My journey to Australia was for the sole purpose of work but I tried tucking in some sightseeing spots to my already rushed schedule.
Beyond work commitment, I have to say I enjoyed the city very much. The friendliness of the Melburnian and the professional Sydneysiders, very distinctly different but kind all the same.
I spent the first 3 days of my trip in Melbourne and the next 3 days in Sydney.
I stayed at the 4-star hotel, Seasons Heritage Melbourne. The front desk staff were welcoming and on their initiative, very graciously upgraded me from an Economy Room to a One Bedroom Executive Apartment. While I am very grateful for the upgrade in space, it’s apparent that the room is very worn out.
Nevertheless, I still had a pretty good 2-nights stay and if I need to be in this area again, will probably choose the same hotel.
Melbourne – To Do :
Tram Ride: The tram is a unique transport to Melbourne and it’s a great way to assimilate with the locals. Listen out for the iconic bells of the tram!
The St Kilda Esplanade Market: Open only on Sunday, the market is filled with lots of handicrafts ranging from handmade candles to brooches, earrings, and paintings. While the prices for most of the stalls can be rather high, do consider that it is the only one of it’s kind.
Luna Park: I was there on a Sunday and did not enter the park because of the number of people. Mixed reviews here and there, but highly advisable to go on a weekday when the crowd is much lesser.
St Kilda Beach: Take a stroll along the beach and take in the sights and sounds. If you are up for it, hop on to the Ferris Wheel for AUD$10 per person.
Melbourne – To Eat :
St Kilda Pier Kiosk: Located at the end of the boardwalk is the Little Blue/ St Kilda Pier Kiosk. Despite the tourists-filled pier, the restaurant was only 20% full on a Sunday with mostly locals.
The food items are considered slightly pricier but the staffs’ service was worth the tag. The Old School Fish & Chips (AUD29) is the house’s favourite although it turned out a tad too salty and greasy to my liking.
Nando’s: Believe it or not but Nando’s was on my “To-Eat” list. Mainly because the franchise has been a staple of Australian since the 90s. I got the half chicken (AUD 11.95) to-go and thought that the price and serving size was a pretty decent meal to end my day after work.
My journey to Sydney though tiring, was luckily uneventful. It started early in the morning with my commute via Uber to the Southern Cross Station where I took the Sky Bus out to Avalon Airport and from the Airport, I took a flight to Sydney where I had to take a train and then Uber to my destination.
What a ride.
By the time, I am in Sydney, I was exhausted beyond words. I checked in to my lodging at Rydges, which also very graciously upgraded my stay to a two-room apartment. The stay was overall, comfortable and I have to say, the amount of space kind of spook me out a little.
Sydney – To Eat :
Roll’d: One of the best advice I ever have taken was to “eat Viet in Aussie”. Strange as it might sound but having Viet food in Australia totally open me up to Viet food in a whole new way. I had the best bun (pronounced as boon) ever. Although unfortunately when I try to recreate miracle by ordering the same thing at the Sydney Airport, they tried to pass off a “different franchises does it differently”. I don’t think passing off steamed pork as deep-fried pork is really “different franchises recipe”.
Oporto: I came with the idea of wanting to try something very unique to Australia that does not involve any Kangaroo, Koala or Emu meat. I chanced upon Oporto – Aussie’s homegrown Portuguese-influenced fast food outlet. It was a simple no-fuss dinner.
Overall, I enjoyed Australia quite a bit. While Sydney’s aloofness strikes a chord with me, I love Melbourne’s laidback vibe where everyone just strikes up a conversation on the spot. Can’t wait to be in Aussie again soon and hopefully this time, for a nice vacation.
Till then again,