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17 September 2012

I am sure you would like to find to how to get to Paramount Studio for the tour and what the tour offers for US$45 each. I bought this ticket on the internet the night before I travel at http://www.paramountstudiotour.com/Reserve.html

You can choose what time of the day before 2pm to tour the studio. If you get there by car, there is a car park opposite the studio, facing the 5555 Melrose Ave, Hollywood.

However if you don't have a car, don't worry, it is quite easy to get there by bus and it is much cheaper and no hassle with parking. The bus that I took, dropped me off just outside 5555 Melrose Ave. I don't even have to cross the road !

I used the MTA.net to guide me in using the best bus to get there. As I lived in Santa Monica, I took the Santa Monica Rapid 7 bus. It cost me only US$1 on this bus. The bus stop is only 5 minutes walk from my hotel. The bus is very regular and it came in less than 15 minutes. The bus stopped at the end of the line at Western and Wilshire Boulevard corner. Then I took the Dash Hollywood-Whilshire Red Line Vine Station bus at the same bus top where I got off from Bus Rapid 7. This bus trip cost me US 50 cents and this bus journey is approximately 20 minutes and it dropped me off just outside the "Paramount" Melrose Gate. There is another gate called the "Bronson" gate but that is for employees. If you get off the bus too early and stopped outside "Bronson" gate, that is not a problem as the "Melrose" gate is just 2 minutes up the road.

Bring some form of identification with your name to register at the gate prior to the tour ( even though you have paid for your ticket on the internet). It does not need to be "official" document. You can use driver's licence, copy of your passport or credit cards with your name.

A guide will accompany a group of only maximum 8 people as they use a golf cart to drive you around the studio. This tour takes at least 2 hours. I had Jillian and she is great!. We didn't really get to see any stars but the main cast from Glee tooted their horn at us while we are stopped at one of the studio. They drove pass quite fast so we only had a glimpse of 2 of the girl stars sitting at the back of the golf cart facing us. How exciting ! even though we are not allowed to chase after them for autographs. We saw the set of "The Doctors", saw the props and sets for quite a few movies and sitcoms. Now I know how unreal most of the scenes I had imagined or saw in the movies for example the parting of the sea by "Moses". They showed us the "sea". Incredible !

There are a lot more backdrops and scenery that is beyond what I thought was real. I enjoyed this tour very much and would consider this as one of the highlights of my tour in Los Angeles. I would not miss this tour if I am a new to Los Angeles. Well worth the visit for US$45 each.

After the tour, I headed off to see the "Hollywood Forever Cemetery". This cemetery is located behind the Paramount Studio. From outside the "Melrose" gate, you turn right and head towards Gower St. Walk straight down and at the end of Gower St, turn right into Santa Monica St and walk for a few minutes, you will see the big sign facing you "Hollywood Forever Cemetery". The total walk is about 20 minutes from outside "Melrose" gate to the cemetery. Most of the people who are buried here are the really old movie stars or producers, such as the guys who says in Bugs Bunny movies" That's all folks".. Hs grave is located on the left hand side of the main street, just before the turn/curve. I saw the other famous graves near the lakes such as Cecil B. DeMille, Tyrone Power and many more.

You can buy a book for US$20 or a map  for US$5 (for where the famous are buried) at the gift shop at the entrance. The current movie stars or producers are not buried here but at Los Angeles National Cemetery at Westwood (I was told). I didn't have time to visit this other cemetery to find out if that is true. Maybe someone could verify this fact.

Going home by bus is very easy. You can use the 704 bus on Santa Monica Boulevard. Just look for the stop that has this number. This bus will take you all the way to the Santa Monica last stop and from there, look for a stop for the Big Blue Bus No 7 to get you back to your hotel, if you stayed where I stayed at Pico Travelodge.

The other way to get home is using the Bus no 4 that stopped at Westwood and walked towards Pico Boulevard, along the shops for approximately 6 blocks, 20 minutes maximum. Then take the Big Blue Bus No 7 towards Santa Monica and stopped just after the hotel.

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5) Paramount Studio Tour & Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, USA

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