Manoa Falls (Honolulu)

A hike through lush rainforest is the one to Manoa Falls, about 1½ miles from the bus stop to a viewing area of the falls. At the foot of the trailhead is a parking lot where a snack shop also was selling mosquito repellent. We decided to take our chances. As soon as we started the hike, we were beset by the tiny buzzers, so we hightailed it back to the shop and swallowed our pride.

The hike itself is easy, gaining elevation gradually, but recent rains made the path very muddy. Boardwalks on portions of the path helped. In many places, exposed tree roots will force you to consider where you plant your feet. Along the way, there are many flowers and plants, giant ferns, mosses, wild guava trees, bamboo forests, and more. The falls, 150 feet tall, are not approachable beyond a protective fence, where a sign warns of danger beyond.

In all, the hike is a pleasant one when the weather is nice and rewards hikers with many visual splendors.

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On Dong Chinese Restaurant (Honolulu)


Korean-Chinese restaurants have their origins in the 19th century when Chinese immigrants immigrated to Inchon. The evolution of the food makes it a distinct cuisine within Korean cooking. The highly popular chajangmyun (or jjajangmyun) is among its creations, made from roasted black soy bean paste, caramel and meat and/or seafood (except fish), typically topped with shredded cucumber. It has become so popular that mainstream Korean restaurants often have it on their menu. Typically served at Korean-Chinese restaurants are sides of kimchi and sliced raw onions. Takuan (pickled radish) is also served as a side dish in Hawaii.

On our way back to our hotel from Manoa Falls, we had an early dinner at one of these restaurants, On Dong. Their chajangmyun arrived with the sauce and noodles served separately. Never having had it before, based on appearance alone, I was half expecting the sauce to be something similar to Chinese fermented black beans. I also expected it to be bold in flavor. But it was neither. Instead it had a certain blandness belying its intensely black color, a mashed bean texture with silkiness from potato starch, though savory from the addition of some sort of meat I couldn’t identify. If On Dong‘s was representative (it’s purported to be the best in Hawaii) and as immensely popular as chajangmyun is to Koreans, I wondered if this would ever become a sought-after noodle dish of mine. Now, jjampong noodles are another matter.

My wife had a very tasty noodle and wonton soup with pork and seafood (shrimp and squid). In both bowls, the pasta had great texture, handmade in the kitchen.

Noodle and wonton soup with seafood and pork

On Dong Chinese Restaurant
1499 S. King St.
Honolulu, HI 96814