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Flea Market in Honolulu, Oahu

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Jul 20th, 2005, 07:11 PM
  #1
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Flea Market in Honolulu, Oahu

We've heard for years about this "great" flea market at the "Punch Bowl" but need a little more info. Where and what is the Punch Bowl? How long drive time from Waikiki? Is it really worth going?
We were going to rent a car just to go from the airport to the condo in Waikiki(and grocery shopping) and turn it in the next day but people are saying it is really worth keeping the car another two days to go to the flea market because everything is so much cheaper than the abc stores.
We get in Monday and we were going to do the H. Bay snorkel Tuesday (but just found out it is closed that day!)Then Wednesday do the flea market and turn the car back in on Thursday. It is $160 for the car.
Has anyone here been to the flea market? Is it worth going? Seems like any savings on T-shirts, etc. are lost with the rental car cost. Opinions? Suggestions? Ideas?
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Jul 20th, 2005, 07:33 PM
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Punchbowl holds the military cemetery. Very nice place to visit- for views of the island and to check out the murals and graves- but no flea market, ever!

There are two large flea markets on Oahu. One at Aloha Stadium's parking lot. It is the biggest and is over near Pearl Harbor.

The other one is at the old Kam Drive-in on the north side or Pearlridge shopping center.

Prices are very good at both for tee-shirts and souvenirs. Hot though...take an umbrella or hat & sunscreen!
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Jul 20th, 2005, 07:47 PM
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a.k.a. Punchbowl Crater, an extinct volcano.
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Jul 20th, 2005, 08:25 PM
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We went to the Aloha Stadium flea market and thought it was a total waste.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 06:03 AM
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I guess it depends on you. I went quite a few times when I lived on Oahu and I always saw lots of things I liked and I use quite a few of the items I've purchased there often. If you like to shop and need to buy souvenirs, it's a fun, cheap way to do it while enjoying the weather.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 06:39 AM
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We've been to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet each time we've been to Oahu. We like it for the variety of items found. I wouldn't say that T-shirts,beach towels, etc are necessarily less expensive there than the ABC stores, but there is a huge amount and variety to choose from. I have also found some unique items there. One woman had a jewelry booth of lovely string bracelets and necklaces made with various pieces of jade. Another had those laser-cut paperweights, with designs of local attractions such as the Arizona Memorial. Those are just a couple of examples.
There is another option for transportation to the flea market if you don't want to keep your car: www.viptrans.com/services/swap.htm
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Jul 21st, 2005, 07:44 AM
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Yes!!....the flea market is definitely the place to go!! It's the one at the Aloha Stadium. We always go because the prices are SO much cheaper than ANYWHERE in Waikiki. MerryTravel is right in that it depends on what you're looking for and what you want to buy. There are TONS of souvenirs and t-shirts. Also the selections of t-shirts are better. The selection of Hawaiian shirts are a LOT better as well. And better quality. For example, most of the Hawaiian shirts you see in Waikiki are polyester, while you can get cotton ones at the flea market.

You don't necessarily need a car to get there. Most hotels have shuttles and you can take the bus.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for all the opinions! We have 2 kids, ages 5 & 10 who never seem to find anything shopping in Waikiki. After the first year when they bought the ukulele, carved wood drum, & hula dancer outfit, there didn't seem to be anything "new" to buy.
We don't really need to bring stuff back for other people since we go every year now. Just looking for something different the kids would enjoy. They've never been to a flea market. Any kid stuff there?
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Jul 21st, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Although I haven't been in several years, I recall that the majority of stuff at the Aloha Stadium flea market is sold by actual vendors. Mostly souvenir type stuff, but brand new.

The swap meet at the old Kam Drive-In tends to be more like a garage sale. People bringing in their own stuff that they want to sell, paying a fee to whoever operates the swap meet and setting up "shop" somewhere in the lot. Huge variety of stuff and wildly varying degrees of "quality". Some people's things look virtually brand new, and some people's things I can't believe they are trying to sell - much less people are actually buying.

While I recall seeing some brand new souvenir type stuff at the Kam Drive-In, the amount and variety at Aloha Stadium was better.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 03:55 PM
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The swap meet, or flea market, at the Aloha Stadium is really a great place to shop for souvenirs for you or your kids. They have all kinds of stuff out there. The previous poster was right, though, it does get hot out there so try and go early. I took my carry-on bag (with wheels and a handle) and stuck all my purchases in there - much easier to roll that around than carry a bunch of sticky plastic bags of treasures. I also wore my hat to keep the sun at bay. Don't worry about keeping a rental car to go there - you could either get one of the swapmeet shuttles (for a few bucks each way) or take The Bus ($2 each way). I took The Bus from right by my hotel and loved it - I enjoyed meeting the locals.
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Jul 22nd, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Fidoprincess, my 10-year-old grandson learned to bargain at the flea market last summer. One vendor kept dealing with him to a very low price on an item he wanted but told her he didn't have enough money for because she thought he was so funny. At one point, he even walked off like he had seen other people doing. He loved the market.
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Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:15 PM
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Just guessing - the "punch bowl" could be a reference to the Aloha Stadium, which could resemble a huge punch bowl.

It is the premier souvenier flea market.
Like all flea markets, you need to be willing to ferret out the bargains. Also, it is a great place to learn the art of bargaining, something that you will not get in Waikiki or Ala Moana Center.

An experience well worth the time, IMHO.
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 11:53 AM
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I would also check out Chinatown for bargain souvenirs! My friend paid $7 (originally priced $12) for a lei at the ?Marketplace in Honolulu
and then saw the same one in CT for $3 while on tour with PakePorkChop!

He also takes you 'behind the scenes' and you can buy unique (at least to us) foods/souvenirs to ship back home, which we did! A very knowledgible chap!!

Belle
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:33 PM
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Belle, you are right about Chinatown. We bought lei's there to take to the Arizona Memorial (FIL was a PH survivor). If you're there later in the day, the ladies will discount the leis substantially. I also bought a koa wood picture frame in Chinatown for a very reasonable price, compared to many other shops I'd checked.
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 05:05 PM
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I like the staduim market for T-shirts. I always bring back Hawaii T-shirts for my employees and I got the ones with the embroidered letters that are over 20.00 each down in Waikiki for like 5 for 20.00. I haven't really seen a lot there that I couldn't live without but I always like to go and give it a run through. Ya never know. I haven't bought, but you can also get really cheap mumus for throwing over your bathing suit. I don't "do" sun anymore, too much prior damage, but in my younger days I had a couple of bathing suits, would buy a couple of mumus at ABC, or International market place and that's what I lived in all the time, almost anyplace on the Islands. Then I'd look at my suitcase and wonder why the heck did I bring all that stuff?!!!
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 05:21 PM
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rjscott: Yes, and the lei's are even more beautiful than the ones elsewhere!

Belle
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 09:16 PM
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Did you even read these posts pbhomely?
The swap meet is a great place to get souvenirs, meet lots of local people and even get local food.

what does that have to do with trailer parks?
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