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T here are just over 100 Chinatowns in the United States, but none compare to the Chinatown of Honolulu. Located in the financial and political cen- ter of the state, Honolulu’s Chinatown is an upscale, Asian-inspired arts district blended with traditional Chinese bazaars and family-owned stores—plus it boasts the best Asian restaurants this side of Hong Kong. Chinatown is diverse with Pan-Asian and Pacific Islander businesses. Merchants of every origin work side by side in markets, porcelain shops, bakeries, herbal remedy shops, art galleries and more. You name it—Chinatown has it. At noon, people from the surrounding business district flock to the dim sum and noodle houses, or spend their lunch hour browsing the boutiques and specialty shops. As day turns to dusk and the farmers’ markets and florists close, the nearby bars and galleries open their doors for happy hour, pizza specials, music and karaoke. If a night on the town is what you’re craving, there is usually a themed party nearby or even an organized pub-crawl, depending on the occasion (or lack of occasion). A true exploration of Chinatown would take weeks, not hours, but anyone can get a taste of the area’s rich flavor with a few hours’ visit, and numerous municipal lots in the downtown area allow for all-day parking. Bishop Street is the main thoroughfare of Honolulu’s financial district, running parallel to Fort Street Mall, a pedestrian mall that begins your walking tour of Chinatown at the intersection of Hotel and Bishop streets. 20 OAHU DRIVE GUIDE September-December 2015