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Thread: Advice on trip to USA

  1. #121

    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by Parka View Post
    I'm going to San Diego Comic Con on 22 July.

    Anyone been to San Diego before?
    Oh, I'll be there for Comic Con, but probably on Fri/Sat... not too sure yet.

  2. #122
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    My friend just came back from USA trip, went for 1 month holiday in the west coast side. Seems very OK.

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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    hi! i just came back from the states too after 3 and a half months. i was mostly in cities on the east coast though. do enjoy your trip and stay safe!

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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Hi,

    I am going to LV/Grand Canyon in 1st week of Sept.

    Blah. Blah. Blah.
    Weather, for Sept, it'll probably be the start of Autumn so it'll get slightly cooler. However, cooler or not, you probably won't experience much changes since it's like the desert place.

    For Las Vegas, you'll probably be walking down the streets. Hope that it will be cloudy. The place is hot but if you can survive in Singapore, you can survive there. Just that the sun's blistering so either bring a hat and sunglasses. Shorts and slippers are fine. FYI, they sell sunglasses at $5 to $12 USD.

    Thankfully, the place is very dry so you wouldn't sweat much. And with so many buildings around, just enter any and they will be air-conditioned.

    Transport wise, there's the bus services that just goes up and down Las Vegas Boulevard. It is US$3 for one trip, and $7 for unlimited rides within 24-hours. Walking from one end to the other is still possible, but it's going to be hot during the day, the night is better for that.

    Location wise, book at the Stratosphere and you will be at the northern point of the strip. www.hotels.com is a good place to get cheap deals. From there, you can take a bus up north to Fremont Street during the night to see the overhead light festivals from 7pm onwards. Or you could walk/take bus down south to the other end at Mandalay Bay. The reason I'd stay in Stratosphere is because as a hotel guest, I am entitled to unlimited visits up to the 109th floor where I can look at the panoramic view of Vegas during the day or night. Visitors from elsewhere would have to pay.

    Major shopping areas can be found at The Caesar's Palace Forum, Fashion Mall or Planet Hollywood. Visit the Bellagio Fountain Show during the evening, check out the exact replica of Eiffel Tower at Paris, tour the Lion's Den at MGM Grand or the underwater world at Mandalay Bay.

    For entertainment, you can watch the different plays. Each hotel have their own shows at approx 50 US but the famous ones like Cirque du Soleil will cost over $100 for good seats. Tip: Instead of buying at the location, book tickets on the day itself at www.tix4tonight.com where they are cheaper by almost 40%!

    Drinks and food are cheap, enjoy especially the sumptuous lunch buffets for under US$20 or the one-yard long margaritas for approx the same price.

    It would be good to bring a wide variety of lenses but if I had to bring only one lens, I'd take a wide angle along with a flash. Most of the structures are very large and you'd probably do better with a 17-40 than a 70-200.

    Personally, I'd skip the Hoover Dam tour and take the chopper ride to the Grand Canyon instead. Renting a car, I'd visit not just the Grand Canyon but also experience the searing heat at Death Valley. Went to Zion before, no regrets there, it's an amazing place. Will bring some sandals to walk up the Narrows and visit the Subway.
    tSkye shoots whatever comes tSkye's way... | 5D2, 1224, 16FE, 35L, 1.4xTC, 300L

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    I might be heading to California in Dec. But that would be winter time.
    Is Yosemite/ Grand canyon still worth going then?

    Any places worth visiting for scenic shots at LV-SFO-LA areas? Dec period.

  6. #126

    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Yosemite and Grand Canyon might have road closures during the winter period if there is heavy snowfall. Have to check the NP website to get updates. Having said that, Yosemite is gorgeous when covered in snow. How much time do you have? I hope you do know that these 2 parks are quite far apart.

  7. #127
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by texasrs View Post
    Yosemite and Grand Canyon might have road closures during the winter period if there is heavy snowfall. Have to check the NP website to get updates. Having said that, Yosemite is gorgeous when covered in snow. How much time do you have? I hope you do know that these 2 parks are quite far apart.
    Thinking of stayin in SFO for abt 5 days and LV for abt 4days. Thus the thought of using 1 day each for exploring the yosemite and GC. Most probably taking up tours to head there.

    I know that Yosemite is beautiful in seasons like spring or autumn due to the color of the leaves and the falls. Thus, a little concerned if there's anything worth shooting in winter. (bare trees?) Your mention of snow-covered yosemite sounds nice to me.

    Any more scenic places worth recommending to explore in Dec?

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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by michy View Post
    I might be heading to California in Dec. But that would be winter time.
    Is Yosemite/ Grand canyon still worth going then?

    Any places worth visiting for scenic shots at LV-SFO-LA areas? Dec period.
    I think Yosemite is still ok, it's beautiful in winter except that you can't see any waterfalls. For Grand Canyon, check the weather condition first before you make a move. I was once visited the Lake Tahoe without checking the weather condition. I end up paying USD 75 for snow chain and USD 15 for installation in order to get down the hill. Just imagine, USD 90 to get down the hill ( around half an hour journey).

    In San Francisco :
    -- Pier 39 fisherman's wharf along the Embarcadero
    -- Golden gate bridge
    -- Lombard Street (intersect with Leavenworth st)
    -- China Town
    Driving in San Francisco town area is quite tough, because of the one way traffic. Someone has to navigate you while you are driving.

    From San Fran to LA, if you take highway 1 (coastalRoad), more things to see and you can stop over at Santa Cruz, Monterary's fisherman's wharf, drive thru' 17 miles drives at Monterary bay . If you take highway 5, you are going to miss all the scenery but this is the quickest way to get to LA.

    Day time is shorter in winter, plan your time and remember to drive carefully, no speeding ...

  9. #129
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by kutten View Post
    I think Yosemite is still ok, it's beautiful in winter except that you can't see any waterfalls. For Grand Canyon, check the weather condition first before you make a move. I was once visited the Lake Tahoe without checking the weather condition. I end up paying USD 75 for snow chain and USD 15 for installation in order to get down the hill. Just imagine, USD 90 to get down the hill ( around half an hour journey).

    In San Francisco :
    -- Pier 39 fisherman's wharf along the Embarcadero
    -- Golden gate bridge
    -- Lombard Street (intersect with Leavenworth st)
    -- China Town
    Driving in San Francisco town area is quite tough, because of the one way traffic. Someone has to navigate you while you are driving.

    From San Fran to LA, if you take highway 1 (coastalRoad), more things to see and you can stop over at Santa Cruz, Monterary's fisherman's wharf, drive thru' 17 miles drives at Monterary bay . If you take highway 5, you are going to miss all the scenery but this is the quickest way to get to LA.

    Day time is shorter in winter, plan your time and remember to drive carefully, no speeding ...
    Thanks for the tip on checking the weather condition of the GC. Intending to book a day tour at LV itself, Would the tour agent at LV know about the weather condition at GC? or where can i check with? Not intending to bring my laptop there.

    Will probably travel around SFO with the public transport. The bart and tram services. Yup, intending to looking the places you have mentioned. Alcatraz as well. Hmm.. but wad's at lombard street?

    Since i'm the one with the driving license, we have decided to probably skip driving from state to state but either take a bus or dos flight out. Just 2 girls traveling around, so dun wanna tire ourselves out too easily.

  10. #130

    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by michy View Post
    Thinking of stayin in SFO for abt 5 days and LV for abt 4days. Thus the thought of using 1 day each for exploring the yosemite and GC. Most probably taking up tours to head there.

    I know that Yosemite is beautiful in seasons like spring or autumn due to the color of the leaves and the falls. Thus, a little concerned if there's anything worth shooting in winter. (bare trees?) Your mention of snow-covered yosemite sounds nice to me.

    Any more scenic places worth recommending to explore in Dec?
    Unfortunately, I'd have to say you need much more than 1 day to really take time to explore the national parks.
    The first time I went to Grand Canyon from Vegas it was a touch and go thing, really didn't see anything much. If you can try to stay at least a night or two at these places by driving yourself to the parks.

  11. #131

    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by michy View Post
    Thanks for the tip on checking the weather condition of the GC. Intending to book a day tour at LV itself, Would the tour agent at LV know about the weather condition at GC? or where can i check with? Not intending to bring my laptop there.

    Will probably travel around SFO with the public transport. The bart and tram services. Yup, intending to looking the places you have mentioned. Alcatraz as well. Hmm.. but wad's at lombard street?

    Since i'm the one with the driving license, we have decided to probably skip driving from state to state but either take a bus or dos flight out. Just 2 girls traveling around, so dun wanna tire ourselves out too easily.

    Lombard Street
    is the street with a lot of curves.

    An easy way to check weather for any location is the USA is to send an SMS to Google. Get the zip code. In the case for Grand Canyon it is 86023. Then you would type a SMS as follows:

    "Weather 86023" to GOOG <send>

    You can replace the zip code with other zip codes (10009 is for New York).

    Also consider buying airpasses. Depending on which carrier you are using to fly to the USA, you can buy one of their airpasses (i.e., Star Alliance, One World, Sky Team) to travel within the USA. See Misa Travel for more information about the cost and flexibility of an airpass.

    Outside of Las Vegas you have Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley National Park. The ghost town of Rhyolite is near the entrance of Death Valley (driving from Las Vegas).

    Also in December (when there is no daylight savings time), Arizona is one hour AHEAD of Nevada and California. During daylight savings time, Arizona is in the same time zone as both states. Messed up yes. Most of Arizona does not observe daylight savings time. So if you go to the Hoover Dam and straddling the border between Nevada and Arizona, part of you will be in one time zone and the other half in another time zone.
    Last edited by rnb65p; 8th October 2009 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Adding more information to the post

  12. #132
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by rnb65p View Post

    Lombard Street
    is the street with a lot of curves.

    An easy way to check weather for any location is the USA is to send an SMS to Google. Get the zip code. In the case for Grand Canyon it is 86023. Then you would type a SMS as follows:

    "Weather 86023" to GOOG <send>

    You can replace the zip code with other zip codes (10009 is for New York).

    Also consider buying airpasses. Depending on which carrier you are using to fly to the USA, you can buy one of their airpasses (i.e., Star Alliance, One World, Sky Team) to travel within the USA. See Misa Travel for more information about the cost and flexibility of an airpass.

    Outside of Las Vegas you have Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley National Park. The ghost town of Rhyolite is near the entrance of Death Valley (driving from Las Vegas).

    Also in December (when there is no daylight savings time), Arizona is one hour AHEAD of Nevada and California. During daylight savings time, Arizona is in the same time zone as both states. Messed up yes. Most of Arizona does not observe daylight savings time. So if you go to the Hoover Dam and straddling the border between Nevada and Arizona, part of you will be in one time zone and the other half in another time zone.
    Thanks for the google weather tip! Very helpful!
    Interesting fact abt time zone thing as well. Didnt know abt that.

    Boy i'm getting so excited abt my trip!

  13. #133
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by michy View Post
    I might be heading to California in Dec. But that would be winter time.
    Is Yosemite/ Grand canyon still worth going then?

    Any places worth visiting for scenic shots at LV-SFO-LA areas? Dec period.
    Within SF, you can probably cover all the places of interest within 2 days. You can also try to venture northward a little bit and check out Marin County and Point Reyes just north of SF after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Let me know when you are in SF as I'm currently based there until end of this year. I'll see if I can show you guys around too.

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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by ray_stinger View Post
    Within SF, you can probably cover all the places of interest within 2 days. You can also try to venture northward a little bit and check out Marin County and Point Reyes just north of SF after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Let me know when you are in SF as I'm currently based there until end of this year. I'll see if I can show you guys around too.
    oh. marin county and point reyes? v far fr SFO itself? What's interesting there?

    Thanks for your kind offer. Will pm you if i need your help. LOL.

  15. #135
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Hi

    I was in the states for 6 months for both 07 and 08.
    07 on the west coast and 08 on the east.
    08 i sailed the gulf of catalina with a sg and american friend (so if you are into sailing, i do have some advice too).

    You need to know that US is HUGE (one national park is rougly the size of at least 10 singapores).
    Cities are generally easy to navigate with the subways, mostly arranged in a grid manner

    For 1 month, dont do a cross-country.
    I advise you to spend it on either coast, or if you are into wild life, visit their national parks.

    Greyhound buses are time consuming and never on time, but by far the cheapest mode of transportation. railway trains (if there is, like Coaster service in San Diego) are slightly more expensive but save you a little more time. domestic flights are very expensive, but if you are lucky enough to be boarding an over-booked flight and you have time on hand, volunteer to give up ur seat for the next flight, they will give you a free flight ticket that you can fly to any state (except Alaska and Hawaii). Pretty worth it isnt it?

    I love California, esp SF & SD. dont worry abt getting lost, just be wary of beggars. I can keep gg on and on abt this state so I'll leave you the questions to you and I'll provide the answer.

    As for NY, be very aware of ur belongings. i have met 2 cases from my hostel where their bags got stolen and they have to lodge a police report. In Times Sq, the NYPD station is opp Hardrock cafe.

    Gtg for lunch now.
    PM me if you want more info!
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  16. #136
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by tSkye View Post
    Oh, sorry. I had the impression since photography trip, can put under photography talk.

    I have sort of an itinerary that puts me from location to location.
    This is already done by some guide books, official visit-xyz.com websides and such.

    However, nothing's really mentioned about the people, what places to avoid at certain hours, etc.
    I honestly didn't expect to leave tips for the waitresses there as their pay, until I talked to a friend.



    Photography and adventure? I'm actually heading there with approximately 2k USD and a credit card for lodging.
    I was thinking of taking bus and coaches from NY and slowly make my way to SF.
    At certain areas, I might stay a little longer, rent a car, and camp at places for the sunrise.
    Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone etc

    Tip to leave is around 10% for normal lousy restaurants. If you eat in nicer restaurants, fine dining places, 15% is expected.

    Also for car rental, make sure you have your international driver's permit done. If you are camping, please read online on what are the do's and don'ts at campsites, because if you do not take precautions, you might get a bear wandering into your tent or car. Bears are dangerous, they can kill you with one swipe from their paw.

    If you are heading up into higher altitudes, stop by any Walmart or gas station or Store and get a set of snow chains (wires) before heading out. They are not that expensive. Around 30-40 or something. I recommend the snow cable type as it is a lot easier to put on. Drive slow. If you never drove in snow before and you are not an experienced driver, I strongly do not recommend it. I've had friends skidding all over the shop.


    If you want to know more specifics of the Bay area (SF and surrounding area), send me a PM. I lived in Bay area for 12 years. I may know some info on other cities too, as I traveled quite a bit during my working life there.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 20th October 2009 at 01:08 PM.

  17. #137
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    ??? Hahahaz... I'm back after a month long in the States.

    Great place, I loved driving; especially to the premium outlet gilroy LOL
    tSkye shoots whatever comes tSkye's way... | 5D2, 1224, 16FE, 35L, 1.4xTC, 300L

  18. #138
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    If you are going to Grand Canyon, don't go to the west rim. The overhanging bridge is a total waste of time. The don't allow you to take your camera when you are on the bridge, so as to make you buy the picture from them. It cost 20USD to park your car there and another 30USD to take a bus ride to the bridge ... Over that the cost of going on the bridge is like another 30USD.
    Warmest Regards
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  19. #139
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by tSkye View Post
    ??? Hahahaz... I'm back after a month long in the States.

    Great place, I loved driving; especially to the premium outlet gilroy LOL
    Oppps...

    But you loved driving on 101? You must be kidding are you? Always a big jam near Anderson lake area when the highway changed from 4 lanes to 2 and goes slightly uphill. Wait, I think it is 3 lanes now.. Hmmm. I used to pass this stretch twice a day when I was working in Monterey and living in San Jose.

    How's Gilroy? heard from friends there that it is not as packed as before now that the US economy is in the gutters.

  20. #140
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    Default Re: Advice on trip to USA

    I would surely advise anyone going there to travel free and easy if you're willing to spend and with time to spare. Going around with a credit card makes things very easy, even buying a meal from KFC, you can use it. LOL. And yea, daredevil123, I especially loved driving. Before I went, I got myself an international driving permit and went there with a promotional code for Enterprise so it made things pretty smooth sailing.

    Nooooo... Highway 101 is baaaaaaaaaaad but it brings you down all the way to Stanford where I could check out Stanford University though. I loved driving on Highway 1 along the west coast, it's a lot of turns but i stopped at every location allowed to grab a shot of the different sections. besides, without a car, how'd i get to gilroy? still loads of people but i went early so there was no one. being the sole shopper, i was served at all the places i went. i wanna go back again to levis, polo ralph lauren and clarks. LOL

    oh, and i didnt go to grand canyon unfortunately. not enough time so i skimmed past it. :|
    tSkye shoots whatever comes tSkye's way... | 5D2, 1224, 16FE, 35L, 1.4xTC, 300L

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