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Pocket Guide: Las Vegas

Entertainment capital of the world

From space, Las Vegas is the brightest city on the face of the Earth, and it's easy to see why. The lights and spectacle of the main strip are recognizable across the globe and have become synonymous with spectacular entertainment and glamorous nightlife. Whether you're taking in the sight of the fountains at the Bellagio or marvelling at the gravity-defying feats on display in Cirque du Soleil's KA show at the MGM grand, Las Vegas promises a great time for all.

Hailed as the quintessential Las Vegas show, Folies Bergere at the Tropicana captures the essence of sexy, classic Las Vegas with its scantily-clad showgirls and spectacular dance routines. Also unmissable is Cirque du Soleil's Mystère, an extraordinary show which explores the origins of life through an unforgettable mixture of dance, acrobatics, music, opera, and comedy, and plays to sell-out audiences at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.

Win big in Sin City

No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a visit to one of the many iconic casinos which have served as the backdrop to many a Hollywood film, including 'Ocean's Eleven' and 'Diamonds are Forever.' Visitors can play a game of roulette under the magnificent frescos of the Venetian, and then enjoy a drink at Coyote Ugly in New York-New York. However, the casinos aren't just about the gambling. The striking architecture and unique design of the buildings mean that you can enjoy a day of sightseeing without setting foot inside.

Gambling is the key to the Sin City's economy and attracts people from all over the world, all of whom are seeking their fortune. The central strip never sleeps, with most of the casinos open 24 hours a day, and most venues offer live entertainment and free drinks to those brave enough to play throughout the night. Different casinos offer different stakes, so it's advisable to start small before heading to the high-stakes tables of the Bellagio and the Riviera.

Feats of man and nature

For a fresh-air break from the gambling, true thrill-seekers should be sure to check out the Stratosphere, which includes the tallest thrill ride in the world. The ride ascends past the peak of a skyscraper over 329 meters high, offering magnificent views of the city, before plummeting down to the roof of the casino. It's definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

For those seeking an escape from the non-stop chaos of the casinos and shows at the main strip, the Hoover Dam is located 30 miles south-east of Las Vegas. It towers a staggering 700 feet above the Colorado River and represents one of the finest achievements in modern engineering.

Across the border in Arizona lies the Grand Canyon, which is an impressive 277 miles long and almost a mile deep. This national park is a feat of nature and holds a variety of museums and information centers, as well as caves, forests, and grasslands.

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