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  • Writer's picturePoonam Maini

Asian female goes LA LA LAND – Lost in the City of Angels!

For the first time in a long time, I gave this idea ago. Travelling alone…travelling solo! I left my small family and jetted of to the land of where dreams come true… Los Angles!

Now lets get one thing straight…I DIDN’T GET LOST, and I have to admit, I have been before for a few days during my younger years with my parents and my brother as a family trip, however it wasn’t as good, as this visit.

So let’s start from the beginning. Los Angeles, the City of Angels, and a must for movie lovers. A destination where you can shop, hike and sightsee in one day. But if you're travelling to LA alone, where do you start in this famous American city?

I was slightly nervous, as this was my first trip alone in 6 years and I was sceptical about leaving my 3 year old at home with his dad, but I decided to bite the bullet and did it… and I loved every moment!

The first thing to remember, when traveling alone is safety, you need to be in control of your situation, so getting recklessly drunk or going to unfamiliar areas is a BIG no no! I would also recommend researching the area and booking an accommodation at a decent location. It all depends on your budget preference but I booked the Sofitel in Beverly Hills. Ok it’s not the Wilshire or Four Seasons but the Sofitel is opposite the Beverly Centre and to be honest, I preferred this hotel to the other two, as it was modern and classy and everything was nearby. I also had a CVS store, Taco Bell and other popular restaurants nearby. This hotel was also near the famous Cedar Sinai Hospital and nearby interior design stores. The furniture stores was to die for... you could see everything you would see in reality tv home.

The hotel rooms were spacious and as an Travel Agent, I was given a tour by the hotel staff. I managed to see the Presidential Suite and other upscaled rooms, each one was gorgeous with views of the hills and the famous Hollywood sign.

I was literally in awe, every time I saw the sign and I loved it! The people in LA are friendly and perfectly kept. Nice teeth and generally slim and looked like movie stars! I was seriously in love with this place!

However, there is a growing population who is facing poverty and don’t get me wrong you do see this the moment you step out of your 5 star hotel.

If you are new to the city, I would recommend taking the hop-on hop-off bus to get around as no-one walks in LA. It’s also nice to do the tour. I started with the Hollywood tour (red route) then went on the Santa Monica Tour (yellow route) and then finally Downtown (the purple route). Hollywood Route is obvious. You get to visit the main strip with the star names on the pavements and Sunset Boulevard. You also get a chance to see the mansions on the hills and maybe, spot a celebrity or two in Chin Chin or Nobu!

I also had the time to visit the famous Hotel Roosevelt Los Angles. As glamourous as this is pitched, I found it little eerie, almost like I can sense the dead famous spirts that committed suicide here! Don't get me wrong it was luxurious and comfortable but very old and spooky. However, I enjoyed snooping around whilst using their posh loos!

Back to the hop - on - hop - off bus route. The Yellow Route is a nice calming route to Santa Monica. However, I would recommend Venice Beach a few stops before Santa Monica Beach. I found the Santa Monica Beach too busy. Too be honest, I felt like I was on Juhu Beach in Mumbai and I didn’t like it one bit. It’s full of tourist and noise and there’s nothing relaxing about it at all. I can’t even hear the sound of the ocean. Venice Beach is different, it’s peaceful calming and you can see plenty of people with PT trainers working out!

The purple line of the tour bus visits Downtown and although people tend to stay away, I would now recommend it, as the Government has invested money in the recent redevelopment program. You have plenty to see, including some local food markets and also the famous financial district.

If you’re into movies then I would defiantly recommend a trip to the Academy Awards Museum. You have to book online for tickets and it’s interesting if you are keen to learn about how movies are made. Especially the creative process, planning and animation. It’s also the hub of some of the famous red carpet outfits and prosthetics. It was interesting to see alien costumes and the recent famous Chris Rock slap from Will Smith. But above all, I would recommend going to the top across the Barbra Streisand bridge. The view is to die for…you get to see the Hollywood Hills and more. It’s was simply gorgeous and worth the visit.

Tip: Areas to Avoid

I would recommend that if you are travelling solo stay away from Compton, Fashion District, West Adams and Skid Row during the evenings. They are all high crime areas, so it’s best if you keep your distance for safety reasons.

Recommendations : Places to eat

· Taco Bell

· Spice Affair

· Nobu

· Chin Chin

If you’re not into to fried food then try to avoid, it’s triple cooked and dripping in oil.

LA is definitely the place of where dream are made of, whether it be becoming famous or just roaming around I would highly recommend a visit during the summer months.

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