Cover photo full
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrLaie has one of the most interesting histories in Oahu. This little town on the North Shore used to be a pu’uhonua, a refuge for fugitives. White flags were erected on the corners of the town and killing of the fugitives by the warriors was prohibited. Consequently, when warriors attempted to slay refugees, the priests guarding the pu’uhonua killed the pursuers instead. This tradition went to a halt in 1819.
At around 1870s, Laie was purchased by the Mormons . Due to these purchases, many of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) all over Hawaii, moved to Laie. A sugar factory was then established after the acquisition and settlement of the land. Schools and churches were built.
Laie comes from two Hawaiin words – lau, which means ‘leaf’, and ie referring to the red, spiked, climbing screw pines. According to legends, these ie are sacred to God of Earth, Kane, and Laka, the patron Goddess of hula.
BeachesThere are a few secluded beaches in Laie which is usually frequented by locals and college students at a nearby university – Brigham Young University Hawaii. Coming from the North Shore, the first beach is Hukilau beach which has bigger waves compared to the other beaches in Laie. It is great for body boarding. The next beach would be the Temple Beach, which gained its name due to it being directly opposite from the Mormon Temple. Bikini Beach, which was nicknamed so because of its isolation that offers privacy to swimmers, is separated from the two other beaches by the Laie Point. Because of the conservative Mormon culture in Laie, wearing a two-piece bikini is discouraged among women. Many women however, still wear this demoted swimwear at Bikini Beach.
The Laie Point is an elevated area and rock formation in the Laie shoreline. Many adventure enthusiasts perform cliff jumping off Laie Point and into Bikini Beach. This has caused a few accidents among jumpers.
Hiking Trails and FallsThere are two hiking trails in Laie – the Laie Falls, and the PCC Falls. Hikers are encouraged to secure permitS at the Laie Shopping Center due to the possible dangers these hikes pose. The Laie Summit and Falls is a very long hike that may take up to more than 5 hours on a normal pace. It involves going up steep hills and cliffs, and going down on slippery rocks towards a small falls that has a deadly drop. Despite the risk of the Laie hiking trail, many people still take it. They would camp out on a flat section of the trail and resume hiking the next day.
The PCC Falls is a hiking trail behind the Polynesian Cultural Center, thus its name. The trail is not very long. It can be reached in less than an hour. It involves mainly, however, crossing rivers and stepping on large rocks. Caution has to be taken highly, and a pair of good hiking shoes would help keep the hiker safe. At the end of the trail is a small falls where many locals and tourists alike swim, swing, and jump in.
Entertainment, Shopping, and EatLaie is a small town with only one entertainment and shopping center. Close to the university is the Laie Shopping Center. It is by Kamehameha Road which is convenient for passers-by to drive by for some quick shopping and a snack. The Laie Shopping Center has a big grocery store, a small theater, and a few dining places. None of these stores sell alcohol, which is bizarre for the whole Island.
Another spot for entertainment in Laie is the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is a themed park of the Polynesian Islands and culture. It is owned by the Mormon Church as well and thus does not serve alcoholic beverages, smoking however is allowed in certain areas.
There are no bars, clubs, or any nightlife in Laie. There is a game center, however, at the university where locals can play bowling, video games, table hockey, table soccer, and other wholesome games.
ReligionLaie is largely a Mormon community and is a spiritual center for Mormons in Hawaii. Its culture is chiefly influenced by the standards of this creed. Despite the Mormonism however, usual youth culture can still be found in certain areas. Due to the oldness of this religion in the community, many locals have become lax on its strict principles and is not different from any other Hawaiian.
How to Get HereLaie can be accessed through the North Shore and the South Shore. If from Ala Moana, one can take the bus 52.
Similar AttractionsThe neighboring towns in Laie are as simple as this community. To the North is Kahuku, and to the South is Hauula.
Do you see any omissions, errors or want to add information to this page? Sign up.
Author: kimn. Last updated: Feb 10, 2015