Tourist merchandise is everywhere here. Every gas station, grocery store, Target and coffee shop has a devoted “Aloha” section where you can buy anything from postcards to towels to hula skirts and anything else that screams, “I was in Hawaii”! The good thing is that we have discovered that markets are also in abundance and one of the great ones is at the Aloha Stadium in Aiea, Hi (basically Honolulu). Click on their link here.
This market is on every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8-3. It cost $1 to get in and there are an obscene amount of vendors there. You name it, you can buy it. Sunglasses, bathing suits, towels, tiki statues, t-shirts, earrings, leis, shells, mugs, coconut bras, watches, fruit, coffee, well, you get the idea. They also have a swap meet that occurs at the same time, which is basically a huge garage sale. So, you literally can buy ANYTHING there.
It’s worth the trip because of the variety of merchandise. You will in fact see many of the same items that are available at the large commercialized stores (ABC, Target, Kmart, etc) which are made in either China, the Philippines or Indonesia.
You will also find many vendors there that are local and make their products IN Hawaii. There are various people hand carving statues on site to sell and many local soaps, fresh leis and other goodies. Also, because it’s a market you can totally haggle with the vendors. In other words, you’ll get a deal if you talk. But, watch out, because they will also call after you to try to buy something and make a deal if you decide to walk away.
If you get hungry or thirsty there are many vendors offering breads, shaved ice, fresh fruit and even fresh coconut water. This is something that is a steal. I have been drinking coconut water on a regular basis for over a year now, but I always preferred the flavored options (example: with added pineapple). I always thought the natural coconut flavor tasted like dirt. Oh, the difference freshness can make! Drinking it straight from the coconut is so refreshing and sweet! YUM. I then had the guy slice the nut in half for me and scoop me out the white coconut meat. I was able to bring this home and toast it in the oven, chop it up, toss it in powdered sugar and will be using it for a dessert later this week…that is if I don’t eat it all before hand FYI: If you want to toast you own, all you have to do is slice it, put it on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until golden brown, turning every 2 min or so it browns evenly. Then toss in powdered sugar for extra sweetness. I even got use out of the remaining shell! It’s currently drying out, which will take a week, when I then will sand down the outside and glaze the inside, leaving me with a nifty bowl. All of this for $3. Wowza!