Chinatown Morning

August 16, 2022 – Photo of the Day

This is part 2 of our Monday morning in Downtown Honolulu. These images were taken in the Chinatown district along Hotel and King Streets.

It has been awhile since I walked in Chinatown. The last time I walked through the area was a few years before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not much has changed in Chinatown. The place still looks run down despite efforts to spruce it up over the years. Best word to describe the Chinatown district is “sketchy”. However on a Monday morning, the area looked more barren than what I remembered from before. Perhaps it was the early morning, weekday hour. There was no hustle or bustle in the area. Most people were just milling about, casually walking, perhaps shopping. Several businesses that used to be there before are gone, storefronts lying empty waiting for someone else to use.

The Kekaulike mall area was mostly empty as was the Maunakea Street marketplace. More than likely things pick up during the lunch hour as the workers from the business district scatter to areas within walking distance from their offices in search for lunch. By the time five rolls around, Chinatown as well as the rest of Downtown Honolulu folds up and dies, the streets becoming even more sketchy than the daylight hours.

Despite the ongoing problems and reputation of Chinatown, the place does offer interesting opportunities for photography. On my very brief walk through the area, I managed to get the shots you see here, all taken with my Google Pixel 4a smartphone. Enjoy!

  • Chinatown Honolulu


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.