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Thread: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

  1. #21

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Consider getting a Star Alliance North America Airpass. More information:

    http://www.staralliance.com/en/fares...erica-airpass/

    This could help you manage your time (less driving between more places). BTW, there is an airport close to Yosemite. FAT is the code for the airport. You could fly into there if you decide to go to Yosemite.

  2. #22

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Yes, really depends on how much time and energy you want to dedicate to each.

    The Northern California areas are generally more scenic. Namely the pacific coast highway, up to the San Francisco Bay area. LA has 2 big draws for a lot of people, the outlet malls and Disneyland.
    Further north, there's Monterrey, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks. Napa is great if you enjoy the country roads and visiting the wineries. A little further north of Napa, there's Tahoe.

    There are day tours to the national parks from SF and LA, and lots of Grand Canyon tours from LV. But generally, for Yosemite and Grand Canyon, they are best viewed and enjoyed early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is not directly overhead and super glaring (not necessarily hot unless you get hit with a heatwave or peak summer).

    SF and the Bay area has plenty to offer, and in the city and within a 5-10 mile radius, generally, the more popular tourist areas can all be accessed by public transport. The bus system there is pretty good and if you have a data roaming service, can access their arrival timings, which are really good in accuracy. So, you don't really need to drive there most of the time. And parking within SF is really expensive. Some of the 'motor inns' do have free parking for guests though many can be quite crappy in terms of room quality. You can take the BART (their MRT) all the way from SFO to the city itself. About US$8 or so. Pretty fast too, about 40mins in peak traffic.

    Gilroy outlets are pretty far off from the city, and not really better than the ones you can find in LV.

    Actually, LV itself has 3 factory outlets. One to the North and one to the South of the Vegas Strip. There's the Primm outlets which is 5-10mins out from the city which can also the assessed by public transport by taking a bus outside MGM Grand heading east. The over and above the Fashion Mall and so called outlets.

    In LV, same thing, basically everything revolves either around the Strip or Old Town. Both are accessible via their bus service. If you're there for a few days, get multi-day tickets for The Deuce. It transits on a North-south-North route of the city and you can hop on and off at all its designated bus stops which are near all the major attractions. Saves a lot of pain of the traffic snarl at times and walking when its really, really hot ( think 40 degrees C in peak summer ! )

    It is possible to cover all 3 cities in 2 weeks. You just need about 4 days (max) for LV and Grand Canyon or you'll get bored. Unless you've got a ton of money to burn that is ...

    Suggested would be to fly in to SFO, enjoy the city and surrounding areas for a few days. Drive over to LA and visit the National Parks along the way, hit LA, and spend a few days there for Disneyland and maybe a bit of shopping. Drive back to SF via the pacific coast, and enjoy the scenery. Fly over to LV and fly out back to SF and back to SG. (Rental cars can be returned in different cities for a small fee)

    You could of course chose to drive via the pacific coast and skip driving to the national parks as you can join the local tours to visit them. Instead fly over to LV via LA and fly back out to SF to return to SG.
    That way, you can minimise your driving and still have a good trip. Also, you can leave your shopping for LV mostly so that you won't lug so much stuff around with you.

    Just some suggestions based on my travels in the US west coast to date.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    On the other hand, if you wish to visit nothing but national parks and do not mind driving, you could stay at this town called Kanab which borders Grand Canyon North Rim, Zion and Bryce. Its also close to the driving distance to horseshoe bend in Arizona.

  4. #24

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    I am going on holidays to San Frans, Yosemite, Wyoming (Yellowstone, Grand teton), Colorado, Utah (Canyons), and eventually end my trip at LA for some shopping, from late Aug to Early Oct. Is it necessary to carry a tripod for landscape shots?

  5. #25

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by samueltan99 View Post
    I am going on holidays to San Frans, Yosemite, Wyoming (Yellowstone, Grand teton), Colorado, Utah (Canyons), and eventually end my trip at LA for some shopping, from late Aug to Early Oct. Is it necessary to carry a tripod for landscape shots?
    Generally, yes, especially if you want to shoot things like waterfalls, low light sunrises and sunsets. And maybe dabble in some HDR or panorama shots.

    They are useful too if you wan to do some self portraits especially with friends and family together.

    But would suggest bringing along only the lightest tripod that would support your camera and lens kit you would be using. You're not on expedition, so a hardy tripod is not a must, but a light and manageable one is much more important especially since you're on holiday.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    If you are intending to go to horseshoe bend, you would definitely be needing a sturdy one because the wind is strong enough to blow most tripods away if you are not careful. Winds in SF area can be strong too if you are intending to do some night shots. Anyway, if you like to meet up with me when you are in SF area, PM me. I see whether can fit into my schedule or not.

  7. #27

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    agape01: Do you know if it's possible to do Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend from Bryce Canyon in 1 day? Going to go over to SLC for 2 weeks soon, I already planned most of my trip, but would like to include Antelope Canyon into it if possible from Bryce.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by alexljy View Post
    agape01: Do you know if it's possible to do Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend from Bryce Canyon in 1 day? Going to go over to SLC for 2 weeks soon, I already planned most of my trip, but would like to include Antelope Canyon into it if possible from Bryce.
    It is possible. But it would really be pushing it. Going to Horseshoe bend for sunrise is about the best time IMO after going there once. Make sure that you have good eye wear because sand can easily go into your eyes, either really good sun glasses would be good as well as a good torch light because it is about a 1.5km walk to the bend from the car park and most likely it would be in pitch darkness. Then after doing that, you can have a early breakfast and then head up to Bryce.

    Where are you staying in that area? If you have not made up your mind, there is a town called Kanab which is in UT and it is about centralized to Bryce, Zion and Antelope Canyon as well as Grand Canyon North Rim.

    If you're going to be in SF before heading to LV, I guess we could hook up. Let me know.

  9. #29

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    I am planning my trip to Canada (yukon) and USA (Los Angeles and Las Vegas). A total of 15 days trip.

    I need some advice on how to plan my air ticket, I kinda headache.

    Below mentioned is as what I had planned via Cathay Pacific



    • Singapore - Vancouver ( transit at HK, I intend to spend a few hours at HK for short shopping)
    • Vancouver - WhiteHorse Airport (going to Yukon to view Aurora)
    • Whitehorse - Vancouver
    • Vancouver to Las Vegas ( I not sure how to book this)
    • Las Vegas - Los Angeles (self drive)
    • Los Angeles back to Singapore (How can I book returned trip via Cathay Pacific since my both destination and departure is different)


    I need some advice on this, or if you have better recommendation on how to tweak this tour to save $$.

    Seeking your advice pls.


    Tentatively, this is my plan, but its damn ex

    Flight 1: Singapore, Singapore (SIN) to Vancouver, BC, Canada (YVR)
    Flight 2: Vancouver, BC, Canada (YVR) to Whitehorse, YT, Canada (YXY)
    Flight 3: Whitehorse, YT, Canada (YXY) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    Flight 4: Las Vegas, NV (LAS) to Singapore, Singapore (SIN)
    Last edited by small pig; 1st August 2011 at 11:22 PM.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by nathaniel View Post
    am living near LA in Pasadena now. doesn't seem like there's a lot to see (haven't been to Disneyland or Universal Studios yet, though). so far, have been to Santa Monica pier and then to the Hollywood Bowl overlook at Mulholland Drive for a night view of the city and the 4th of July fireworks. that's about it... can't think of much else nearby to see (still looking around for ideas).
    What I love to do, several years back, is to hang out at Melrose Ave in LA. Usually end up at the Johnny Rocket there.

    But in the end, I like Frisco a little more, streets like Chestnut or Union Street is more my kind of thing.

    That was years ago. nowadays, I hang at Kiddy Palace in Toa Payoh.

  11. #31

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Hi,

    Anyone can share with me your detailed itinerary for Los Angeles (4 days) and Las Vegas (4 days). I will be driving, and I really headache planning the route.

    I am intending to visit:

    Los Angeles : Disneyland, Universal Studio, Holly tour
    Las Vegas : Factory outlets, Grand Canyon- west rim, Hoover Dam

    Is there any other place worth visiting?

    Any good budget hotel to recommend as well?

    Thank you.

    If possible, you can email me yr itinerary at tweakmax2@yahoo.com.sg

  12. #32

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by small pig View Post
    Hi,

    Anyone can share with me your detailed itinerary for Los Angeles (4 days) and Las Vegas (4 days). I will be driving, and I really headache planning the route.

    I am intending to visit:

    Los Angeles : Disneyland, Universal Studio, Holly tour
    Las Vegas : Factory outlets, Grand Canyon- west rim, Hoover Dam

    Is there any other place worth visiting?

    Any good budget hotel to recommend as well?

    Thank you.

    If possible, you can email me yr itinerary at tweakmax2@yahoo.com.sg
    Los Angeles: in addition to what you mentioned,
    - downtown areas: Union Station, Olvera St, Little Tokyo, Chinatown.
    - Getty Center, Huntington (Library, Art Collection & Botanical Gardens)
    - lookout over the city: Griffith Park / Observatory or Mulholland Drive (I've been to Mulholland but not Griffith).
    - further out: Santa Monica beach (includes shopping, amusement park, ...), whale-watching

    Factory outlets: besides the Las Vegas one, there's one at Camarillo which I heard is good (perhaps better, according to the a person who went to both).

    Accomodation: I use Google maps and type "hotels near Los Angeles". Replace "Los Angeles" with an actual address for better accuracy. I usually book online.

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    What I love to do, several years back, is to hang out at Melrose Ave in LA. Usually end up at the Johnny Rocket there.

    But in the end, I like Frisco a little more, streets like Chestnut or Union Street is more my kind of thing.

    That was years ago. nowadays, I hang at Kiddy Palace in Toa Payoh.
    thanks for your suggestions. i am considering a whale-watching trip sometime in Sept.
    Last edited by nathaniel; 6th August 2011 at 05:09 AM. Reason: add MulHolland Dr, Getty, Huntington

  13. #33

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    hi, am heading for Las Vegas / Grand Canyon late August. Traveling with others (3 adults 1 baby total), self-drive from LA. 2 nights at one of the hotels there. Any tips? Have signed up for the sunrise and sunset tours, as well as the desert view. Which lookout points to skip, and which ones to spend a longer time at? how is it like taking the internal shuttle buses; should i take the car when possible?

    one question on the sunrise / sunset photos. can bracketing the exposure (and combine in a software that does tone-mapping) be sufficient in place of using a graduated neutral density filter? not sure if i want to spend the money on one of those yet.

  14. #34

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    I am thinking should I bring along SB900 there or travel light using built in flash..

  15. #35
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    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    It depends on what you intend to shoot really.. SB900 will be very useful for interiors and portraits... built in flash just doesn't cut it imo, except to fill in a little bit of light within 1-3m.

  16. #36

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by small pig View Post
    I am thinking should I bring along SB900 there or travel light using built in flash..
    just went to the Grand Canyon south rim + Las Vegas. A good fill-flash is useful when taking portraits in bright sunlight (it's summer now). I used my built-in flash, but I guess a proper flash would be better. i usually used a tripod (not flash), or supported the camera on some firm object nearby for night scenes.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    I am going to Cali ard end of this month. If I need a data plan for surfing, do they have those prepaid boardband card? Or their hotspot is free and have a wide spread of range? I going with a tour group, hotel mostly will charge at higher rate and also, maybe for 24 hrs. We will be moving from north to south, therefore, a mobile plan is more suitable for us. Hope to get some ans, thks.
    Only Sony device mostly, haha!

  18. #38

    Default Re: US - Los Angeles/San Francisco and Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by BBTM View Post
    I am going to Cali ard end of this month. If I need a data plan for surfing, do they have those prepaid boardband card? Or their hotspot is free and have a wide spread of range? I going with a tour group, hotel mostly will charge at higher rate and also, maybe for 24 hrs. We will be moving from north to south, therefore, a mobile plan is more suitable for us. Hope to get some ans, thks.
    yes, there are prepaid mobile cards with data plans. you can try checking a few websites like AT&T, T-Mobile, ... for the prices. Skip Verizon as their network won't be compatible. Most people don't share their wifi (i.e. have a wifi without password), possibly due to concerns of someone riding their wifi with negative intentions. It's easy to find hotels with free wifi, though, and they usually aren't too much more expensive, but since you are going with a tour group, looks like you won't have much choice. I think Starbucks (and some McDonald's) have free wifi.

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