To the amazement of a lot of people, (including myself), I had a few days in Vegas on my way across the US. To even more amazement of myself, I enjoyed it a lot.

One of the first things you notice about Vegas is it is over the top. Waaay over the top, but its over the top in a classy way. Sure, the props are cheesy, but they look real, even if everyone knows that its all fibreglass, plastic and paint. Most other places, the props look like fibreglass, plastic and paint.

I stayed at Circus Circus, which is getting towards the north end of the Strip. I wanted a hotel on the Strip because that is where I wanted to go and I didn't have a car. Circus Circus was the cheapest, so thats where I went. I didn't spend long in my room, so I didn't really mind it being fairly basic.

Vegas is definately best experienced at night. Sleep in late, spend your day inside the hotels and casinos, then walk the Strip at night when its cooler and the lights are all on. A building that looks great at night, suddenly seems very dull in the harsh light of the sun. For those hoping for Vegas being a cheap place to stay, sorry to disappoint you. Sure, there are cheap places, but not where I was, for those, you need to get off the strip.

There is lots to do. A lot of it will cost you, but if you're like me and enjoy the spectacle itself, then (most of the time) watching is free. Every casino and hotel has its own gimic, sorry, theme to get you in. In my opinion, the better ones are:

  • Treasure Island - Done up with a pirate/treasure theme
  • New York, New York - Amazing replica of the New York city skyline, complete with the "Manhatten Express" a rollercoaster that whistles in and out of the building
  • Excalibar - Nice exterior, interior is nothing too fancy
  • Luxor - Just because a giant pyramid is very different
  • Paris - Mainly because of the Eiffel Tower
  • Bellagio - Not the hotel, just the fountains out the front, especially at night
  • Venetian - Because the Grand Canal (on the second floor), complete with gondolas, defines Vegas so well

Of course, the gambling hits you as soon as you get off the plane - the one armed bandits are the first things you see and the size of the casino floors is mind boggling. Then you see the money people are walking around with and your mind does a double take. If anyone is curious, yes, I gambled on the pokies, at least one bet in every casino I was in (I think I covered all the casinos on the Strip) and I came out with a profit of $0.25 Not quite enough to retire on just yet.

The Treasure Island Casino and Hotel
More from Treasure Island
Sphinx at the Forum Shops
Pegasus in the Forum Shops
The Forum Shops (Part of Caeser's Palace)
Paris Hotel
Paris Hotel
"Central Park" - The main gambling floor of New York, New York
New York, New Work
The Luxor
Two dragons inside Excalibar
New York, New York
"The Strip"
Detail inside Paris
View from the Eiffel Tower in Paris - looking South, South, North and over the road at the Bellagio's fountains
F&O Schwartz store in the Forum
Forum shops entrance
Mirage at night
Stardust sign
Westwood Ho
Lizard at the Vegas airport
Flying into San Francisco from Vegas

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