We are in Vegas and have been in the same hotel for 4 nights. We shopped around and we are getting a good deal at $70 per night for the four of us in a fancy hotel at the Northern end of ‘The Strip’. The same room in Perth would be like us staying at Burswood.
Another thing we have learnt about America is that any price you see written on a brochure, advertised the internet or are verbally quoted is not the full end price. They only quote the base price. Then they add tax and other fees. Like in Vegas if the room is advertised at $50 per night, it ends up costing $70 by the time they have added tax and resort fee. Our one day hire car was quoted at $80 and end up costing $130 when Geoff went to pay. Even in the supermarket the tag price of any food item is not what you will pay at the checkout. When you eat in a restaurant you have to add two lots of extra fees like tax and tipping.
Vegas is nothing short of epic. It is so much bigger than we expected. All the stories are true. It is over the top big, busy and grand. The place has a resident population of 2 million. The Mandalay Casino Hotel where we watched the Michael Jackson ONE show has 3000 rooms alone and there are hotels like that as far as the eye can see. The taxi driver (always a good source of local information) said our hotel is the ‘smallest fancy one the strip with only 800 rooms’. Apparently Vegas has 40million visitors a year, could it be true?
A bit like Bali, Vegas comes to life at night. The heat of the day is skin melting dry hot hot. The centre of the strip is so busy its hard to walk along. Full of life with entertainers, shows, partying and those just walking along taking it all in. The casinos are mental bling bling and lined up one after the other. Each Casino hotel is themed which is really cool. From Egypt, tropical, New York, circus, Casino Royal, Hilton, Trump, Paris, Treasure Island, Hard Rock, Planet Hollywood, Monte Carlo to a fairytale castle. We have watched a few of the free shows like the pirate show, volcano eruption and the famous Bellagio fountain light and music show.
We have spent the day around the pool today sipping margarita, eating poolside snacks under our umbrella and drinking Budweiser. The wind and sun are so bloody hot we have to kept getting in to keep our skin cool. Its between 40-45′ everyday. I am now shedding a layer of skin from my Santa Monica bike riding shoulders, while I am watching lots of exposed oiled bodies whaling around in the scorching sun. Anything goes here, its cool.