The other day I had the amazing opportunity to spend the day at Hukilau Marketplace and the Polynesian Cultural Center. I’ve been wanting to go here for a while because I want to learn as much as possible about Oahu and the surrounded Polynesian islands. I am all about being more knowledgeable in different cultures and history.
We started the day off by enjoying lunch at Pounders, which I highly recommend. The food and service was amazing. We shared shrimp tacos, a salmon caesar salad, and pizza. All was super tasty especially the tacos! After lunch, we grabbed a pineapple smoothie that came in the most gorgeous decorated pineapple cup. It was definitely photo worthy. We spoke to a lovely lady who was making my drink and she noticed we were taking photos so she put this hand-made lei on me that her aunty made. It was such a special moment and she was so generous to help out.
After indulging in food, we headed to the actual center where you can visit all the different islands and they have activities and games to represent each place. I didn’t know this going in but found out that most of the people working at PCC go to Brigham Young University and PCC pays for all their schooling. So in exchange for work they get a degree. The men and women here were such incredible people from all over the world. Each island you visited within PCC had students that actually came from these islands such as, Tonga, Fiji, and Samoa. Most students I talked with came to Oahu to get a degree and provide a better life for their families on these neighboring islands. It was very touching and inspiring. We made sure to make time for the famous canoe show, that they do in the middle of the day, which is pretty incredible. From the costumes to the choreography, it was beautiful and really made you appreciate the islands that much more. Get to the canoe show EARLY though because seats fill up fast! From dancing, to signing, to spear throwing, PCC had so many activities to par-take in. We didn’t have a tour guide but if I did it all over again I would recommend getting one. It’ll make the experience that much better and more fluid.
After walking around the facility learning about the islands and enjoying the canoe show, we ended the night at the Luau which has buffet style food and of course dancers and a band. It was so cute to see little kids dancing and even some little boys tossing fire around. I loved seeing all the unique clothing come out and find out the symbolism behind the dances or songs.
If you are in Oahu and can find time, I would recommend adding Polynesian Cultural Center to your trip. You get to learn so much all while having fun. It’s also super great if you have children because the activities are endless! Thankful to have had this opportunity and thanks PCC and Hukilau Marketplace for welcoming me into your home.
(photos by: Charlie Tighe)