Tag Archives: #traveller

Golden Bright Las Vegas 2020

The Entertainment state of Nevada

Las Vegas is my next stop going around the USA. The flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas took over an hour. I actually laughed when I noticed the slot machines in the airport. This is the only airport that I’ve ever traveled to that is actively promoting gambling, to say the least! The Cosmopolitan Hotel was my home during this trip. The view from the top floor is the fantastic Las Vegas strip and the beautiful Bellagio fountain. I can’t help but compare it to the fountains in the Dubai Mall which I’ve had the privilege of visiting last year. The Dubai Mall Fountain is the “world’s largest choreographed fountain system in the world so I might be a bit biased in choosing that as the best that I’ve seen. It is simply amazing!

Knowing Las Vegas

Officially known as the City of Las Vegas, the city is a wide 135 square miles sitting in a basin in the Mojave Desert. Typically, it has a subtropical climate – lots of hot summer sun and short winters.  It ranks 28th as the most populous city in the USA and is currently home to more than two million people. Las Vegas prides itself in being a leader in the hospitality industry with it being one of the world’s best tourist destinations.

The Las Vegas Strip

Hotels and casinos are, of course, the major stars in drawing people to Las Vegas. And you can get them all just walking along the famous Las Vegas Strip. The bright lights are still there even with the pandemic. The casinos, restaurants, and bars are open but with strict policies in place. Patrons are limited to 50% capacity only and face masks are mandatory everywhere. Social distancing is the new normal so no dancing for everyone and concerts are still not allowed. Fremont Street is famous as the home of most of the casinos in the downtown area. The Stratosphere or more commonly known now as The Strat, is the exception though, as it is located on Las Vegas Boulevard. It’s tower boasts of a gorgeous view of the Strip.
Stratosphere Observation Deck Ticket + VIP Access Las Vegas, USA - Klook UK
The view from The Strat
It is guaranteed that you can find a hotel here whatever budget or style or preference you want. I cannot wait to come back here when the world is back to normal! I’m planning to watch the shows especially Cirque du Soleil and to dance in clubs like XS nightclub at the Wynn hotel.

Food and Shopping

Restaurants are all around the Strip and you can find any kind of cuisine. We dined at several restaurants around and I can’t help but marvel at how cosmopolitan everything is. The Golden Steer Steakhouse is the most memorable in our food trip. I simply like their steak! Will definitely be back to eat at the famous Mon Ami Gabi, Gordon Ramsay Fish and Chips, and Cucina by Wolfgang Puck someday. The Forum Shops at Caesars is a must-see to a shopaholic like me. I am a huge fan of high-end stores and The Forum does not disappoint. With it’s almost 700 thousand square foot space, everything that I can think of is housed in this elegant space. I read that it is the highest-grossing mall in the US in terms of sales per square foot. How’s that for good news? I can probably spend a couple of days exploring this and still feel like I haven’t bought anything. LOL!

Trip to The Hoover Dam

Since we’re already in Nevada, we took a side trip to a big destination – The Hoover Dam.  For movie fans like me, this dam is heavily featured in the 2007 movie The Transformers. Remember where they kept Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons? The dam is where the government kept him in “cryostasis suspension since 1935” according to the movie. I would have loved to go underneath and see for myself if somethings from the movie are still there! But seriously, the dam is a mighty power generator on its own. It is a hydroelectric power plant that generates more than 2,000 megawatts in its generators. Hooray for clean energy!
white and brown bridge over river

Other things to do

Like all the other places I’ve visited before, Las Vegas has activities outside of the casinos. There are hiking trails in the Valley of Fire State Park where you can go walking and picnic in the splendor of the great outdoors.  If you’re all about speed, Las Vegas has three unique ways to get your pedal to metal dream come true. There’s Exotics Racing, Speed Vegas, and Dream Racing which will get your heart a glorious workout. Can you imagine going around the track in the sports car of your dreams? You bet I’ll be trying this on next time!
That’s it for my Las Vegas trip this year. I am so looking forward to going around again without the Covid threat. I can’t wait to get the full Las Vegas experience next time!
Until then, keep safe everyone!

Travel to Hong Kong

What makes Hong Kong so popular?

Shopping!

Without question, Hong Kong is the ultimate shopping destination in Asia. This city state is small but packs a really big punch with its fast-faced economy co-existing with its ancient Chinese culture. International labels can be found in its famous shopping district in Nathan Street. Trust me, you can shop American and European brands here with ease.

If you’re looking for bargains, Hong Kong has night markets that sell everything from souvenirs to bags to clothes to decorations to scarves to calligraphy tools and tons more than you can possibly think of. There are more than a dozen night markets in Hong Kong but the ones I liked best are the Ladies Market in Mong Kok and the Temple Street Night Market in Yau Ma Tei. What’s more, the sellers expect you to haggle prices so be prepared to charm them if you really want something.

Travel tip:

The night markets start at around 7PM so be sure to come early to get good bargains. Better bring your own big shopping bag as its super hassle to carry small bags of things you bought.

World class

Hong Kong’s famous skyline boasts really tall buildings in the business district. This tiny city state is home to all the industries in the world. Their economy is stable enough to make them one of the world’s first class cosmopolitan centers.

Check out the breathtaking view from our hotel room in the luxurious Intercontinental Hotel where we stayed for three days.

As in any small state, housing seems to be answered by the tall condominiums that I saw everywhere. Some of them are as tall as 40 stories high from what I can estimate and the towers are so closely built together. You can imagine the amount of people inside this compound!

Travel tip:

Always check a guide or a map wherever you visit especially in Hong Kong where the buildings are all tall in most places and the sidewalks are really crowded and narrow. You can easily get turned around and get lost in the side streets. Although English is fluently spoken in the business district and the high end shops, some of the smaller stores and restaurants as well as taxi drivers are still predominantly Chinese speaking so be sure to travel with a local for those out of the way areas or get your translations written by and ready.

Dianaqeblawitravel.com

Ancient Culture

One of the best things to do when visiting a country is to learn about its culture. Reading about it is good and being able to see it for yourself is even better. I make it a point to visit a temple or a church whenever I visit a new place to get a small glimpse of their history. In Hong Kong, I had the chance to visit the Big Buddha Statue or Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island. This is the view from the cable car ride in Ngong Ping that I took going there. From HK$135 to HK$213 round trip, you can experience a very scenic view for about 30 minutes till you get there.

 

 The Big Buddha is really amazing! It’s almost 35 meters tall and it sits on a very green forest so walking up the stairs to see it up close is worth it. I took this perfect chance to pose in this circular stage/entry when no other tourists were around. I love that the statue is directly above me making it a perfect shot.

 

 

The long walk upwards is worth it to be able to see the ancient houses, the temple and light incense sticks for your wishes in the altars around the base. The Po Lin Monastery sits on the base of the enormous statue and its monks preserve the sanctity of the temple. I was fortunate enough to see the monks around and observed their activities while going through their prayer rituals.

Travel tip:

Going up to the statue is free. Check the weather forecast even before going to Hong Kong. When it’s foggy and raining, going up to the Big Buddha is not worth it as you won’t be able to see the magnificent views going there and even the Buddha itself will be covered in fog. The best time to go to Hong Kong is from November to February when the sun is shining but the cold winds from China travels down to its small sister state. You can check accuweather’s website for this valuable info.

Hiking in Hong Kong

Hiking is a popular sport here in Hong Kong. Dragon’s Back Hike is one of the most famous trails here. It has one of the most scenic views around the island. Then you can swim or sunbathe in Big Wave Bay after a long mostly downhill trek afterwards. I hiked in Lantau Island and the trek and view was breathtaking in a really nice way.

Travel tip:

Check the weather before going out hiking to avoid any accidents. Water bottles, towels and snacks are necessary for these treks so bring as much as you can. Insect repellents are also a good thing to have at all times just to be sure.

Disneyland Hong Kong

A visit to Hong Kong is not complete without visiting Disneyland. Smaller than its sibling in Tokyo, Hong Kong’s Disneyland is still a paradise to indulge the Disney princess in me. Walk around the park and join the various theme rides and booths. The theater shows are really at world class levels with professional performers on stage. I love the music and the songs, of course, are very nostalgic.

Disney shopping is a must

If you want to get gifts to take home, get it all inside Disneyland. The shops are all full of very nice high quality products for kids and also for adults. You can find not only souvenirs here but also really nice toys, clothes, household things and even jewelry to remember your stay. I love my Minnie Mouse ears and I’ve just got to pose in Main Street here!

Travel tip:

Hong Kong Disneyland is a very popular tourist destination specially on weekends and holidays. Check their website for day passes you can purchase online to avoid the long que for tickets going into the theme park. Each day pass costs about HK$630 inclusive of a meal ticket. You can also get lots of savings if you stay in the Disney hotels of course. There’s Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney Explorer’s Lodge and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and all of them will steep you in all things magically Disney.

Hong Kong is a very memorable destination and really worth going to.

From Manila, there are around six airlines going to and from Hong Kong everyday. Philippine airlines has the most number of direct flights everyday followed by Cathay Pacific with three direct flights daily.