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About Chinaman’s Hat Island

Chinaman’s Hat is an island located offshore of the Kane’ohe Bay. The island is part of the Kualoa Regional Park in Kane’ohe. A long time ago, the Oahu chiefs used the island as a training site. The first king that reigned Oahu used to live in the Chinaman’s Hat Island. It was used to be a basalt adze quarry. You ca still see these quarries if you visit the island. There is a legend behind the Chinaman’s Hat Island. The local legend claims that the sister of the goddess Pele when slewing the no’o dragon created the island.


Chinaman’s Hat Island is also known as Mokoli’i. In Hawaiian language, Mokoli’i means little lizard. The people call it Chinaman’s Hat because it looks like the hat that is worn by China peasant man. The scenery of this island is often featured in postcards. There is nothing on the island. If you happen to be in Kane’ohe Bay, you can take a kayak trip to this small island. When the tide is low, you can walk from the Kane’ohe Bay to the island. The average amount of time it takes to travel from Kane’ohe Bay to the island is about 45 minutes. The water near the Chinaman’s Hat Island has strong current so it will take sometime to row it to the island.


The majority of the visitors will rent a kayak at the Kaneo’ohe Bay or Kualoa Park instead of traveling on foot. Besides, you can also take a surfboard to reach the island. If you decide to walk from the Kualoa Park to the Chinaman’s Hat, you should wear a reef shoe. There are a lot of reefs on the seashore so you need to protect yourself from the cut. Upon reaching the island, you can take a stroll and explore the areas.


Many tourists like to climb up to the top of the island to watch the scenery of the Koolau Mountain range. You can reach the top of the island in 20 minutes. It can be exhausting to climb the mountain because there are many lava edges and bushes. The Chinaman’s Hat is a good breeding ground for the seabird. If you see any wild animal there, be sure to touch them.

You will be able to watch the King Kamehameha I status located in the distance. The peninsula is now used as a marine base. There are two sea caves in Chinaman’s Hat Island. One of the sea cave is situated in front of the ocean.