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Laie: Far from ordinary

Dedicated to education
Dedicated to education
photo by Tina M.

On the northeast shore of Oahu, nestled far away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, is the small town of Laie. This small, ocean-side town may be remote, but it is quite a destination. Laie is home to Brigham Young University - Hawaii campus, the Laie Hawaii Temple (part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) which also houses the Family History Center, and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Anyone who has been to Oahu has surely seen advertisements for the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is a wonderful experience and considered the state's largest museum, but don't let that fool you, it is all outdoors. The park has several different villages representing the nations of Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Marquesas (French Polynesia), and Aotearoa (New Zealand). It is a wonderful full-day activity followed by a traditional luau and ends with an evening show. It is a great destination and tour busses will transport you from Waikiki to the center and back. Some vacationers opt not to attend the Polynesian Cultural Center because it is all the way on the other side of the island or because of the lack of alcohol (its a dry Mormon town). Those who pass on the opportunity, really miss out on a great experience. In the 1860's, Mormon missionaries purchased a plantation that encompassed all of Laie. Today Laie is a flourishing Mormon community dedicated to education; institutional at BYU-Hawaii, cultural at Polynesian Cultural Center, and spiritual at the Laie Hawaii Temple.