Hola People! This post is a departure from my previous ones as its a collaborative one with another blogger – Kendra from Chicago whose idea it was to write about our favourite travel place and the fun things we love doing there. So, she has chosen to write about LAS VEGAS which seems to be the ultimate fun place according to her. I have chosen to write about the current travel favourite place of mine – Benares.
Quite a contrast – don’t you think? I would love to hear about what my readers think about this article and whether they would like to see more of this in future.
Oh the Fun You Can Have in Sin City
When you plan a vacation, one of the best ways to choose the activities you’ll enjoy during your stay is by taking tips from those who have been there before. I love Las Vegas and have visited there many times. If you are planning a trip to take in the sights of Sin City, I’d like to make a few recommendations.
1. Enjoy Some Las Vegas Thrills
Thrill rides are easy to find in Las Vegas. I, personally, am not much of a roller-coaster fan, but it’s interesting to watch the amazing rides. At Adventuredome in Circus Circus, they have the world’s only double-corkscrew, double-loop roller coaster. You won’t find me riding the Canyon Blaster ever, but it’s a fascinating work of art. This December, Adventuredome announced a coming attraction for thrill lovers, the record-breaking El Loco.
2. Try Your Hand at Mini Golf
Unique miniature golf courses amuse my kids, and their father and I have fun playing along with them. We especially enjoyed our trip to KISS by Monster Mini Golf. The course features 18-holes decorated with replicas of rock-and-roll memorabilia. The whole family had fun putting into the giant Gene Simmons head. Giant guitars and animated representations of the band members round out the fun here.
3. Visit a Museum or Three
Las Vegas is chockfull of unique museums. My kids have oodles of fun at Discovery Children’s Museum. I love wandering through the paths and gardens at the Neon Museum, which tells the story of Las Vegas in lights. The National Atomic Testing Museum, also in Las Vegas, features interesting exhibits about the history of the atom bomb and nuclear weapons. Why not enjoy some of these museums and take home the souvenir of knowledge?
4. Explore the Desert
Don’t forget that Las Vegas lies at the heart of the Mojave Desert. If you get tired of adventures on the strip, take a Pink Jeep tour to see the sights outside of town. Several different tours are available. The company will pick you up at your hotel and take you on a comfortable, guided tour of your chosen natural wonder. They even have a day trip to the Grand Canyon.
Las Vegas has something for everyone to enjoy. With so many places to stay on the strip and things to do, each visit will be different. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you know just what you will be purchasing. I’ve always enjoyed my visits here. I hope you have fun on yours. I bet you’ll be ready to come back again soon.
Kendra Thornton – 40 and a mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications where she was able to travel a great deal. she now lives in Chicago with her family, where they are her number one priority in everyday life.
Benares or Varanasi or Kashi – the city of Lord Shiva is known by many names. This holy and ancient India city is reputed to have over a million temples of every Hindu deity possible and the stars, moon and constellations are not left far behind too. Each and every visit of mine to this city fuels the urge to come here more often for this city has a calming effect on the soul. Despite the crowds, noise, filth and the chaos; the city runs on its own tempo of ‘laziness’ and guiles you to lose yourself in it too.
Things not be missed while in Benares can be listed as below:
1) Walking jaunts through its myriad bylanes that are teeming with exotic and colorful food and wares. The vendors call out for your attention without seeming in your face. Handpainted wooden hangings, metalwork suns, glistening glass beads, steaming hot savouries, mouth watering sweets, fresh flowers- all beckon you with their allure to taste/sample/buy.
2) Prepare to be entranced by a private performance of Indian classical music, instrumental or a dance form at one of the many music and dance ashrams on the ganga ghat . The students of these schools perform and seek encouragement and patronage. Entry is via a nominal fee.
3) A boat ride on the Ganga in the early morning is not to be missed. The calming chimes of temple bells, monotonous religious chants and image of people immersing themselves in the water to bathe away impurities is a typical scene at the river ghats. Boat markets selling trinkets of every shape and color can be seen floating out to beguile the tourists. Scores of water birds circle and wheel around the boats in hope of a crumb and are not disappointed for there are many vendors selling bird feed for just this purpose.
4) While away an afternoon on one of the many rooftop restaurant which are spread along the ghats. The view of the river, the peace and quiet and some delicious coffee and savouries – what more does one need to laze away.
5) The street food of Benares is compelling in taste, flavour and variety. Taking care not to abuse one’s stomach too much, sample the chaat (sweet, sour and spicy), milk based drinks and traditional indian sweets typical to this region. One will not be disappointed.
6) Benares is famous for its Paan – a leaf based edible savoury which is a mouth freshner. Typically this is stuffed with tobacco for the nicotine addicts but the normal public gets to savour it in it fresh and sweet avatar as well. One can see a Paan shop, every five walking minutes in the city – thats how popular this condiment is.
7) The textiles of Benares are world famous and one cant leave the city without indulging in this bit of shopping. The traditional Indian saree comes in the Benarsi form of silk woven with gold thread and is quite a sought after thing. Scarves, stoles and short kurtas can be indulged in too for the non-saree public.
8) A morning walk through the Benares Hindu University campus is an enriching experience. With over 160 faculties, its quite the educational arena. The buildings stand tall with heritage flavour in the architecture, among scores of beautiful and old trees.