Santa Monica and Venice Beach is a bit of a ride from the city centre, so we had to change buses to get there. We stopped by at Westwood Village near UCLA for a quick bite at a local In N Out joint.
Interior is typical American diner style and decorated in splashes of red and white. Malaysians are pretty monotheistic when it comes to fast food choices – only going to McDs and KFC – so I was taken aback by the variety of fast food joints available in LA.
E ordered a set meal coz he was hungry. This is the first time I’ve seen ‘animal-style fries’. Learning something new in America everyday!
Cheeseburger. The patty was grilled well, and the melty cheese was awesome.
Re-energised after the quick meal, we hopped onto the bus again and got off on Third Street Promenade – a pedestrian street lined with palm trees, restaurants, shops and all-things touristy. It was a beautiful day with clear, summer-like weather. Be prepared for lots of blue in the pix 🙂
Convenient inns along the Promenade, since the beach is just a few minutes away.
Passing through a mall. I like the open air concept of malls in America. In Malaysia, most of our malls are enclosed and air conditioned because of the hot weather.
We’re here! Santa Monica Pier is 100-years old and is the end of California’s Route 66. It is now a tourist attraction with shops and beach-side amusements such as a theme park, rides and arcades.
Beautiful view – looks exactly like in the movies!
The wooden pier has lots of restaurants and shops lining it on both sides. This scene reminds me of Blackpool Beach in the UK.
A small souvenir shop selling Route 66 and California-related trinkets.
One of the must-do things here is to take a picture with the wooden marker, which indicates the end of the Route 66 trail 🙂
No trip to the beach would be complete without some good ol’fashioned arcade games. I nearly peed myself with laughter when I saw that they had a Flappy Bird arcade game… what??
We managed to exchange our tickets for souvenirs! The things are super cheap, but its part of the fun.
It was my turn to feel hungry, so we got a hotdog from a small, unassuming-looking stand called Japadog. Apparently it is quite famous as there are pix of celebrities plastered all over the simple stand.
I decided to try their Kurobuta Terimayo. The kurobuta (black pig) sausage came sandwiched between a hotdog bun and topped over with teriyaki sauce + mayo with seaweed flakes.
This was super. The hotdog was juicy, porky, cooked just right and well seasoned, and the sauce was amazeballs. I highly recommend getting this if you’re ever at the Santa Monica pier. 10/10!
We skipped the Santa Monica Pier Amusement Park because the prices were expensive.
Beaches in Los Angeles are long and stretch away into the horizon, with big, rolling waves. Very different from the ones in Southeast Asia, which are tropical with a smaller sand area and coconut trees, or sometimes mangrove swamps.
Seagulls and pigeons diligently looking for leftovers and scraps of food.
The end of the wooden pier.
We walked down to the beach where I experienced ‘cold sand’ for the first time. Tropical beaches are always warm so it kind of threw me off lol.
I like how holistic the lifestyle is in LA.There were many people cycling, jogging and bringing their dogs out for a walk on well-paved facilities. They have proper bike lanes and jogging tracks, as well as beach gym equipment – something you don’t find in Malaysia.
Beachfront villas and apartments.
Watching the sunset. ❤
We continued walking to Venice Beach, which is just next to Santa Monica Beach. This area was more ghetto with lots of people smoking weed, street artists, homeless people asking for change, tattoo parlours and bars.
Another stretch of this place is called Muscle Beach because it used to have a lot of gyms.
Long day and ready to head back!
While waiting for the bus, some guy on weed decided to strike up a conversation with me by trying to play the ‘what Asian are you game’. Instead of asking me where I was from, he tries to guess. After three tries (Korean, Japanese, Chinese), he finally gives up and asks me lol. He was half-right at Chinese – but technically I’m not from China, so…It was a very random conversation lol.
Many people I encountered in America think that I’m Korean, which is funny, because no one has ever told me that back in my home country. Maybe it has something to do with the round face. But guys, you know what? You can just ask of trying the whole ‘Who’s that Pokemon’ thing…