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How to Pick Up Girls in Las Vegas at a Bachelor Party

The long anticipated trip has arrived. You have saved up for months, all the planning and organizing is complete, and the only thing left to chance are your pickup skills. In Las Vegas, you can gamble on anything sports, cards so why do it with women especially if its going to cost you nearly $100 to walk into a nightclub. In addition, who knows how much you will end up spending in drinks and let’s not forget about Bottle Services at the nightclub you know the excuse for guys to get girls to the table well there are a lot more economical ways of scoring a women in Las Vegas, however, I will detail both.

This article focuses mostly on the best ways to pickup women in Las Vegas, and the tools available to you for doing so. Whether you are on a vacation retreat or a Las Vegas Bachelor Party Event these techniques should save you money and be rewarding at the same time.

LOGISTICS

Logistics are perhaps the most overlooked when making arrangements to party and stay in Vegas. Try to arrive on Thursday night and leave on a Monday. Nobody knows but the best nights to go out in Las Vegas are on Thursday and Sunday Night you get a mix of industry people and visiting guests + some leftover convention attendees looking to blow off some needed steam.

Secondly, Hotel! Don’t be CHEAP! The hotel could prove your biggest ally, why? Do you think hotties pay to stay at 5-star hotels or 1-star? There are 2 things to consider when booking a hotel outside of the price that is:

  1. Does the hotel host a major nightclub or lounge?
  2. Is the hotel ground zero for bachelorette parties?

So you didn’t think this one through, by staying at hotel with popular social lounges and great room pricing will make you will drastically increase your chances of finding a lovely companion for the night. A handful of hotels hit the sweet spot on price and amenities making them ideal landing grounds to host a Bachelorette Party in Las Vegas. A list of these hotels include MGM Grand, Harrah’s, Monte Carlo and Venetian (When they are running a good room rate).

DRESS

Please do not show up with khaki’s and a button down shirt. Every girl makes the attempt to wear and look their best. Ladies purchase clothes especially for the weekend in Vegas, so why don’t you? Head to a boutique by a sweet outfit even a bathing suite, if its pool party season too. What is better than being complimented on your wardrobe, hello! she is showing interest! So bring it, look sweet get a new hair do and let yourself go for a few nights. The lighter color clothing you wear the more noticeable you will be to people.

VIP SERVICES

At the very least you should consider getting some form of Las Vegas VIP Service to aid you with your Nightlife needs. They usually come in 2 forms Hosted Nightclub Entry or Bottle Service. Hosted Nightclub Entry is the best value as you will instantly skip the line thereby gaining attention from all those ‘chumps’ in the queue. In addition, you will keep your buzz going strong as you can continue to indulge on your drinking marathon within minutes not hours by skipping the long lines awaiting at the front doors of each nightclub.

If you want to give yourself the best chances to score with women in Las Vegas, then bottle service is the way to go! You gain instant access to the club and all the girls wearing heels need an excuse to sit, so guess what? That could be next to you! But, just purchasing a table isn’t good enough table placement in the nightclub is important so be sure to make bottle service reservations in advance of your arrival. This shouldn’t be too much of a concern as the majority of Las Vegas Bachelor Parties purchase bottle services and can split the costs amongst a large number of attendees.

For those on the cheaper end stay in proximity to the bathroom, as women for some reason always need to pee. This gives you easy access to grab them on their way out and find your target for the night knowing she’s out their moving aimlessly around on the dance floor.

VIP Host

Roll through the town like your a VIP. These guys once reserved mostly for High Rollers are now available to be rented in some form as your personal Host, Guide, Wing Man whatever. For a nominal fee you can hire an Independent Las Vegas VIP Host who will give you instance accredation with the nightclub doormen, club owners, hired guns and any hotties around for the weekend. Las Vegas VIP Hosts are an essential tool for a bachelor party or guys group and even a lonely visitor who just wants the best odds to score and have fun in town. Independent Las Vegas VIP Hosts know everybody, every club and they will give you instant ROCK STAR status thereby making your efforts 10x easier with the females!

WING WOMEN

You want social proof well you got it! Having a wing women to assist you with meeting other ladies in the club is the next best thing to hiring a personal Las Vegas independent VIP Host. These lovely Las Vegas party girls charge a modest amount to give you the best odds of scoring. Having beautiful women around you is appealing to other ladies as well and will make your attempt to court them in the nightclub much easier. One thing to note, hiring a women as a wing usually requires bottle services so if your price conscious don’t forget to factor in this variable.

I hope you enjoyed this brief overview to assist you in picking up a women in Las Vegas. Speaking from experience Las Vegas is a high powered energy town these ladies are not looking for a long-term relationship rather someone they can enjoy a night of romance with as they continuously witness in the movies they watch everyday. Picking up women in las Vegas is not so much an art but rather an attitude. ‘Act As If’ no-one knows who you are so have fun with being your own made up person for a few days!

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A Guide to Buying and Using Travel Insurance

Is Travel Insurance Really Necessary?

Travel is already expensive enough, isn’t it? The cost of air fare, cruises, hotels, ground transportation, food and activities and entertainment are already high enough. I don’t know about you, but I work hard for my money, and when I travel, I want to keep as much of my money in MY pocket as possible. Is travel insurance a necessity or a luxury? Why not cut a few corners here and there. Why buy something if it’s not really needed?

My personal answer is, of course, that I am not independently wealthy and can’t withstand the potential financial losses I would incur if I require medical care while I’m traveling. Not being independently wealthy also means that I’m in the market for adequate but cheap travel insurance. I suspect that you are in the same position, so you, too need cheap travel insurance. If you’re still not sure about that, consider the following.

Did you know that if you get sick or are injured while traveling abroad, your medical plan may not cover all the expenses you will incur? If the costs of treatment are higher than the maximums of your medical plan, you will be responsible for the difference, unless you have already purchased travel insurance. In fact, you may not even be admitted into hospitals in some countries without proof that you have health or medical insurance.

This is true for everyone, regardless of age or length of time abroad. Suppose you fall ill just a few hours after arriving at your destination. Or suppose you make a day-trip to another country, and you are injured in a traffic accident. Or suppose one of your children is part of a group making a class visit abroad, gets food poisoning and requires hospitalization. In all cases, without adequate travel health insurance, you will be responsible for the costs above and beyond the limitations of your existing medical plan.

Therefore, before going abroad, you need to make sure that you are adequately covered by travel medical insurance that won’t break your budget. You should check to see if appropriate coverage is already available to you through your medical plan, employee benefits, or even through a credit card. If the coverage is sufficient for your needs, then you can enjoy your trip without incurring the extra expense of travel insurance. However, if you are not sure of your coverage, or if your coverage is inadequate or non-existent, then your next step should be to research and purchase the travel insurance coverage you need.

How Much Can You Expect To Pay?

When I bought my first plane ticket to China a few years ago it cost around $2000 round-trip, and my travel insurance cost me over $500 because I didn’t shop around for cheap travel insurance online.

A few years later, a little bit older and wiser, and my travel insurance for another trip to China cost me much less–about $300 for roughly the same coverage. The difference? Before buying my travel insurance for the second trip, I shopped around online and got the coverage I needed, at the right price. If I’d have purchased my travel insurance for this latest trip from my travel agent, it would’ve cost me about $600 for the trip, and my plane tickets only cost $1,500! Not exactly the smart way to go.

So how much will it cost you? Not as much money as it will cost you if you get sick or injured abroad and you don’t have any travel insurance coverage! That’s the obvious answer to the question.

In fact, how much travel insurance costs will depend on your age and the type of coverage you choose. Basic policies cost as little as $5.50 USD per $1000 of coverage. On the other hand, you can expect a full coverage policy to cost you from 7 to 10% of the cost of your trip, depending on your age. The older you are, the more you will pay. No matter what the cost of the policy, however, it’s sure to be much less than the cost of medical evacuation!

The good news is that you can easily, conveniently and quickly research and locate excellent but cheap online travel insurance and reduce the costs while making an informed purchase. This is much better than taking what you are offered at the travel agency because you can choose from hundreds of travel insurance companies and polices and save yourself a lot of money in the process. One place you can start your search is at Travel Insurance Central, [http://www.travel-insurance-central.com]

What You Should Consider When Buying Travel Insurance

To assist you in your research, here are some suggestions to help you make an informed purchase.

1. Consider the worst-case scenario. If you can financially withstand the worst-case scenario then maybe you don’t need travel insurance or maybe you don’t need a comprehensive policy.

2. Make sure the policy you are considering provides adequate medical/dental coverage, including medical evacuation coverage just in case you need medical care in a place where the best treatment available is below the standards you are accustomed to in your country. This can happen if you fall ill in a developing country or even on a cruise ship.

3. Check your existing insurance policies for possible coverage. There is no sense in paying more for what you already have in your homeowner or tenant policy, such as theft and loss coverage.

4. If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider annual or year-round travel insurance policies. Sometimes they are called multi-trip travel insurance policies. Whatever the name, these policies can be relatively cheap when compared to single-trip travel insurance policies.

5. Know what you are buying, so read the fine print. Make sure that you understand what the company considers to be a legitimate reason for cancellation or interruption. If the list is too restrictive, maybe you should consider another policy.

6. Don’t restrict yourself to buying only from your travel agent. He/She will probably only have one company’s product(s) available, and it’s there for your convenience, but that convenience can be quite costly!

7. Ask lots of questions about the coverage. Play the “what if” game. Ask for clear explanations of terminology. Make sure that you and the travel insurance company are speaking the same language.

8. Don’t buy the insurance through your transportation provider. If the airline goes bankrupt, how adequate will your insurance coverage be?

Once You’ve Bought Your Travel Insurance

Remember that your travel insurance policy covers you between certain specific dates, so don’t start your trip early or extend your trip without first changing the dates of coverage on your travel insurance policy. Of course, this might cost you extra, but that’s cheaper than finding yourself without coverage when you need it the most.

Also, it almost goes without saying that you should bring your travel insurance policy with you when you go abroad. You can’t consult the policy if it’s sitting on your desk at home. You should also carry your travel insurance company’s toll-free assistance phone number and other contact information with you wherever you go. It does you no good if you get ill or hurt and the necessary policy information is sitting in your hotel room. It’s also a good idea to bring your regular medical coverage cards and info with you.

I hope these tips will help you by the best travel insurance for you. Then take your trip with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are insured by the right travel insurance policy at the right price. Bon voyage!

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Scuba Diving Safety

There are four pieces of scuba diving gear that I think are essential for your scuba diving safety. I make a point of having them with me on every single Asia dive trip and liveaboard dive adventure that I do. My experience in the water has shown me the importance of these potentially life saving diver tools, for you and you dive buddies.

Safety Sausage, this surface marker is the cheapest piece of dive equipment you can buy besides a whistle, which is also a good thing to have, but today they are almost always standard equipment on many “BCD’S”. The safety sausage can be seen even in choppy seas from a long way off with the unaided eye. Today there are brands that also include a strip of night reflectors that will light up very brightly when it is hit with any kind of light.

A dive light, preferably a LED light as the burn times is so long. At night if you are drifting, you can catch the attention of passing boats, helicopters or airplanes. Certainly if a search is being made for you at night, you really increase the odds of being seen. I keep one in my pocket all the time as I like to look in holes for small critters on dives, so I get a lot of use out of my pocket light, always knowing in the back of my mind that I have it should I drift off and go missing into the night.

Knife I can remember one time in Cambodia I was diving with a group, and I was looking at something and got separated, as I was heading to the pick up spot, I very nearly swam into a large, nearly invisible, Phantom net! It would be very easy to have gotten entangled and with out a knife I would have had a very hard time to get out of it.

I have a friend that works with nets fishing Hawaii shore lines, and when he does this at night, he swims naked to decrease the chance of having anything hang up on the net and drowning him, which does happen to this type of fisherman.

Dive computer, today they are very inexpensive and they last for years. Why rely on the old analog gauges with tables and charts, when you can have this very essential piece of dive gear for, roughly calculated for most divers, less than a dollar a dive. The bends is something that you don’t want to mess around with, having a dive computer lets you know right there on your wrist or dive console, exactly where you are at as far as you nitrogen loading and dive time, which will also will tell you how much of a decompression stop you should make if you accidentally exceed the safe limits on your planned dive profile.

Let’s review

Dive with a safety sausage, inexpensive and very easy to see on the open ocean, if you can get with light reflector, even better.

Dive light to use as a signal at night to attract attention from boats, helicopters and search planes.

Dive Knife used to cut fishing line and fishing nets that you might accidentally run into.

A Dive Computer keeps you from accidentally getting decompression illness (DCI)

Remember to plan your dive, and dive your plan, and be prepared with the right dive equipment.

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3 Simple Ways Of Choosing The Best Homestay In Madikeri

Madikeri may not be as popular as some other locations in India, but this evergreen scenic town is still a favorite for me. It has beautiful lush green woods that create a pleasant atmosphere and the cool breezes here keep the temperatures at enjoyable levels. This town situated at the heart of the Western Ghats is slowly becoming a popular honeymoon destination. The Homestays here are simply great for couples but there are so many to cater to group travel as well. The Homestays are warm and welcoming, creating the amazing getaways for any traveler.

Just like travelling elsewhere, Homestays are my number one choice of accommodation because of how convenient and comfortable they are. Madikeri Homestays are not any different and I always find a property that has everything I need for the holidays and one that is bound to make my stay not just enjoyable but also memorable. During the selection process, I have different methods of finding what I want. I basically use different aspects to narrow down my search for the best property meeting my holiday preferences.

The localities. Madikeri definitely has a number of beautiful localities for the holidays. I love getting a facility that is near attractions that I love. Some of the options I have when I travel here as far as localities go include Indira Nagar, Cauvery Layout, Abby Falls Road, Gowli Street and Dechoor. These are the most popular localities in Madikeri and there are a number of Homestays to choose from inside each one of them.

The holiday theme. When I travel I want my holidays to be different from the previous ones. Luckily, the Homestays are designed in such a way that they cater to different traveler’s wishes as far as the themes go. For instance, if I am looking for the adventurous kind of stay, there are lots of properties set in such environments to meet my individual needs. Other options far as themes go are business hotels which have all essential amenities for business related travel, beach hotels for the lovers of sun and sand and family friendly homes where I can pop in with family and hold memorable get-togethers in. If I do not have much to spend for accommodation, there is always the option of selecting homes offering best value.

Property type. Just like in most areas, the accommodation properties in Madikeri are star rated. This is another simple way for me to find something suitable for the kind of holiday experience I am seeking. There are 1 star hotels, 2 star hotels, apartments, villas and even guesthouses. My final choice really depends on my preferences for that specific holiday especially as far as privacy goes. Villas and holiday homes tend to make some of the most intimate facilities whereas hotels make affordable options, even if you have to keep up with the huge number of guests choosing them for their holidays. Because Madikeri has lots of property options, I get to experiment different settings each time I travel.

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Why People Visit Shirdi and Popular Shirdi Hotels

Shirdi- a nondescript small town in Maharashtra is the hometown of the legendary 19th century fakir Sai Baba, and is a very popular pilgrimage. Read on to find out more about the town and also some good hotels in Shirdi.

Shirdi is arguably the most famous pilgrimage in Maharashtra. This bustling pilgrimage center is the home town and Samadhi of the nineteenth century saint Sri Sai Baba. Sai Baba’s beautiful temple in the center of the town attracts devotees from all parts of the country and even from abroad and is the primary Shirdi tourist attractions. One of the few saints in India who is above the petty Hindu-Muslim divide, Baba’s temple is a must visit and one must spend a day here to experience its uplifting environment. The temple is beautifully decorated and is filled with the life and teachings of Sai Baba in the form of pictures. But you should expect long queues while taking Baba’s Darshan and the line could be quite long on special occasions like Ram Navami, Diwali, etc. The Dwarkamayi Mosque is situated near the temple and here Baba used to stay and had renamed the mosque to a Hindu sounding name. You will find Baba’s Dhuni, or eternal flame in a corridor that is said to been burning for years and is a living example of His miracles. The famous Shani-Shinganapur temple is situated around 70kms from Shirdi and is unique for the fact that the temple including all the houses in the village has no doors. This is due to a belief that the presiding deity protects the homes and thieves attempting to steal would be struck blind.

Some other nearby Shirdi tourist attractions includes Ellora Caves, Khandala and Lonavala, Kanyakumari Ashram, etc.

Some of the best Shirdi hotels include:

Hotel Sai Leela is among the finest hotels in Shirdi that are situated just a few minutes away from the main Temple. It enjoys a customer recommendation of nearly 86% which implies it is the preferred destination for 9 out of 10 travelers. The hotel has also garnered positive reviews for its location and superior standard of service. It provides fully air conditioned rooms that are equipped with all major facilities. Hotel facilities include a multi cuisine restaurant, swimming pool, indoor gaming facilities and a cricketing ground. The room rates start from Rs.1850.

Hotel Sharan is another fine deluxe hotel near the main temple in Shirdi. With a customer recommendation of nearly 87% which means 9 out of 10 would like to have a second visit, the hotel is among the popular ones. The hotel enjoys wide popularity for its services and its service that has left many customers satisfied. The hotel offers beautifully furnished rooms equipped with all major facilities including attached bath, hot/cold water and cable TV. The hotel also provides a pure vegetarian restaurant, a coffee shop and travel desk. The room rates start from Rs.1900.

Hotel Sai Sahavas is a fine 3 star hotel that gives easy access to the main temple. The hotel enjoys a 78% customer recommendation which means 8 out of 10 would love a second visit. The hotel is known for its service and food quality. The hotel provides well furnished rooms equipped with all major amenities. The room rates start from Rs. 1957.

Shirdi is well connected by roads and railways. It is located on the Manmad highway and the nearest railway station is in Manmad. The nearest airport is in Nashik.

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Las Vegas Vacation – Tips, Tricks and Cautions

These “cautions”, “tips”, and “tricks” are offered to help make your Las Vegas Vacation as enjoyable, fast and easy to plan as possible. Whether this is your first trip to “Fabulous Las Vegas” or you are a veteran, you’ll find some useful tips and tricks here.

Las Vegas Travel Tips: First and foremost, the biggest mistake many travelers to Las Vegas make in planning a trip is to book the cheapest air fare/hotel package “available anywhere”. These are offered everywhere from your hometown newspaper to television ads to especially, e-mail spam. Beware!

Why? A Cheap Las Vegas Vacation is good, we agree! BUT, did you know virtually all Las Vegas Hotels have 2- 3 levels of room quality (or options)? Now, we mean even many of the five star, “big ones” many of these are just plain substandard rooms, maybe with a nice view of the air conditioning system! (This actually happened to me personally, and was it Loud!)

Things like older bed mattresses, no safes, old decorating, long walks to the casino, restraunts, shows, or even a taxi. Did you know there are monorail trains running right behind some of the rooms? How about a roller coaster right outside your window? And lots more. Just remember “cheapest” is just that. Ask at the front desk at check-in exactly where your room is, look at it before signing in if possible.

We aren’t pushing for only high dollar rooms here, just get the best quality room your budget will allow, you will be very glad you did.

Why book your Hotel first? Las Vegas is booked up an average of 94% year round, so plan ahead (at least 30+ days is recommended) to get the exact days you want, where you want, room quality you want. Plus, usually it’s less expensive to book well in advance. Did you know that Sunday through Thursday is less expensive? When you get your selected Las Vegas Hotel booked, then you can book a flight to fit the days in and out to fit YOUR schedule.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Once you get your Las Vegas Hotel booked first. Then you can book the Las Vegas Shows that you want, when you want. Be sure to check to see if your particular show choice isn’t “dark” on your selected days. Holidays are a good example of dark days.

Then book your Las Vegas Tour. (If you have never experienced the thrill of a Helicopter Ride at night over “Glitter Gulch and Downtown”, or a daytime trip over the Boulder Dam and Grand Canyon this is something you will never forget!) It isn’t as expensive as you might think! Check our tours links for prices and times.

This is the entertainment capital of the World, so allow yourself enough time to take in as many attractions (dozens are free) as possible, it will make your Las Vegas Vacation much more memorable. If possible, book an extra night stay just to allow for a special Las Vegas Tour or a day of Las Vegas Golf.

Las Vegas Gambling Tips:

Gambling is the lifeblood of Las Vegas. You didn’t really think those billion dollar hotels were built by “winners” did you? Set a daily budget for gambling and stick to it! You do have a good chance at winning. Hundreds if not thousands of “Hand Pay Jackpots” are paid every day. Be careful though, those chips, tokens and ticket-in/ticket-out seem too much like “play money” they are not they are your real money! Stick to your budget! Did I say that already?

Get a “players card” everywhere you go and use it, or if you are a “table player” ask the pit boss to “rank” or “rate” you. They will track your play and comp you accordingly with all kinds of free stuff. Such as meals, rooms, clothing, limos, gift shop points and even cash. These really help put the odds in your favor.

Seems like my “budget” is always too small, but try your best to set a reasonable daily goal and stick to it, don’t tap into tomorrows budget! Just maybe you’ll walk away a big winner! It happens every day. Remember the phrase: “Walk away when ahead”!

It’s not my place to preach, but here are some very useful Las Vegas tips on handling your money. All that cash in the casinos you see everywhere attracts some pretty shady characters (read Crooks!) Security is excellent, but there are always a few, and it just takes one to ruin a perfect vacation.

Las Vegas Security:

Ladies, bring or buy a small purse with a neck strap or waste pouch, or fanny pack, something that is comfortable enough to keep on your person all the time. Never ever set your purse on the floor or next to a machine, or on a stool next to you. This is a magnet for thieves! Keep that strap around your neck.

Most thieves work in pairs, one to distract you, the other to snag your purse. Just a couple types of distractions they use are: one will drop a coin or dollar bill or two near you on the floor and ask you “is that your cash on the floor?” while the other grabs your stuff, or overly talkative “players” will sit down next to you and jabber to get your attention, while their partner grabs your stuff, or hits the payout button and walks away with your ticket. Believe me. This does happen. They are very slick and fast, so just be aware.

When you do accumulate a couple winning tickets, hide them in your wallet or purse until you are ready to cash them in, and then stash the cash. Remember the “walk away” tip?

Men: It isn’t degrading to wear a waste pouch. Okay, if you just don’t want to, then fold your bills and keep them in your front pants pocket. If they “pickpocket” your wallet with all your credit cards in it at least you’ll have your cash, or vice versa, just keep them separated. And, watch those tickets.

If you do hit a good size jackpot, take the money to the safe in your room or take it to the Hotel desk for safekeeping. Or, ask for a Security escort to your room or car. They are happy to provide this service. Don’t walk around the casino or streets with a big wad of cash!

The Security at all Hotels and Casinos is excellent. With all those thousands of cameras (Eyes in the sky) every inch of the casino is being taped continuously. (Did you know that Nevada law requires casinos to have this level of security?) It is for your protection as well as the Hotel/Casino.

Now please understand, we are not trying to scare you away here, but rather just make you aware! It is real easy to get caught up in all the flashing lights, noise, overhead shows, people watching and normal distractions of a casino. Just don’t give them an opportunity to ruin your fun.

Follow these Las Vegas Travel Tips and they will make your Las Vegas Vacation a lifetime memory.

This article may be reprinted in its entirety for use, but must include this link to

http://www.lasvegas-discount.com

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A Weekend in Madrid

The cosmopolitan capital city of Spain is not just a business centre and home to the Spanish Government and Royal Family, it also makes an exciting location for a city break. Getting There Madrid’s Barajas Airport is about 8 miles from the city, and has great connections to the city centre. The metro is the best option, and takes less than half an hour-head to Nuevos Ministerios from where you can connect to the nearest metro station to your hotel. There is also an airport bus to the city centre, dropping you off at Plaza de Colón in the city centre, or if you want to be dropped to your door, you can take the AeroCITY minibus or get a taxi. These are the slower options however as traffic is notoriously heavy. Travelzoo is a good place to find cheap flights and holiday deals to Madrid.

Where to Stay To get the most out of a short stay in Madrid, book yourself into one of the many centrally located hostels or hotels (although Madrid is fairly compact and easily navigated by metro, so you won’t be too far from the action wherever you stay). If you do want to stay central and you are on a budget there are plenty of hostels to choose from including Hostal Acapulco, which is one of the best, or Hostal América, which has a roof terrace where you can look out across the city. For a little extra you could try Ateneo Hotel, which is quieter and rooms have private balconies, or for that more luxurious stay there is the five star Hesperia Hotel. What Not to Miss A weekend in Madrid wouldn’t be complete without a visit to at least one of the many art galleries it has to offer.

Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, in the Atocha district, is the place to see some great Spanish contemporary art and pulls in the crowds with work by the likes of Picasso and Dalí, and it houses sculptures and modern media artwork such as photography and film as well as paintings. For lovers of more traditional works, the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) has opened its doors and has a good display of paintings by Rubens, Velázquez, Goya, El Greco and Caravaggio among others. There are also Tiépolo frescos to see in the palace.

Madrid of course is also famous for bullfighting, so for the not so fainthearted (and if you condone it) head to La Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. Or, for a slightly less bloodthirsty sport, head to see one of the world’s greatest football teams in action and catch a Real Madrid home game if you can. If your trip doesn’t coincide with the football season you can still take a tour around the Bernabéu stadium and visit the trophy room, and have a stroll on the pitch. You can fly directly to Spain with Fly Monarch, who offers cheap flights to Spain, as well as flying to other Spanish destinations like Barcelona; the country’s capital may make a useful starting point for a Spanish trip.

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Laikipia Accommodation – Eco-Lodges and Tented Camps in Private, Community and Group Ranches

You have been to Kenya But I say NO! You have not been to Kenya. Kenya is and has always been about Dynamism, Adventure and discovery And to a bigger extent Missing in Action. If Kenya to you is Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, the Tsavo and the beaches of Malindi and Mombasa then you are a little off the mark. Visiting these places is great MEANING there are greater places in Kenya. Yes! Greater in the sense timelessness, privacy, discovery and adventure. Before I go very far let me whisper a secret to you. Laikipia is the only place in the world that can challenge Maasai Mara in terms game watching, some endemic.

What is the attraction in Laikipia? What is it that World celebrities like Prince William find attractive in Laikipia? Of late Prince William has decided to make Lewa Conservancy his annual retreat. At Segera Ranch Usain Bolt had his day when the bull elephant came close their truck. What is it in these desolate arid lands?

The wilds of Laikipia and Chyulu hills are dreamlands of timeless beauty, with open spaces, characterized by fresh air, and starlit nights. Laikipia is Africa’s foremost of successful wildlife conservation site with numerous private and community ranches all engaged in wildlife conservation and Eco-tourism. Adventure abounds in plenty that your once in a lifetime adventure will last a lifetime. The luxury exhibited in the ranches, lodges and private houses of Laikipia is beyond the imagination of an ordinary traveler. Originally, Laikipia was the home of the Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, and Il Dorobo. During the colonial times, a handful of white settlers parceled out large pieces of land for themselves with the sole purpose of raising beef cattle. However due to falling market prices, they diversified into wildlife conservation which has so far proved lucrative beyond their original imagination. The only threat to the newly found golden goose was the local communities. Predators (lions and leopard) would stray into the grazing grounds of the local communities and kill livestock, who (locals) would retaliate by killing and even poisoning the animals. This state of affairs could not continue forever and the white ranchers decided to involve the local communities in their conservation efforts. The white ranchers helped the locals to establish their own community ranches complete with Eco-lodges to accommodate their guests. The success of some of the projects like Il Ngwesi has been overwhelming and serves as a model in other parts of the world. But that is a story for another day. Today we want to look at accommodation options in this vast region.

Laikipia plateau has a varied landscape of stunning beauty. The high plains and low valleys are homes to some of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, featuring some of the finest and luxurious accommodation facilities in the country. The cattle ranches have free roaming wildlife including elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, gerenuks, rhinos and zebras. Famous sanctuaries include the Ol Pejeta for Chimpanzees and Lewa the breeding ground of black rhinoceros.

The private and community ranches of Laikipia include, Mugie, Lewa, Ol Pejeta, Borana, Sweet Waters, El Karama, Tarsia, Il Ngwesi, Segera, Ol malo, Lekurruki, Ol Ari Ngiro, Loisaba. Accommodation in these ranches is provided by private houses or eco-lodges. See R&N Xplorer Africa Safaris Travel Map for details on the location of the ranches and their accommodation facilities.

Lewa House/ Lewa Safari Camp and Wilderness Trails:

Perhaps one of the best places to stay in Laikipia is Lewa House. Lewa House, Wilderness Trails and Lewa Safari Camp are located in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Lewa house and Lewa Safari Camp are ideal for those who wants all their spending channeled towards local community projects and conservation. Unlike the other ranches, Lewa dedicates most of its earning to healthcare and educations for locals (30%), Community projects (40%) and the reminder on conservation and security. Lewa covers an area of 18,000 Hac. It is located to the south of Isiolo immediately after Isiolo Nanyuki junction. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has been instrumental in developing community lodges of Il Ngwesi and Tassia. Lewa is the home of 8% of Kenya’s black rhino population. Other animals in the conservancy are lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants and white rhinos. It accounts for 20% of the Grevy’s Zebra population in Kenya.

In all the three accommodation facilities on offer are day and night game drives, visits to local Maasai manyatta (Bomas), bush walks, bush breakfasts, camel rides,

Wilderness Trails (USD 370 per person sharing on full board basis) features 8 cottages and salt water swimming pool. Rooms have a fire place, en-suite bedrooms, four poster beds and a fire place

Lewa Safari Camp (USD 480 pp sharing full board) has 12 tents and a swimming pool. In the main building are bar, dining and a fire place overlooking the floodlit water where animals come to quench their thirst. The rates includes activities-game drives, house wines, local air transfers to lewa, guided walks.

Lewa house (USD 460 pp sharing on full-board), can take a maximum of 12 persons.

A major plus of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is the Lewa Safaricom Marathon. This is held every end of Jun to raise funds for conservancy where participants run in close proximity of wildlife.

Il Ngwesi Lodge & Il Ngwesi Group / Community Ranch Il Ngwesi Group ranch (14, 500 Hac), is located at northwest edge of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and is owned by Il Ngwesi community of the Mukogodo division of Laikipia district. The local community often referred to as the Laikipiak (Mukogodo) Maasai were hunter gatherer Ndorobo (Il dorobo) called the Yiaku untill the 1920’s when they slowly changed their traditional custom as hunters and bee keepers and got assimilated to the “superior”, cattle keeping tradition of the local Samburu. They also changed their language from cushitic to maa speakers. The “inferior” culture, coupled with intermarriages hasted the assimilation process. Their ladies would even prefer the rich men from the Maasai and the farming communities.

The Il Ngwesi Community Lodge (USD 400 pp sharing full board) comprises of 6 bandas all with adjoining open showers. It location on the banks of Ngare Ndare River on the edges of Mukogodo Hills commands panoramic views of Northern Kenya. IL Ngwesi is constructed local materials. Some of the bandas allow you to roll out your mattress on a platform and spend the night under the stars. An attraction in the lodge is a swimming pool, which appears to overflow into the wilderness below. All heating and lighting is provided by solar power. Il Ngwesi Lodge is reached using a 4WD from Borana Ranch or a short flight from Nanyuki. Il Ngwesi counts Prince William among its celebrity guest list.

Activities in Il Gwesi include, exploring the magnificent conservation area that adjoins Lewa, Borana and the Mukogodo Forest Reserve, visits to the cultural boma, excursions along the Ngare Ndare River with local guides, offers a special opportunity to get close to the wildlife, followed by a picnic breakfast, Game drive, followed by sun-downers on one the many different vantage points along the Mukogodo Hills and visits to troops of baboons and monkeys. A popular attraction is OMNI, the habituated orphan black rhino, trans-located from Lewa.

Lekurruki Community Ranch & Tassia Eco Lodge Lekurruki Community Group Ranch (60,000 Hac) is located to the north of Il Ngwesi Community Group Ranch in the vicinity of Lewa and Borana ranches. Tassia Community Eco-Lodge (USD 400 PP sharing) is cut into a steep cliff face commanding panoramic views of the northern plains and the sacred Il lolokwe hill. It has a bunkhouse for children.

The Tassia Eco-lodge is run by Laikipiak (Mukogodo) Maasai. The 6 individual rooms offer en-suite facilities and privacy. The rate include activities- visits to local Manyattas, day and night game drives, bush walks and picnics, camel rides and treks. The lodge has a natural rock swimming pool and natural water hole where animals come to quench their thirst.

Borana Ranch and Lodge Borana Ranch occupies 14,000 Hac. Besides keeping the local borana breed of beef cattle it is involved in conservation of wild animals. On offer at the ranch are horse riding, day and night game drive, guided tours, sun-downers, fishing in Mt Kenya. The Ranch also owns Rutundu lake log cabins on Mt Kenya.

Borana Lodge (USD 640 pp sharing on full board) offers 6 individual cottages with en-suite bathrooms, large bedrooms, sitting area with a fire place and open verandas with great views of the plains below. The main building offers spectacular views of the northern plains. The lodge has a swimming pool.

Laragai lodge located in Borana Ranch has 8 en suite rooms and a swimming pool. The main activities-guided walks, day and night game drives, horse riding, bush meals, excursions to lewa conservancy and Samburu national reserve, fly fishing.

The Rutundu Log Cabins caters for a maximum of 8 persons. The rate for exclusive use of the whole place is USD 460.00 per day self catering. Fishing fee is USD 15.00 per person per day.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweet Waters Tented Camp and Ol Pejeta House.

Ol Pejeta conservancy inclusive of Sweet Waters Game Sanctuary occupies an area of 90,000 Hac. The conservancy is located between Mt Kenya and Aberdare national parks. Originally owned by Lord Delamere, Ol Pejeta has changed ownership several times. From Lord Delamere, It went to Roussel (Father in law of Christina Onasis) and later to Adnan Khasoggi. Today it is run by Serena Hotels. It has all the big five-rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard and lion. Also found here are chimpanzees, Grevy’s Zebra, Jackson’s Hartebeests anc cheetahs. Besides chimpanzee tracking and game watching, Ol Pejeta offer tree planting, bird walks, camel rides, cultural tours to Maasai Manyattas, safari sun-downers, lion tracking,

Sweet Waters Tented Camp (USD 150 PP sharing on full board) comprise comfortably furnished en-suite tents overlooking the waterhole. The camp also has a swimming pool.

Ol Pejeta Ranch House(Rate available on requets) has a total of six suites and a swimming pool. Originally the home of famed multi-millionaire, Adnan Khashoggi, Ol Pejeta House is a beautiful private house set within the pristine calm of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. If one of your ambitions is to retreat back to history, to the bygone traditions of Kenya’s farmhouse hospitality, then the Ol Pejeta House is the place to stay. Accommodation -2 superior guest rooms with queen size beds, ensuite bathroom, dressing room and large balcony with excellent view of game teeming plains; 2 standard guest rooms with double bed, en suite with bathroom and terrace, Buffalo Cottage with2 Deluxe Rooms and a Fireplace

Mugie Ranch and Mutamaiyu House:

Mutamaiyu House is located in 49,000 Hac Mugie Ranch. A visitor described it as “Heaven on a Hill”. Mugie ranch lies at 6000 ft above sea level. Though warm, nights can be chilly. Mugie Ranch is home to all the big five. You can fly into Mugie from Nairobi Wilson or drive from Nanyuki. The dressing code is informal. Wear a sun cream to protect from sunburn, carry long sleeves and trousers for evenings, swimwear and sunglasses. Activities included in the rate are, guided bushwalks, day and night game drives, swimming, bush breakfasts, picnic lunches, sundowners Extra activities: clay pigeon, painting and sketching, camel and donkey treks, visits to the Pokot cultural boma Laundry: Washing and ironing is taken care of daily Beverages: Mutamaiyu has a well stocked bar with wines, beers, spirits and soft-drinks, all included except Champagne

Mukutan Retreat in Ol Ari Ngiro Ranch:

Mukutan Retreat (USD Rate available on request)is located in the 40.500 hac Ol Ari Ngiro Ranch and has a swimming pool. It is an exclusive hideaway in simple yet extremely sophisticated comfort, built using local stone, native woods and papyrus thatch. Each cottage is original in layout and décor. Perched at the edge of the gorge the three cottages offer double beds with spacious bathroom, a fireplace and private verandahs. A central lounge and dining area has the atmosphere of a private home, furnished with authentic Lamu and Swahili furniture. Organic food is served in the Retreat – Italian, Indian and Chinese with exotic touches. The shop sells a variety of locally made artifacts and Wild Sage essential oil products. Activities include bird watching, camel and horse riding, swimming in natural pools, fishing, and health spa and visits to Gallman Memorial foundation projects.

Makena’s Hill Tented Camp (USD rate available on request ) located in Ol Ari Ngiro is a permanent camp comprising of 8 comfortably furnished tents and a swimming pool. Each tent is carpeted and has a 4 poster bed with en-suite bathroom plus flush toilet. On offer are sundowners, meditation and yoga, bird watching, camel safaris, fishing, cultural visits to local Pokot villages, helicopter tours and visits to Gallman memorial foundation projects.

El Karama Ranch Bandas, comprise of nine basic self catering bandas situated on the banks of Ewaso Ngiro River. Swimming is possible in the river. They have long drop toilets and watchman 24 hours. Available are hurricane lamps, basic beds, mattresses, tables, chairs, beddings and utensils. Activities include-nature walks, fishing for barbels and catfish (bring own tackle), game drives, horse riding, camel rides. Basic accommodation is also available at Mpala Research Centre, a Kenya/US collaboration on sustainable development of Savannah and semi arid ecosystems in East Africa

Sosian Ranch House/ Sosian lodge is a beautifully restored African ranch house with a swimming pool, tennis court and wide expanses of wilderness to explore, comprising of seven cottages overlooking Mt Kenya and miles of un spoilt African Wilderness. Sosian is well known for its delicious home cooking using fresh ingredients from the organic vegetable garden and for its warm and friendly hospitality. Sosian Ranch covers 24,000 Hac. Activities include walking, horse-riding, camel safaris, game-drives, night-drives, fishing, bird-shooting, archery, tennis and swimming in the waterfalls behind the ranch house.

Ol Malo Ranch and Cottages comprise of 4 individual cottages with a swimming pool. Ol Malo, a place of Greater Kudu in local parlance is a 2000 Hac ranch 2 hours drive from Maralal. Ol Malo is located top of escarpment with spectacular views of Laikipia plains all the way to Mt Kenya. Each cottage is private with a veranda, spacious bedroom, lounge, en-suite bathrooms. Activities-bush walks, camel rides, birding, day/night game drives, bush picnics and sundowners, cultural visits to the bomas, excursions to Kirisia hills.

Sabuk Lodge comprise of five cottages located on a gorge 50 metres above a Ewaso Ngiro falls. Activities include bush walls, camel walks, birding, day and night game drives, sundowners, bush picnics, cultural visits. In Sabuk ranch you are likely to see greater kudu, klipspringer, reticulated giraffe, lion, eland and leopard.

Loisaba Wilderness Lodge is the former home of Count Ancelotto. The lodge has 7 cottages and a swimming pool. It is situated on 25,000hac Colcheccio ranch. Activities: day/night game drives, sundowners, bush walks, picnics, camel riding, horse riding, spa and health treatment, bush lunches, river rafting and fishing in season, helicopter excursions and night in a star-bed

Koija Star beds. Do you want to sleep under the stars? The exclusive star beds are half thatched platforms where your bed can be wheeled and you sleep under the stars. The 4 poster beds are on 4 wheels complete with mosquito netting. The platforms have showers and flush toilets. The star beds are managed by Koija community adjacent to Loisaba Ranch

Kitich Tented Camp, MathewsRange (USD 370 PP sharing)

Kitich means “the place of happiness”. At Kitch the local Samburu and Soyei people met for celebrations marked by dances, singing, drinking and feasting. Kitich Tented Camp is located in Mathews mountain range, overlooking Ngeng River. Kitich evokes the bygone era of the traditional African safaris of tents, hurricane lamps and attentive service. The camp can accommodate a total of eight guests in four luxurious tents. Each tent has a large comfortable bed, en-suite bathroom with safari-style hot water showers. The separate open-plan cottage houses a bar, dining and sitting room with a fireplace.

Activities include; walking and hiking in the wilderness, elephant trekking, bird and butterfly watching, bush picnics, swimming, visit to local Samburu village their market.

Closed Season: April, May, June and November to mid December.

Access: By private charter to Ngelai airstrip (10 kms from Kitich).

This dreamland of timeless beauty, Laikipia is a melting pot of humanity. With all the big five and luxurious accommodation in pristine settings, Laikipia is the next frontier of adventurous travelers.

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Enjoy Las Vegas on Next to Nothing – Eat and Drink For Less

Las Vegas is famous for its food specials. There was a time you could get a complete steak dinner for $2. Those days may be gone, but overall, the cost of dining in Las Vegas is still better than in many parts of the country. How long has it been since you’ve really had a blast? Is Las Vegas on your list of fun places to go? Learn what the locals know about having a good time on a budget. Their Staycation just may be your dream! Since there is a major difference between catching a bite to eat and fine dining, or finding a drink and clubbing, we will be looking at these subtitles: Breakfast Lunch and Snacks, All You Can Eat Buffets, Restaurant Dining, Where to Get Cheap Drinks, andNightclubs and Lounges With No Cover Charge.

Eat and Drink For Less

Free Comps are anything but free. The casino management will be glad to give you a meal, pay for your room, or get you some show tickets. All you have to do is win or lose a lot of money. They rate you by how long you gamble, and how much you gamble. You have to sign up for their slot club or their table games club, insert your Player’s Card into the machine or ask to be rated at the tables. Then after four hours you will likely qualify for some kind of Comp. After four hours of gambling, you will also have likely spent more than the Comps were worth!

Just the same, many of the specials require a Player’s Club Card. It’s not required that you use the card, only that you have one. And naturally, every casino has its own club. Fortunately, several of the clubs share an owner, and will honor cards from their affiliates. Club Cards are free, but for those of you who consider the Club Card thing just a little too much of a hassle, I will point out which specials require a card, and which ones don’t.

Locals also tend to frequent their neighborhood casinos rather than the touristy ones; and the neighborhood prices are lower across the board. But when you come to Las Vegas on vacation you’re not expected to spend an hour crossing town to find an obscure place to eat, so this list will focus on places within a mile of The Strip, and on Freemont Street (downtown.) If you were to do an exhaustive internet search you could find many of the same deals listed here, they do all advertise, but this will simplify matters for you. There is no way for me to cover all of the choices, as there are hundreds; and the establishments are not under my control, so they may change their specials; but this is where I’d go for specials on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy the variety and the prices.

Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks

Starting out the day, there are breakfast buffets in most casinos, some pricier than others. The Station Casinos tend to have better breakfast food at lower prices when compared to the big name casinos. Assuming you’d rather save the buffet for later in the day, here are a couple of alternatives that won’t wreck your wallet.

Early Breakfast is also known as the Graveyard Special, and there are quite a few choices for this one. As long as you’re done partying before 6 a.m. here are a few of the best places to catch a bite.

At The Burger Joint inside the Flamingo, between midnight and 6 a.m. they serve a Ribeye steak and eggs for $5.99, or a Burger and fries for $2.00. No matter what time you go, expect a 20 minute wait. They always cook the steak to a medium temperature without asking, and they throw in some hashbrowns and toast. If you go for the burger, the fries are fabulous if you like them steak cut and crispy. (In the center of The Strip by Flamingo Road.)

About a mile off The Strip to the west on Tropicana Avenue, the Orleans serves Steak and eggs with toast and hash browns for $3.99 at the Courtyard Café, between midnight and 6 a.m. Service is a little faster than at The Burger Joint above, and the steak is cheaper – but not a Ribeye. If you’re not in a steak mood, the Courtyard Café is one of the few remaining places to have a lot of graveyard breakfast choices for fabulous prices between $1.99 and $2.99. The Courtyard Café also has Asian and Pacific food on their menu at very reasonable prices.

SPOTLIGHT: Ellis Island Casino & Brewery

Don’t be put off by the outside appearance. This place is almost always busy because it draws both tourists and locals. Also plan to wait for a table, and service can be slow if you want to eat at traditional times. Fortunately, you can get a deal here at any time, 24 hours a day. And like the sign says, this is also a brewery, so you have the opportunity to try one of their several microbrews, or even their own root beer if you prefer. Next to the restaurant you’ll find the bar, which is a local’s favorite for karaoke. Ellis Island is located behind Bally’s on Koval Lane, by Flamingo Road.

For an early traditional breakfast (Two scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and bacon or sausage,) Ellis Island only charges $1.95 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for the special.

Later in the morning, or at night before crashing, you might consider New Yorksteak and eggs for $3.45 at Ellis Island. They serve breakfast between 11 p.m. and 11 a.m.

In the 24 Hour Restaurant, [yes, that is what they actually call it,] you can also get a 10-ounce Steak Dinner for $6.99. The steak comes with green beans, potato, bread, and a Beer. Overall the meal is very tasty and may be the best value meal in town. This special is not always in the menu, but if you ask for it, it is always available.

Inside Tip:Down town every casino has specials on the marquis. These specials are sometimes for specific time frames, and are not always up to date – but usually good deals – so verify the price when ordering!

Lunch timemay require a sandwich special. One of the best deals is the $1.25 Hotdog, at the Gold Coast. It is available between 10 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. at the Sports Book – look for a vender’s cart. Expect a Chicago Style Beef Hotdog with the works. You don’t have to place any bets to take advantage of the Hotdog Vender, and there are usually plenty of seats with monitors everywhere for viewing the races or the games while enjoying your dog. (On Flamingo road, about a mile west of The Strip.)

If you’d rather not leave The Strip, O’sheas Casino in the middle of The Strip between the Imperial Palace and the Flamingo serves a Hot dog with a Beer for $3.00, 24 hours a day. For more information on Q’sheas Casino, read further down under Where to Get Cheap Drinks.

Downtown for lunch with a big appetite, Uncle Joes’s Pizza has one of the better deals. $3 will get you two oversized slices of Pizza and a Soda. Uncle Joe’s is a small authentic NY style pizza house; so expect a traditional crunchy crust, good sauce, plenty of cheese, and laid back friendly but not too fast service. (On Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard.)

Another choice would be to pick up a Hot dog and a Coke for $2.95 in the Fremont Club at the Lanai Express. Lanai Express is known for its reasonably priced Chinese dishes served cafeteria style, so you don’t have to wait for your meal. American food like Hamburgers, Hotdogs, and Shrimp Cocktail will give you more choices than you’d usually find at a Chinese place; so there’s something for everybody, even those who don’t want the Hotdog deal. (The Fremont Club is in the center of the Fremont Street Experience.)

SPOTLIGHT: Mermaids Casino and Lounge

Famous for vintage slots rather than glitz, this place is a funhouse for those who are not looking for quiet, high-end class. The brassy waitresses cater to the drinkers, slot players, drinkers, socializers, drinkers, eaters and drinkers. If you end up spending much time here, the waitresses will even remember what you like to drink; you’ll notice a personal touch. The strings of welcome beads you discover around your neck tend to be financed by the nickel slots, and the treats here are unique. Mermaids is between the Golden Gate and the Golden Nugget on Freemont Street, downtown.

Snacksat Mermaids Casino and Lounge include the 99 cent Fried Twinky. They also have Fried Oreos and a Chocolate Covered Banana on a stick. If that’s too radical, you can also get a Nathan’s hot dog for 99 cents at the Snack Bar.

Snacks in Las Vegas have traditionally included a Shrimp Cocktail Special. I believe that tradition started at the Golden Gate downtown on Fremont Street over forty years ago. Sometime their menu changes faster than their Marquis, so remember to verify the price. Nowadays just about everyone has some form of Shrimp Cocktail Special priced between 99 cents and $2.99, so look around for it, both downtown, and in many of the smaller casinos on The Strip.

All You Can Eat Buffets

If anywhere is famous for their buffets, it’s Las Vegas! Almost every casino has one, so we’ll only focus on a few of my favorites that have personality. There was a day when buffets represented the best deal in town. They are still a great deal for what you get; but with the Las Vegas transition into a family destination, the cost of food has gone up across the board to reflect the lack of gambling by minors.

In general, the lower priced buffets will charge an extra $5 for all you can eat crab legs and shrimp on Seafood Night (usually Friday), whereas the higher priced buffets will serve seafood every night. Another thing to note is that buffets generally charge the same price for Sunday Brunch as for their regular evening Dinner. Most buffets also present an assortment of Asian food in addition to any other international cuisine.

Breakfast buffets will run from $4 to as much as $10 less than the regular Dinner price. And Lunch buffets will usually cost between $3 and $7 less than Dinner. The listed price for the following buffets will be the regular Dinner amount unless noted otherwise.

Garden CourtBuffet

Located at Main Street Station, this international buffet is likely the best choice in the downtown area. The selection of Asian dishes is respectable here. Garden Court Buffet only charges $10.99 on most nights, and a Buy1 Get 1 coupon is usually available online. Their Friday Seafood Buffet runs $5 more, on Thursday they have a Filet Mignon & Scampi Buffet for only $3 more, and a T-Bone Buffet on Tuesday for $3 more. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m. This has been one of my favorite places to eat downtown, for years. I also have to remember to save room for the deserts here. (Just one block north of the Fremont Street Experience on Main Street, and connected to the California Hotel by an over-the-street walkway.)

Le Village Buffet

I’m a sucker for French cuisine, and this buffet is probably my very favorite, anywhere in town. At Paris, Le Village Buffet only serves food from the different regions of France; it is not a world buffet. If the $24.99 price is too steep, you might consider going in for late lunch, which is served until 3:30 p.m. By arriving around 3 p.m. and casually enjoying a two hour meal with someone special, you will just be finishing around 5 p.m., and you will only have paid $17.99 a piece for a fabulous meal that would run north of $49 in any other city. Le Village Buffet serves the same selections for lunch as they do for dinner, except for the choices in shellfish, and they don’t close down between Lunch and Dinner. Be sure to find the made-to-order crapes for desert! The line at Le Village is always long, so plan for that too. (On The Strip across from the Bellagio, near Flamingo Road.)

French Market Buffet

If you are looking for more of a bargain, while still in The Strip area, the French Market Buffet is inside the Orleans. Don’t let the name fool you; for $13.99 you can enjoy this multi-national all you can eat treat between 4 and 9 p.m. Lunch is about half the price; but they clear the dining room between meals here, so you can’t stay through into dinner. They also offer Friday Seafood for $5 more, and Wednesday Steak for $2 more. This is another locals hang out, so the lines can get long; but they usually move pretty quickly, except on Senior Tuesdays when the lines seem to grow beyond expectation. (About a mile west of The Strip on Tropicana Avenue.)

Restaurant Dining

Most casinos also offer specials of some sort in their 24 hour cafés. Some specials are always available, and other specials are not on the menu, but are available by specific request! Here are a few of the many specials, starting with the Downtown area.

SPOTLIGHT: The California Hotel

The California Hotel seems like it could be renamed the Hawaiian Hotel, as they specialize in Pacific Island specialties. For example, this is one of the few places to find Spam on a menu. And their best lunch is in a place called Aloha Specialties. For cheap drinks The California offers Heineken and Corona for $2 in all of their casino bars, 24 hours a day. Located at Ogden and Main Street, it is one block north of Fremont St, and behind the Las Vegas Club. The California Hotel is also connected to Main Street Station by an over-the-street walkway.

Located inside the California, Aloha Specialties has an assortment of cash specials available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Chicken Super Bowl for $2.85 is served over rice with either gravy or teriyaki sauce. You can enjoy a Hamburger with macaroni salad for $2.85, a Chicken Tofu Saimin Noodles or a Loco Moco for $4.75. Loco Moco is a bowl of rice with fried egg and a hamburger patty drenched in gravy. Or a Large Saimin Noodles dish for $5. The Market Street Café offers a Prime Rib Special for $7.95. The Prime Rib is served between 4 and 11 p.m. and comes with soup or salad, potato, vegetable, and a desert! Reservations are recommended at Pasta Pirate which is more than just a pasta house. They are offering what is likely the classiest dinner deal in town! Steak and Lobster Tail with a choice of pasta, potato or rice, plus a saladand a glass of Wine for only $16.

Magnolia’s Veranda

Four Queens is part of the Fremont Street Experience. Inside Four Queens, Magnolia’s Veranda offers a Prime Rib Dinner between 4 p.m. and midnight for $9.95. The special comes with soup or salad, choice of potato, vegetable of the day, and a roll.

Player’s Card holders get a $2 discount on the special. Magnolia’s also runs a Buy 1 Get 1 offer on line as part of the Fremont Street Experience. This 24 hour café is upstairs and overlooks the casino, so if you’d rather more of a restaurant feel, ask to be seated in the back room. (Located between Fitzgerald’s and the Golden Nugget.)

In The Strip area, most of the deals are a few blocks away. This is their bribe to get you off The Strip.

Bougainvillea Café

Bougainvillea Café, at Terrible’s Casino & Hotel offers two specials that are not on the menu; you have to ask your server for them specifically. The Half-Chicken Dinner is $5.99 and the T-bone Steak Dinner is $9.99. You can also find many other selections priced between $4.99 and $6.99. Located upstairs in the Mezzanine level, this 24 hour café has Mexican, Chinese and American selections. The Chinese food is better than you get in most casino buffets, and there is nothing terrible about these values! And for an even better deal, look for their Buy 1 Get 1 offers. Bougainvillea is also famous for their very large portions, so come hungry; you’ll find the food is better than it needs to be for the price. So if you’ve been down on your luck and want some good food for less, this is the spot. (On Paradise Road, about a mile east of The Strip, by Flamingo Road. Only a block away, the Hard Rock Hotel is within walking distance.)

Mr Lucky’s 24/7

The café at the Hard Rock Hotel offers a Gambler’s Special for $7.77 that is not on the menu. This is a Steak with three grilled Shrimp, salad, and a choice of broccoli or potato. The Gambler’s Special is available 24 hours a day, but you do have to remember to ask for it specifically. Mr Lucky’s 24/7 has large comfortable tables, generous portions, good service, reasonably short lines, and a nice selection of beer. (On Paradise Road, about a mile east of The Strip, by Harmon Avenue.)

Where to Get Cheap Drinks

First a little note of caution; the “free drinks” in the casinos for gamblers are not all that free. If you can stay on your budget while alcohol happy, go for it. But the casinos have found that alcohol happy gamblers spend much more than sober ones!

Many of the restaurants in Las Vegas offer Happy Hour Specials; often a two drinks for the price of one type of thing.

On The Strip, O’sheas Casino offers Domestic Draft Brews for $2. I’ve seen Beer Pong played here, and this is the only place I’ve ever seen Casino Backgammon. The crowd tends to be under thirty, and everything here is on the cheap. Try to imagine a Frat House Party with the Sorority Girls in attendance. O’sheas Casino is tucked in between the Imperial Palace and the Flamingo.

Benny’s Bullpen in Binion’s Horseshoe serves Miller Lite, Jack Daniels or Southern Comfort for $2. Next to the Sports Book, Benny’s Bullpen is a more comfortable place to kick back with a few drinks while watching your game. Benny’s Bullpen also runs a $10 Pizza and Pitcher special… best with friends. (Downtown in the middle of the Fremont Street Experience.)

If you prefer cheap mixed drinks, The Plaza serves Well Drinks for $2.50 all the time. The Plaza was once a fabulous new casino, but that was eons ago. Nowadays they tend to attract the cheapskates and low-life’s. To make this work for you just remember to generously tip your waitress and smile; she won’t be expecting it, so you’re likely to get better service than anyone else. If you’re looking for glitz, this is the wrong place; if not, the Sports Book may be the best place to hang out. The Plaza is on the Main Street side of The Fremont Street Experience.

Nightclubs and Lounges With No Cover Charge

Locals have free access almost everywhere, and most of the time. Seeing that sign can really irritate you if you happen to be from out of town. Ladies also get treated special at many of the Las Vegas clubs; on Ladies’ Night the drinks are often free until 11 p.m. – for ladies only.

Although the drinks may not be free for most of us, here are some of the clubs that usually have no cover charge – so you can regulate your expenses according to what you drink while dancing and having a blast.

Caramel Bar & Loungeat the Bellagio is a hybrid high energy dance club and smooth intimate ultra lounge combination. Chocolate oversized leather furniture under warm caramel lighting, accented by a marble topped center island, creates a warm and inviting ambience that delivers both comfort and sophistication. The dance floor is animated by local DJs turning Hip-hop and Top 40 hits. And a light appetizer menu is available between 5 and 9 p.m. to compliment the full service bar. Since proper club attire is required, bling is not out of place here. You’ll find that this is the perfect place to kick back with friends, or spend some intimate time with someone special.

Cleopatra’s Barge Nightclub atCaesar’s Palace has reinvented itself to attract a younger crowd than in the past. Cleopatra’s Barge has a floating dance floor with DJs turning R&B and Classic Rock hits through the night. This Egyptian themed dance club is served by a full bar, with tables scattered across the “dry land” and a few more tables “on deck” that are usually reserved. If you’re looking for a quiet romantic spot, this may not be it; but if you just want to have fun, this is the place for you.

Mist Bar & Loungeat Treasure Island is a fusion of two ideas. On the one hand Mist is very similar to the Caramel Bar & Lounge, just a little darker and bit more intimate. With Persian rugs, dark leather lounge style couches, warm ambient overhead panels, candle lit coffee tables, and potted plants, against dark burgundy walls, Mist is the perfect hotspot to mingle with close friends or unwind with a little romance in mind. DJs spin a tasteful blend of Hip-hop, Rock, and the popular current hits at a volume that allows a comfortable mixture of conversational privacy, intimacy, and people watching. On the other hand, Mist also sports an oversized plasma TV for game night and a few beers with the guys. This is like partying in a larger version of your own truly cool living room!

Level 107 Lounge, (formerly the Romance Lounge,) at the Stratosphere, located on the north end of the fabulous Las Vegas Strip, features the most spectacular views in town. Level 107 Lounge sits on a circular balcony high up in the Stratosphere Tower. Low lights and a deep red décor combined with great cocktails and incredible breathtaking views, make this a great place to unwind or to create a most memorable experience. Level 107 also overlooks the restaurant which makes appetizers available. Live music by Afterglow between 9 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. is a plus on Wednesday through Saturday nights. Afterglow has a unique sound that combines Jazz, Pop, and Contemporary music.

SPOTLIGHT: The Silverton Hotel

The Silverton Hotel is worth a mention here. It is no where near anything on the Las Vegas Strip, but if you just happen to have some extra time on the way in or out of Las Vegas from the Los Angeles direction, or if you simply want to get out of the traffic if your timing allows, there are several deals here. They have no choice but to bribe you since they are so out of the way from Las Vegas proper. Although, they do have easy freeway access at Highway 15 and Blue Diamond Road!

The Silverton Hotel has an aquarium as their major attraction. This is no ordinary aquarium as you can expect to see mermaids in addition to 4,000 tropical fish (including three species of stingray and three species of shark.) The room sized curved acrylic tank is located by the bar, and the mermaids put on a 15 minute show every half hour throughout the afternoon and evenings on Thursday through Sunday. During the day, everyday, you can also watch the sharks and stingrays being fed in the afternoon at 1:30 and 4:30 or in the evening at 7:30 p.m. There are also a few creatively lit small jellyfish aquariums in the bar.

At the bar they serve Miller Genuine Draft for $1, and the show is free. While you’re there, the Sundance Grill serves a sirloin steak, golden fried shrimp, soup or salad, and your choice of baked potato, rice, or fries for only $12.99.

Have a Lot of Fun for Less

With these tips it is possible to eat for under $20 a day, and still get as much as you want.

A few things to remember though: Most of the Las Vegas employees get paid next to nothing, and actually live off of their tips. Typical tips start at $1 to $2. If you happen to be a winner, you might tip a little more; you’ll be surprised at the increased quality of service when you do. So please remember to appreciate the service, especially when it is excellent.

For further savings and to avoid tipping situations, here are a few suggestions:

Avoid Room Service! Room Service always includes additional charges and requires a tip for your server. Most all of the hotels have a 24 hour Café that will cost you much less. Also refer to the deals mentioned above.

Watch Your Beverages! Soft Drink and Bottled Water prices are designed to make up for the food deals in Las Vegas. Beverage prices tend to run $4 and $5 a piece. So if you want water, just ask for a glass of water, (it’s free and it taste good here.) Wine is more affordable by the bottle than for a few glasses. And brewed Coffee or Tea tends to be priced more normally.

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Visiting Bangkok Thailand Is Not To Be Missed

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, which is a country located in Southeast Asia, and it has a population of roughly 70 million people. Bangkok, is the capital of the country, and its population is around 14 million people. It is by far the largest city in the country, and it is the number one tourist attraction in all of Southeast Asia. A couple of the other major metropolitan areas in the country that you might want to visit, are called Pattaya, Phuket, and Chag Mia.

If you are interested in learning about Bangkok budget accommodations, hotels can be had in the city for as little as US $10 a night. If you plan on staying for a couple of weeks or months, you can rent condos or apartments for as little as 3,000 BAHT, which equates to approximately US $100. Of course, these will not be the best accommodations, but they are cheap.

The housing in Bangkok is not the only thing that a budget traveler should enjoy. In fact, they will almost certainly get a much bigger kick out of the street food stands. These stands are everywhere, and when we say everywhere, they are literally on every street, and in every corner.

The types of dishes that the street vendors sell is almost too varied to even try to mention. Of course, there will be the local dishes, that in certain instances, you will not even know what they are selling. And then there will be the more western style meals like fried chicken, fried rice, and blueberry waffles, if you can believe it.

One word of warning, which is, the Thai people like their food unbelievably hot and spicy. In fact, if it is a Thai style dish that is well known for being hot, most Westerner’s will not even be able to eat it. Most of the street vendors in Bangkok have dealt with foreign tourist for many years now, and speak some English. If you order something from them, it is highly recommended that you say something like “Not Spicy”, “No Spicy”, or “No Hot”, so that your mouth does not catch on fire shortly after you take your first bite.

It is a nightmare getting around Bangkok, if you do not know what you are doing, and where you are going. There are very inexpensive taxis everywhere, but very few of the drivers speak good English. Thankfully, Bangkok now has the BTS (Sky Train), and a subway.

If you want to go someplace in Bangkok, your best bet is to use either the BTS or subway. Try to use Google maps to look up the location, and find the closest exit for either the BTS or subway to get off at. From there you can take a taxi, but you will need an address printed out in Thai so that the taxi driver will know exactly where to go. Most major establishments have websites that you can use to print out an address in Thai.

Bangkok nightlife has something for everybody, regardless of where you come from, or what you enjoy doing. The city itself is quite exciting, and a place that should be visited at least once in everybody’s lifetime.