Sunday, April 11, 2010

Polynesian cultural center- one of the most popular tourist attraction in Hawaii?

You are probably wondering, "why did she end the title with a question mark?" To be honest with you, if you are going to visit Hawaii and you would like to find out more about one of the "hottest tourist attraction" in Oahu island itself, read on........................

I was invited to join Roland and Iris to view the new evening show at the Polynesian cultural center as they got two free tickets! Thanks guys!!!!! I have not been there since 2006 and thought it would be great to check it out although the drive there was arduously long and windy....eeekkkk!!!! Well, if you have not been here, what exactly is the Polynesian cultural center? It is a "living" musuem that spans over 42 acres of land and showcases seven cultures from the Polynesian island groups. For example, you can partake in activities during the day such as cultural games, ride canoes, basically experience daily living of people from those cultures(Hawaii, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, Marquesas and Aotearoa). In the evening, the museum closes and people can purchase packages or tickets to stay for dinner and attend the evening show which was what I went for.....Here are some pictures of the center...

Look at the many many signs!! signifies the vastness of the center!

In front of a turtle shell

This place is definitely a paradise for turtle lovers!! So many turtle's for sale, be it soft toys, glass ornaments, globe ornaments, everything that pertains to a turtle, you can get there!

These lamps light your way through the night

Posing with one of the many stone carvings which dotted the entire museum!

Our ticket basically allowed us to eat the prime-rib, seafood buffet dinner! There was sooo much food and it wasn't too bad!I found it interesting that they had taro buns, it was super tasty!

A group photo by the river before the show :)

The new evening show started with a story about a family and their son named Ha. New visuals were added such as the anime backdrop

I liked the fact that they portrayed a scene of how the locals in the story lived, this was suppose to represent a normal day in their culture

Suddenly, the scenes moved from the initial storyline to portrayingdifferent cultural dances???!!?? Honestly, I started getting confused and sleepy there. Come on! These dancers are suppose to be professionals but they weren't that synchronized. It could be that they probably have to do it every night and are basically tired or bored but it was kind of a let down for me....

Thank goodness there was a break in between, they served pineapple delights! The pineapples were very hard though......

The two main characters of the night
I have to give props to the orchestra because they were amazing! They played well the whole night and I am sure it is exhausting to continously beat on the drums!

My favourite performance of the night, the fire dance, they were very put together, and it basically jolted me from falling asleep.....!yay!

The cast

In all honesty, if you ask me whether it is worth it to pay USD120 for the evening show + the buffet dinner? I would give you a definite "No"! Many tourists are duped into going to the evening show and paying premium price because it is suppose to showcase each culture's songs and dances. First, I didn't really know what was going on because there was no proper announcement of each culture's dance before they begin, and you get lost halfway because you are wondering, "wait, isn't this suppose to be a story about a boy named Ha?". Furthermore, I did mentioned that the performances weren't that great because it sometimes seem that they were not coordinated.

However, the performances did have some saving graces. For example, there were many colorful costumes and the songs of each culture was played well. One of the few notable performances was the Tahitian dancing, it is so fascinating to watch rapid hip shaking, these dancers were literally like an automatic hip-shaker! Amazing! The other performance which everyone loved was the fire dancers, because they were definitely skilled in what they did and everyone was practically glued to their seats!

In a nutshell, you should only go for the evening show if you have spare cash to spend during your holiday. The upside about this money you will be paying to watch the evening show + dinner/luau is that your money is used to provide scholarships to the Brigham Young University students. I have provided you my review of the dinner and performance, it is now up to you as a tourist or visitor to decide whether you want to catch it!!!!


P.S. Prior attendees, did you have a different/better experience?


ITR said...

oh woah .. tat place looks like zoo lol

Mei Sze said...
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Anonymous said...
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Mei Sze said...

Thank you Shaun!!! you are too kind!!!:P

Mei Sze said...

Ooopsss!!! Yes, wanted to say that this place is somewhat like a zoo because instead of animals being on display, humans are the ones actually displaying the different cultures;)

ITR said...

New updates??