Nobody can visit Hawaii and return home empty-handed without souvenirs or gifts. Honolulu is famous for luxury shopping but also has many affordable shops all across its main streets and the surrounding suburbs. It is a given fact that tourists spend a lot of time searching for souvenirs to buy. Indeed they are spoilt for choice, from snacks, jewellery, quilts, koa wood items to the famous ukulele. We have scoured the local markets and handpicked for you the most popular and affordable souvenirs to buy. Scroll down and check out our carefully curated top 10 things you can buy in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1. Chinese seeds
The Hawaiian crack seeds, famously known as Chinese seeds are salty, dried and preserved fruits that come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and flavours. The crack seed was initially introduced to Hawaii by the first Chinese plantation workers who preferred to use them in meals because both meat and vegetables were too expensive to afford on a daily basis. Today, crack seeds are commercially sold to the general public as inexpensive snacks. In fact, it is now one of the most preferred snacks in Hawaii and it comes in different flavours such as Li Hing Guavas, Li Hing Mangoes, Li Hing Strawberries, Li Hing Candies, Li Hing Arare and much, much more.
2. Hawaiian quilting
Influenced by nineteenth-century missionaries, Hawaiian quilts can best be described as a piece of cultural heritage. These quilts are a representation of the inherent spirit of the people and provide an insight into their rich legacy. Early Hawaiian quilts featured designs found on the traditional Kapa moe. The original designs were normally inspired by flowers and plants and much of the background sheet was visible. Today, Hawaiian quilts are usually multicoloured and may portray animals, humans as well as other tropical designs. Thus they look more realistic and pictorial just like a painting.
If you are in Hawaii and you are looking for something special to bring back home to remember your visit, look no further than Hawaiian island jewellery. In Hawaiian Island Jewelry you will find the largest selection of Hawaiian jewellery which includes rings, pendants, necklaces, Tahitian pearls, earrings, and Maui Diver. One of the most popular souvenirs to acquire while you are here are the engraved jewellery. They are unique pieces of art that are supposed to be handed down from one generation to the next. So welcome, relax and take your time as you select your favourite from the thousands of handmade, vintage and unique pieces of jewellery.
The Alaea salt or the Hawaiian red salt is very popular and a staple ingredient in most Hawaiian food. Available in over 90 different varieties and in many colours, the Hawaiian sea salt is very rich in minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Most of the nutrients of Alaea salt can be absorbed through the skin hence eliminating the toxins and promoting a smooth, healthy skin complexion. Apart from helping the skin, this Hawaiian salt also has a distinct flavour which makes it an important ingredient in cooking. Most chefs prefer the Alaea sea salt because while most salts lose their intensity as they cook, Hawaiian sea salts retain their qualities.
5. Aloha wear
Commonly referred to as a Hawaiian shirt, the aloha shirt is a style of dress or shirt that originates from Hawaii. The Hawaiian fashion is a representation of a carefree life. Worn by everyone the Aloha attire can instantly light up the mood in a room or on a beach. Light, comfortable and colourful they are a sure way to get in a festive mood. Aloha Wear has a huge selection to choose from and of different styles including men’s Hawaiian shirts, women’s tropical fashion and Island wedding attire. Aloha shirts and dresses are more than just fashion, they reflect both attitude and lifestyle that embodies the positive care-free way of life in Hawaii.
Koa is among the best known Hawaiian woods. It is extremely popular and in high demand all around the world for its fine-grain texture and varying colour. Because of its appearance and convenience, it is much sought-after by dealers and carpenters. Each carving from the Koa will bring some of the Aloha from the Hawaiian Islands into your heart and home. In the past Koa was used to build canoes, spears and paddles but today Koa is valued for furniture, guitars, boxes, panelling and bowl turning. Koa wood items are definitely not an inexpensive purchase.
Hawaii produces vast quantities of premium macadamia nuts every year. Since they grow all year round, the fresh produce has a definite edge over its competitors from Australia and South Africa. A visit to Honolulu is not complete without a purchase of this delectable treat. They are available in a great variety from chocolate covered nuts to dry roasted nuts and even macadamia nut brittle.
Ukulele is a musical instrument and has four strings. It looks much like a guitar and belongs to the lute family. Unlike the guitar, the Ukulele has a short scale and thus emits a much higher standard pitch with a percussive sound. Ukuleles come in different sizes with the travel-ready size perfect to take on a trip, and the easy playability can be played by anyone including ukulele beginners. Ukuleles are the perfect gift for anyone who is interested in music.
Lauhala is a type of pandanus tree and its leaves are used for weaving. Expert Hawaiian weavers can make a variety of items like fans, coasters, wall coverings, maize bowls, envelopes, baskets and hats. However, this requires skill as the leaves are thorny and they have to be cut to size to prepare the items. Lauhala products are easily identifiable as they come in only four colours red, green, orange, and black. Each colour is a representation of a different stage in the life of the fern. Needless to say, these woven treasures are top sellers.
Ever since 1800, Hawaiian heirloom jewellery has been given as gifts for special occasions such as birthdays, graduations and weddings. It is normally believed that Heirloom jewellery will last a lifetime and are is passed from one generation to the next. In Hawaiian tradition, it is considered a great honour to receive such a precious, personalized gift. Although Hawaiian bracelets are the most common design of heirloom jewellery, more variations have surfaced over the years including rings, horizontal necklaces, vertical pendants, and even id bracelets, each crafted with unique design and personalization.