I am embarrassed to say that even though I have been to Las Vegas every single year starting from 2008, it wasn't until this trip that I actually visited downtown Las Vegas. I guess I was like most out-of-town visitors who head straight from the airport to the Strip. Since we never had a car, we would typically spend all of our time on the Strip.
When "The Fremont Experience" in downtown Las Vegas showed up on my itinerary, I seriously had no idea what it was. It wasn't until I showed up that I realized this crazy, covered area anchored by a couple casinos and lined with shops and entertainment has been been here for over 20 years!
In many ways, Fremont Street is the original Vegas experience. Las Vegas's first hotel, the first casino license, and many other "firsts" occurred on Fremont Street back in the early 1900's. In fact, Las Vegas's first building ever designed to be a casino, The Golden Nugget, is still going strong today.
While we were there, we saw live comedians, a rock concert, people zip-lining, and all sorts of street acts. It was loud, colorful, and a total sensory overload!
When I asked my local friend whether she ever comes here, she said no. I guess it's a bit touristy, but still worth seeing at least once. Seriously, I'd never seen anything quite like it.
For a slightly calmer downtown Las Vegas experience, you can grab gourmet coffee and spend some time exploring local shops at the Container Park.
The park includes an interactive playground, free outdoor concerts and movies, and lots of boutique shops all housed in permanent shipping containers.
It's conveniently located right on Fremont Street, which is basically the main street in downtown Las Vegas.
If you're looking for a tasty, quick, and inexpensive lunch (or dinner), check out Le Thai right on Fremont Street. The restaurant started during recession in 2008. During this time, many local businesses in the downtown area closed. Rents became affordable, and the city provided some support and incentives to help new people start new businesses.
Le Thai is located right on Fremont East, which is really an up and coming area with more and more restaurants. The ambiance is cozy and comfortable. You can sit right at the bar, inside, or at their outdoor enclosed patio.
We started with the Thai Beef Salad ($10) served with their signature "Waterfall Sauce" with elements of fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar. The dish was very flavorful and quite good overall.
The Le Thai Awesome Flat Noodles ($13) came with a choice of protein (we chose beef) cooked with bean sprouts in a brown, sweet sauce (though not as sweet as Pad See Yu or Crazy Noodle).
We tried a Three Color Curry ($12), and interesting mix of green, yellow, and red curry. Heavy on coconut milk, it was OK but nothing particularly special.
The Crab Fried Rice was a very new menu item. The crab "seafood" flavor was quite strong, but it was cut nicely with the squeeze of lime (strongly recommended by the chef!). Overall, it was a good dish.
Finally, for dessert we had Mango Sticky Rice. The creamy rice was fine, though the mangos were not very ripe. I guess it's harder to get fresh mangos in the middle of the desert!
All in all, downtown Las Vegas a fun place to spend half a day. The Container Park is pleasant, downtown is up and coming with some good restaurants, and the Fremont Experience is a bit crazy but worth seeing at least once.
This trip (food, lodging, transportation) was sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. I was not paid to write this post or any other post in this series. All opinions are my own.