waikiki,
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they are pretty clean, fast, and efficient so not too bad.
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Okay number seven thing to know is about shopping.
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Waikiki is shopping central.
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There are shops for just about everything in Waikiki.
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There’s the Royal Hawaiian Center which
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is a big shopping mall in the middle of Waikiki.
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There’s also the International Market Place
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which is a new shopping mall that opened up.
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And in the middle of Waikiki there’s also
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a DFS, a duty free store.
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Everybody can shop there, not just people
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that are going to another country
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so that’s something to know.
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And yes, a lot of the stores will actually
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yen because there’s so many Japanese tourists
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but in fact this is not Japan.
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Okay number eight, let’s talk about coupons.
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If you’re coming to Waikiki it’s important
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to know about all of the coupons.
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As you walk around there’s gonna be a lot of these
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things that you can pick up brochures on the street.
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You can find them at the airport,
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make sure you check those out
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and pick up the coupons ’cause you’ll find
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discounts on a lot of things you want.
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Also pick up the English language ones
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and the Japanese language ones too.
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One of my favorite places to eat in Waikiki
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is Teddy’s Bigger Burgers.
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They offer coupons only in the Japanese
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versions of the magazine, so make sure
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you pick up both languages of those coupons.
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There’s also a Visitor Information Center
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located down on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki.
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So if you didn’t pick them up at the airport
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or couldn’t find them, you can check out
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the Waikiki Visitor Information Center.
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Okay, the ninth thing to know before you come to Waikiki,
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is about the language.
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So in Hawaii, it’s the only state in the US
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that has two official languages, English and Hawaiian.
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But if you’re coming to Waikiki
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you would think it’s three because Japanese
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is spoken and written just about everywhere.
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Signs are in Japanese, signs on the trolley are in Japanese.
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You’ll find Japanese in a lot of places.
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But you might here a couple of Hawaiian words,
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the ones you’ll here a lot is aloha.
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And you know sometimes the bathrooms
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will be written in Hawaiian, kane
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or wahine for men or women.
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You’ll typically see men or women but you’ll see
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those words underneath as well.
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Okay, the 10th thing to know before you
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come to Waikiki is about the weather.
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Weather in Waikiki is usually pretty good.
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It doesn’t get too much rain, usually pretty warm.
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Typically the high is around 80 degrees and sunny.
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The better days are actually when it’s a little windier
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’cause then you get the breeze.
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So I you hear it’s gonna be a windy day
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that’s probably a good thing ’cause it’ll cool you down.
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But it’s humid, so be prepared to sweat a little bit.
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When you come to the beach you’re probably
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gonna want an umbrella, you’re gonna want some cover.
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You might actually want to avoid midday
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as a time to go to the beach ’cause it’s so hot.
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And try the late morning or early afternoon
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or even late afternoon as a compromise.
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Okay, the 11th thing to know before you come to Waikiki
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is ABC stores.
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If you don’t know about the ABC stores, well you should.
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The ABC store is like a convenient store.
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There are tons of locations in Waikiki.
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I haven’t counted them all, but I’d say
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there’s at least 50 locations.
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They are on almost every block, sometimes they are
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across the street from each other.
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And the ABC store sells everything you would need
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as a tourist coming to Waikiki.
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They sell food, they sell snacks, they sell clothes,
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they sell beach gear, definitely check out the ABC stores.
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You can get breakfast there for cheap.
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And it’s a great store.
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So don’t leave Waikiki without
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visiting at least one ABC store.
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The 12th thing you should know
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is about the booking stands in Waikiki.
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As you walk along the main streets,
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you’ll find lots of these stands
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that will advertise tours, buses, activities,
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for cheap, cheap prices, 50% off.
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Don’t bother, ’cause chances off they’re not 50% off
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and you can often get a better deal
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if you just book direct.
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And you don’t want to get swindled into
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a time share presentation ’cause that’s what
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they offer you in a lot of those booking stands as well.
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So just book those things to your hotel, book ’em direct,
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you can find plenty of activities on your own.
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Okay, the 13th thing to know is about free entertainment.
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Waikiki has lots of free entertainment.
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At the Royal Hawaiian Center you can take ukulele
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lessons, you can take hula classes.
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You’ll find a lot of the restaurants and bars
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will have evening entertainment, they’ll have music.
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At the Hula Mound on Waikiki’s main street
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right in front of the beach, kind of in front
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of the Hyatt hotel, they have evening hula performances.
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So you walk around, check out that free entertainment.
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You’ll often find street performers
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doing interesting dances and things like that too.
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The last one I want to mention is every Friday
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at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which is where I’m shooting
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this video, they have free fireworks every Friday.
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So do check out the Friday fireworks
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at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
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They have an evening show that you can book
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and go to at the same time as well.
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Okay and the last thing to know
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about coming to Waikiki is about food.
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I think the food here is pretty delicious.
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My biggest tip on this is gonna be
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to check out my other video which is
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the best cheap eats in Waikiki, but a couple things
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I’ll tell you here to wet your appetite for that is
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some of the things you’ll often find
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that are typical in Hawaii or Waikiki are plate lunches.
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Plate lunches you get a plate, you get two
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scoops of rice, you get macaroni salad,
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and you get some meat.
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It’s actually kind of hard to find traditional
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plate lunches in Waikiki, there’s the Rainbow Drive In,
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which is the closest but check out my video on that
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to see more information at food in Waikiki.
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All right well that concludes this video.
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I hope you enjoyed it.
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Or you might enjoy watching some of these
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other videos on Hawaii or my latest video as well.
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All right have a good one and aloha.

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