After experiencing a stroll down the Las Vegas Strip I now understand why there is no comparison to Macau. Macau may take the prize for the most money turned over globally in gambling annually, but it is almost purely about business – the gambling business. There is very little in the way of spectacle to see when you walk around Cotai Strip. Las Vegas on the other hand … a party on every corner, an explosion of colour, a diversity of people from the hard core gamblers to lonely souls seeking a friend to revellers and everything in-between.
Vegas really is an over-the-top party city brimming with fun and insanity. Each casino seemed to be doing everything in its power to outdo the other with amazing artwork, signature restaurants and a plethora of shows to choose from before you even got to the pokies or betting tables.
Shops along the strip continued the themes of colour and extravagance. M&M world turned out to be a dangerous store for me. A multi-coloured wall of candy covered chocolate in a variety of flavours was simply too tempting. I had images of my sprogs with their mouths under the shoots filling their mouths until their cheeks were ready to explode should they have been there with me on this little adventure into chocolatedom.
I came away with a pound of M&M’s in flavours we’ve not even heard of in Hong Kong (hello raspberry!!) and a few knick-knacks – all for the kids. And I got the obligatory photo with RED … never too old to stand next to people dressed up in strange costumes as I experienced frequently on this trip… but THAT’s another post…
Coca-Cola world was a bit of a let down in comparison to the Candy paradise of M&M World. Some of the products on sale were kinda cool but we just window shopped. The idea of tasting international cokes wasn’t something that I was keen on given I have experienced my fair share in the last few years from various places we have been where drinking water isn’t sanitary so the ‘safe’ option is to resort to a canned beverage of which the only one with a universal name is Coke. Aaaaaanyways…
I think one of the mot beautiful things on the strip are the Bellagio Fountains. Ever 1/2 hour during the day they put on a performance for those wandering by.
All I can say is “WOW”. I would hate to imagine how much pressure it takes to fire the water so high up into the sky. We’re talking multi-story water cannon insanity! You MUST make time to watch the fountains if you are in Vegas and haven’t ever seen them. Well worth the wait!
After exploring several of the casinos architecture I would have to say my favourite was Aria. It was beautiful in its modern simplicity and the coloured water ball fountain at the entrance was awesome – think fireworks exploding only within a ball of water.
We tippled on a few machines in a couple of casinos just to say we did it. My husband had explicitly told me I couldn’t go to Vegas and NOT put some money in a machine to say we had gambled in Vegas. I lost the money I put in, but I had fun loosing it… and I’m not a huge gambler anyways. I have to say your money seems to last a bit longer in casinos in Macau … maybe they have the odds set differently.
We ticked another item off the bucket list by heading out to a stage show. As one of my besties had seen all the Cirque shows we decided on ‘Dancing Queen’ – who doesn’t like to reminisce about the 70’s? 😉
Well – it was ATROCIOUS! If you are thinking about seeing it … DON’T! Avoid this show at all costs. The singing was terrible. The dancing was awful. The costumes were more like something out of the 60’s and didn’t seem to reflect the ABBA era, not to mention many of the songs weren’t even ABBA songs. AND they didn’t sing at least one of the songs listed in the posters advertising the show. The show only went for an hour, but I was sitting there going “Is that it???” I felt like I had just sat through a bad high school musical and even worse we had PAID for it. In hindsight we should have gone for one of the classic acts. At least with Donny and Marie you know they can SING!
My only complaint about the Strip would be the touts on the sidewalks at night. Are there really that many desperate and dateless people in the city that a tout needs to flash a card for prostitutes or a stripper joint in front of you every metre or two along the street? The only good thing about the touts was they didn’t discriminate … male, female, everyone was a potential target as they tapped and flicked their cards thrusting them into your face.
Bad shows and perverted touts aside I was easily able to see why people all over USA and the world are drawn to Vegas. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. It is a trip around Europe and the USA in a day. It truly is a spectacle that should be visited just to see what it is all about. Certainly a unique part of the USA indeed!
VIVA LAS VEGAS!