Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon - my first time to a real nice city in USA. Route: HKG- Japan Narita - Seattle Tacoma(nearly missed my flight) - Portland PDX. Portland - free from sale tax, excellent light rail, roses, gardens, riverside experience, Saturday Market, shopping, etc. And it is nice and easy to reach Mount Hood. They have got an informative website for tourists/visitors, too. I would love to move there if I have citizenship! (For my side-trip to Mount Hood, please see my other entry.)

Portland, Oregon

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by ariesgirl on October 24, 2003

TAX-FREE (no sales tax)!!!!

Contrasting cityscape in Portland, high, wet, cold Mount Hood area, sunny dry desert, Indian Trail, and the nice Fruit Loop on Highway 35. Nice city policy to welcome the cycling community where the light rail and bus are designed to take on bicycles.

Oregon is the first "normal" place in USA I visited besides the man-made Las Vegas. Nice. ${QuickSuggestions} Avoid walking through those small parks near the hotel area/university area where a few people gather. They ask passersby for money. There are so many of them asking for change that it gets to be a bit annoying.${BestWay} The light rail is very, very convenient and economic. It's free to ride within the city center. Walking is nice too, as there are lots of shops in the town.

Hilton Portland

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by ariesgirl on October 24, 2003

1. Easy access from airport. Just take the light rail and take off at Pioneer Square stop. Two short blocks away.
2. Do not confused with the other Hilton, which is just around the block.
3. Convenient location with two Starbucks nearby. Also it is around other hotels. Places to eat and shop. Nike shop, etc. Other department stores not far away.
4. Nice and neat, but I stay on high floors and I can see the window of the opposite business buildings.
5. Swimming pool and spa with locker facilities.
6. Booking from priceline website and got a good price lower than booking directly at frontdesk ($99).
7. Nice breakfast buffet. Not as nice as that of Las Vegas MGM's though.
8. Restaurant at near top floor. Didn't visit but should have a nice view there.
Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
921 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, Oregon, 97204
(503) 226-1611

Rose Garden & Japanese Garden

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by ariesgirl on October 24, 2003

Take the light rail Blue line going West to Hillsboro/Gresham direction to Washington Park. You may choose to buy the six hour ticket, which can cover the shuttle bus fare. The station features an eye-opening deep earth sample displayed horizontally thousands years of geographical history.

Take the 450 feet elevator up to the park. I skipped the zoo which requires a separate ticket. Then take the shuttle bus to the Rose Garden. The proper name is "International Rose Test Garden".

Lots and lots of roses. Thousands. Different species, colours, and sizes including hybrid tea roses too. Name plates for differnt species. A shop selling many items related to rose, too.

Best to take females who are into roses there. Remember to bring a good camera and tripod if you fancy close-up pictures. Most bees have been attracted to the hot dog shop. So, little worry. The poor Oriental girl working with a dozen of bees constantly humming around her.

Next I walked to the Japanese garden just nearby. Get an exotic feel. Some of the little streams is drying up a bit but mostly it is not a bad garden. The best part is the view to see Portland from a different angle.

If you do not like to walk uphill for 5-10 minutes, get on the shuttle bus to the Japanese garden.

Portland Japanese Garden
611 SW Kingston Avenue
Portland, Oregon, 97205
(503) 223-1321

Portland Saturday Market

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ariesgirl on October 24, 2003

It's also open on Sundays. On their bags, it says it's open from March through Christmas Eve.

Both the Red and Blue light-rail lines stop by there. Right near the Burnside Bridge on the map.

They even have their own website. Everything you would expect from a prosperous local weekend market/flea market. Music and food are naturally available there.

Lots of creative arts & crafts. Items made from cutlery, artistic daily items with unusual materials, pottery, leather, Oriental arts & crafts, fortune-telling, etc. I think my ex-landlady, who is into arts & crafts, would love to visit there, too!

I bought two nice metal hairpins, only as I cannot carry too much with me.

The stalls are split by the rail line/train stop--walk across it with care.

Portland Saturday Market
108 W Burnside St.
Portland, Oregon, 97209
(503) 222-6072

The riverside of Portland

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by ariesgirl on October 24, 2003

Walk from Pioneer Square, from any eastward street, to the riverside. It's nice to walk alone to the river. Try Westside Riverwalk.

I first reached the Salmon Street Spring. Have dinner at the pub/cafe/restaurant there. I saw a newlywed couple taking wedding-gown pictures by the spring around dinnertime.

There are horse-drawn carts available for hire from the Residence Inn area near the marina. The horses will take you from that posh hotel area, along the waterfront park to the spring area. Some people prefer to take a ride on the Portland Spirit from the dock right next to the spring.

A relaxing walk.


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