Vegas, Vegas Everywhere

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: I don’t even know why I am blogging about Las Vegas. This is one of the world class tourist destinations in the world and somewhere around 40 million people visit Las Vegas every year. So chances are that everyone who is reading it have been there at least once maybe (mostly for the North Americans). 

IMG_0868.jpg

Walking around at night

But I do recommend one thing in Vegas, other than just hopping from one casino to another and trying out all sorts of food or shopping in expensive stores; that is please get out of the city and enjoy the beautiful mountains and valleys that Nevada has to offer. Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Death Valley…some of these places are only half an hour to a few hours of drive and they have majestic landscapes, spectacular mountains with lots of activities to do. These ideal getaways, especially if you are traveling with kids. 

IMG_0709.jpg

Vegas life

I went back to Vegas after about 15 years and it looked almost exactly the same as I remember from 2004. Maybe new hotels here and there or slightly more crowded. But overall, the essence of Las Vegas was still the same…energetic, noisy, hustling, and fun. Yes, it’s an exciting city to be in for any age. For those who are not into gambling like me, believe me you will find something you’ll like everytime you are in this Sin City. 

IMG_0720.jpg

Vegas, Vegas, and more Vegas

OUR HOTEL: We stayed in Stratosphere Tower or The Strat this time. It’s a bit off the main strip of Vegas, but Uber or public buses are there to take you around. It’s surrounded by many shops and restaurants. Inside the hotel, cafes, steakhouse, buffet, and Starbucks are there. Stratosphere also has Skypod restaurant, extreme rides (like skyjump), observation deck, and rooftop pool. If you are a fan of King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Stratosphere’s theater also arranges MJ Live Tribute Concert every evening. Stratosphere’s buffet is also way cheaper than many other casinos. Depending on the day/night of the year, it’s usually somewhere around $20 per adult. 

TIME of TRAVEL: My daughters and I were in Vegas during their winter break of 2019. We stayed there for 4 nights and 3 full days to enjoy as much possible in and around the city. This is a great time to see the Christmas and holiday decorations in each hotel and casino. The temperature is not as warm as I thought it would be. It was around 50s during the day but at night, it drops down to 40s. So carrying a sweater is a good idea. 

IMG_0871.jpg

Gorgeous day near Venetian in December

EATING and SHOPPING: I guess you don’t have to worry much about finding a restaurant in Vegas. Everywhere you look on the boulevard, at least 10 restaurants will be there in every direction. Since my girls and I are big In ‘N Out Burgers’ fans, we ate twice there…on the Linq Promenade. Shake Shack is another excellent burger place you can try. We also had dinner buffet at Stratosphere, called Crafted Buffet. It had all the variety of delicious food yet is cheaper than most of the buffets in town. For around $25 per adult and half the price of kids…we had excellent dinners there twice. Another few places I would recommend, if you are into celebrity TV shows, is trying out celebrity chefs’ restaurants. Bobby Flay, Iron Chef Morimoto, Wolfgang Puck, Giada, and etc…they all have some kind of big of small restaurants in Vegas. Gordon Ramsey has few of his own eateries here too. For one of the lunches, we tried Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen in Caesar’s Palace. My daughters’ baked salmon, burger, and finally…my lobster risotto, phew…I can never forget the taste of that risotto. To finish it off, we had sticky toffee pudding…it was a perfect sweet treat to end the course. We had to wait in line for half an hour but the service is pretty fast and the whole restaurant is themed around the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen” and with blue and red team.   

IMG_0858

Lunching in Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, NV

Souvenir shops are almost everywhere in Vegas. We liked the unique ones on Linq Promenade and other factory shops (see below). By the way, In ‘N Out Burgers also has a factory store somewhere around The Strip. Every hotel/casino has their own souvenir shops and other brand name clothing stores too, if you are into brand names. 

 

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: Below are some of the things we did in Las Vegas. Next time, we are definitely going to the downtown area where the world’s largest LCD display can be seen with laser show and all (at least that’s what I heard). Checking out few other casinos/hotels would also be nice for next trip, like Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, or Paris. If you are here for a longer time, drive to Sedona, AZ…a red rock city which makes a great getaway from this busy place. 

IMG_0825.jpg

My lobster risotto in Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas…I can still taste it in my mouth.

 

Below are some of the places we visited, things we did, and shows we watched in Vegas:

  1. THE LINQ PROMENADE: This is a busy pedestrian zone near the Linq Hotel which is packed with unique shops and restaurants. In ‘N Out Burger is here too, if you like their burgers. Lots of street artists, including magicians, can been seen performing on the promenade. Different activities, like zipline, ferris wheel ride, etc can be done here too. We went back there twice, because it’s just nice to walk around here and window shop at different stores or just do people watching. 
IMG_0678.jpg

Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, NV

2. FACTORY STORES: Few of the fun stores we visited in Las Vegas that my kids absolutely enjoyed were M&M World, Coca-Cola Store, and Hershey’s Chocolate World. 

IMG_0732

Hershey’s Chocolate World, Las Vegas

M&M World and Coca-Cola Store are side by side near New York New York Hotel. And Hershey’s Chocolate World is right opposite of the other 2 stores. Fans or not-fans of these snacks and drinks must visit these exciting multi-floored shops just to check out what they have done inside and all the exciting items they sell. We ordered the international coke tray in the Coca-Cola store where you get to taste 16 different coke products from around the world for $15. 

IMG_0707.jpg

Our 16 flavors of coke from around the world in Coca-Cola Store in Las Vegas

3. THE PARK: Right beside New York New York Hotel and Casino, The Park is a delightful place to take a short stroll at night. It looked extra beautiful with Christmas lights and decorations everywhere.

4. SHOWS WE WATCHED: Las Vegas offers hundreds of different kinds of shows and performances all over the town. We caught 3 shows this time: David Copperfield’s Magic show in MGM Grand, Cirque du Soleil’s “O” in Bellagio, and MJ  Live – A Michael Jackson Tribute Concert in Stratosphere. You can book these tickets before you go or buy them at your hotel. Depending on the shows and nights, they can get booked pretty quickly.  

IMG_0711

Since we couldn’t take pictures inside the show

The only free show we’ve watched was Bellagio’s water fountain show, which takes place every half an hour and lasts for less than 5 minutes. There are other ones as well, which we couldn’t make time to go were 10 minutes free circus  performance inside Circus Circus, volcano by the Mirage, and many others. Almost every big hotel on the Strip offers some kind of free show or activities with little money. 

IMG_0864

Watershow in front of Bellagio, Las Vegas

 

5. CASINOS & HOTELS: New York New York was one of our favorites to visit for its cute little NY style alleys/streets like interiors. MGM Grand and Treasure Island was great too…nothing extraordinary. When I first visited Vegas 15 years ago, Caesar’s Palace was on my top list but this time, it didn’t appeal to me much. Nevertheless, it is still a great casino/hotel to check out. Bellagio’s Christmas decorations exceeded our expectations with its grandest and most creative ornaments. A whole section was dedicated to holiday celebration. From kids to adults, everyone was in awe after seeing Bellagio’s magnificent adorning statues, holiday figures, and colorful embellishments.

IMG_0840.jpg

Christmas decors inside Bellagio, NV

 

But to top everything, Venetian was our most favorite (no shocker). From outside, San Marco tower depicting Venice to inside Grand Canal Shoppes, gondola rides, and the whole nine yards…it’s breathtaking. Just being there feels like you are completely in a different world. Have some gelato while walking around the indoor mall.  

IMG_0885.jpg

Grand Canal Shoppe in Venetian, NV

6. RED ROCK CANYON: Taking a short trip to Red Rock Canyon is almost a must when you are in Vegas. Only half an hour from The Strip, this is a great outdoor heaven that you would not want to miss, especially if you have children. Please visit the right-sidebar to check out the things you can do in Red Rock Canyon. 

_MG_9778-2

Red Rock Canyon

Visit The Best Sky Bar in Bangkok | Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant

Source - https://www.facebook.com/cieloskybar

Photo via Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant

Bangkok has a stunning skyline. There are a lot of sky bars in Bangkok, but Cielo stands out. Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant is one of the best places to eat since it makes you feel like you are dining in the clouds. It is one of the best sky bars and restaurant in Bangkok and amongst the most affordable. The restaurant offers the best rooftop views. When you get the chance to walk around the restaurant, you will have a 360-degree panoramic view of Bangkok, and you will be able to see the hills in the Far East, the Chao Phraya River.

Location

Cielo Sky Bar and restaurant is located on the 46th floor of the Leluk condominium, B tower which is on Sukhumvit Street in Phra Khanong district. It is perfectly situated around the nightlife spots in the city and it open at 18.00 pm and runs until 1.30 am.

Screen Shot 2562-03-20 at 15.04.28.png

Photo via Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant

Layout

When you step out of the elevator onto the 46th floor, there is a relaxed ambiance. It’s a charming place that has kept things simple. The restaurant has a large spacious balcony fitted with transparent glasses on the railing with several sitting areas including an area with some sofa set. The sitting arrangement in the terrace is perfectly spaced, such that you can have a private conversation but still get to enjoy the fantastic view of Bangkok.

One of the unique features of the Sky bar dinner in Bangkok is the glass skywalk. Standing on the skywalk, 46 floors in the air, makes you feel like you are standing on air. It is not for the faint-hearted or people with a clinically diagnosed fear of heights, but it is ideal for people looking for a good thrill.

cielo-food.jpg

Photo via Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant

The Bar

When you arrive on the 46th floor, the bar and lounge will be to your right with a dim lighting and a backlit champagne bar. There are a wide variety of drinks including beer, wine, cocktails and mocktails that are made to perfection by the bar’s mixologist. The drinks cost between 100 to 300 baht and are very reasonably priced when compared to other Sky bars in Bangkok city.

The Restaurant

The restaurant has a wide range of international dishes ranging from light meals to eat with your drink to heavy meals. People can choose to dine either from inside the restaurant or from the terrace.

Dining Options

Cielo sky bar & restaurant has several attractive private dining options that attract customers each day.

  • Capricho zone – this area is decorated with some beautiful art décor. It is designated for people who would like to indulge in the works of the mixologist. The quality of the drinks make it one of the top rooftop bars in Bangkok
  • Secreto zone – this is an extremely private zone of the restaurant that is ideal for lovers. The room has a high ceiling and a stunning view of the mountain peaks to the east that are visible at a distance. When in the zone you get to experience a perfect view of the sun setting on Bangkok.
  • Ocaso zone – This zone is the jewel of the Cielo sky bar and restaurant. It attracts a crowd of people, especially during the weekend. It is situated on the balcony giving it a perfect 360-degree view of Bangkok. There is also a gentle breeze blowing by. It can host between 100 to 300 people depending on the type of occasion.

Cielo sky bar and restaurant is one of the restaurants in Bangkok that offers the best panoramic of the Bangkok skyline. The private dining options provide a new definition to the term Sky dining in Bangkok in addition to having one of the most affordable rooftop bars in Bangkok. If you are ever in Bangkok, this restaurant is worth a visit.

Contact & Reservation:
Sky Walk Condominium 46th Floor, W District, Sukhumvit 69-71, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Phone:
+66 2 348 9100, +66 81 916 4270

Email:
sales@w-district.com

Website: https://www.cieloskybar.com/

 

A True Taste?

The majority of countries have a national dish. That one dish has the power to tell us an awful lot about each country’s values and attitudes. But, it’s getting harder to distinguish what dishes are native. Why? Because the majority of destinations now offer a multi-cultural choice of foods.

Chinese and Indian are top of the list for a surprising majority of Western destinations. Thai food has also been growing in popularity over recent years. While a Thai restaurant would once have been a hard thing to find, there’s now at least one in any major Western city. No one can deny that this variety of food is good for us. We all aim to experience different things, and now we don’t have to travel halfway across the world to do so. But, are these takeaway options an accurate representation of the cuisine in each country? The chances are, a visit to each destination would tell a different story. Let’s look at why.

Ed-bro-takeaway-91-lst106195

Image from Wikimedia
INDIAN

Indian is a top takeaway for a lot of us. Who doesn’t love those exotic spices that pack such a punch? But, anyone who’s visited India for real will tell you that authentic Indian food would be a surprise for your tastebuds. In fact, you could go so far as to say that many of the curries we enjoy have never been seen in the country that’s supposedly their origin. Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, is an English creation which few Indians replicate. The spices we use may be roughly the same, but the tastes created are incredibly different.

CHINESE

Our Chinese taste is a little closer to the real thing, but they’re still not exactly accurate. The Chinese are a resourceful people. As such, they eat a lot of stuff we would never dream of. We’ve all seen Chinese food markets on television. Foods on offer include tuna eyeballs and scorpions to name a few. You don’t find them on a standard Chinese menu, do you?

THAI FOOD

As a newer addition to the takeaway tastes, Thai food is the closest you’ll get to the real deal. But, even that has some variations to suit our sensitive palates. The main difference is that our Thai takeaways come in neat foil containers. In Thailand, though, the majority of food is served in food markets. Large batches are cooked up and placed on display. The experience is a much more inclusive one than our private experiences at home.

So you see, eating exotic takeaway is far from the real taste of a country. Don’t think you’ve experienced the cuisine of a place because you’ve eaten a home-produced variation. Nothing beats jetting off and experiencing the cuisine of a country first-hand. You’ll learn a lot about the values of the nation as a whole that way. Plus, you’ll find yourself living life like the locals. If you want to know what matters in a country, there’s no better way than taking a taste of what’s on offer there.

Travel hacks for a Luxurious Break

To begin with, the word luxury can have different meanings for different people. For some it could be dining in a Michelin Star restaurant; for others it could be staying in the most popular and top luxury hotel without having an iota of worry about the expenses. One thing is quite clear in any luxury experience; it equates to shelling a lot of money. In fact, luxury and budget are oxymoron and it can be quite challenging to enjoy the best of both the worlds.

Lonely girl with suitcase at country road dreaming about travel.

adobe.istock

With a hectic routine round the year, you surely deserve a luxury break. Your heart wants it but your brain won’t allow you since it might mean breaking your bank to afford the hefty price for the trip. Even while planning a romantic honeymoon, a celebratory vacation or a trip to propose, you wouldn’t want to settle for something ordinary; rather you will want to go for something which is a cut above the standard. This doesn’t mean that you have to win a lottery to get such a lifetime experience but you can certainly get luxury vacation on a budget. Here are a few tips which can help you transform your budget trip to a luxury trip:

  • Be flexible with the dates: This is a no-brainer. If you don’t have any constraints, then it is best to go for end of the season breaks. You can easily get cheaper flights at that time of the year which can be channelized towards the rest of the trip.
  • Choosing the place of stay: Often your accommodation costs sizable chunk of the trip and this is where you would want to save a few bucks. One way is to pick the smallest room in the best hotel rather than opting for a bigger room in a budget hotel. As we mentioned above that for some people a luxury vacation might mean staying in the best hotel during the vacation. You won’t regret spending the amount at your place of stay as the quality service and facilities will leave you delighted during the trip. You can also check for coupons and promo codes which are generally available on certain booking websites.

If you are still not convinced to stay at a luxury hotel, then luxury B&Bs are a great option that you may consider. Beautiful and chic bed and breakfasts are coming up and have impressive facilities to offer in addition to the great surroundings they offer you. Since the concept is gaining popularity, you can rest assured that your stay will be a comfortable one since the staff offers you a more personal and attentive experience. With the only exceptions of being homes and available at cheaper prices, B&Bs are similar to hotels and resorts and apparently much better.

  • Quality over quantity: Go for a shorter stay since it is better to compromise the time as compared to the quality of the stay. In the end, you want to keep your trip memorable; so staying at an uncomfortable place just to stay for a bit longer will not make you happy. After all, luxury is all about the experience you get at a place.
  • Purchase lounge passes: There is often a misconception that you need to travel first class to avail the lounge facilities. Availing lounge facilities is a good idea to get a hassle free experience; after all who wants to miss free wi-fi, delicious snacks or drinks! But you can avail these facilities even without a first class pass. You simply have to purchase lounge passes which are way much cheaper than going for a first class ticket. Even better if you are travelling long haul; you can even enjoy a warm shower in the lounge.

There are certain websites which will make your task much simpler while you are researching for all the information. The Luxury for Less product by Travelex is one such platform where you can get details such as flight cost, hotel expenditure and other suggestions about travelling smart and the recommended dates. The results are customized based on your inputs such as the budget and other travelling details. This travel inspiration engine is something you should surely try if you want to plan a luxury travel in the near future.

Hikers with backpack

adobe.istock

Besides, the platform which promotes Luxury for Less i.e. Travelex solves all your travel related problems whether its currency exchange or money transfer. It doesn’t cost you a bomb as there are numerous deals and vouchers which can be availed for the Travelex services. So before you plan your travel, make sure that you have researched long before so that you get incredibly low prices on a range of services.

Planning a luxury holiday is possible at a low budget. All you need to do is smart planning and smart travel.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,783 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 645,245 hits
%d bloggers like this: