Welcome to Vegas Land

By David Mcmullan from Bedfordshire

Last updated at 15:31 09 January 2008

Read TravelMail's guide to Vegas here!

Hidden away out of sight like a dirty secret or a naughty child, in the Nevada desert, Sin City. A getaway and gateway to pure madness.

People come here to win, to lose, to try, to fail, to blow it all, one shot, last chance. They come here to go crazy and indulge.

Arrive by taxi from McCarran airport in the day and it looks like some vast theme park. Travel up Las Vegas Boulevard, The Strip, the main vein, pumping hot traffic through. Then into some lobby of some luxuriant hotel, where there are mirrors and polished railings, strange carpet patterns, elevators with reflections of yourself all over; see who you are. The constant sounds from the casino floor: beeps, rattles, people. The days are slow and uncomfortable, like something doesn't feel right.

Then at night it smoothes out, and all those beautiful lights come on. You can see now. It becomes a gold mine, a beehive, neon night, bulb skies. Everything is alive and brilliant, dazzling, glittering and flashing, luring and tempting to you, blinking like jewels or stars.

Flamingo, New York-New York, Caesars, Bellagio, MGM, Paris, Luxor, Riviera, Circus Circus; they all loom over like electric monsters in the dark.

New York is the city that doesn't sleep. Vegas is the city the can't sleep; it won't.

And you come down next morning, early, and you see them, the gamblers, they're still at it, still locked in at their machines, feeding notes or credit cards, bottle of Bud between their legs, getting their fix; what they came to do.

It doesn't ever stop, like some merry-go-round you can't get off.

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