Those in search of both retail therapy and historical attractions will find satisfaction at the Kong Lung Historic Market Center in lush Kilauea. Beginning when the Kilauea Sugar Plantation rented one of its buildings on the current market site to a Chinese businessman named Lunch Wah Chee (who opened an all-in-one general store), today the market offers an eclectic shopping collection of collectibles, jewelry, clothing and art. Several great restaurants are also onsite.
Unique collectibles — Photo courtesy of Kong Lung Trading
Just a short drive from the Kilauea Lighthouse, the center is perfectly located, making it convenient to explore while visiting other attractions in the area. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the town's development, the stone building that stands today replaces the original wood-framed construction of the 1940s. Many unique shops make up the center, which is connected with uncovered walkways rather than all being contained in one building.
In the Lotus Gallery, shoppers are treated to a wide spectrum of antique and modern Asian art, as well as elegant jewelry made from pearls, opals, black diamonds, jade and other stones. Hawaiian shell jewelry made with the coveted sunrise shell and others can also be found here.
Sunrise shell necklace from Lotus Gallery — Photo courtesy of Lotus Gallery
At Coconut Style, you won't be left wondering why the shop was named by Architectural Digest as one of Kaua`i's "can't miss" shops. Hand-painted shirts, sarongs, bedding and other clothing are on display in the space. Kong Lunch Trading is a great place to window-shop or bring a souvenir home, as the home decor, gifts and clothing represent the various cultures that make up the Hawaiian Islands. Places to eat here include Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza and Kilauea Fish Market.