Grand Canyon

Was in Vegas the last few days. This is the first time i am in vegas even though i have visited North America a few times. My main purpose is not to gamble, since i dont, but to go to the Grand Canyon.

I stayed in Bellagio, one of the big hotels on the Strip (the main blvd). Vegas hotels are not expensive , Bellagio is a five starred hotel but it is even cheaper than some of the smaller inns in Time Square New York.  The place is huge. every hotel is a big complex as big as a Genting, and everywhere you go, there are machines and tables for various types of gambling. There are so many shops too. There are many theatre shows, all sorts in fact, if you know what i mean. I went to see David copperfield; he made a car apear out of  thin air; he is still the best illusionist , in my opinion.

I went to Grand Canyon by a plane tour. A small plane from a big company called Papillion. There is a hotel pickup, and the pick up took us to Boulder city outside vegas, where there is a small airport full of small planes and helicopters to do the air tour. The plane was so designed that each seat can see so clearly outside, since it has a big window, like those tour buses, and unlike those commercial planes where you get only a small oval window. The plane flew over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead at quite low level, and slowly so that passengers can take video and shots. The flight took one and a half hour (actual flight back is only half hour, which means that for one hour, you fly over the whole Canyon area( and we landed in an airstrip near the West rim, where a bus took us for a 3 minutes ride to the SKYwalk in West rim. Skywalk is a specially built structure, made of laminated and extra strong glass (it took 4 years to do that , and not by American but rather German architect), that protruded out into the Canyon,few thousand feet above the canyon base,  so that we can see the bottom of the canyon through the glass that we stand on. The Canyon is real spectacular. If South island is scenic , Switzerland is picturesque, Grand Canyon is grand and spectacular. Mother nature is real great, and we humans just do not know how lucky and insignificant that we are, fighting over small issues like colours and faiths.

After the skywalk, a bus took us to an American Indian setup for a free lunch, and a bus (the buses are running like a chain from the airstrip to the skywalk because there are so many planes and helicopters coming from vegas to this air strip). took us back to the airstrip to board the plane back to vegas. All in , it took only 7 hours. A bus tour from vegas will take 13 hours and you can either do the south rim or the west rim tour by bus, and would not be able to see the whole canyon so clearly, and u cannot really have a panoramic viewl ike a plane tour. The cost for the plane tour is only slightly more expensive than the bus tour, (the bus tours is about 180 or so and the plane tour is 229 including lunch). I would recommend the air tour for those going to vegas. You can book thru internet or your hotel in vegas.

I am glad that i come to the Grand Canyon, it makes me feel how small actually we are, and how we should really appreciate protecting all these natural heritage that Mother Nature has given us.. I also feel how lucky i am; many people have come to the Grand Canyon and many more will come in future, but even if we add up all the tourists who have been or who will come in future to this spectacular place, it is and will always be still only a small proportion of the world population.

For those of us who can afford to travel, please be thankful that  we are so much luckier than so many others in the world, and for that, we should try to assist more those less fortunate than us. even though we are not Warren Buffet, we should do our part as best as we can. Touring the canyon makes me more humble, and that is why i posted this.( I normally do not write about my travel)


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A true Malaysian
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 09:27:40

    Dr. Hsu,

    You make me so tempted to visit Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. Let me save up enough first. I have no budget for that now.

    Enjoy yourselves, Dr. Hsu & Dr. Ng.

    Any picture to share?


  2. clearwater
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 12:33:36

    Your post brings back memories of the 4 years my family and I spent in LA in the late 80’s. Went to Las Vegas 4 times. Toured Grand Canyon once by road and once by air. Skywalk was not built then so I did not experience seeing the bottom of Grand Canyon through glass beneath my feet. I am scared of heights so I am not really sorry I missed this!

    Do take a little chance at the gaming tables and slot machines. It’s part of the Vegas entertainment and experience, not really gambling per se. Just play with, say, US$200 capital, start small at blackjack. Should last you a couple of hours. Or you might win US$200 and then quit! Use the winnings on a ticket to one of the many shows at the hotels. They say beginners have good luck but you must know when to quit when ahead. I won first time in Vegas, broke even 2nd and lost 3rd and 4th times. Had fun though. Do have fun yourself.


  3. disgusted
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 18:18:02

    Yes, Dr, if Grand Canyon can make you small and humble, can you imagine the (blue dot) planet earth in this galaxy and then imagine us a speck of dust in the universe. That’s the actual perspective of Malaysian “specks of dust” fighting each other over colors and power. It’s actually awesome the impact of true reality how helpless and insignificant we really are.


  4. oct
    Sep 18, 2010 @ 22:28:44

    Hi Dr Hsu. When you mentioned Las Vegas & Grand Canyon, it brings back many happy memories as I have been to these two places many times. I have stayed at MGM, Paris, Treasure Island, Bally & even downtown Golden Nugget. May I recommend that you visit the factory outlets at the outskirt of Las Vegas. The goods there are cheap if you don’t mind some imperfect or out of season. If you are not afraid of roller coaster, you may want to try the one at Stratosphere.

    If you like ribs, may I suggest you try Tony Roma’s baby pack spare ribs. I believe it is situated at Stardust.

    If you time, you may want to venture to Downtown at night. You could catch up with the LED light show. You can take a bus to downtown from the Strip.

    All casinos serve free drinks. All you need to do is to tip the waitress a dollar whenever they bring the drinks. If you want to while away your time, try the slot machines that accept dime. You can’t win much & you can’t lose much.

    Hoover Dam used to be an exciting place to visit but after 911, visitors are no more allowed to go to the tunnels of the dam as well as the water discharge area. It costs more to visit Hoover Dam but the places to see are less due to security reasons.

    For your info, flying to Grand Canyon is very dangerous because of the undercurrent within the Grand Canyon. I am sure the travel agent didn’t mentioned that to you. There were a few crashes. The planes used are single engine and you can feel the plane sway whenever there is a strong undercurrent wind.

    Driving to the Grand Canyon takes you 6-7 hours. You pay a fee to get into the park. I love to drive and I stay a night at Grand Canyon to watch the beautiful sunrise. I have driven round the south rim of the Grand Canyon, ending at Flagstaff. It is a beautiful drive and you are able to meet some of the native camps along the way. Their handicraft goods are very good.

    Well Doc. Enjoy your stay and if you need some suggestions, please contact me at my email address and I shall assist you in whatever way I can.

    Cheers & have a happy trip & enjoy yourself


  5. JDsg
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 09:32:23

    As an Arizonan, I’m glad you had the chance to visit the Grand Canyon. Out of the many beautiful sites in our state, the Grand Canyon is the best and most impressive, bar none. Personally, the one thing that made the biggest impression on me when I visited the Grand Canyon was the utter silence of the place. I hope you got to experience that peacefulness, where only the wind (if that) can be heard.


  6. Jong
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 20:35:02

    Dr Hsu, your timing to visit Grand Canyon was perfect. I was there in late Oct and the cold wind was most unbearable as if eating into my bones! I remember those few seconds standing by the edge of the Canyon to take some pix was terribly torturous! LOL!!

    Yes, Bellagio’s the best hotel on the strip, their buffet spread for brunch was terrific, though not cheap but well worth it!


  7. cilipadi
    Sep 29, 2010 @ 22:47:40

    For those with no money to go Grand Canyon to make one humble, try the below :-

    Put one cilipadi into your mouth and chew it, or stuff in your …. That will make you humble by a tiny cilipadi.

    This doesn’t applies to certain culture, who can’t eat without cilipadi like what I see in Malaysia.

    Siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas


  8. Dr Hsu
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 12:30:41

    It is true. every time i eat cilipadi, i feel humbled by such a tiny thing, and not only my mouth will feel so hot and needs plenty of cold water to cool it down, my other side would feel very hot the next day too.

    Indeed, siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas… at both ends.


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