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Girl alone in Los Angeles

As part of my “Great California” trip, how could I not stop by Los Angeles, the city that epitomises the American’s dream for fame.

Before coming here, I’ve had friends telling me to be careful, don’t stay out too late at night etc., because it’s not safe. Turns out, it made me worried the whole trip! Haha! The streets are really quiet after dark. I really wonder where people go after dark really! You’ll see beggars and sketchy people loitering around… just walk on fast and don’t make eye contact. Stay on main roads and don’t take alleyways. These are just common sense safety tips which will be good enough.

I also read that taxis from the airport out to downtown LA/Hollywood were incredibly expensive.

All these factors played a big part in deciding my arrival time into LA (as early as possible to ensure it’s still bright), and also where my hotel will be (as near Union Station as possible so that I can just take the Flyaway bus directly and walk).

When I arrived at Union Station after a 1 hour journey from the airport, I asked for directions to my hotel and the whole atmosephere just felt… unsafe. There were heaps of sketchy people just hanging around. There were beggars too asking for a quarter or a penny.

I wheeled my two crazy heavy and bulky luggages and walked 2 blocks before I found the hotel (and realised the guy who pointed me the way was idiotic cos instead of a sheltered walkway within the station, he made me walk by the highway).

I was unhappily checked in by this fillipino guy who was incredibly unfriendly and impatient when I arrived at the Metro Plaza hotel at 6pm.

Hate unfriendly hotel staff. Don’t they know that in a foreign land, they are more or less the most important people to a tourist??

I was hoping the morning shift staff are better, well, they were. They were cold and efficient. The lady manager was also always reprimanding her staff in front of hotel guests too. ?_?

Ah well. Here’s my itinerary in Los Angeles:

Day One: Arrive at LAX, took the FlyAway bus (USD 7) and that got me to downtown LA, Union Station in about an hour. I took the metro red line to Hollywood Highlands station and went to Hollywood Boulevard for a look see and walk. Had meatball pasta at a rundown italian diner and headed back to hotel.

Day Two: City Tour and Hollywood with VIPTours at USD 75. The pickup was at 11am so I had breakfast at the hotel and went to to Chinatown and Oldevra Road. Both of which had nothing much going on that early in the morning. Oldevra Road has some little eateries which open early and feature mexican food so you could check it out too. Mr Churros is also there and I tried a Churro. It was ugh. I only like the cinnamon sugar. The outside was fried to a crisp but the inside was wee bit soft still. I wouldn’t recommend it. Through the city tour, it dawned on me how massive Los Angeles is. We can keep driving and driving and we’ll still be in LA! So that’s what happened on the city tour. We drove around alot. My favourite stop has to be the Farmers’ Market where there’s a lovely variety of food and things to see and shop. We also got real close to the Hollywood sign.

Due to heavy traffic, I arrived back at my hotel at 7ishpm and went out again shortly to Macys Plaza (7th street metro station). I arrived at Macys at 8pm and what the….  the shops were all mostly closed and there were only a few shoppers around! What do people in LA do at night really?! I got to Bath & Body Works and bought my favourite body cream :)

There really isn’t much to do there so I went back quickly.

Day Three: Today I visit the world’s happiest place! Disneyland! I’ve never been to Disneyland in my life. :) So yay!

These were the rides/attractions I took:

– Main Street Cinema
Worth a quick look at old school black and white Mickey films
– Indiana Jones Adventure
A car ride that feels like a rollercoaster. One of the best rides!
– Jungle Cruise
Just a slow moving boat cruise. The guide’s pretty funny.
– Pirates of the Carribean
Must ride! A water boat ride in the dark.
– Matterhorn Bobsleds
Very cool. Took both the rides here.
– Its a Small World
It was a very cooling water cruise when the heat is crazy outside. The song repeats on and on and after awhile, those moving dolls (and there are MANY of them) looks scary.
– Space Mountain
Another must try! Mild rollercoaster in the dark
– Star Tours
A 4D ride. Very cool.
-Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
I won’t spoil this for you cos it’s really one of a kind. This will be very enjoyable even for adults!

I went on a winter Thursday. Most of the rides were real fast with less than 15 mins waiting time. :)

The entrance fee for 1 park 1 day is USD 87 but I paid USD 135 which includes two way transport from my hotel at Union Statio to Disneyland by VIPTours. They pick me up at 8am from hotel and pick me up from Disneyland at 6.30pm.

I checked out the next morning and took the Flyaway Bus back to LAX for my flight back to Singapore. LA, San Francisco and Vegas was fun but I enjoyed Vegas the most. :)


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