Las Vegas is well-known as the gambling capital of the world and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the United States of America for Chinese travelers.
The bright lights of the hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip bring thousands of visitors each year. With world-class entertainment and luxury accommodation, Vegas is an unforgettable experience.
What is there to see and do for Chinese visitors? Where are the best places to stay? Discover “Sin City” with this travel guide to Las Vegas.
The city is known first and foremost for its many hotels and casinos, especially those located on the Las Vegas Strip.
Many of these are worth seeing in their own right. Huge, bold, and impressive, many Las Vegas hotels model themselves on exotic locations or periods of history, from the Egyptian-themed Luxor, complete with pyramid and giant sphinx to the towers, bridges, and gondolas of the Venetian.
These Las Vegas attractions are not just limited to the buildings and casinos themselves. Most big hotels contain shops, nightclubs, restaurants, and even rides such as the roller coaster at New York-New York.
Some also put on free shows, most famously the spectacular fountain display in front of the Bellagio.
Gambling is the biggest draw of the city, with casinos located in most hotels. Las Vegas casinos are open 24 hours a day. Chinese visitors may want to try their luck at blackjack, craps, poker, or simply play the slots.
Vegas boasts some of the most impressive entertainment in the world, with many of the major hotels containing amphitheaters and venues for live music, magic, drag shows, and a number of large-scale productions by Cirque du Soleil.
A number of companies run excursions from Las Vegas to some of America’s key landmarks.
The Hoover Dam, an impressive feat of human engineering, is located close to the city and can be visited by coach tours.
Chinese visitors to Las Vegas can also choose to take a helicopter ride or an all-day coach trip to Arizona to witness the natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon.
The many iconic themed hotels of the Las Vegas Strip offer accommodation, dining, swimming pools, entertainment, nightlife, and, of course, gambling all in one location. The casinos are open all day and all night, earning Las Vegas the nickname “the 24-hour town”.
The Strip, found along South Las Vegas Boulevard is actually mainly located in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester, just outside of Las Vegas proper.
Some of the most recognizable hotel/casino resorts of the Las Vegas Strip include:
There are many more hotels located off the Las Vegas Strip, including downtown, which was the original gambling district of the city. The majority of hotels are also casinos, but those located away from the Strip tend to be more affordable.
That said, most visitors will want to visit the more famous Las Vegas hotel resorts like the Bellagio, and the distance from off-strip hotel/casinos to the Strip can be difficult to walk in the desert heat.
Considering that good deals for hotels on the Strip and Las Vegas packages can be found readily online, it might actually save money to stay at one of these, rather than pay for taxis to get to the Strip and back each day, depending on the deal you can get.
The amount of money a traveler needs depends entirely on what they plan to do while in Las Vegas, and particularly how much they plan to gamble.
Hotels can cost anything between US$29 to over US$200 per person per night, depending on how luxurious the room is.
The price of meals can vary wildly, but with many hotels offering all-you-can-eat buffets, the average cost of food per person is around US$70 per day.
Tickets for entertainment generally cost at least US$50, but can cost over US$100 per person for better seats or VIP packages.
The overall average daily cost of visiting Las Vegas is between US$200 and US$300, plus any additional budget for gambling.
However, the vast majority of transactions can be made by credit card. Cash is only required for the casinos and for tipping. Chinese visitors should be aware that the United States has a big tipping culture and after eating in a restaurant, diners are expected to leave at least a 15% tip.
When arriving in Las Vegas, international visitors can bring a maximum of US$10,000 in cash without declaring it, according to US customs regulations.
In general, Las Vegas is considered a highly safe city for visitors, especially for those staying in hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.
Big hotel/casino resorts have high levels of security, with CCTV systems and staff working closely to prevent thefts and cheating in the casinos. Las Vegas Boulevard is also heavily patrolled by the police. This makes it hard for any kind of criminal activity to occur in the casinos.
Across the city in general, violent crime is generally low, but, as in any city, there are pickpockets and opportunists. The best advice for all visitors is to stay vigilant and stick to the well-lit, tourist-friendly areas.
Chinese travelers should also be aware of scammers. On the street, there are a number of common scams, including offering fake VIP passes and betting games outside of the casinos, which are rigged against the mark.
It is recommended to avoid gambling away from the casinos and to only buy tickets and passes through hotels and companies that you trust.
Las Vegas is served by McCarran International Airport, which is located south of the city, close to the Strip. The airport receives international flights as well as flights from other parts of the United States.
Chinese nationals traveling to Las Vegas must ensure they have the correct documentation to enter the United States. This includes the following:
The B1/B2 visa for the U.S. allows the holder to enter the country and visit Las Vegas for purposes of pleasure, tourism, and business. It is required by holidaymakers and international business travelers. However, it does not grant the bearer permission to work in the States.
Chinese travelers can apply for 10-year B visas that permit multiple entries to the US over the decade of their validity.
They must also register with the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS)—an online system that allows Chinese travelers to update the details of their 10-year visa.
The EVUS application is done over the internet in a quick and easy online process. Registration is valid for 2 years.