Never in my wildest dream would I have imagined visiting Las Vegas, touted as the “entertainment capital of the world”, until hubby recently won a trip (flight and accommodation covered) to attend a cardiology course. This city came out of nothing right in the middle of the Mojave Desert and transformed itself into a bustling city, which centres on a strip of road called The Strip. What was impressive about The Strip was the amount of beautifully-lit hotels being lined up one after another along it; and this made hotel-hopping an activity not to be missed. Needless to say, these hotels appeared more magnificent after dusk and that’s why you’d notice most of my photos were taken at night.
We stayed at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (part of what is known as the City Centre), which was located just next to the famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Fortunate for us, we had a direct view of the fountain show at Bellagio, which went off every half hour from 3pm-12 midnight.
Opposite our hotel was Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino and this was where we watch our first show – Vegas! The Show, in the Saxe Theatre. After much research, we finally decided to purchase our tickets from Expedia for US$49 (RM191) per ticket inclusive of tax. I would seriously recommend for you to get your tickets from this site – much cheaper than anywhere else. If there is only one show you can afford in Vegas, this has got to be that show!
Besides the Saxe Theatre, Planet Hollywood also hosts the annual Miss Universe pageant and we were fortunate to catch a glimpse of the finalists. Really didn’t know they were going to be there.
None of us were into gambling at all, but since we were in the so-called gambling paradise it would be interesting to go casino-hopping just to satisfy our curiosity – the grandest of them all was MGM Grand. To our surprise, every hotel run its own 24-hour casino and they belong to just a few gaming companies. There wasn’t any security check or age restriction in all the casinos we visited, which was in stark contrast to the casinos in Genting Highlands and Marina Bay Sands. The casinos seemed somewhat part of a hotel lobby or mall and anyone could just walk through them. Well, if you are extremely obsessed with security, be rest assured as the entire city’s security is beefed up with CCTV that runs facial recognition against all databases – at least, that was what a cab driver told me.
Strolling along The Strip at night was nothing short of fun, considering Vegas never sleeps. The grandeur of its uniquely-themed hotels was indeed mesmerising, not to mention the many street performances – surely not something to be missed when one is in Vegas. Good thing we were there close to Christmas and we immersed ourselves in the alluring Christmas decorations (Bellagio had the best). If time is not on your side, I’d suggest at least hopping through Bellagio (world’s largest chocolate fountain) and The Venetian & The Palazzo (Madame Tussauds was museum, Grand Canal shoppes and gondola rides), all of which are at the northern part of The Strip.
If you happen to be an Elvis’ fan, be sure to drop by The Piano Bar at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for the Big Elvis show. In fact, we didn’t even purchase tickets or drinks as it was an open bar and one could still enjoy the oldies without entering it. Even if we had wanted to, there were simply no seats available – the bar was full to the brim.
Suppose you’re looking for a more affordable place to shop, I’d suggest the Grand Bazaar Shops, which is located next to Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. We came across a shop selling Jamaican chilli and anything spicy attracts me a lot. There were many other shops selling all sorts of merchandise. Got ourselves a bowl of ramen as well in one of the shops, hidden in a corner – US$5 (RM19.30) per bowl if I’m not mistaken. Neither of us were shopaholics, so basically all we did was window shopping. By the way, the hoverboard was indeed a trend then.
Continue to follow my adventure in the next post…
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