Thursday, June 29, 2017

Australia (2014) Day 4: Brisbane & Its Attractions in CBD & South Bank

I have to admit that spending 3 days in Sydney is indeed pretty short but what to do as our vacation days weren't long enough. So right after Sydney, we proceed with our next destination which is Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland.

Of course the fastest and convenient option is by taking flight from Sydney to Brisbane. Tigerair Aiways, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia and Qantas are among the airlines flying directly without any transit. The first two are low-cost airlines, similar like AirAsia. We chosen Jetstar Aiways not because it's the cheapest one but because my friend had worst experiences flying with Tiger Airways before. We managed to book one way flight which cost us AU$74.50 (approx. to RM290) including 20kg luggage allowance. 

Day 4 - Sydney Domestic Airport
#1: Jetstar Aiways check-in counter at Sydney Domestic Airport (T3)

Day 4 - Jetstar 01
#2: Boarding pass - Checked. Luggage tag - Checked. Time for boarding! 

After 1 hour and 30 minutes, we landed safely at Brisbane Airport. From the airport to Brisbane city, we travelled via Airtrain to South Bank Station, where our hotel situated nearby. One way fare cost us AU$21.70 (approx. to RM65) and the train journey took 33 minutes. 

Where We Stayed in Brisbane?
My friends and I stayed at Riverside Hotel South Bank, which not far from Brisbane River. The room was good value for money and short walk to museum, art gallery, train station and CBD. It was pretty clean and comfort. Overall, we're satisfied with it and couldn't ask for more. 

Brisbane Southbank River Hotel
#3: Riverside Hotel Southbank

Date Stayed: 14 October - 16 October 2014 (2 nights)
Rate I Paid: AU$130 per night (approx. to RM404) for a standard double room with one single bed (Booked via Booking.com)

Day 4 - Brisbane 01
#4: Just across the bridge to CBD

What To Do & See in Brisbane's CBD & South Bank
Getting around in Brisbane is pretty easy. The CBD is relatively flat and condensed, which makes it excellent for walking or cycling and virtually all other areas can be reached by public transport. Here are few attractions and famous landmarks we managed to visit during our stay in Brisbane: 

Day 4 - Brisbane 02
Queen Street Mall - pedestrian mall situated in the center of Brisbane. It offers an unrivalled mix of local, national and international labels and flagship stores. Besides shopping, the mall also offers wide selection of restaurants and cafes for dining and relaxing option.  

Day 5 - Brisbane 03-1
Brisbane City Hall and King George Square - city's most significant historical landmark which situated between Adelaide Street and Ann Street in Brisbane.

Day 4 - Brisbane 04
Albert Street Uniting Church - heritage listed church with red and white decoration.

Day 5 - Brisbane Wheel of Brisbane
Wheel of Brisbane - A city ferris wheel that you able to observe the city from 60 m with views across the Brisbane River. The trip is a 15 minutes ride in an enclosed, climate controlled gondola. One ride costs AU$15 for an adult but we got half price, so we decided to try.

Day 5 - Brisbane South Bank Grand Arbour
South Bank Grand Arbour - Take a stroll under this colourful and vibrant magenta bougainvillea arbour at South Bank and you'll be rewarded with the beautiful sights of Parklands along the way. This is my favourite spot and I can't stop taking photo here. This arbour has won multiple awards for its stunning and excellent architecture. A must seen and visit attraction in Brisbane.

Day 5 - Brisbane Museum & Art Gallery
Museums and art galleries - If you are type that love art and history, then Brisbane is an ideal place for you to visit. You'll find scattered across the city for its world-class art galleries and interactive museums that delve into both the past and present.

Day 5 - Brisbane South Bank River Bridge
In case you have nothing to do at night, why don't take a stroll nearby the Brisbane River for its spectacular night view?

Overall, I personally heart Brisbane so much. Brisbane is the most underrated city in Australia and it has so many different layers to be explored. I'm wondering why so many people tend to skip this beautiful city and only focusing on other cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and etc. Brisbane is no longer a sleepy and boring rivercity like what many people expected. Therefore, don't forget to include Brisbane in your itinerary. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Accommodations I Stayed Before

LATEST UPDATED ON 28.06.2017
 
List of the accommodations I stayed before:
(This list will be updated from time to time)

MALAYSIA
Sabah 
Johor
Kuala Lumpur
klia2
LCCT Airport
Malacca
Penang
Perak
    Putrajaya
    Sarawak

    AUSTRALIA
    Brisbane
    Sydney

    CAMBODIA
    Siem Reap

    CHINA
    Shenzhen

    HONG KONG

    INDONESIA
    Bali
    Bandung
    Jakarta

    JAPAN
    Osaka
    Kyoto
    Tokyo
    MYANMAR
    Bagan
    Inle Lake

    PHILIPPINES 
    Manila

    SINGAPORE

    SOUTH KOREA
    Busan
    Jeju
    Seoul

    TAIWAN

    THAILAND
    Bangkok
    Hatyai
    Phuket
    VIETNAM
    Ho Chi Minh City

    Disclaimer:
    The reviews of all the accommodation above truly based on my own personal experience and are my genuine and honest opinion of this hotel, and that I have no personal or business relationship with those establishment.

      Friday, June 23, 2017

      Foodie Friday: Lifestyle Cafes in Kota Kinabalu

      Let's take a break from my Australia travelogues and time for nom nom.

      Lifestyle cafes in Kota Kinabalu are springing up like mushrooms after the rain. There are more and more options of these cafes opened lately and honestly to say, it's kinda hard for me to chase up sometimes. Some of these cafes are specialise in producing the best cup of coffees in town and some of them do serve from breakfast to dinner. Some I even patronised over and over again for their good  and delicious food. 

      October Coffee House
      [Serve pastries, desserts and beverages]
      October Coffee House - Jalan Gaya

      For your information, based on the survey done by Sabaheats for Favourite Coffee Cafe in Kota Kinabalu, October Coffee House ranked as the No. 1 best coffee in town. They even beat the international coffeehouse chains such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Well done, October Coffee House!

      Up to date, October Coffee House has three outlets located at three different locations;
      i) The Peak Vista, Lorong Puncak 1, Tanjung Lipat, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
      Opening Hours: 11am until 10 pm (Closed on every Wednesday)

      ii) Jalan K.K. Bypass, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
      Opening Hours: 11 am until 12 am

      iii) Latitude 6, Off Jalan Lintas (Opposite Taman Iramanis)
      Opening Hours: 11 am until 12 am

      The Coffee Lab By Frankie Interior Design
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts] #nonhalal 
      KK Cafe - The Coffee Lab

      What we like about this cafe is not just they serve great coffee and affordable desserts, but they do also served scrumptious main meals for lunch and dinner hour. Imagine Japanese cuisines such as Chicken Katsu Do, Curry Chicken Don and Oyakodon are available here at reasonable and lower price.

      Address: Lot 10, Ground Floor, Taman Soon Kiong, Lorong Bernam 3, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
      Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 10:30 pm, Saturday 8:30 am - 3:00 pm (Closed on every Sunday)

      Joe Sun - Food & Coffee Co. - Damai
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-coffee drinks]
      Joe Sun - Food & Coffee Co 00 (2)

      Majority of the food served in Joe Sun are extraordinary and pretty unique, not the kind of typical meals you found in any restaurants or cafes. Absolutely beyond your wild imagination. Beside their signature dishes such as Chicken & Waffles, Ultraman Ham Dan Chiu Yan, they even served Ramen Burger sandwiched with beef party, Lobster Fettuccine, Soft Shell Chilli Crab Pasta and more. Making you wanna go back for more food adventures. Not forget to order a beautiful cup of Rainbow Latte to kick start your day.

      Address: Lot 47, Ground Floor, Block D, Lorong Pokok Kayu Manis 2, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. (In between Maple and Nok Thai Restaurant)
      Opening Hours: 7 am to 10 pm daily

      Sharikat Biru-Biru - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts]
      KK Cafe - Sharikat Biru-Biru

      This cafe offers mixture of local touch with western food. For example, they served tomato pasta with tuhau, a Sabahan Kadazandusun delicacy made from wild ginger. These fusion meals will surely tickle one tastebuds to the max. To end your meal, don't forget to order their signature dessert - Waffle with Coconut Ice-cream with Gula Melaka. I guarantee you will be back for more.

      Address: 24, Jalan Dewan, Kota Kinabalu.
      Opening Hours: 8 am to 12 am daily

      Nook Cafe - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
      KK Cafe - Nook Cafe

      Besides serving wide selection of tasty hearty breakfast and brunch and sandwiches, do try their mouth-watering pancakes and waffles such as Choc Kinabalu Waffles and Jungle Book Pancake pair with a cup of premium specialty coffee.

      Address: No 8, Lorong Dewan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
      Opening Hours: 9 am to 11 pm (Closed on every second Wednesday of the month)
      Instagram: look.for.nook

      Woo! - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
      KK Cafe - Woo copy

      One of their signature dishes are the crispy and crunchy tarts especially the Belgian Dark Chocolate tart. Not forget to pair with hot green tea latte. If you are looking for instagram-worthy cafe, this is one the place to be. With a minimal, modern yet classic interior, there is an airy with a huge window at the back looking over green jungle.

      Address: No 7, Jalan Dewan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
      Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 11.30 pm daily

      Print Cafe - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
      [Serve desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
      Print Cafe 04

      So far, Print Cafe is the only cafe that serve a 3D art coffee. Besides coffee, they do serve a selection of cakes, waffles and pizzas. While enjoying the coffee and food, you can spend your time playing Jenga along with your family and friends.

      Address: No 12, Jalan Dewan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
      Opening Hours: 8.30 am to 10.30 pm daily

      Mosaic Cafe, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
      [Serve lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
      KK Cafe - Mosaic Cafe copy

      Operating under Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Mosaic Cafe is ideal for lights snacks, pizza, drinks and freshly baked cakes and breads. There are two things I personally recommend to try in Mosaic Cafe - Rainbow Latte and homemade ice-cream.

      Address: Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, Kota Kinabalu
      Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm daily

      The B Side - Lido Plaza
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffees and non-caffeine drinks]
      KK Cafe - The B Side

      B Side consider as one of the earliest cafe set up in KK town. So most of the times, my friends and I love to hang out here especially for their wide variety of food. By far, their most popular dish is the soft shell crab pasta which is ordered by almost every table. Aside from a selection of pastas, B Side also have breakfast options including pancakes and French toast.

      Address: Lot 21, Ground Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang
      Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm on every Tuesday to Friday
                                 9 am to 12 pm on every Saturday and Sunday (Closed on every Monday)

      Teddy 'N' Me - Lido Plaza
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffees and beverages]
      KK Cafe - Teddy N Me

      The cafe is reminiscent of a doll house with its white-washed furniture and full with fluffy teddy bears display at each and every nook. It claimed to be one and only with the teddy bear cafe theme in KK town. They used to serve light meals only but now, they have extended their menu from serving eggs Benedict to Spaghetti Carbonara, Japanese Curry Beef Rice and Grilled Chicken. Don't forget to try their homemade buns, breads and waffles when you visit this cafe.

      KK Cafe - Teddy N Me 01

      Address: Lot 15, Ground Floor, Lido Plaza, Kg Kobusak, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang
      Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm on every Thursday to Tuesday (Closed on every Wednesday)

      Ice Dream Cafe - Lido Plaza
      [Serve breakfast, desserts, coffees and beverages]
      KK Cafe - Ice Dream Cafe

      A cafe that specialise in producing their own gelato and ice-cream using the fresh local fruits without using any whipped cream, eggs and preservatives which means it's more healthier to consume compare to conventional ice-cream. Besides waffles topped with homemade ice-cream which is their specialise, they also served all-day breakfast, coffees, non-coffees and fresh juices too.

      Address: Lot 11, First Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang
      Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm daily

      Furball Heaven - Lido Plaza
      [Serve desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
      KK Cafe - Furball Heaven

      One of the two dog cafes in town where you can bring along your furkids while chilling coffee and cakes. What if you don't have dogs but love to play with them? Don't worry as this cafe has its own adorable and friendly in-house dogs.

      Address: Lot 9, Ground Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang.
      Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

      Inch Cafe Movement - Tanjung Aru 
      [Serve specialty coffee, non-caffeine drinks and desserts]
      KK Cafe - Inch Coffee

      Besides specialise in coffee, their waffles claimed to be the best one in town. From their menu, they served Sabah Tea Waffle (only available on weekend) which using Sabah's very own tea in the form of ice-cream, Apom Balik Waffle, Banana Waffle and Caramel Waffle. Another thing I like about their coffee is they have variety of latte - Rose Tea Latte, Chai Latte, Masala Chai Latte and Green Te Latte.

      Address: 1B, Perdana Park, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
      Opening Hours: 2 pm to 10 pm (Closed on every Monday)

      Crown's Coffee Corner - Tanjung Aru 
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
      KK Cafe - Crown Coffee Corner

      A cosy and simple cafe situated at the ground floor of Crown Hotel serving good and cheap coffee with simple and comfort food like toast, Korean Shin Ramyun and fluffy Pandesal Hot Buns.

      Address: Crown Hotel, Jalan Pinang, Pekan Tanjung Aru.
      Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (Closed on every Sunday)

      Puppucino Cafe - Plaza 333
      [Serve lunch, dinner and desserts]
      KK Cafe - Puppucino Cafe

      You can now enjoying your food and drink with your furkids. One of the two dog cafes in town, this cafe owner has this very cute and fluffy Corgi with the name of Tedy which is so hyper active. Unfortunately, they are permanently closed now. Tedy, I miss you so much!

      Address: 1st Floor, Lot 15, Plaza 333, Block B, Kobusak Commerial Center, Penampang (Just above Fook Yuen)
      Opening Hours: 3 pm to 12 pm daily

      the 1985 Cafe - Plaza 333
      [Serve breakfast, pastries, desserts and beverages only]
      KK Cafe - the 1985 Cafe copy

      This is one of my favourite cafe that I love to spend my time here. What to expect from this cafe? Besides coffee, they served two types of breakfast and various selection of pastries. One of the most recommended is Avocado cake. Currently, they are serving three different choices of freshly baked croissants - tuna, chicken ham and egg. Oh boy! I love their croissant that I'm looking forward to come back for more.

      KK Cafe - the 1985 Cafe 02

      Address: 1st Floor, Lot 9, Plaza 333, Block A, Kobusak Commerial Center, Penampang (Just above Pick N Pay)
      Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 11 pm on Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on every Monday)


      Omma's Oven - Lintas 
      [Serve breads & buns, breakfast, pastries, desserts and beverages only]
      Omma's Oven 01

      This cafe specialise in making wholemeal buns and breads. If you are looking for healthier and organic pastries, this is cafe you should head to as the pastries are without any artificial colouring, preservaties and softener. Besides selling freshly baked pastries, they also served all-day breakfast and waffles.

      Address: Lot 19, Lintas Plaza, Lorong Lintas Plaza 3.
      Opening Hours: 10 am to 5.30 pm (Closed on every Monday)

      Scoopee - Coffee & Ice Cream Co. - Lintas
      [Serve ice-cream, pastries, coffees and non-caffeine drinks only]
      KK Cafe - Scoopee

      Another cafe I love to spend my time here after meeting clients and auditors for its cozy and comfortable environment. The highlight of this cafe is their nitrogen ice-cream which they regularly surprised the customers with new and unique flavours such as Salted Caramel Chocolate, Pistachio, Fresh Watermelon, Baby Blue Lychee, Sweet Potato and more.

      KK Cafe - Scoopee 02

      Address: 21-0, Ground Floor, Block H, Lintas Square, Kota Kinabalu
      Opening Hours: 11 am to 12 pm (Closed on every Monday)

      Cafe Haru 하루 - Hilltop
      [Serve light meals, coffees and non-caffeine drinks only]
      KK Cafe - Cafe Haru copy

      Another Korean cafe in town. This cafe is operated by a Korean husband and wife who is currently living in KK. It's pretty obvious when browsing through their menu, I spotted few Korean dishes like Tteokbokki, spicy stir fried rice cakes which is very popular in Korea. So far, I only been twice and I'm looking forward to go back to try more of their other dishes.

      Address: 7, Lorong Gunung Juo, Taman Far East, Kota Kinabalu.
      Opening Hours: 8.30 am to 10.30 pm (Monday to Saturday)
                                 10 am to 10.30 pm (Every Sunday)

      Haus Cafe - 88 Marketplace
      [Serve breakfast, pastries, desserts and beverages only]
      KK Cafe - Haus Cafe

      Address: Lot 3A, Ground Floor, Block F, 88 Marketplace, Lorong Pusat Komercial 88/1
      Opening Hours: 9 am to 11 pm on Wednesday to Monday (Closed on every Tuesday)

      Chiu's - The Modern Local (88 Marketplace)
      [Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and beverages only]
      KK Cafe - Chiu Cafe 01
      The first time my friend and I went, we walked away with disappointment as there are many things were not available. But then, we decided to give another second chance and it's worth for another revisit. Another cafe I found out served simple but unique comfort food like Pan Fried Grouper dipped with Curry Laksa Veloute, Cajun Chicken Thigh Burger and more.

      KK Cafe - Chiu Cafe 02

      Address: Lot 8, Block D, Ground Floor, 88 Marketplace, Kota Kinabalu.
      Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm (Closed on every Tuesday)

      Tree Monk - Lintas Jaya Uptownship (Nearby Open University)

      KK Cafe - Tree Monk Cafe
      Latest cafe in town serving not just great coffees, but their desserts making us hard to choose which one we would love to have.

      Address: Lot 2, Ground Floor, Block 1 Lintas Jaya Uptownship.
      Opening Hours: 12 pm to 10 pm daily

      Relax Coffee Cafe - Menggatal
      [Serve lunch, dinner, pastries, coffees and non-caffeine drinks only]
      KK Cafe - Relax Coffee Cafe 02 copy

      Address: G-1-12, Menggatal Plaza, Menggatal, Kota Kinabalu
      Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

      Cafe De Vie
      [Serve lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
      KK Cafe - Cafe De Vie copy

      If you are looking for the best layer crepe cake, I personally recommend Cafe De Vie. Well of course not as best as Nadaje Mille Crepe but so far, this cafe served the best layer crepe cakes in Kota Kinabalu town. Some of their crepes are very unique like Cempedak, Red Bean Sauce, Plum Crepe cake and more. You can either buy a slice which cost from RM11 to RM13.70 or even the whole 1kg to 1.4kg of crepe cake. 

      Up to date, Cafe De Vie has three outlets located at three different locations;
      i) Lintas
      ii) Metrotown
      iii) Pavilion Bundusan

      In order to compile more than 20 cafes into one post, it took me months and months to complete this. But can you imagine there are almost 40 different cafes in KK town. Therefore, this post would be updated from time to time once I visit the rest of the cafes. 

      Monday, June 19, 2017

      Australia (2014) Day 3: Sydney - Blue Mountains (Echo Point / Three Sisters & Scenic World)

      Date Visited: 13th October 2014

      On the third day in Sydney, we took a train from Sydney's Central Station to World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. It's going to be a long journey so we decided to wake up early and catch the Blue Mountain Lines train at 8.24am.  

      Day 3 - Blue Mountains
      #1: Board train from Sydney's Central Station

      Why called as Blue Mountains? It was given as a result of the blue mist that rises from forests of eucalyptus trees, enveloping the surroundings in a hazy tinge. Blue Mountains has some of the country's most spectacular natural attractions.

      Right after almost 2 hours journey, we approached Katoomba Station and we hopped off from there. Obviously, there are many passengers dropped off here heading to the Blue Mountains as well, just like us. But actually we haven't reach yet as need to catch another local bus #686 in front of Carrington Hotel, which is just across the Katoomba train station. Alternatively, you can tour with Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, a regular hop-on and hop-off service.

      Blue Mountains Options from Katoomba
      #2: From Katoomba Station, can opt for either catch local bus #686 or tour with Blue Mountains Explorer Bus. The cheapest option would be the first one for sure.

      In order to view the famous and popular Three Sisters rock formation, stop at Echo Point for dramatic views over the deep valley through gouged out over millions of years. It's very obvious that we finally reach there as it was crowded with many tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't on our side as it was cloudy on that particular day. Unlike yesterday where it was shining bright with a clear blue sky. 

      Day 3 - Blue Mountains Three Sisters 3 Sisters Echo Point Katoomba
      #3: Three Sisters rock formation from Echo Point viewpoint

      Tuesday, June 13, 2017

      Australia (2014) Day 2: Sydney - Bondi Beach, Fish Market & Queen Victoria Building

      Date Visited: 12th October 2014

      It's time for beaches, please!

      No matter it's winter, spring, summer or autumn, Bondi Beach is one of the beach in Sydney where you can visit all year round. So on the second day after looking at the weather which was pretty fine and shining bright, we decided to kick off by hitting this beach. Bondi Beach is not far away from the city center, located less than 30 minutes and can be accessible by train and bus. 

      There is a bus stop outside Malaysia Hall Sydney, therefore we just directly catch the bus #333 heading to Bondi Beach. There is no train where you can reach Bondi Beach directly, by end of the journey you still need to catch bus eventhough you start your journey from the Central Station. 

      Day 2 - Bondi Beach 01
      #1: Bondi Park signboard 

      Just like little kids, we're so thrilled when we saw the beach on the right hand side while riding on the bus. The beach is so blue, as blue as the sky. It's so hard to get my eyes off from the pretty blue beach cause blue is always my favourite colour. We're lucky that the weather on that day was pretty clear and the sun was shining bright. Although it might be feeling hot, but thanks for the strong breeze. It's funny where my friends and I were fully covered - we're in long sleeves and long pants while the rest of the visitors were in their hot pants and sexy bikini instead. 

      Day 2 - Bondi Beach 02
      #2: Best place to take a break from the bustling city center 

      Saturday, June 10, 2017

      Malaysia Hall Sydney

      Date of Staying: 11th to 14th October 2014

      In order to stick to our tight budget, we try to save and minimize our cost as possible as we can. Hence, we decided to stay in Malaysia Hall Sydney. I came across of Malaysia Hall before when I was studied in London few years back but I myself had never experienced before. Up to date, there are five Malaysia Halls - London, Dublin, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

      Malaysia Hall is a Malaysian student's accommodation hall which owned by the Malaysian government. Malaysia Hall is only applicable for Malaysian citizens but of course, the priority will be given to those students who study abroad but in the case if there is any vacancy, it's open to those who are not students. 

      Malaysia Hall Sydney Australia
      #1: Malaysia Hall Sydney

      Thursday, June 8, 2017

      Australia (2014) Day 1: Sydney - Chinatown, Paddy's Market, Darling Harbour, Harbour Bridge & Opera House

      Date Visited: 11th October 2014

      I have few group of friends who love to gather by having annual trip together. For the past few years, we travelled together to short distance getaway like Hong Kong, Bangkok, Hatyai, Bali and etc. Out of sudden, I suggested to go Australia cause so far, the only city I cover is Melbourne only. Two of my friends agreed with my travel plan and without wait any longer, we fought so hard to book the cheap tickets during AirAsia Free Seats Promotion. That's how my another adventures to Australia came to my life.

      We booked the flight to Sydney first, then as for the return one, we booked the flight out from Gold Coast. Land of Down Under, here I come again!   

      Day 1 - AirAsia X KL To Sydney
      #1: Midnight flight with AirAsia X to Sydney 

      The flight duration took 8 hours and 10 minutes and by the time we opened our eyes, we had safely landed at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport on the next day morning. In case you are wondering of the time zone difference, local time in Sydney is two hours ahead of Kuala Lumpur. The immigration and custom clearance were smooth and fast, unlike my virgin experience previously. Right after we collected our luggage, we took the airport train heading to Central Station that cost AU$12.60 each. 

      Day 1 - Airport Train
      #2: Getting out from airport to Central Station via airport train 

      In order to stick to our tight budget, we try to save and minimize our cost as possible as we can. Hence, we decided to stay in Malaysia Hall Sydney which charge us AU$20 per night with an additional cost of AU$15 for the cleaning fee. Well, it's pretty affordable and reasonable considering a private twin bedroom attached with bathroom we're staying. 

      Malaysia Hall Sydney Australia
      #3: Malaysia Hall Sydney

      How To Get To Malaysia Hall Sydney
      From Central Station, heading to Eddy Avenue with the bus signboard. Catch bus #373, 374 or 377 heading towards Allison Road. Once you saw Caltex Petrol Station on your left side, that's where Malaysia Hall is situated nearby. 

      Dumped our luggage immediately and we took bus #373 back to the city center. Malaysia Hall Sydney is located 20 minutes away from the city center. We started our first day with shopping and sight-seeing. So these are the few places and attractions we went:

      Chinatown
      Sydney's Chinatown is not far away from Central Station. You can opt for either walking towards Pitt Street or George Street which is 5 minutes away or even taking light rail. Well, I did both. The first time we went there to hunt for Asian meals. First day already craving for it. And then on every Friday, there is a night market starting from 4pm to 11pm. 
      Day 1 - Sydney Chinatown
      #4: Sydney's Chinatown - a melting pot of eateries 

      2017 Sydney Chinatown
      #5: Chinatown's night market - Every Friday from 4pm to 11pm

      Paddy's Market
      Situated right in front of Chinatown is the buzzling market of Paddy's Market. If comparing both Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market and Paddy's Market, I prefer the latter one. This is one place where you can hunt wide array of souvenirs for yourself, your family and friends. I saw a trench coat selling for AU$25 only. It's dirt cheap but unfortunately, I didn't buy it. Now thinking back, so regret for not doing so. Silly me! 
      Day 1 - Sydney Paddy Market
      #6: Buzzling market of Paddy's Market. Open from 9am to 5pm on every Wednesday to Sunday

      Day 1 - Sydney Paddy Market 02
      #7: Wide array of souvenirs can be found here 

      2017 Sydney - Paddy Market\
      #8: Hoodie and t-shirt  

      Darling Harbour
      Darling Harbour is a harbour adjacent to Sydney's city center. Here, you can find countless selection of restaurants, clubs, eateries, shopping and more. For those who are Hard Rock Cafe collector, this is where the shop located. 
      Day 1 - Sydney Darling Harbour 01
      #9: Vibrant and great atmosphere

      Day 1 - Sydney Darling Harbour 01-1
      #10: Overlooking the skyscrapers 

      Day 1 - Sydney Darling Harbour 02
      #11: Main attractions like Madame Tussauds, Sealife Aquarium and Wildlife Sydney Zoo are situated here as well 

      Harbour Bridge 
      One of the famous iconic bridge in Sydney. One of the way to enjoy this view is by taking ferry from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay or vice versa. Be prepared to taking stunning and spectacular view of Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour Bridge. 
      Day 1 - Sydney Harbour Bridge Day Time 01
      #12: Stunning and spectacular view of Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House via sightseeing cruise

      Day 1 - Sydney Harbour Bridge Day Time 02
      #13: Sydney Harbour Bridge - truly a sight to behold. 

      Day 1 - Sydney Harbour Bridge Day Time 03
      #14

      Day 1 - Sydney Harbour Bridge Night Time
      #15

      Sydney Opera House
      World's famous iconic attraction that shouldn't be missed by anyone when visit Sydney. Three days my friend and I were in Sydney, three times we went there for photography. We even managed to sneak in into the opera house - it was grand and amazing. Then in the following year when my flight transited from New Zealand, we stopby at Sydney for few hours and the place we went is none other than Sydney Opera House. 
      Day 1 - Sydney Opera House Day Time 01
      #16: Sydney Opera House at day time

      Day 1 - Sydney Opera House Night Time
      #17: Sydney Opera House at night time

      Day 1 - Sydney Opera House Day Time 02
      #18

      Day 1 - Sydney Opera House Night Time 02
      #19

      How To Get To Sydney Opera House
      Take train to Circular Quay or catch ferry from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay like we did.

      Looks like on the first day my friends and I managed to tick off the main touristy bucket list.