Category Archives: Sydney

The One With Sydney Fish Market – Freshest Seafood In Town

I have been Sydney twice now; once in 2006, and more recently in 2011. Both times, I didn’t miss out the chance to visit the ever fabulous Sydney Fish Market.

Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market is located Pyrmont, right at the harbour where countless boats of all sizes were docked at. You can reach the market by the lightrail tram, which runs every ten minutes or so. Perfectly reliable transportation, so you’ll be excused if you kinda forgot you are still in Sydney.

Sydney Fish Market

Oh yes, where was I? The fish market. The whole complex is located some ten minutes walk away from the lightrail stop. There are plenty of signboards to show you the way, but fret not if you are hopeless with direction even with a map AND an iPhone in your hand, like yours truly.

Just follow your nose.

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The One With ABBA World At Powerhouse Museum

ABBA World Sydney

During my recent trip to Sydney, I was dragged to the obscure Powerhouse Museum for the ABBA World exhibition. Like, right after I got off the 9-hour flight from Hong Kong, one hour shuttle trip to the airport, and dumping my bags at the hotel reception.

ABBA World Sydney

You would think I am a big ABBA fan. Well, technically I am a fan of their songs. I loved how their hits spanning some 35 years were made into the spectacularly entertaining musical Mamma Mia! But of the group, I was shamefully under-informed.

Here are a few things I didn’t know of ABBA.

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The One With My Virgin Snow Experience Right Down Under

If you have been following my travel adventure, you would know how much I craved to see snow. I timed my various backpacking adventure to Europe right in the smack of winter hoping to have a snowy holiday but it never quite worked out as planned.

No, that little bit of a snow drizzle I saw at Prague doesn’t count. Nor that snow-covered landscape I saw but not touched during that train ride from Madrid to Barcelona.

So imagine my delight when, finally, after much planning without leaving much to chance, I got my first taste of snow in Australia!

IMG_6488

That was at this place called Smiggin Holes, the first of some stops we made during our journey up to the ski resorts of Perisher. Did you know that unlike in movies, snow is actually hard, lumpy, wet and not at all all powdery?

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Sydney Day 5

In my (lost) post yesterday, I lost my camera on the bus that I took from Taronga Zoo back to Queen Victoria Building. The digicam, my first ever purchase of that high price for myself, has been with me through many trips and contains hundreds of photos and video clips from my Sydney trip.

So you can imagine how devastated I was when I discovered it missing late yesterday evening. I got a number to call from the Sydney Infoline and can only call them the next morning.

I wasn’t holding out hope for it. I mean, how often do you lose something in the public and found it again? Add on the fact that it is something expensive and in a foreign country, I have a better chance striking the lottery.

I am incredibly lucky. Very, very lucky. Some good soul who was cleaning the bus yesterday found my little velvet pouch with my Mini Olympus and returned it to the Lost and Found office of Sydney Transit. I was halfway leaving a voice mail on the phone when a man picked up the phone, reconfirm the details and told me that, yes, the camera has been found.

I was way beyond delighted. After a quick dim sum lunch at East Ocean restaurant (I just have to have those egg tarts again), I took a cab down to Neutral Bay where the Sydney Transit office is. After a bit of looking around I found the office, and the nice officer handed over my beloved camera with a smile and said, “You are incredibly lucky”

Yes I am, I told him, I thought I will never see my camera again.

(Remind me to write a thank you note to those good people)

After that I took a bus back to town, and then took the Metro Line and then Light Rail to go to the Sydney Fish Market. Located right at a harbour, the whole place stank like any fisheries should, but still maintained some class with their eateries and picnic tables by the seaside. The food was alright, something to be expected, but the many hunting birds can be pretty unnerving.

Then I took the train to the Central Station, and found out how to travel to Kings Cross. Reached the place at late afternoon. Despite the name of the place, the actual action actually happen on Darlinghurst Street and not Kings Cross Street. The place is dotted with sex shops, strip joints, little cafes and night clubs. Very seedy indeed. But since I visited the place in broad daylight I hardly see anything.

(Why do I have to visit red light districts in the daytime? I did the same when I was in Amsterdam!!)

Had a 30 minute foot reflexology (it felt “too safe” as the therapist wore a pair of latex glove – yuck) and then a cup of coffee. Then I…. *censored

Hee… then headed back to town and had dinner with Bart. Gosh, my very last dinner in Sydney!

Tomorrow is the day I leaving this city. I will definitely going to miss the buzz, the weather, the lifestyle.

I hope to return (for good) one day.

Sydney Day 4

I lost my fucking camera. And I lost my entire bloody post on today.

This is soooo not my freaking day. I am so upset I could eat supper.

Not a bad idea, actually.


Notes after this section are written about a month after the trip, as only then I have the time to sort through my travel log and photos and record my wonderful Sydney trip properly


(The following entry was written at a tree top cafe at Taronga Zoo, from where I get to see Sydney Harbour. Just a note)

Rocks Market

So this morning I went to The Rocks Market – an ecceltic mix of Australian goods (soaps, nuts, crystal balls etc) and typical touristy stuff – though the boomerangs and aboriginic wind piper looked tantalising enough. I did but this hanging deco consisting of spiralled wire and crystal ball.

Until I realised that most likely I can’t bring it up the plane, and I can’t check in my luggage (due to some reasons I’ll explain later). Gah!

The La Razzo Cafe, right outside The Rocks Market,
where I had my late breakfast

The breakfast that I had. I simply love the food in Australia
It must be the weather!

My latte and faithful book that accompanied me everywhere.
A good book is important for a lone ranger holiday

The Rocks Market, where I spent a good two hours at.
The market only sprung up during the weekend

The crystal deco that I bought and can’t bring home!
So I give it to bart as a gift – and of course he didn’t know the real reason, haha!

One of the few interesting artwork dotting around the market

Okay, a random pic – Sydney Arts Museum
I was on my way back to the harbour

Next destination was Taronga Zoo, a chilling and occassionaly wet 12-minutes ride from Circular Quay. My visit coincides with the zoo’s 90th birthday! Rushed to have my picture taken with the koala (finally! been wanting that for ages!) and get to see the creature really upclose.

Now where’s my kangaroo?

The ferry which will bring me to the zoo!

Yeah! But this is not the stop that I should alight at
Why are the wharves in Sydney so confusing?

I have arrived at the right wharf! Rule of thumb – just follow the crowd

At the entrance of the zoo!

The Koala! My dream has come true! So cute!
(And now I remembered someone said I look like a koala bear :S

The seal show. Pretty nice – but I guess it is standard zoo stuff

The gorillas! Look at the size of that backside! Haha…
Imagine these to be 100x the size, you’ll get King Kong

I can’t remember the name of this house, but it is educational
for the kids. Like this place – and it is really creative of the zoo to build such
house to educate the kids on common animals. Spent most of my time here

The kangaroos! Another dream fulfilled!
They are not as big as I thought though…

At the tree top cafe where I had a cuppa and wrote this entry

(Now here’s a detailed explanation what happened after my zoo trip, which kind of like “scarred” my entire holiday in Sydney.

The zoo was closing at 5, and the sky was black with rain clouds. I rushed out of the zoo so that I will be in time for the ferry and hoped for a less-choppy ride back to Circular Quay. I saw some buses lined up the front of the zoo and thinking that it was the same shuttle I took from the terminal to the zoo, I hopped on.

To my dismay I realise I have actually boarded an actual Sydney public bus. Now those who knows me will know I don’t take buses. No, I am not that atas that buses are beneath me, but I am simply hopeless when it comes to bus directions and numbers.

The ride was extremely long, and it took past many Sudney surburbs. I was worried as I do not know where I was heading. I caught the occasional glimpse of the sea as my direction, and I thought I was heading to the city direction.

Sighing to myself, I took out my camera and look at the photos and video clips. It cheered me up, and suddenly when I looked up I realised we are back in Sydney downtown! The bus stopped somewhere near the Queen Victoria Building, and it was its last stop. Everyone got off then, so I took my bag and got off too.

The weather was nice and chilly, so I took a stroll around the area, and I ended up at Martin Square. The buildings here are very nice, and I thought I must take some photos of them.

It was then I realised, to my horror, that my beloved camera is no longer in my bag!

I was searching frantically for it – I literally turned it inside out in a McCafe to make sure that I didn’t overlooked it. To my dismay, it was really not there. I panicked and my heart clenched in pain. Not only the camera is my beloved possession, it also contained 4 days worth of photos and memories of my trip.

I guess I must have somehow dropped the camera in the public bus in my excitement and relief getting off the bus in town. Somehow I got a number from Sydney Infoline to call the Sydney Transit, but I hope wasn’t high. Afterall, I can’t even remember the service number of the bus, not to mention the plate number.

My camera was gone :( )

Sydney Day 3

Some notes for Day 3 in Sydney.

Today has been somewhat a less… exhilirating day. Most likely because I woke up late (again!) and my feet were swollen from all the excessive walking that I have been doing.

Nevertheless it was a good all in all. After a hearty breakfast at “City Extra” located at Sydney Harbour, Bart and I were off to Manly – a rather touristy location famous for nothing but its beaches.

After a 45 minutes journey, I clapped my eyes on Manly and true enough, this place does live up to its name. Manly boasts not only a harbour beach. Some minutes away from the Manly Wharf is the Manly Beach – a stretch of white sand, blue sky and clear sea. Hundreds, if not thousands locals and tourists alike crowd themselves on the island. It was a sight to behold.

And all I did at this famous Sydney beach is to eat an expensive cone of ice cream, drip chocolare all over my clothes and wrote in my little journal pad.

Bah!

By the time I hit back Sydney, it was evening and I took a nap before headed to Oxford Street again. This time the crowd was amazing. There is a reason why Sydney is the party city of Australia.

More on this later, as the booze I have consumed has reached my eyes and it is shutting itself.

Nitey all.


Notes after this section are written about a month after the trip, as only then I have the time to sort through my travel log and photos and record my wonderful Sydney trip properly


(For today I only managed to write in my journal once. Bart took leave for the day and we left his house rather late. These are the photos of what we did prior to our ferry ride to Manly – which was, least to say, very exhilarating! The view was fantastic, the wind was strong, and I was soooo in love with Sydney)

I’m all set to take on the beach!

Taken at the Sydney Harbour prior to our breakfast.
I keep forgetting what these aboriginies instrument are called!
Sounded damn cool though – like some deep techno bass

One of the many street performers at the harbour.
This one is definitely the “brightest”!

My Canadian big breakfast! Damn oily, damn good, damn expensive!

Manly Beach

The wind is blowing strong. Cheers rise from the beach as the hunks and babes battled each other over a game of beach volleyball.

And me? I’m sitting here on a metallic bench, fully clothed, writing this. LOL.

Manly Beach does live up to its name. No, I don’t it being manly as in masculine. Manly Beach is famous for its long stretches of white, soft sand. The horizon is as far as your eyes can see.

… I’m not in the mood to write. But this place is damn relaxing!

Oh, and I saw dolphins on my way here! Am I lucky or what?

The view during my ferry ride to Manly. Sydney Opera House – again!

A lone guard house in the middle of nowhere.

One of the ferry stops. I almost got down here!
This is the stop before the main Manly Wharf

The actual Manly Wharf! I know I look weird in my attire

The many small shops along the pathway from the terminal to the beach.
I remember buying some delicious ice cream from one of the shops here!

The beach! Don’t let the skimpy sunbathers fool you.
The weather, despite being sunny, is actually very cold

I stood out like a sore thumb, with my jacket and all!

I don’t know why I took photo of this sign board…
… I must be bored. I am not much of a beach person

About to go back! I told you I am not much of a beach person haha

It was very sunny on the ride back to Sydney, wasn’t that cooling anymore.

It is not that Bart don’t smile. He was squinting against the glary sun!

But the sun made this sight of Harbour Bridge very heartbreakingly beautiful

(Later that night I forgot to bring out my camera, so there were no photos. What we did we simple enough. Bart brough me to Star City, the biggest casino in Sydney. My first time! Played the “tiger machine”, and of course I lose spectacularly. Rather fun though. Bart keep slotting money and play. Gosh! Then we had a very nice dinner at one of the high class restaurant in the casino. After which we took a cab to Oxford Street and do some bar hopping. It was nice and fun, but too soon it was midnight and both of us became very tired. It was time to head home)

Sydney Day 2

Just some short notes on my Day 2 here. I promise I will update more based on my notes and photos once I get home.

Today has been an extremely tiring day. Perhaps it was because I got lost in the city TWICE within the same night. By the time I get back to the hotel room it was almost midnight, and my feet were killing me.

So that explained why I woke up late this morning and missed the (supposedly excellent) hotel breakfast. Afterwhich I checked out from the hotel and went to Bart’s house. We then had some yum-cha (which was, by the way, far surperior than anything I have tasted before).

We then parted way and I went on my own for my city tour. Managed to cover only some parts of this increasingly fascinating city – Paddy’s Market, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Tower, Dymock Books – where I met up with Ewan again.

We then went for a long walk towards and around Sydney Opera House, talking about polictics and stuff. Then we had dinner at Star Bar, which was previously the Planet Hollywood. After which I bad him farewell as I am not sure when will be the next time we will meet again.

Now back at Bart’s house and I am so dead tired, not able to move a muscle. But damn being near Chinatown has its own benefits.

Supper beckons, I guess…


Notes after this section are written about a month after the trip, as only then I have the time to sort through my travel log and photos and record my wonderful Sydney trip properly


Yum Cha and Shopping

Woke up late today. perhaps my flight here has been that exhausting. I mean, those kids that have been running along the aisle throughout the damn flight certainly didn’t help my much-needed slumber.

Oh, did I mention that for the first night I was staying at a hotel? My friend Bart (yes, as in of The Simpsons) got me a night stay at Hotel Novotel at Darling Harbour, as his place wasn’t available the night before. So I get to stay at this amazing hotel, which was very minimalist and stylish, located within walking distance to Chinatown! Here are some photos of the room and the view from the window.

Then I checked out of the hotel and moved my stuff to Bart’s place, which is located at Dixon Street, in the heart of Chinatown. I liked his place! A studio apartment for one, and all well equipped. If only I can find such a place in Singapore! As I was admiring his toilet, my stomach choosed that moment to give an almight grumble, and then we headed to this restaurant for breakfast.

This has got to be the BEST dim sum breakfast I ever had in my life. No it is not because of the weather – we were indoor, with trollies of food pushed around like those in real dim sum restaurant. Such breakfasts, apparently, is called yum cha in Sydney, and both local and Asians alike enjoy it very much.

I had reservations at first looking at the price tags, which were on the high side. A small plate of dim sum cost A$3.20! But my misgivings were put to rest as I had my first bite. The quality is simply superb. I particularly loved the egg tarts. It was soooo fresh – just sweet enough, and the pastry was so fluffy and crunchy at the same time. The dim sum here are even better than those I had in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Sumptious dim sum – my stomach growled just by looking at them

My lovely, lovely egg tarts. I must have eaten at least
10 of them throughout my trip!

One of the few self photos I took in Sydney. I look tired eh?

This is my friend Bart. He is one nice guy!
Single guy alert for you gals out there!

Now is the time for me to get started on shopping. Haha… as I am writing this at a Starbuck Cafe along George Street, I have just bought some… girlie stuff for a friend from Paddy’s Market and a pair of nice Italian shoe for 50 bucks! Here are some pics I took as I shop my way down George Street – I hope I won’t be spending too much!

Right outside Paddy’s Market. I am off to start my shopping spree!

This is where I got my shoes. The shop sell loads of branded clothes!

Here’s the selection of shoes available from the shop.
Alas, I didn’t take a photo of the shoes I bought. Silly me :P

George Street – the main street in Sydney, strecthes from Chinatown
all the way to the Sydney Harbour. It takes about 30 minutes of brisk walk
to walk the entire length of this busy, busy road

The Starbuck where I sat down, had a cuppa, people-watched and
wrote this entry. It is nice not to be all sweaty when you sit outside for coffee,
unlike Singapore. Heavenly!~

Sky Tower

(The entry below describes my experience up at the Sydney Sky Tower. Prior to that I walked down the entire stretch of George Street, snapping photos as I go. Here are some of the nice ones I took. These places were described in my faithful Lonely Planet guide book, of which I relied on religiously throughout the trip)

St. Andrew’s Cathedral – one of the many churches that dot around Sydney

The inside of the church – the architecture is pretty amazing, albeit a bit stuffy.

Statue of Queen Victoria outside the Queen Victoria Building (QVB).
Throughout the trip I kept mistaken this statue as Queen Elizabeth.
Don’t ask me why! :P

Even the dog of Queen Victoria got a statue of its own.

The entrance of QVB. Gotta be the biggest shopping centre along this street.

Inside QVB. The shops are rather high end, similar to Paragon in Singapore.
Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything from here!

Another shopping centre.

State Theatre Building

(Now here begins the entry proper)

Would you pay A$22 for a trip up to the sky? I did.

Sydney Sky Tower exceeded all my expectations on typical tourist spots. Of course I did not take the exhorbitantly expensive Skywalk. In Sydney, there always seems to be cheaper options for everyone.

This is the Sydney Sky Tower – right in the heart of Sydney!

The fun started with OZTrek – a 3D simulation show. I sat in this spiffy rotating room, bringing the audience through four different screens that represent the four dimensions that Australia has to offer – outback, wildlife, urban and beaches. Then we were whisked to this 3D ride, much like an amusement ride kind of thing. A bit dizzy from it though.

The 360 degree view from the top was pretty amazing, though I reckon the impact was somewhat lessened after my experience at the Pylon Lookout yesterday. Plenty of telescope to go around at the tower too. Here are some bird eye shots I took.

I’m writing this at the Tower Lounge, sipping beer. It’s strange that they disallow “intoxicated” people going up the tower, but alcoholic drink are sold here. Oh well… I’m about to go off meeting Ewan again later on!

(After coming down from the tower, I met up with Ewan at Dymock Book Store. After a cuppa, we went around to walk along George Street again, taking in the sight like Martin Place (see below) and Sydney Opera House at night. Then we had a fantastic value for money steak at the former Planet Hollywood – now called the Star Bar – at which we sipped wine and people watched, before calling it a day)

Sydney Day 1

A quick note from the city down under.

Sydney is undoubtly the best city I have ever visited.

Arrived this morning at 6 a.m. Singapore time, and it has been a whirlwind of gourment meals, icon landmarks visit, meeting up online friends, pub hopping… I have visit Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, King Cross, Oxford Street…

More to come tomorrow!

It is only 9.30 p.m. over here in Sydney, and I am almost a dead meat. Didn’t manage to catch a wink on the plane – some damn kids keep running up and down the aisle!

Kept a note pad of journal, and took quite a lot of photos. Hope to keep this up and get this trip documented.


Notes after this section are written about a month after the trip, as only then I have the time to sort through my travel log and photos and record my wonderful Sydney trip properly


On The Plane: KL to Sydney

This is what it is about! Never will I go for budget airlines again!

Perhaps it was after the endless flights of miserable food that you actually have to pay for, and of flightts so short you barely have to to stir your coffee.

Let’s see… first they served me a packaget of peanuts with orange juice… after which I reequested for more… and at which point the stewardedess has to point out the stray peanut on my shirt. How embarassing!!

Then the feast begin! Raw fish (sashimim?), bun with butter, noodles with vege and fish fillet, orange and wine and coffee.

And my swoop of delight can only be described as distasteful when they served me the cream of the crop of all inflight food.

Magnum ice cream!!!. Served miles in the air!

Morsels like this make me want to swear off budget airlines!

Glorious, glorious Sydney!

It is uncanny that I’m now sitting at Portbello’s Cafe having my first lunch, which costed me a whopping A$27, in full view of the Sydney Opera House.

The main signboard at Circular Quay

This is my first lunch in Sydney! Bloody tasty, I must add. Must be the weather

My view during lunch. Don’t you think this is heavenly?

Uncanny, because I watched “Finding Nemo” on the plane, and the setting of the cartoon was… Sydney. And I saw plenty of “Mike! Mike!”

(In case if you are wondering if I have went nuts, that is actually the hunger cry of some white birds alien to me)

I simply love the weather. Did I say that? Let me say that again. I simply, simply love the weather.

Cab was bloody expensive! My first cab driver was a very chatty Chinese (and throughout the trip I realised ALL my cab drivers are Asian).

Sydneysiders, I realised, loved to sun bask during their lunch time, sitting in parks having a picnic or sipping coffee at the harbour.

I can feel that this is going to be a great place to be live in!

At the Sydney Opera House. Some Japanese lady helped me took this photo :P

At The Top of Sydney

I spent a good hour looking for the Bridge Climb and The Pylon at The Rock. This part of Sydney, supposed the origin of this city, is a pleasant mix of the old and new, the conservative and the liberal, the fresh and the stale. Of all parts of Sydney that I have visited, I like this the best.

The entrance to The Rock

Some random old but beautiful building at The Rock

Some bar I came across during my journey. I was only 4 p.m. but people are already having a merry time, sipping beer!

One of the oldest shopping arcade in Sydney. I took a dump here ;)

Anyway, I am writing this at the top of the “vantage point” of Sydney at The Pylon. The view was breathtaking. I have actually managed to take a video of a HUGE cruise ship sailing into the Sydney Harbour, complete with hundreds of semi naked tourist onboard… but somehow I have misplaced the clip. Gah!

This is the Harbour Bridge – the one you will trek up if you take on Bridge Climb

If you look closely, you’ll see some of the bridge climbers.

The Bridge Climb, of course, was the thing to go for for a skyscraper view of the city. But it was way too expensive for an ardeous climb up the Harbour Bridge. Despite the fact that if I have done that, I will be among the ranks of Nicole Kidman, Brandon Fraser, Pierce Brosnan…

I think I just detected some Singlish in the air. Argh! Can’t get away from the little Merlion people, can I? Haha…

The actual entrance to the Bridge Climb

I think this is the Suzannah House at The Rock – nice!

This is the Chinatown, where I had my dinner. More on this place in another post!

Sydney Day 0

At The Beginning

Terminal 2 of Changi Airport is definitely better. Had Korean food. Flight from Singapore to KL was uneventful. Strangely, the entire flight setup reminded me of budget airline. The crampness of the seats. Real life safety demo. Interesting addition, though, of a piece of date as part of the mean for breaking the Hari Raya fast.

Saw two Brad Pitt lookalikes at KLIA! Haha…. right now I am sitting at the waiting lounge. Mostly westerners, few Asians. The security check was tight, and the queue started like an hour before the flight. Luckily I came earlier to the check in – it must be a HUGE plane.

Going to plan a bit for my day 1 in Sydney on the plane. Places to visit – The Rick, City Centre and Circular Quay.