Friday, November 13, 2009

Viva Las Vegas Sans the Casinos

Las Vegas isn't all about gambling. Aside from the casinos, there's so much more to do in Las Vegas.  What to do in Las Vegas if you don't gamble?


Walk down the strip! One thing I enjoy in Las Vegas is hotel hopping. Awesome interior is an understatement when it comes to the themed hotels of Las Vegas. As you walk into these themed hotels, you get a feeling of entering a new place, far and away. A must see should be the Venetian, Bellagio, Paris, New York New York, Mandalay Bay, Ceasar Palace and MGM.


Most hotels offers buffets ranging from $18 to $25, serving roast prime ribs. We went to Mandalay Bay, their selection was great. All day buffet is also available in a few hotels like MGM, Luxor and Excalibur ranging from $25 to $35. We tried out the all day buffet at MGM, but it wasn't such a good idea. The menu served for lunch and dinner was fairly the same, it felt like eating left over. Food courts are also available for those on a budget.


Take advantage of the free attractions in selected hotels along the strip. If there's something not to be missed, I'd say:

  • Fountains at Bellagio

Hours of operation: Monday - Friday, 3 p.m. - midnight. Saturday and Sunday, noon - midnight. The fountains run every half-hour until 7 p.m. and every 15 minutes after that until midnight.

  • The Sirens of TI (Treasure Island)

Hours of operation: Open daily, 7, 8:30, 10 and 11:30 p.m., weather permitting.

  • Volcano at the Mirage

Hours of operation: Nightly every hour on the hour from dusk to 11 p.m.

  • Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain shows at Caesars Forum Shops

Hours of operation: Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain: Every hour on the hour Sunday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. - midnight.

For more info, check out this site.


Cirque du Soleil shows are spectacular, trust me, it's worth to spend $100-150 to watch it.

  • "O" is probably the most popular, I haven't seen this but if I get the chance to go back, I'll surely line up for this.

  • "KA" was amazing! It is the only Cirque du Soleil acrobat show with a story line.

There's also Mystere, Criss Angel Believe, Reve, Zumanity...

Aside from Cirque du Soleil production, Phantom the Las Vegas Spectacular was more than spectacular but the Blue Man Group wasn't worth the green bucks.

For more shows, check out this site.

TIP: Last minute tickets at almost half the price are available in tix4tonight kiosks along the strip. You can find one between the Venetian and Harrahs. You won't miss it.


If you're a shopaholic, walk the mile at the Mile Shop or go shopping at the premium outlet.


Las Vegas serves as the departure point for trips to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Red Rock Canyon and Zion Park.

Whatever you do, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. :D

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quest for Whale Sharks Continues in Sogod Bay, Leyte

If you're looking for the Whale Shark Interaction in Donsol, see my travel Guide here.

Some dive buddies are back from a diving trip in Southern Leyte. Bringing back with them load of pictures to boast about their second encounter with whale sharks, locally known as butanding. Their first was in the waters of Mactan, Cebu. Yes, in rare occasions, they come in the waters of Mactan.

I had my quest for the whale sharks in Donsol, Sorsogon early this year. It seems like it's not going to end there. And, yes... before the year ends I'm going to Southern Leyte with my wetsuit. :) There are some good reason to check out the whale sharks in Pintuyan, Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte:

First, water visibility is way better, chances of seeing it's head to tail even from afar is high. Donsol Bay water tends to have poor visibility, limited to 1 to 2 meters.

Second, diving with the whale sharks is allowed (unlike in Donsol).

Third, taking your own outrigger boat is allowed. It can be reached with dive boats coming from Cebu or Bohol. In Donsol Bay, whale shark interaction is regulated by the government and services are exclusively managed by them.


Kasaka Peoples Organization
Barangay Son-Ok,Pintuyan, Southern Leyte

Boat rental: P700 - 800 pesos (for two)
Spotters: 450 pesos

NOTE: The largest concentration of whalesharks in the world is still in Donsol, Sorsogon.

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