Ah Las Vegas.
Sin City, the place where I in fact was pretty virtuous! I don’t drink or gamble but there was still plenty to do. Here’s a rundown of my experiences.
Getting there and around
For backpackers one of the cheapest ways of getting there is to take a Greyhound bus. Just remember that the Greyhound bus station is a little off the strip and you’ll need to take a taxi there. Just a word of warning. There’ll be a lot of unregistered taxis milling about. Trying to save money, we took one and it broke down a minute later down the street. You have been warned!
I stayed in the MGM Grand. At the time it had the best deal but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t shop around. If you really want a bargain, and not on a time constraint, try heading to Las Vegas during the weekdays rather than the weekend. Call up rather than making a booking on the internet too.
I particularly liked just walking about the various hotels. One of my favourite things to do is to take a walk through the lobby of the Bellagio. Itâ€™s home to the â€œFiori di Comoâ€ which is a 2,100 square feet glass sculpture that consists of 2000 hand-blown glass blossoms by artist Dale Chihuly. Itâ€™s quite stunning and you can while away your time on this piece alone.
Walking down the strip, day or night, offers some pretty funny sights from street performers to just hanging out with the cops. It’s pretty humid, especially in summer, so be prepared to duck into hotels or shops for air con. A night time stroll down the strip wouldn’t be complete without checking out the fountains outside the Bellagio. The fountain show is every 30 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes during the late evening.
Prepare for a late one in Vegas as this city barely seems to sleep. If you want any hope of getting in to a club be prepared to wait in line or pay for a table. Â Popular clubs include; Tao at the Venetian, Pure at Caesar’s, The Bank at Bellagio, Lavo at Palazzo and Lax at Luxor. Getting on a VIP list or a Guest List (sometimes this is the same thing) can put you ahead but not always. Head to the club in the middle of the day and there will normally be a rep who can get you on a list. The greatest advice I can give you is to be a mixed group. If you’re all guys you have a much slimmer chance of getting in.
The Grand Canyon
You can get to The Grand Canyon from Las Vegas relatively easily. Walk down the strip and youâ€™ll see a multitude of companies offering tours. Bus tours are in the region of about $80 for a basic trip that also has a photo stop at the Hoover Dam. West Rim tours normally cost a bit more than South Rim ones. Be sure to check what is included such as the Sky Walk.
Personally, if I had to do it again I would take a flight or a helicopter tour. Sure it costs more but taking the bus means a really long day. If youâ€™re on a budget stick to the bus but be prepared to keep yourself entertained.