WOW!! Your LA trip seem very interesting.
'The standard' sounds cool. Might wanna go to the place if we are going to LA again.

We took the carpool as well. It stated on the signboard along the lane "2 or more passengers", it is definitely faster to cut through the queue. Hee! Hee! We saw cars with only driver himself using that lane. He will be charged if caught.
At night, every cars on the opposite lane shined high beams. Think it is their standard rule since there are no street light. Really tiring to drive at night, still have to watch out for animals like rabbits and deers.

Hi szoon,
Yap! This is our first time in USA. We took up tour package to Canada 4 yrs ago, dun like it, hence decided 2 self-drive in USA.
It is relatively cheaper than tour and you see america culture and beauty on your own. We spent S$7.4K for 2pax. everything include gifts, flight, tax, etc.
I won't encourage driving if you are not comfortable. you could be very stress up before setoff and end up not enjoy your trip. Americans think we are crazy to drive without a proper map (referring to detailed map like AAA map), but I think the locals info is good enough. I could have gone to MJ's neverland if I have more time on Pacifica Hwy. It is near Solvang according to a local film-maker we met at Solvang. If you intend to go there, ask ard the locals in that area. They should know.


New Member
hi all,

have finally managed to read through all the previous post

for LA, is the hollywood walk of fame worth going?
for the flight that i am looking through, most of them reaches LA past midnight liao, is it safe to do that?

u rent out the car from the airport and drive to hotel?



Walk of fame is like Hong Kong 星光大é“.
If you are fans of hollywood star, you might be interested.

It is not wise to walk in between small alley. Try not to walk on street alone, driving should be alright. At least you won't get traffic jam like in the day.


With that price, I would rather go for Bellagio, NYNY, Mirage, Treasure Island. Hotel rate are expensive during that period, you might wanna consider staying at LV on weekday (Sun-Thu). Excalibur(Castle theme) is below $100 in Apr. Sometimes hotel have promotions at a nearer date. So dun rush into booking. Check individual hotel for their room rate and shows tickets.


btw, i think you can book now but be sure to find those that allow you to cancel 48 hours before arriving without incurring any costs. and, blue ginger is right. if you book from sunday to thurs, it's a lot cheaper. usually, the hotel rates are really cheap a month or 2 weeks before the date. but, keep on checking the website to make sure you get the best rates.

i actually used this website, www.visitlasv** (substiture ** with eg) to check the hotel rates and promotions. it's really useful.


New Member
Hi gals..
Thanks so much for being so helpful and prompt in your replies..really very grateful for all the advice given to us especially for a novice like me.
I am kinda bewildered now coz as I read the past entries, it seems that it is better to book the hotel rooms earlier as the rates will usually soar nearer the date but now it appears that you gals’ suggestion is to book the rooms only 1-2 month ahead? So which is more recommended?

Krispykreme, would you recommend Best Western Stovall’s Inn? How was the rate? I think our budget is around USD100 or lesser for hotel.

Blue ginger, you spent $7.4K for 20 days for 2 pax? That’s very reasonable right? You didn’t do much shopping there or you went during the low peak season?


hi szoon,
maybe should clarify. for other hotels, it's best to book earlier. for lv hotels, it's best to book one which you can cancel without incurring any charges. this is cos the prices for lv hotels fluctuate from week to week.

for example, before we went, excalibur was going for usd130 per nite. about a week before we left, it was going for only usd65 per nite. we finally booked bally's for only usd75 per nite and bally's is usually the type that goes for about usd160 a nite.

as for best western stovall's inn, i think the choice is yours. the room is really clean, big, comfy and it comes with free breakfast. we booked it from Diner's club at beach road cos i got a voucher from them. 6 nites for S$666. so only S$111 per nite. dunno how much in usd, but i'm sure it's below usd100.

hope it helps.


New Member
hi gals!

I spent abt 3.3k per pax (without shopping but including airfare for 14 days.) Shopping busted my budget... hehehe...

Took NWA - got 1.2k per pax tics. Flt was ok, wont say service was very good though but it doesnt matter to me, as long as tics are cheap haha. I arrive in SF and depart from LA. Get this thru Do check it cos they may have promo at times....

LV - i stayed in Excalibur usd79 per nite. was ok. Then after GC back to LV, i stayed at Treasure island - Room was fantastic, usd79 too.

Monterey - stayed at El castell motel usd40+, clean.

Anaheim - Anaheim Plaza Hotel. clean. usd80. Ard 6min away from Disney main gate.

Hollywood - Hollywood Best Inn. Clean. usd85. A bit of distance away from Kodak Theatre but still walkable, maybe 15min walk.

GC - Kachina Lodge usd125. very clean and nice.

LAX - Comfort Inn. Pls avoid avoid!!! Dirty and smelly!!! Really spoil our last night of our trip...

From MOnterey to LA - i didnt take the scenic drive, took the straight forward highway think I 5 (haha i cant recall already), cos the day before we woke up real early to Yosemite. So didnt want to tire ourselves by driving the scenic drive. MOnterey is beautiful - do the 17mile drive.

From LA -LV, yes the highway seemed to be closed for a few days. Lucky we were already heading back to LAX before they closed it.

in SF - do try out the cheesecake factory at the Macy's dept store building right in the heart of union square. There's probably like 50 or more diff types of cheesecakes!! For shopping, u may wanna keep things to buy in LV, cos tax is cheaper in LV. Also keep ur shopping budget for factory outlets!

Hollywood city drive was a bit confusing. The rest of the highway was straightforward... The mapquest is really useful...

Our car rental was ard slightly less than S$1000. Got a full size car from Budget.


Hi szoon,
We rent car from dollars. The lady called Michelle at SF O'Farell branch gave us a good deal. We got Dodge Calibur at $650(max) for 15days drive, walk-in rate.

All our accommodations less than USD$100, mainly by walk-in rate. They usu have toll-free phone no. You can call for reservations before you arrived. For excalibur hotel LV, we book online.
SF - stay at friend's place (3nite)
Yosemite NP - Curry village, $82(2nite)
Cedar City - Cedar Rest, $39(2nite)
LV - Excalibur, $67.58x2 (2days include 2spa, $25 dining vouchers, $30 gambling voucher each day)
Cedar City - Forgetten the name, $30
Kanab - Clarion Hotel, $79 (Offer rate UP$160, best room I had during the trip; Got bath tube next to bed)
South Coyote Buttes - Forgot the name, $26 (Most memorable. I got to set my fireplace and it is a typical america ranch)
GC - Red feather Hotel outside village, $79 (Offer rate at night, UP: $130)
GC - Bright Angel Lodge, $58
Primm near LV- Forgot the name as well, $39. (There is 3 hotels in Primm. It is not buffalos bill, primm valley resort)
VictorVille (on my way to LA) - Unknown, $43. (Worst motel I even get, run by HongKonger. Everything was so old and dirty)
Solvang - Hamlet Motel, $49 (Danish decor, very lovely countryside room)
Monterey - forgot the name, $49.

Not sure if it is the low-peak season. We spent Hawolleeen there.

We shopped a lot and catch 2 shows in LV. Mainly at fashion outlets, but we din get branded stuffs like Tommy, COACH, LV, etc. Shop at places like LV, LA, Solvang, Santa barara, Camdria, SF, Page, Grand Canyon.


New Member

wow ur descriptions very detailed. thks! its certainly help alot.

u select ur air tic online? jus select the 'multicity' right? in total, how many days did u spent at LA?


New Member
Hi milo,
glad some of my info helps...

Yup bought air tics online, yes choose multicity.

I stayed 2 nites in anaheim. But 1st nite i arrived at nite ard 8+pm, so didnt do much. 2nd day went disney and california adventure park. Then next morning drove to universal studios and stayed at hollywood 1 nite.


New Member

Need some help. Finally plan the iternary and settled on the dates. Can help me see wat have i left out.

Day 1: Reach LA (noon). Explore
Day 2: Disneyland
Day 3: Fly to LV. Explore hotels / casino
Day 4: Factory Outlet
Day 5: Grand Canyon / Hoover Dam Day Tour
Day 6: Fly to SF. Explore
Day 6 - Day 8: Chinatown, Golden gate bridge. Alactraz & Fisherman's Wharf
Day 9: Fly from SF - LA - SIN


1. Any other place to cover. 9 days seems very short leh.

2. Flying from LV - SF, will land in Oakland airport, how to travel back to SF?

3. No plans to drive. Intend to opt for transfer from airport - hotel provided by hotel, worth it?


New Member
Hi Gals

Wow! thks for sharing on your trip,you gals must have enjoyed very much.

BTW, Go where to book hotel in LV, eg which website ? which hotel will you prefer to stay again. I am looking at hotel along the strip but seem to be very costing. I will be travelling on next year Feb 07.

How about those tour did you book when you arrived in LV or prebooked before you travel.

hope you gals could guide me along...thks in advance


New Member
Hi szoon,

I just came back from my honeymoon in USA, went to SFO->Napa->Monterey->LAX->LV. Here're some comments I can offer.

1) FLIGHT - We took SQ, abt $1.8 per pax including taxes. We flew into SFO and back from LAX so price a bit more. If your budget is not too tight, then SQ is better bcos of the inflight entertainment. Really makes a difference if you're flying long-haul... time passes faster watching movies and playing games lah. UA is cheaper but the timing is not so good and I think they don't have individual screens so can be a bit boring during flight. If price is the only concern, then pick the cheapest one lor.

2. SFO - We didn't drive in SFO. If you have never driven in USA before then SFO may be a bit intimidating with the many uphills and downhills. Very steep and slooping. Parking is also expensive. Moving around in SFO city is quite easy on public transport, can take cable car or BART. You may want check out Farmers Market at the Ferry Terminal during Saturdays (only on weekends) as it's quite nice.

3. NAPA - We drove to Napa. As you should be tasting some wine, do drive safe. There're some nice restaurants there in Yountville. If you're prepared to splurge, can check out French Laundry there, it's a top-rated restaurant in the world, think it was No.1 previously. Tasting menu think is around USD150 per head. A nice vineyard to check out is S.Vuttui. Also can try the cable car at Sterling vineyard, think it's USD20 each for the ride and wine tasting.

3. MONTEREY - If possible, can stay 1 night at Monterey area. Either Monterey/Pacific Grove/Carmel are nice. Must go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, cool place and they've a great white shark on display (but it's a small one lah, pls don't expect JAWS).

4. DRIVE FROM SFO->LAX - If you're driving, then the scenic route is via Highway 1 (called the Big Sur). We drove from Monterey to LAX using this road. MAJOR MISTAKE on our part cos it's a very very tough drive. It's extremely winding and most of the roads are along the cliff so very scary. But honestly, it was really very beautiful and scenic is an understatement. If you really want to enjoy the nice scenery, then I suggest just drive for at most 1hr along Big Sur then backtrack and take the inner highways, which are straighter and faster to reach LAX. Total time is about 5-7hrs depending which road and time of traffic.

5. LAX - Really need to drive to move around LAX cos it's really huge. A good factory outlet is the one at Cabazon Dessert Hill. Prepare to spend 1day there.

6. DRIVE FROM LAX->LV - Easy and straightforward drive, about 3-4hrs. Try to see some shows there, Cirque du Soleil's O and Zumanity are excellent! Driving in LV is pretty easy. You can either self-park (free) or valet (usually USD2 tip when you collect car is ok). Think it's still cheaper than the Monorail even if valet. Of course walking is an option.

7. CAR RENTAL - All in all, my car rental for 10days (i think) came up to about USD800+ including taxes. Actually the rental was about USD400 but the insurance cost a freaking USD300!!! No choice but insurance is a must cos if you hit anything in USA without insurance, then really siao liao man!

I didn't mention any touristy places cos there're alot info here liao. Lemme know if you need more details.

Hope this helps. Cheers!


I rented a car from Alamo, they insisted I have to pay for the insurance but I don't want to...but have to drive really carefully...

Then must really do alot of homeworks and get the best deal.. and look for discount codes and coupons.

My car rental for 10 days was only U$241.27, actually it's only U$205.33 because I couldn't find a gas station near the airport, so I have to pay extra $35.94 for the freaking 6 gallons of gas.

Then I got a free upgrade by printing a coupon but must pay by mastercard, then I got a discount code from a website then when I make the reservation I got a 15% discount.


New Member
Hi vinmiche

Thanks so much for all the useful advices! Your post has indeed cleared the many question marks in me! =D

I reckon your SQ flight of $1.8K including tax was very reasonable especially it was also an open jaw ticket? How did you get this lobang? From the SQ website or through travel agency? Just to share, my hubby found a Northwest 1-for-1 deal from the UOB visa signature credit card travel privileges! Me think it’s a fantastic deal but we still haven’t done our booking as I have to sort out the travel dates first. (for those who are planning to get cheap tickets may want to check it out!) One of my friends told me recently that NW has new aircrafts lately so hopefully it’s not that bad…hee..anyway, my hubby and I are not that fastidious people. =p

Wow, the car insurance is freaking expensive! We are still contemplating whether to self-drive or take domestic flights…hmm…it is easy to read the USA maps? I am still very clueless whenever you gals mentioned about the route names like Highway 1, yadda yadda. ;p

Vinmiche, could I also trouble you to list out the hotels that you stayed in? and what about your shopping loot? Hee…

Thanks so much, once again. =D

Hi muzigal
How did you get all those discount coupons?


New Member
Hi szoon,

Yup the SQ ticket was open-jaw and we got it from a travel agent. As for the car rental and driving, it's really up to you but personally i think it's quite enjoyable to drive in States. And the maps are very easy to read.

Throughout our trip, we only paid for 1 night accomodation at Monterey. We stayed at Best Western Carmel Mission Inn. Booked it online and think it was abt USD85 or so. In LV, we stayed at Jockey Club (a time-share resort), which is located besides Bellagio and right smacked in the middle of the Strip. It was a gift from my friend so free. As for SFO and LAX, we stayed with friends so free again.

We didn't really keep track of the shopping loot but think we spent abt $3k+ in total. Most of it was done at the factory outlet in Cabazon. Email me at [email protected] if you need more info cos i don't really login here anymore.



Hi Szoon,

Don't worry, it's really fun driving at USA, in fact after driving there for weeks... and when I come back to SG, I took a few days to adjust back to SG driving habits... I can say SG drivers are very impatient and never give way..

I took Northwest to USA a few times... to LA and Orlando... Northwest got new plane but that was from Singapore to Japan only and Japan to Portland(Airbus A330-200), Japan to LA usually is Boeing 747-400, best seat 63A/C/H/K,64A/C/H/K,65A/C/H/K anyway it's a long flight, most probably will just sleep... always check which plane u taking.. and reserve for the best comfortable seat. I like Northwest because the mileage you clock is non-expiry unlike other airlines...

The discount code maybe you could try

Remember must go factory outlets to shop...


New Member
Hi gals,

I'm going SF-LV-LA this March for my honeymoon. Have read up on the thread and pick up some must visit places and advise. Thanks all sharing all your experience, its really helpful for 1st timer for me

Is it advisable to drive in SF? I know BART and Muni are convenient but if I want to go to Gilroy which is about 1.5 hr drive from down town how else can I get there besides driving?

I'm also planning to Yosemite, better to drive too?

Is anyone planning their trip in March too?


New Member

Juz returned from my 17-day tour in California.
Here's my itinerey to share as reference for everyone.

Day 1-3: San Francisco
Telegraph Hill, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard St.,Washington Square,Chinatown, Union Square, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Stamford Uni.

Day 4-5: Monterey
Point Lobo Reserve Park (HIGHLY RECOMMEND), 17-mile Drive, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Day 6-8: Los Angeles
Stopped over at Solvang (Nice Danish town).
1. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood & Highland Center, Kodak Theater, Grauman's Chinese Theater
2. Griffith Park for Hollywood Sign
3. Chinatown, Little Tokyo
4. Farmer's Market, the Grove
5. Santa Monica Pier and Beach

Day 9-10: Anaheim
Disneyland (we bought 3-day hopper). One day is just not enough for the rides. Spent too much time queuing.

Day 11-13: San Diego
Seaworld, san diego zoo, Balboa Park, Old Town State Historic Park, Mission Bay

Day 14-16: LV
1. Shopping Outlets (Barstow Tanger Outlets, LV Premium Outlets)
2. The Strip
3. Grand Canyon. Hoover Dam (Stopover)

Day 17: Depart for home


New Member
Hi NL,

I only start to drive after leaving SF on my way to Monterey. For most SF attractions, travel by MUNI is the best option. A MUNI pass entitles u unlimited rides on streetcars, cable car (TRY standing on THE POWELL-HYDE RIDE) and buses. It is easier to travel by MUNI within internal SF. I dont advise driving in SF if you are not familiar because of their very steep slopes. It seems not easy to park on their slopes as well. Beyond SF, i guess it would be easier to drive for convenient sake so that you wont waste time on travelling.


New Member
Hi babyshannon,

You're welcomed.

As you see, i have a mix of nature, theme parks, shopping and sight-seeing. I enjoy a great deal out of this vacation!

i just notice i missed out the Universal studio on my Day 6-8: Los Angeles. ;p

Here's my breakdown on the ground cost (exclude airfare) for your reference. All figures are quoted for 2 pax.

1. Lodging: $1350 (for 16N)
SF- Cow Hollow Motor Inn
MN- Lone Oak Lodge
LA- Hollywood Celebrity Hotel
AN- Hotel Pepper Tree
LV- MGM Grand

2. Recreational (Parks admission): $500
Alternative: Buy the California CityPass!

3. Total Car Rental from Hertz (Professional service; weekly rates, given Mazda 6, one-way- no drop off charges)+ Parking & Gas add up to around $700.

Additional costs incurred for BART & MUNI at SF comes up to around $50. (We took BART directly from airport to our lodging on the 1st day at SF, the rest of our stay just use MUNI).

4. Food: approx. $500 (Sometimes there's no time to eat, so only 2 meals, including complimentary bf at hotel, that's save $ too)
hi hi,

i just came back from my 23-day tour in California.

Here's my itinerary:
Day 1 to 4 (SF)
- Union square
- Cheesecake Factory (yummy!!)
- Gilroy Premium Outlet (1 day. Biggest factory outlet compared to LA and LV. they have "Bath & Body works there! The rest of the outlet do not have it. the lotion smells great!)
- Fisherman Wharf
- Ghiradelli Square
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Sausalito
- Napa Winery
- Coit Tower

Day 5 (Monterey)
- 17 mile drive
- Seafood dinner at Monterey

Day 6 to 11 (LA)
- Camarillo Factory outlet
- Disneyland (1 day only. But its really rush to cover the place as the queuing takes up quite some time)
- Dessert Hill Factory outlet (this is great! Many shops!)
- Universal Studio (1 days)
- Del'Amo shopping Mall (i went there as this shopping mall is only 10 mins away from my hotel at Marriott Courtyard)
- Hollywood Walk of fame, kodak theatre
- Santa Monica (3rd street promenade)

Day 12 to 15 (LV)
- The Strip
- Fremont Street
- LV outlet centre
- LV premium outlet
- Fashion Show Mall
- Ceasar (The Forum) --> Great shopping for Coach as there are 2 boutiques there.
- KrispyKreme donuts

Day 16 (Grand Canyon)
- drove past Hoover Dam
- Grand Canyon

Day 17 (Barstow)
-Tanger Outlet

Day 18 to 19 (Yosemite)
- Skiing (so fun that we went back again on the 3rd day to ski till 2pm before leaving for SF)
- Yosemite Water Fall (not much water during winter as most of the water are frozen)

Day 20 to 23 (SF)
- Grace Cathedral
- Twin Peak
- Palace of fine arts
- Alamo Sqaure (Victorian Home, "Post card'View)
- City Hall
- Union Square (last min shopping)
- China Town
- Japan Center

Hotels stayed: (prices include taxes)
SF - Stratford Hotel (S$127 per night)
Monterey - Ramada Limited (S$104 per night)
LA - Courtyard Marriott South Torrance (FOC from reward points earned from wedding banquet at Marriott in Spore)
LV - Sahara Hotel (S$76 per night)
GC - Best Western GC Square Inn (S$133 per night)
Barstow - Barstow Days Inn (S$102 per night)
Yosemite View Lodge (S$230 per night - due to peak season)
SF - Baldwin hotel (S$121 per night)

All the hotels are clean. Straford rooms are extremely small but the location is really good.
FYI, Baldwin hotel is just 10 mins walk from stratford hotel. it is also very near to union square if you prefer a bigger room.
Baldwin hotel is managed by Chinese.

- Drove throughout the whole trip.
- SF: Parking is expensive. Cheapest parking at decent multi story carpark is usd 12 to 15 (from 5.30pm to 9.30am)
- most of the SF hotels at union square area or Chinatown do not have parking lots. To save cost, its best not to drive in SF unless u go in a group of 4 to split the costs
- LA: Traffic is jammed during peak hours (7am to 9am and 5am to 8pm) but still alright.
- LV: Strip is always packed with vehicles as parking is free in LV. But its really more convenient to drive in LV especially if you are travelling to the factory outlets as well.
- Yosemite: Wheel chains are needed if you are driving up to ski during winter.
Car rental:Dollar (Chrysler Pacifica)
Rental cost - usd 467 (23 days)
Insurance liability - usd 18 per day!!
CDW - usd 11 per day!!
Petrol & parking for the whole trip - usd 300 per couple
But its definitely a good experience to self drive throughout the trip or if not, at least part of the trip.

Some good places for food:
In general:
- In & Out burger is cheap and nice!
- Wendys is not bad
- Dennys is slightly more ex but not that fantastic.

1. Eric's restaurant (Chinese food).
Address: 1500 Church street.
Cheap and nice! Delicious Hunan and Mandarine cuisine served in a clean with dining room overflowing with Noe Valley locals
2. Mifune (Japanese)
Address: Japan Center, 737 Post Street, Japantown
Fast food Japanese style, served to fast-moving customers; includes simple but excellent noodle dishes
3. Art institute café
Address: 800 Chestnut street
Simple pasta dishes and assorted snacks can be consumed while enjoyiing the splendid view across to SF Bay from Telegraph Hill

1. Lotus of Siam (Thai Food)
Address: East Sahara
Tasty pad thai and mee krob plus daily special
2. Big Kitchen (Seafood Buffet)
Address: Bally hotel
Price: USD 18 per pax
Be there at 4.30pm to 5pm to avoid long queues

1. Taxes in LV is the lowest.
SF tax: 8.5%.
LV 7.75%,
LA 7.95% to 8.25% (depending where u go) but surprisingly, the tax at camarillo factory outlet is only 7.25%.
2. Rem to print out shopping discount coupons from for more discounts at factory outlets.

I spent a total of 13k for my whole trip (including shopping expenses by both hubby & myself!).



New Member
wow..irene and snowy,

u gals make me feel like travelling to USA straight away..

I intend to spend abt 2 weeks which is about 14 days in California.
Is there any must go places? I am thinking of going grand canyon, disneyland, not looking at shopping, prefer for scenery places.
Hi Babyshannon,

If you are looking for scenic places, u shld also go to yosemite national park. SF have quite a few scenic places - palace of fine arts, twin peaks, coit tower. Monterey (17 mile drive) is really beautiful!! Disneyland and universal studio are must go places if you have not been there before. Grand Canyon is a world wonder, so must go since u have travelled all the way there. On the way to grand canyon, u can stop by at hoover dam to take pics if you like sceneries.

Oh yes, i missed out "Crookedest street" in my SF itinerary.


New Member

Here to clarify that the figures i had quoted earlier on were in US$.

Like Irene, i can share with you the average nightly cost for each accomodation i stayed.

SF- Cow Hollow Motor Inn ($82.08)- Recommended. located at lombard st, convenient to many sightseeing areas like fisherman wharf, golden gate bridge etc. There's MUNI bus stop. Many eateries nearby on chestnut st.
MN- Lone Oak Lodge ($61.60).
LA- Hollywood Celebrity Hotel ($104.31)- Recommended. 5 mins walk to Walk of Fame/ Hollywood Highland Ctr, 10 mins drive to Universal studio, 45 mins drive to Disneyland.
AN- Hotel Pepper Tree ($90.85)
SD- Old Town Inn ($67.81)- Recommended. Convenient to all attractions/ downtown. Excellent service. Best continental breakfast i had throughout my trip.
LV- MGM Grand ($79.20)

All the lodging are pretty clean and spacious. More importantly, close to attractions that i wanna go. For more info, refer to Tripadvisor.

hi Babyshannon,

Which season you'll be going? Winter season will last till Feb/March. During winter, daylight is very short until 4.30PM. By right, California is supposed to be sunny, but they can be very cold at night during winter. The grand canyon i went, was covered with some ice. It's not the best grandest view i'm expecting as there's some blurry mist in the air. Summertime should be excellent to view GC.

If you are going in summer with longer daylight, you shld have an easier time visiting more attractions. If you are planning for 2 weeks, i recommend you a trip to San Francisco, Monterey, Universal Studio, Disneyland and LV. San Francisco has too many sightseeing sceneries that you musnt miss. Must go to SF's chinatown, quite an authentic experience of Chinese living and there's lot of nice and cheap Chinese eateries!

Monterey is also a beautiful paradise! IMO, i prefer Pt. Lobos to 17-Mile drive as I like the part that i can stand on a higher ground overlooking the rocks and the sea. After seeing Pt. Lobos, i somehow found 17 mile drive a bit dull as it's more like a long stretch of beach to me. But of course it's still a beautiful beach and probably worth a visit if Pt lobo is not within yr itinerary.

As for theme park wise, Universal Studio and Disneylands must never be missed! We conquered almost all the rides and had so much fun! There's so much unforgettable times spent over there!

As for LV, it's beautiful at night! Besides casinos, good to visit the grand canyon and hoover dam. But we did not spend a night at GC, so we drove almost 9 hrs to and fro on road. We started out our journey early to GC at 7AM.

I advise not to overload your itnerary. Buffer some time to adjust the first days when u may feel sleepyness due to jetlag.

Driving at night can be very strenuous at first as there's no streetlamps on many roads. Watch out for signboard that indicates small animals/deers that may dash out across. Dont outdo your speed limit. The police is always hiding somewhere in obscure. Saw many cars kenna stopped along the way. Some roads are very winding esp along mountaineous areas. Watch out for the turns. Read up on US traffic signs and give-way rules. It's left hand driving, so may feel a bit odd when handling gear control and signalling. Just a matter of time to get used to it. Whenever possible, remain on right lane if wanna move slowly.

Hopes the sharing of my tips above helps everyone! Have a wonderful USA vacation!


New Member
Hi snowy,

Thanks for your detailed info..

i intend to travel either oct or nov when it is colder and is in autumn. i am quite kaisu, planning so early..hehe..

i had spend 2 months in the east coast of USA, thus roughly know the road conditions and highway system. however, the other time when i was there, my friends are the one driving most often. this time round, it will be my husband and me alone only. so, i guess i will be driving very often.

i intend to go for about 14 days (excluding the flight day). it will be a relaxing journey, as we love to stop at every place which we feel is beautiful..hehe

is SF's chinatown a must? i have been to NY's chinatown, but didnt find it special. in fact, i was quite worried, coz the other time round, my friends' car is being stolen when they go for lunch in one of the restaurant.

i understand from your itinerary that it is not recommnend to drive in SF. is the bus very frequency? what other transport can we take? for car rental, which is the recommended companies? i know hertz is gd, but it is ex too rite?

thanks for your recommendation on the hotel. do u book them online? can i have the website?


New Member
Hi babyshannon,

I pm u the info.

I have been to SF's, LA's, NYC's and Toronto's Chinatowns. So far, i find that SF Chinatown is the best and largest. You can visit the SF's Chinatown website for more info. You can look out for Fortune cookie factory, Bank of Canton (old telephone exchange), ancient phone booths etc. Also, there are numerous eateries around unlike LA's and NYC's Chinatown. When we were at SF's Chinatown, we simply popped into any eatery for our lunch. To our surprise, our lunch only cost $2 each for century egg porridge, wanton mee, fried tofu and shrimp dumpling soup. Wow, it's not just cheap but the food were also of very good standard! No wonder it was so crowded with many locals. We noticed that this restaurant also held promotion at special timing when they laid out many colourful plates of different roasted meat, vege, mee hoon, fried rice etc for locals to buy home. There were many old folks surrounded the tables of sumptuous food and spent much of their time analyzing each plate that they wish to bring home. Every plate was only $2 and it was really a generous huge portion. I also managed to catch an interesting sight of how one auntie skillfully grabbed her desirable plate of roasted meat in split seconds before another auntie could lay her hand on it. ;p Perhaps it was probably this experience at this eatery that left me a speical impression of Chinatown in San Francisco.


New Member
wow ladies, thank you for the details... really useful and informative..

i also intend to go US for my HM, but the problem is my FH cannot drive and I'm not so comfortable to drive the full journey... most likely will go for local tours and rent a car only when we extend...

does anyone know of any good and reasonable-priced local toours?
also is it better to extend in LA or SF?

forgot to add, i intend to go LA, LV, and SF..


New Member
Many thanks to Irene and Snowy for these valuable advise. This will definitely help alot in my planning.

Irene, your itinerary is what I'm planning for but I need your advise on the following, hope you can advise me.

In your itinerary day 1 to 16 is what I intend to go for but how can I wisely incorporate Yosemite if my last destination is in LA? Lastly what airline did you travel on? Thank you.
Hi NL,
I guess for your case, you may want to cut down 2 days from LA and use that for Yosemite while you are in SF. Cos Yosemite is about 2.5 to 3hrs fr SF.

I took SQ 4-to-go promotion S$1569 per pax(incl taxes). There's a stop over in Korea for an hour to pick up passengers and to top up fuel.


New Member

I intend to book for a land tour package that will start from LA and end at SF (abt 7 to 10 days). However I hardly can find one because they start and ends at the same place. Anyone have any recommendation for an online travel agency that have this type of package?


New Member
Bao Bao, I'm also looking for those.. so far cannot find any... =(

so sad... there are some tour agency in SG that sells land tours, SA tours i think, but its quite expensive... when u intend to travel? maybe can wait for Natas...


New Member
actually i am looking for a land tour that Chan Brothers offered, however i also find it too ex...
I intend to travel in march but before natas fair... btw i think apr is not low season in US anymore


New Member
Irene, if my 1st stop in in SFO and i intend to go yosemite and monterey (depending on accessibility doesn't matter which ever come 1st)and next stop to LV. How would you advise? My last destination would be LA. Thanks.


seeking some advice. I will be attending wedding in Seattle in Jul, and tot of travelling around the area for 2wks but it seem like most pple are travelling to southern parts instead.
Wonder if it's feasible to drive down south to LV and LA area from Seattle,especially first timer in US? Any interesting places in between that i should stop over? Or should i just arrange to take domestic flights?


New Member
hi all,

i will be travelling to us in march with my hub. have finally booked the air tic and domestic flights. now looking through the hotel. anyone has recommendation for stratosphere? its alittle off the strip but price wise very reasonable at usd 50 per nite. thks


New Member
i am finally back from my usa trip! had a last minute change and brought forward to feb instead.

we stayed at excalibur eventually and i think that a better hotel than stratosphere! from the map, they all look so near to one another but in actual, they are very very far!!!


New Member
SA tours also has a itinenary that starts in LA and ends in SF. You can purchase the land tour only from them. about S$1588 i think/


New Member
Hi littlemay,

1. LA to SF - 6 to 7 hrs
2. LA to LV - 4 to 5 hrs
3. LV to SF - 10 to 11 hrs

All the timing advised is based on average driving speed and traffic. Could be longer or shorter if u drive faster or traffic is smooth.

For a more detailed route and timing, go to

Hope tis helps..


New Member
Thanks Hippie. That's indeed very useful.

Ask for advice,
is it better to stay in Anaheim or LA if I intend to go to both Universal Studios and Disneyland?


New Member

Does anyone know hows the weather like in SFO, LA and Lv during early Oct?
I intend to visit them during early Oct. Do i need to bring winter clothes?



New Member
Weather in early Oct is very nice. I was in SF end Sept. Just a jacket will do. It was very sunny during the day. Temp should be able 15-20deg.


New Member
Hi LittleMay,

Thanks for your advice however I find that getamericatours package is quite pricely as compared to gotobus. However I don't know actually what's the difference between gotobus and other tour agencies, because gotobus seems to be relatively cheap...

Hope that there are pple there who care share with us their experience with gotobus....


New Member

Ya you are right. Go To bus is cheaper than getamerica tours. I also don't intend to drive hence can only rely on land tours and bus services. Anyone who has tried gotobus before??