New Member
Hi M,

Thanks for the info, especially the dining tips. Was wondering where will be good to grab a bite.

1) My hotel is on Bush St. opposite the Chinatown gate, so I suppose that's a fairly safe area?
2) Is taking the BART really that bad? I was planning to take that to & fro the airport since my hotel is walking distance from Montgomery Station. We'll be arriving at 9 a.m. so should have avoid the morning rush hour already right?

LV -
Yeah, I found out that there are TWO major conventions going on when I'm going, around the Mandalay Bay area.
There goes my plan to enjoy a stay in a major hotel.
1) We'll be flying out of LV on Sat. morning 10 a.m. flight. Is that early enough to avoid a crowd? How early would you advise us to arrive at the airport?
2) I'm planning on taking The Deuce (public bus) to and fro the Strip. Any advise on that?

Also, I'm interested in your saying that KrisFlyer can check in at SQ counter for UAL flights. I have a registered KrisFlyer membership, although never use before. In what situation can I use the SQ counter to check-in?

Thanks again for sharing.


New Member
Suggestion for cheap hotels:

Do try checking and also the direct hotel website of your choice for pricing first… Then compare other websites from there. Always remember that the direct hotel website gives you plenty of room options esp if Las V*gas.


I hope you can read some Japanese.. It does help… I learnt enuf to order food and drinks. If you don’t read Japanese (it’s fun to try the snack foods esp the octopus balls), you can always use hand gestures.

Looking at your draft itinerary hotels, you may wanna go to DisneySea. It’s a romantic European theme park. It’ll be Christmas themed in Dec so expect the Park to be decked beautifully.

Must try Gyoza Sausage Buns at a Food Cart in the caldera canyon connecting Mysterious Island and Mermaid Lagoon. It’s like bao but longish so two can share. It’s a speciality at Disneysea. It’ll probably have a queue so can’t be hide to miss. Located near the rides Journey to Center of Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

Each time I go Disneysea, the first thing I do after I walk thru the main gates is head to the right.. Towards Miracosta Hotel. There’s a small podium booth (something like those ‘stands’ in front of a restaurant door where the hostess greet you?) and I make reservations for lunch for Oceano international lunch buffet. It’s VERY ex but all my friends and relatives who’ve been there enjoy the food tremendously. You can check the price whilst enquiring abt reservations.. I estimate S$80 per pax. Then I go for my rides at Disneysea… Remember to get your hand stamped before having lunch so that you can re-enter the theme park hor.

For those of you who’d rather shop instead of have buffet, you may wanna exit the theme park and take the Disney monorail to Ikspiari
Same thing, pls remember to get your hand stamped before having lunch so that you can re-enter the theme park.

I always believe that you MUST get a hand stamp before you exit any theme park even if you think you’re leaving for the day – Reason – You may have dropped something or forgotten something and you may wanna go back inside half hour later!!

If the harbourside show BraviSEAmo is showing at night, make sure you have dinner slightly earlier or ‘chope seat’ by the water (there are seating areas around the Mediterranean Harbour) and your partner can go get fast food. I’ve not seen the new show but it’s supposed to be Disneysea’s climatic waterfront night show.

HELP: San Francisco to Las V*gas or to Los Angeles?

I suggest fly one-way from SF to LV. Consider flying by TED because its base is in SFO. Ted is the budget airline belonging to United Airlines (UAL) so I think you can book under Abt S$135 per pax? It’ll go direct from SFO to LV.. Again, refer to my earlier post dated 14 Oct 2007 12:32am re: flying by UAL. Worth flying because of the distance.

you may wanna consider extending one more day if you’re going Disneyland in Anaheim
13 Dec depart SFO arrive LV
15 Dec consider depart LV arrive Anaheim (Orange County) check in hotel, maybe do Knott’s Berry Farm (you can try California Adventure but reviews not great leh) in the afternoon after check-in. Later, go to Downtown Disney and also purchase tix for next day Disneyland.
If you do go Disneyland, you MUST catch Fantasmic! It’s a great show. I had to ‘chope’ seating space on the floor (use newspaper or whatever) 2 hours before it started.
17 Dec depart Anaheim for LA
Go Universal Studios or something…

btw, I’ve not used gotobus but if I do need transport from one state to the other, it’ll very likely be this bus company.

Stay at least one night in LA itself. This is because it’s NOT convenient if you don’t have a car! All tourist spots are spread out… Imagine Singapore Zoo, Sentosa, Chinatown etc

SAN FRANCISCO ---- Chinatown:
If you do go Chinatown, kindly remember that most shops close early so not easy if u wanna a take a taxi after a Chinese restaurant dinner!! And the streets will be quieter. Not so safe to walk abt.

SAN FRANCISCO ----- Financial District:
Hotels such as Park Hyatt, Holiday Inn Financial District. If you stay in this area, try not to wander the streets to late also.. Supper difficult to get.. Hee.

Never been to NORTH BEACH in all the times I’ve visited SF so can’t help there. Sorry!

To ec8,
Omni SF Hotel is along the California St Cable Car Line (the other line goes along Powell St), so still quite ok to get back abt 10:30pm. But I think u gotta change Cable Cars to get to Union Sq.
Four Seasons LV has no casino. Good for honeymoon. Spend more time with your partner
…Walk next door if you wanna hit the slots at Mandalay Bay!!
BUT (a very big BUT)… staying at FS means you REALLY have to walk to get to the main part of the Strip ok? Gd luck!

LV Hotels Along The Strip:
The hotels along the Strip include Bellagio, Caesar’s, Paris, Venetian, Flamingo, Mirage, Treasure Island, Harrah’s, Barbary Coast…. Check for the reviews…

For tourism info,

For hotels or resorts, check out for recommendations.


New Member
Folks, it’ll really help if have hotel names instead of street names

Makes it easier for me to help YOU. And estimated dates will be gd too!

Hi Cat,

San Francisco Train:
BART is not terrible.. On the contrary. It’s safe, convenient and clean enough. Easy to use too! It’s usually used for more outskirts (eg.. Yishun to Orchard Station?)
Having said that, you’re only gonna use it to get from Montgomery St Station to the SFO airport right? Then it’ll be fast. I’ve only stopped at Powell Street station. I assume MS Station is also underground. Should be okay.
The following link is for the handicapped to access the train at MS Station. Hope you don’t mind but I figure it might help if you have a problem with luggage. No offence, okay?

Your hotel (sorry can’t check my maps w/o your hotel name) is located in a fairly safe area. I guess it’s Triton, if not, Astoria? Near Union Square area so quite alright. Never mind, ‘so-la-so’, hand-in-hand, a-paktor-ing you’ll go!

McCarran International Airport:
LV check-in ------ if international flight, play safe and go 3 hrs ahead. But I guess you’ll be doing domestic to SFO or LAX so you’ll prob need only advance 2 hrs check-in. But er, how MAJOR is your major when you say there’re are major conventions clashing wif your LV dates? [Dates will be helpful for me leh?] If more than 5000, suggest you arrive by 7-7:30am for a domestic flight? Better be a bit kiasu than miss your flight.

Sigh, I donno which hotel you’re considering for LV… And I’ve not heard of Deuce bus. Maybe some other name prev or maybe because more fun to stroll along the Strip. If you’re staying along the Strip, ie, refer to your previous post for the hotels I listed, then walk..Just WALK.


To everyone who wants to visit Las V*gas, wear sports shoes!! Wear comfortable shoes!! Ditch the heels.
WALK. WALK. There’re travellators aplenty. Connects some hotel to the main road. Some connect hotel to hotel I think.
Why walk? Most hotels have a highlight IN FRONT of them. Bellagio has the musical fountain, Mirage has the volcanoes, TI has the sexy sirens. Taxi / bus can’t be stopping in front of each place because u wanna chope a gd view at each designated time of ‘performance’.
But if you wanna go Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam etc or even the Hard Rock Hotel, pls consider transportation!

STAR ALLIANCE (eg, Singapore Airline’s Krisflyer, United’s Mileage Plus ……)
If u hv a Star Alliance membership card, show the counter staff at check-in the KF card or MP card etc, show them all the STAR ALLIANCE airlines that you’ve booked yourselves on. If you've not flown before but have JUST registered with KF, you won't get the card until you've flown so just write down your name on a piece of paper exactly in the same order as in passport and also your KF number (then you can accumulate points correctly).
Tell them that you wd like them to check-in for you all the way and ASK if it’s possible. If it’s SIN-SFO-LAS (Singapore-San Francisco International-Las V*gas), shd be okay.
But not if you have a lay-over, ie, stay one night in SF before continuing to LV.

HTH, Cat.


New Member
Hi Janice,

Er… LAX refers to Los Angeles Airport. I assume you’re saying that you’re traveling F&E in LA (Los Angeles) itself and not the airport?

I’ve not been to LA for quite a while but shd be able to check up stuff for you according to reviews, my map and internet.

Accessibility: Awful! Sorry but I really had to either book day tours or taxis. Expensive to get to airport too!!

How many days F&E?

Roughly which dates or which month / year?

Any hotel you’ve shortlisted?

What kind of itinerary? Shopping, theme park, beach, sightseeing?


Most people go to

# Rodeo Drive (not to shop but to look-see look-see).

# Universal Studios (spend 1 day there… shd finish abt 5pm… exit Theme Park.. remember get hand stamped ok? And walk next door to Universal Citywalk – interesting small shops)

# Hollywood Boulevard (Walk of Fame, Mann’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood and Highland Complex)

# Farmer’s Market only if you have time hor --

# Santa Monica Beach (I’ve not been.. but wanna go!)
And 3rd Street Promenade

[ to my Dear HTB… are you reading this a not? ]

Dining In USA:

To everyone: If you’re a stickler for Chinese food like my mom, try Panda Express… Available in several food courts located in shopping centers such as Beverly Center.
I personally get pizza from the food courts. Sbarro’s is pretty well-known. Sells by the slice. Large slice!
I love eating at Johnny Rockets… Reminds me of the old TV show “Happy Daysâ€. It’s diner-style with burgers and shakes…

You may wanna stay near the BEVERLY CENTER because I found it convenient to get food.

Check out this map of hotels located near Beverly Center if possible,-118.37669:cat_1:currency_USD:minrate_0:maxrate_9999999:umaxrate_9999999:class_

Or look for a LA hotel under

Janice, hope I’ve answered what I think you’re asking?


New Member
Hi M,

yeah i mean Los angeles..anyway thanks for ur info..seems that the hotel prices r very high now..

may i know if we need special passes or visa to go to Mexico? thinking of travelling there...


New Member
Hi Janice,
I've not been to Mexico for years and that was only a day trip... But i've known of friends who had problems with Mexico customs even though they went only for day trips.

If going for one day, safer to go via a group tour than F&E. At least the tour leader (eg, Insight, Cosmos, Globus, Contiki) can bail you out if there're problems.

The following is a page that states that Singaporeans do not need visas when going for holiday. Malaysians need visas. I do strongly recommend that you print a copy of the page to show customs in case you're queried.


New Member
Hi M

Once again, thanks vry much for your info sharing.

I've been to Japan a couple of times & once to Tokyo Disneyland. So the plan is to bring my HTB (hubby by then) to Disneysea cos we've both not been there & it's his 1st time to Tokyo. We love Jap food so thanks for your recommendation cos will definitely try some of your recommendations ;)

Reason for the Omni SF & FS LV hotels is because we can get good corporate rates and the hotels look nice too with good reviews so will just have to take the longer walk. much to research on for the honeymoon! But thanks for your tips and info which certainly made things easier for us in info gathering!


New Member
Hi M, thanks for the reply, and the extra Dining in USA tips. Yeah, I'm staying in Astoria in SFO. Thanks for the handicap access tip, didn't think of checking that. Good idea!
I'll go ahead with using the BART.

As for LV, MAJOR as in over 130,000 + 40,000 attendees! The first event ends on Fri, while the 2nd ends Sat. I'll be there Thu & Fri, flying out Sat. Am prepared to go to airport super early. My domestic LV-SFO connects to my int'l SFO-NRT flight, so don't play play! I had booked Fremont Hotel already, although was going to cancel if I can get a nice Strip hotel at reasonable price. Looks like that's not going to happen...

My rough itineary to share:
24-28 Oct SFO: booked day tours for
- Monterey, Carmel and the 17 miles drive
- Yosemite National park

29-31 Oct Anaheim: Domestic flight SFO-LAX, booked
- Disneyland Express for LAX-Anaheim
- a day tour for LA
- 2D Disneyland Resort Hopper
- Mickey's Halloween Treat (special night time event at Disney California Adverture) tickets
- Universal Studio Pass with FREE transport.

1-3 Nov LV: By bus from Anaheim to LV, book a day tour for Grand Canyon.

I'm stopping over in Tokyo on our way back for 2 days since the transit is in Narita. And yah, I'm leaving next week. Checked the weather says is around 20 degrees. Any idea will it be the air-con kind of cold, or will be freezing cold due to wind? Don't wanna pack thick clothes end up too overdressed, but dun wanna freeze my butts off either.

Initially also thinking of using Gotobus, but my dates don't fit, so DIY all the way. Else would have took a 2D tour along the coast from SFO to LA instead of flying domestic. For people looking for day & night tours and transportation, check out for some ideas. If you have UAL Mileage Plus, you can earn miles booking from viator too.


New Member

In case you’re keen,

Japanese OCTOPUS BALLS (esp. in Osaka)

Ta Ko Ya Chi (Chi is pronounced like short ‘zzz’ sound)
Ta Ko means octopus. Ya Chi means bake/grill.
Why you shd remember these characters in Japanese? Because the octopus balls (no other flavour in Japan) are usually sold at authentic stalls. Mostly 6 pc (say ‘ro ku’ quickly) per order. And they don’t display the food so if you see a sign with the 4 Japanese characters, just say ‘ta ko ya chi’ to the stall keeper and if they say nod their head, you can order!

If you stay in Narita, you can ask the hotel concierge whether there’s a free shuttle to Aeon Narita Shopping Centre. There’re fast food outlets, food court, shops (mix of high and low end) and Jusco supermarket.

Omni SF Hotel and Four Seasons LV are both romantic hotels. Lucky for you that you can get corporate rates!!


URGENT!! Your dates clash with conventions 2b held at LV Sands Expo and Mandalay Bay.
If u want me to help you check out hotel availability and price in the next 2 days, lemme know your total price for Fremont Hotel in SGD with all taxes included and whether bkfst is included and the room type you’re staying in. BTW, which website did YOU book with?
Plus, never book a hotel room online 4 days before departing Singapore because the website might be delayed in replying and you might be stuck with no room.
Do suggest you go to McCarran early (3 hours?) for your departure to SFO. You can always pass time pulling jackpot machines in the airport!

There’s an interactive map of Carmel on this link --

Your weather 20 degrees is for where?

I gotta get back to shift work.. Will continue either late night or tomorrow.


New Member
Hi M, thanks for your offer. Don't think you'll be able to get anything better though... Anyway, I got my 2 nites stay at Fremont Hotel Deluxe Room King Bed for USD222 incl. taxes. Booked thru' their own hotel website.

20 degrees for SFO. Anaheim and LV is around 25C, so not so worry. Only SFO as I know wind plays a big factor. So dunno if their cold is aircon type or freezing type for 20C.


New Member

Hi Cat, hee hee
The temperature can be a ‘little’ misleading.

Weather Oct-Nov-Dec SAN FRANCISCO : The temperature is very unexpected. In ONE single day, you can feel warm, and three hours later, feel the wind blowing woosh. Bring a light woolly cardigan or windbreaker even if you think that it’s hot in the morning. If you end your evening at Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll be freezing because of the wind from the sea… But generally, the weather is lovely.

Weather Oct-Nov-Dec ANAHEIM: Generally alright. BUT If you do plan to stay for Fantasmic! show at Disneyland (it’s at night) and you don’t intend to go back to your hotel in the afternoon, bring a windbreaker… or something warmer. This is because there’s the high chance that you’ll wanna chope seating floor space (don’t worry, everyone else will chope space too) and where you’ll be choping floor space is usually in front of the man-made river. It WILL get windy-cold..

Weather Oct-Nov-Dec LAS V*GAS: It’s in the desert SO the nights will get chilly. But I doubt you’ll be walking outside much because you can always pop into a hotel to avoid the wind.

17 mile scenic drive/route WARNING:
Those going for this day tour, whether self-drive OR by group tour, DO NOT have a full meal. The drive up and down (there are 2 routes .. you can go by one way and come back by the other), may make your head spin and/or stomach churn somewhat… It IS the coastline after all. It’s a beautifully scenic route but some people may get some motion sickness so no heavy meals for breakfast or lunch, alright? But it’s worth the visit…

Pebble Beach (Part of Monterey and 17 Mile Drive)
I stopped by Pebble Beach because my dad wanted to take photos by the beach. Note to all golf fanatics: There’s a gift shop where you can buy clothes (eg, polo shirts, cardigans…) with the Pebble Beach logo. Prices are expensive but if your dad or FFIL are golf nuts, they’ll be ecstatic with your souvenir!!

Interactive map for 17 mile drive:

Yup, can’t get you a better deal for the Strip. Can get cheaper places along the Strip but the reviews not so gd leh.. So stick with Fremont Hotel.

And Cat,
just wanna say thanks very much abt the viator – Mileage Plus linkage… Wasn’t aware of it. Have used viator before.. Now I know better



New Member
Hi M,
You know so much on US. Btw, can you recommend what is the must see at LV? There's so much hotels there and individual hotels have their own specials. I am definitely not going to miss Bellagio foutain but besides that, which is worth to see? Btw, which do you think is nicer for a stay, Bellagio, Venetian or Wynn?


New Member
Hi San,
like i've mentioned before, for me to help, i'll appreciate:
a) estimated dates of arrival in LV (exact dates even better!) if not sure, lemme know the month/year.
b) number of days AND nights you'll be there.. easier if you gimme check-in date/ check-out date --- then can tell you how many places you can cover
c) do you plan to drive?
d) budget would be helpful too

Bellagio, Venetian, Wynn:

Not been to WYNN.. should be luxurious but sometimes, the bigger the hotel, the slower the check-in and if breakfast is provided, you may have to jostle with the hotel guests in queue.

My best friend's stayed one night in VENETIAN. She, husband and one month old baby loved it. It's near Fashion Show Mall so cheaper to get food from food court.

BELLAGIO food was yummy! Location pretty gd. Near to Caesar's Palace if you wanna take in a show and Paris Hotel if you wanna go up the Eiffel Tower replica.

r u planning to fly in from any airport? or catch a bus into Nevada?


New Member
hi M, thanks for your info sharing. got a lot of valueable knowledge.

i'm going to SF and Orlando next weekend!

let's see, cos hubby having conference in orlando, i'll only have 5 days to tour orlando, 3 days to tour SF and then it's back to SG.

for 3D in SF (Mon - Wed), we're intending to check out
- Fisherman's Wharf,
- Alcatraz
- Chinatown
- Presidio (still thinking abt it whether wanna see golden gate and cross it?)
- take a City Tour to look around

any advice whether any of these are "must-go" or "to forego"? or anything that i should go but still unaware of?

thanks in advance!


New Member
San, sorry..
I meant that my friend husband and 1 yr old baby (not 1 mth old) went to Venetian and loved it. I enjoyed Venetian too. Magnificent structure! Quite a few places to eat and shop at within the building itself and it’s very romantic because of the Gondola rides.

You many wanna take a San Francisco City Tour which shd preferably drive past and/or stop at:
# Golden Gate Bridge
# Chinatown
# Fisherman’s Wharf
# Haight Ashbury
# The Painted Ladies
# North Beach
# Lombard Street Tip: If you choose a mini van tour (seats maybe 6-9 pax ?), you might be lucky enough to drive through Lombard Street which is the crookedest street in the world. Big coach can’t get thru.

Not all tours will go to the Presidio. Most people go just to take photos of the GG Bridge.

This bridge links San Francisco and Marin County. It is much much better to be at the vista stop in Marin County (north of San Francisco) and take splendid photo (hopefully no fog) with the GG Bridge AND San Francisco in the backdrop.
Tip: If you do take a bus/ coach tour to Muir Woods, Napa/Sonoma Valley, Sausasalito, Lake Tahoe or beyond, ask the bus captain whether it’s possible to stop at the Marin County Vista Point to take a photo of the GG Bridge.

For one of the days, I suggest you take a tour that covers both Carmel and Monterey (inclusive of Pebble Beach) via the 17 Mile Drive. The tour shd take a total of 10-12 hours. High recommended!

There’re walking tours of Chinatown. I’ve not tried one. But if you do go, choose one that includes the Fortune Cookie factory. It shd be fun. Always choose a Chinatown walking tour that ends latest by afternoon. Nothing much to see in the evening.

Went once, wouldn’t go back. It’s simply a ferry ride to the ex-prison island. You grab a headset and follow the headset tour. It’s an old prison so I didn’t even take photos there. But if you wanna go, you MUST book your tickets early. You can do it online or try your luck at Fisherman’s Wharf. Note: tickets to Alcatraz will sell out one week in advance during peak season.

SAUSALITO: I love going back, it gives me a romantic feeling. Don’t bother taking a tour unless it’s part of a package. I don’t drive. So I take a ferry to Sausalito from abt 11am and come back mid afternoon. I prefer going to the San Francisco Ferry Building to catch the ferry to Saus cos there’re interesting shops within the SFFB (
If you want convenience, you can also board the Blue & Gold Fleet departing Fisherman’s Wharf.
Either way, don’t be surprised if the ferry stops over Tiburon or Angel Island for a couple of minutes for other passengers.

Sep-Oct is supposedly the harvest season in Napa & Sonoma so you can enquire with concierge whether to go or not. DO NOT go in winter.. It’ll be rainy. But if you’re not into wine, don’t bother. The distance ain’t worth the free wine tasting.


Be touristy. Hop onto a cable car. I’m fussy. If it’s the start of the day and I wanna go from Powell Street to Fisherman’s Wharf, I’ll bother to go to the end of the cable car line in front of San Francisco Shopping Center / Powell Street (Union Sq) and queue. And if there’re only the inside seats left, I’ll wait for the next cable car. It’s more fun to sit outside with the wind blowing against you and better still, stand on the outer step of the cable car and hang onto the cable car!! Yippee!! But don’t even think of trying that at night when you’re too tired to queue and it’ll be really windy-cold.

Get clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Plenty along F-Wharf. Try Boudin Bakery at the Wharf ( There’s also an In-N-Out Burger shop (near Anchorage Center) along the Wharf. Mmmm.

At Pier 39, there’s Hard Rock Café if u wanna do the Singaporean thing (ie buy souvenir) but I suggest a fun place with gd food - Bubba Gump for seafood or the expensive Crab House ( Cheaper food can be gotten from plenty of food outlets so no worries.

In Union Square, you must try the pancakes at Sears Fine Foods for breakfast… Probably have to queue cos it’s a landmark in SF.


New Member
wah, M.. thanks for all that! i'm gonna C&P and carry it around me when i go SF. it's gonna be my walking directory.

and yah, you're right. we're not a wine fan so we'll probably skip the valleys. and i'm so definitely trying the cable car, streetcar etc. in fact i'm even thinking whether i wanna buy the day passport to take the buses, streetcar etc.

gosh, after reading your post i'm all geared up and excited to go!


New Member
Hi M, thanks for the weather runthru'. Much what I expected. We've experience the 10C difference between 2 days in same place b4. Windbreaker definitely gonna carry along.

Appreciate the tips for dining in SFO. Favourite pastime for Singaporeans.

Understand that Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel don't provide breakfast. Any recommendation for good economical breakfast around the hotel?


New Member
Oh, and the Mileage Plus link on Viator is after you key in your credit card details. Got a section for you to key in your Mileage Membership if you have one. Couldn't miss it, so might not have been around when you previously used Viator.

I just found out their promo code applies 1 per tour. Urgghh, thought it applies to all and finished my transaction then realise. Could have saved another USD6 if have noticed beforehand. Lucky they applied it to the more expensive tour.


Hi M,

Wow, you are really knowledgeable! I think I've gained a lot from reading your posts here. I will be there for my honeymoon for nearly the whole month of December, for about 20 days and am thinking of taking a package from gotobus for LA (with parks' admissions) and LV, do you think it's better and cheaper to get a package or self drive? After that, we will rent a car from LA and drive to SF, hoping to stop at Solvang. Do you have any suggestions for places to stay at Solvang? Actually, we are thinking of not booking any accomodations and just look for them when we are there? How safe do you think this is?

Do you know anything about Yosemite and Lake Tahoe as well? Which is more 'happening'? South Lake Tahoe or North? I think I would need to book accomodations for these two places in advance though.


New Member
Hiya Cat,

Sorrie., been busy busy busy.

Most Hotels in Anaheim don’t provide breakfast and if they do, it cd be continental. I guess it’s because everyone’s too excited to be the 1st in line at Disneyland and having too heavy a meal might not be a good idea if you’re aiming for rollercoasters.

ANAHEIM’s <font color="ff0000">Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel</font> (Hojo).
What I liked abt Hojo was that (a) it’s at the end of the rd so a bit quieter (b) most of the rooms have Dual Sinks so you and your partner can wash up at the same time!!

Nearby, within 10-15 min walking distance, there’s <font color="aa00aa">MacDonald’s</font>, <font color="aa00aa">Millie’s</font> (not sure how’s the std now) and my bro (who was there last yr – he took up my suggestion to stay at <font color="ff0000">Carousel Inn</font> – swears by <font color="aa00aa">IHOP</font>, the Int’l House of Pancakes. You could also try <font color="aa00aa">La Brea Bakery</font>within Downtown Disney District (b4 entering Disneyland) but it’s more posh.

I think it’ll prob rain, not snow in SF for winter… I bought a wind-proof umbrella from Brookstone. Was really expensive. I think abt S$50-60 but it’s something like two-tiered and it comes in handy in windy/rainy conditions. Still using it in Singapore! A bit heavy though.

Ya, the Mileage Plus – Viator link probably started not too long ago.. But at least it’s an incentive for me to use Viator for tours.


New Member
Hello kfkbmel,

<font color="119911">LOS ANGELES</font>: to drive or not to drive – that is THEE question
Would advise not to drive within LA itself. The highways can get confusing and peak hour plus fog will add to the headache. Package tour or those hotel day tours etc shd be considered. Eg, 1 day tour to Universal with Mann’s Chinese Theatre (don’t worry, you’re not gonna watch some opera lah)..

<font color="119911">LAS V*GAS</font>: to drive or to walk …. What shd I do?
If you’re staying along the main part of the Strip (sorry, again I don’t know which hotel you’ve chosen), I suggest you WALK. It’ll be more fun and economical to klkk.
However, if you’re staying at a downtown hotel (the old, original Strip), might be better to vroom vroom. Don’t ask me abt car park rates hor. I’ve always stayed at the main Strip except once years years ago when I was on a Ken-Air package tour and I stayed goodness knows where! Pay a bit more and stay at the Strip and that’s where it all happens.

Having said that, you can still rent a car and drive OUT of the Las V*gas main area.

There’re of course the usual tours for Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam (nothing much there IMO) etc.

<font color="119911">SOLVANG</font>:
Wowee. I went once many years back. Loved it! Very Dutch feel. Don’t know what it’s like now. But I’m very surprised. Very few pple know abt this place leh. Kudos to u!
Check this out… the tourism bureau of Solvang California . There’s a place for you to submit your info and the Solvang tourism bureau will mail you a Visitor’s Guide in abt a mth. In time for your Dec trip. Or you can simply download the guide online if you have high speed connection.

And to choose a hotel in Solvang, look at the reviews under
Since you’re gonna drive, then shdn’t be a prob finding nice lodging. But you prob shdn’t take the risk; try booking before you arrive at Solvang because according to the events calendar, Winterfest Celebrations will take place 1st Nov thru 25th Dec 2007. Not sure how crowded the place is gonna be.

<font color="119911">YOSEMITE</font> and <font color="119911">LAKE TAHOE</font>:
I’ve not been. Sigh. But I believe you shd spend at least one night in Lake Tahoe. Be surrounded by Nature. As for Yosemite National Park, I recall there’re day tours(10-12hrs) from San Francisco leh. Up to u whether you wanna stay the nite lah.

Wish I could help you out more but I don’t like pretending I know stuff when I actually don’t.

20 days honeymoon in the US, I am sooooo envious, kfkbmel.


New Member
btw, for all you shopping fanatics out there... if you fly by Northwest, and you happen to go thru Minnesota (mid uppermost part of USA), YOU MUST make stay two-three days because of the <font color="ff0000">Mall Of America</font> (MOA). It's pure shopping heaven. Whoopee!
Just my 2cts. Hee.


New Member
orh... shucks. read your post too late. i'm passing by detroit enroute to orlando instead.

but will bear that in mind should i fly to US again.

and yes, i'm going by northwest cos it's the cheapest!


New Member
Hi Jen, would've posted the NWA - MOA tip earlier but I figured most of you wd b going to California. It's just that i really really miss MOA. It's the largest shopping mall in America, with a built-in themepark!

Hey Cat, i also wanna know how gd IHOP is. My bro and his GF kept raving abt it. There're many branches in US, but since u asked abt bkfst places near Disneyland and that's the one they did go to...


New Member
Hi everyone,

Is there nice places in LA to recommend besides Hollywood and Anaheim? My hubby isn't that keen on rides and such and I've been to Disney and Universal before.

Instead, I'm planning to go another side which is Monterery Bay or Santa Monica.

Any suggestions?


New Member
Hi everyone

Would like to find out if hotels provide kettle for boiling of hot water? I'll be travelling with my 2 years old kid and need boiled water for milk.

Also, I heard that we need at least 3 days to adjust to the jetlag? is it true?



New Member
Hi De Snowyz,
Gd to hear from u again!

I did mention in some earlier posts abt Monterey dated <font size="-1">Thursday, October 18, 2007 - 12:24 am</font> and juz a lil on Santa Monica.
To recap:

<font color="119911">SANTA MONICA</font>
is in the western part of Los Angeles. It’s famous for its Beach. Yes the Santa Monica Beach. I believe you can even take public bus there (unfortunately I took the wrong bus and gave up
) .
Located at Santa Monica is <font color="119911">3rd Street Promenade</font>. A famous street for shopping and what not. Of course, most of the shops there will be the std chain name stores such as <font color="ff0000">Abercrombie and Fitch, Express, Pottery Barn, Brookstone, Victoria’s Secret</font> etc. So if you’re not a beach-goer, maybe you can give it a miss. If you drive, you’ll prob be using the Santa Monica Freeway from the heart of LA. If you’re staying o’night, suggest you stay either right after arriving from LAX or just before departing because it’s pretty near LAX.

<font color="119911">MONTEREY, CARMEL, 17 MILE DRIVE (inclusive of Pebble Beach)</font>:
Most visitors to M/C/D usually come from San Francisco, not LA! But of course it’s the link between LA and SF so you can drive up from LA towards SF. If you’re not driving, it’s easier to get day tours from SF instead. A day trip from SF will take a total of abt 10-12 hours. You’ll have to makan either in Monterey or Carmel. Monterey gives a more wharf-like feeling whereas Carmel is more like a small quiet town. Both places are usually covered together in a tour. And the whole journey is usually called the 17 Mile Drive which includes Pebble Beach (famous for the golf course by the beach).

Once again the link for Pebble Beach, esp for golf fanatics, is
For Monterey: Do drop by the Cannery Row.
And for Carmel, you try this web link but you won’t get much info though. Carmel is also a pet-friendly town, esp for dogs, so there are a couple of exclusive pet shops there.

Sorry, De Snowyz,
LA is LA. Not much more you can do there. It’s just the std touristy spots. For more ideas where to go or what to do -

Hello Steve,

Erm, not all places provide <u>boiling flasks</u>. You can buy a travel-sized boiling flask from Singapore dept stores and bring along. Remember to bring travel adapter too! Troublesome but I understand that with a toddler, hygiene is also a big factor and you never know how clean the boiling flasks are in a hotel room even if they provided.

<u>Jet lag</u>
If you’re traveling to the USA, depends which part. Are you flying from SIN to SFO or LAX or are you going to New York and the rest of the east area?

a) Going to the west, eg California…
If you arrive in California in the morning, you shd avoid going to rest in the hotel room. After check-in, walk around out in the sun. Go to sleep only when it’s bed-time in USA. Or if you really didn’t sleep in the plane, catch a couple of hrs nap and do lunch… Sleep only at night. You shd adjust faster. Me, I sleep about 5-6 hours and try to be out in the sun (when I mean “be out in the sun’, I mean anywhere out on the streets with sunlight and fresh air, not dept store 24/7) as much as poss.

b) Going to the east, eg Florida, New York…
Ha ha. Here’s the awful part – you can take as much as 3 days to adjust to the time difference there. You flew backwards! Good luck Steve. Your kid may or may not adjust as well as you. Sometimes children adjust faster because they sleep a lot. Or they may not.

Hi slt,

My best friend stayed at the <font color="ff0000">Stratosphere</font> in Las V*gas around Jun this year. It was just clean enough for her, her hubby and 1 yr old kid. Stayed there for a week plus only because of price, after that they tried out Venetian for a night. But the location for Strat wasn’t great. It’s kinda too near to take a cab to the Strip, yet too far to walk to the Strip. Best thing abt the Strat was the view at the top. If you’re gonna drive, I guess shd b ok.


New Member
hi M, i suppose this is a silly question to ask... but on a hunch, do you have any advice how much one is expected to spend per day in US?

assuming we have decent food at cafes (not restaurants) for bf, lunch, dinners, public transportations (BART etc), minimal entertainment cos we already bought them earlier...

i was thinking US50 per day (100 for the 2 of us)... not sure whether it's too much... but yet worried i'm going there with too little cash... plus not really used to the tipping system so can't really gauge...

any advice?


New Member
Hey Jen!

not a silly question at all!! Everyone will definitely wanna budget. But the problem is, i don't know you and your partner personally so i don't know if you're big or small eaters and eat a lot, or snack a lot and also whether you're gonna shop a lot.

Why i ask whether u shop a lot is simple - if you plan to buy a lot of stuff and even want to shop for big items such as home decor or kitchen stuff, esp. <font color="ff0000">Williams-Sonoma</font>, <font color="ff0000">Pottery Barn</font>, <font color="ff0000">Crate And Barrel</font>, then you can forget abt the public bus, BART in SF, cable cars. You've gotta take taxis and taxi fares in LA are not cheap. And you also have to tip the cab driver!! In SF, still alright to take taxis because it's not that far to get around unless you're talking abt from SFO airport to city itself, of which there is the BART.

Links - Highly recommended kitchen ware!

Link for houseware - and also

I guess USD 50 per person per day is only sufficient if that day does not include transport to/fro airport (regardless BART, airport shuttle or taxi). Once in a while, if you skip brekkie (wake up late) and have heavy brunch followed by heavy early dinner, you can eat comfortably at a restaurant and still cover the 15% tip. That said, if you eat like there's no tomorrow, cannot help you lah.

Try the fast food outlets for breakfast also. There may be similar items in both SG and US menus but the quality might be different. Eg, my aunt claims that the crossanwich at Burger King in SF tastes better than the ones in SIN. Different supplier what. However, tastebuds always very subjective.

Do bear in mind that certain shops have a minimum for credit card usage and some small shops may accept cash only. So do standby some extra cash.


New Member
haha... you made me remember sthg. the last time my husband went to san francisco abt 8 years ago with his guy friends, they survive on US10 per day eating only BK hotdogs for their breakfast, lunch and dinner. that's why he's no help to my budgeting process.

hrms.. i hadn't thought abt buying home deco stuff. but that sounds like a good idea - meaning i gotta leave more space in my luggage now. :p but i think i'll skip the taxis. rather save the money to buy more things!

okay, i guess you have helped me do a rough calculation. we're relatively small eaters (plus if we're running low, we will just fast food for every meal). adding on shopping (we're not real big fans of the malls)... maybe US80 per pax per day then - considering orlando will probably be way more ex than san francisco.

gosh... now to ask my hubby for budget approval. :p


New Member
very funny Jen,

just remember that as long as a server serves u at a table, you'll very likely hafta give tip, even at cafe.
as long as it's self service, eg food court or fast food, you save that 15-20%.
for bottled water, u can buy from <font color="ff0000">Walgreens</font> in SF. It's like a drugstore but with snacks and drinks also. Many outlets esp. in Union Square area.

if you do buy fragile home decor stuff, see if the cashier can provide u with bubble-wrap, it's light, durable and protects from breakages!! hth


New Member
Hi M,
I will be there in Dec. Will stay 2 nites fr 10-12 and then back for 1 more nite after my GC on 13 Dec. We will stay a lower range hotel for the first 2 nites and when return fr GC, we deciding on Bellagio, Wynn or Venetian. Now even the 1st 2 nites, we can't decide if we should go for TI, MGM, Paris, Bally's, or Luxor. Is is better to stay at Centre strip?

Hmm, you highlighted to kettle to me as well. I heard it too and I am also bringing my 2y.o. daughter along.


New Member
Thanks for the advice. Luckily me going to the west, from SIN to LAX. Will remember your tips and hopefully my girl won't jetlag for too long. Probably go get a travel jug too. At least then don't have to worried about hot water.

When are you travelling? I hope my girl won't fuss too much on board the plane else sure kenna complaints by other passengers.


New Member
Hi San,
10-12 Dec 07: There r some minor conventions in LV so u'll prob still be able to get rooms at reasonable rates. I wd recommend staying at TI or PARIS hotels, near the action along the Strip. It's nice to be able to go back to your hotel room to rest for a short while and come out again refreshed. BUT since you've got a 2 yr old, better skip TI because the show in front of the hotel is non-PG rated.

To San &amp; Steve,
hope this helps?

Below is a tactic to reduce your kids' screaming in an airplane because it'll help to pop their ears.
If your child is still sucking pacifier, maybe u could try dabbing a tiny bit of honey or something safe and sweet and let him/her suck JUST BEFORE flight take-off.
If your child is old enuf for lollipops eg Chupa Chups, give one lollipop to suck JUST BEFORE take-off. AVOID giving normal sweets because your kids may choke whereas the lollipop stick is easier to handle.


New Member
Will be travelling on 7 Dec. How about you and which part you going besides LA? I hope my gal will sleep on the flight most of the time due to we have to wake up early in the morning to airport for our ETD 6am flight.

Hi M,
So MGM is not that convenient? Actually all the rates of this few hotels average to about the same of US$90 per nite but would of course prefer a nicer room hotel plus convenient.

Thanks for yr tip for travelling wz kids. I know this but for my past trips with her, I usually forgets about it cos' too busy trying to lock her sit on our leg during take off. hehe.


New Member
Thanks again for your suggestion on travelling with kids. Appreciate that.

I'll be travelling on 15 Nov. Gg to LA, LV and SF. Your flight is very early. Where are you gg to?


New Member
Hey hey San,
According to the names you've given me, Luxor is the furthest from the centre Strip... then MGM .... then Paris and beside Paris is Bally's (both Paris &amp; Bally's are kinda opposite Bellagio so if you're lucky, u MAY get a room facing the Bellagio Fountain). I definitely paid much more than USD90 when i stayed at Paris a coupla yrs back. But i sure enjoyed my stay.

no problemo. I know it's not easy travelling with kids


New Member
Wow, yr trip is very near. Do update me on how yr gal react to the long flight and jet lag. Me too touching this 3 cities. Now another headache is how to 'wrap' my gal up for the cold weather in GC and Yosemite.

I am taking NW so depart at 6am to Tokyo and then transit to LA.

Hey, think I am going for Paris most likely as the rooms look nicer then TI. hee.


New Member

anyone stayed at Ballys (LV) before? not too sure of it's location but i suppose it's near the strip?? can anyone advise? thanks.. paris was not available for booking on my dates..haiz..


Hi M,

Wow, thanks a lot for your info. It's really helpful! Anyway, I've more or less an outline itinerary prepared. The only problematic part is the amount of time taken to drive from one place to another which could determine how long we stay in a particular place.


New Member
Ya, another 3 more weeks to my trip. So excited yet worry about the long flight and jetlag thingy for my gal. Sure, will update you when I'm back.

Fory our NW flight, how long will the transit be in Tokyo? What time will you be reaching LA? I'm taking SQ and the dep time is 9.40am. Will arrive in LA at 12.45pm.

Re: FIRE in California
Wonder how would the fire affect us who are travelling to LA. I heard that the haze will linger on and affect the quality of the air in US. Hope everything will be fine by the time I am there.


New Member
Hi Janice,
Bally's is along the Strip.. It's before Paris Hotel.. so if you were planning to walk from Paris to eg.. Caesar's Palace, Mirage, TI, Venetian etc... You've slightly lesser distance to walk. It's JUST next door to Paris!! But i've not stayed there so not sure how the rooms are.

Hi kfkbmel,
No prob, Glad to help!


New Member
Hi Steve,
I will arrive LA 7+am. ETD sin 6 am and ETA LA is 7+am. SIN-Tokyo is 6+hrs flight and Toky-LA is 9+hrs excluding 1+hr transit. However, the return SIN sector is longer. I am panick on how to endure the return leg. At least going there is shorter and you are all excited for a holiday. Whenever i think of the long return journey, all my excitements died down.

You are taking the direct SQ flight? I think i will prefer stopover as I can't imagine having to be in the aircraft for 18hrs!


New Member
Not taking the direct flight. Mine will have transit at Tokyo too. Like yours, it's 1 hour transit. Me too prefers flight with transit so that can break the long flight into 2 section. At least can get out of plane to catch fresh air.


New Member
hi M,
thanks for ya helped mi in my planning..!

&amp; i think im going ahead with the mexico day tour from interesting &amp; affordable!! hehe...

hi san &amp; steve,
u guys r making mi worried! i will be taking the SQ direct flight to LA..hmmm..though i have no children! is it really that terrible?


New Member
Don't be worried over our comments on direct flight. I think it depends on individuals. Some prefer non-stop flight so that they can have undisturbed rest. Furthermore the seats on direct flight are more spacious. Hence, more comfy for you. In fact, my friend suggested that I take direct flight but it's more expensive and hence I don't think travel agency offer such flight for package tour. Enjoy your flight and tell us your experience when you are back, ok?