Chinamans Hat, also known as Mokilii (little lizard), is a basalt islet located in Kaneohe Bay. It’s a 45-minute drive from Honolulu, off of Kamehameha Highway, offshore of Kualoa Regional Beach Park. Let us take you to this famous site, book an Oahu Island tour with us.
The islet, spanning 12.5 acres, was once part of a basaltic ridge on Oahu before it got separated by marine erosion. The name Chinaman’s Hat was given because the islet resembles a peasant’s hat worn in rural China.
According to legend
Legend has it, that thousands of years ago, a giant Chinese man passed by Mokilii. The man placed his hat on the water to wash his face. When he left, he forgot to bring back his hat. Years passed by and soon dust covered the entire giant hat which later on became a tiny island.
Chinaman’s Hat is a popular place among locals and tourists to take picture of Oahu’s windward coast. Visitors who actually go to the islet to explore, are amazed by its charm. During low tide, it’s even possible to walk right over it. You can walk around the islet and relax at the small beach, nestled in a secluded cove facing the open ocean.
You can also climb up to the top (or tip of the “hat”) to witness a breathtaking view of the windward coast and the Koolau Mountains, Kaneohe, Kailua, and Makapuu peninsula. The reef surrounding the island is home to various marine species. Chinaman’s Hat also has sea caves where seabirds nest around. When you visit, be sure to not disturb the animals.