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I have spent these couple of nights reading my friend, Vira’s travelling blog. Her latest posts are about her (and a friend) getting lost in direction and translation. I enjoyed them so much, I decided to read her whole archives! LOL. Anyway, since I haven’t done a lot of travelling. I guess I need to blog about my Sydney trip. I know it’s long overdue but maybe it would be useful for those who google about ‘Sydney Travel’ and stumble upon this post :p You know, when my family and I were about to go to Sydney, we had no clue about what the place like, or whatsoever. The trip was unplanned and at last minute I managed to contact a friend who’s studying there and got some useful info from him. So, I hope this post would be useful for someone someday.

We went to Sydney to help my youngest brother settle in for his college/university year. He’s now studying at SIBT. The initial plan was to go to Sydney on tour, but the tour was cancelled because there wasn’t enough people going. At that moment, it was very hard to book hotels because in Australia, it was a summer holiday season, so tickets and hotels fee sky rocketed.
Australia! We're here!

first useful tip: Australia’s summer vacation usually stretches from Christmas until February, for some schools/colleges, it lasts until the beginning of March. If it’s possible book your hotels early, the nearer it gets to the date you’re checking in, the more expensive it would be.

second useful tip: we booked our hotels via Wotif. It offers wide range of accommodation, from 5 star hotels, apartment or backpackers lodge. If you are travelling with family and staying for more than two days, I’d recommend booking an apartment.

We stayed at Holiday Inn, Darling Harbour for a night. It’s a little bit dogdy for AUS$200 a night, but it was the only vacant one that we found. However the location is great. It’s a walking distance to many tourist attraction, such as Paddy’s Market, China Town, Darling Harbour, Queen Victoria Building and the surrounding areas. It’s easy to find food here, asian, western, fast food, you name it.

We moved to Meriton Serviced Apartment, Kent Street on our 4th day in Sydney. We fell in love with the unit we booked. It has two bedrooms (each with one queen size beds and huge closet to put our stuff) and two bathroom (one is inside the master bedroom), a common area with tv, sofa and dining table, a super space efficient kitchen area, complete with stove, oven, huge fridge, microwave, cooking utensils, lots of bowls, plates, glasses, and dishwasher and also a tiny laundry room with washing machine and dryer. The rate varies from 400-600, but on weekends it can reach up to 800-1000. If you’re not travelling with budget, this place is highly recommended. And yes, everything is still within walking distance. It’s only a 5 minutes cab ride from Holiday Inn. They have a lot of Meritons in Australia, the one in World Tower is twice the price here, even though it’s only a five minutes walk there. Again you can check Wotif, they have cheaper rates.

The first two nights, we stayed in my father friend’s house because we couldn’t find anything vacant (and affordable) in the City area. It was a nice place in the suburb. The problem is it’s about one hour car ride from the city and public transportation in Australia is quite expensive. The place is located in Glennwood, and the house is really far from any bus stop/station the only way we could commute is by calling a cab. Since there were five of us, we couldn’t fit into one taxi. The options we had was to book two cabs or one maxi taxi.

third useful tip: public transportation is quite expensive in Australia. If you need to travel with taxi, but there’s more than four of you, find what they call maxi taxi. Maxi taxi can fit up to 6-7 people and the rate is 1,5x regular taxi, so it’s cheaper than getting two taxis. If you need to travel by bus, remember that during workdays, from 7 a.m – 7 p.m. you have to purchase a prepaid bus ticket because they don’t receive cash during these times. Always have change in your pocket because the bus driver can be quite grumpy when you pay with large bills. Other means of transportation is the train, and they’re double decker train. People who live in the suburbs and work in the City usually commute by train. And when you are lazy to walk to a short distance destination within the City area, you can try the monorail. I didn’t try it cause it’s quite expensive :p I prefer walking around and take pictures. :D but seriously, Sydney is a very pedestrian-friendly city. One of the best way to experience it is by walking. And don’t forget to take the ferry! It was a wonderful experience. :)

The Prepaid Bus Card

Wynyard, The Walking Experience

From the Ferry

One thing I wish I had packed was my flip flops. In Taiwan, it is considered impolite to wear flip flops around the city, so I thought it goes the same way for Sydney too. But I was totally wrong. Even in the City area, people dress casually, flip flops, tank tops, short pants. Some guys were topless too! It’s quite hot during the day, always use your sunblock because of the glaring sun. Since the weather can be quite unpredictable, it is wise to bring a small umbrella around, and prolly a light cardigan or capuchon. We experienced thunderstorm in the beginning of our trip, and it was quite scary to see the lightning.

fourth useful trip: when you go in the summer don’t forget to pack your slippers, beach wear, umbrella, capuchon, shades and sunblock. the key is to pack light during the summer. just bring a minidress or two, if somehow you’re gonna dine in fancy restaurant or hang out in the bar. Some bars don’t allow flipflops and shorts.

Look at The Sun

other things:
1. It’s 7 hours flight from Jakarta – Sydney.
2. Sydney is 4 hours ahead of Jakarta during the summer.
3. The currency rate is about 1 AUD$ to Rp. 8500. It makes everything seems so expensive.
4. It’s a very cosmopolitan city, when I got out of the airport, I thought I was in Singapore. So many Asians.
5. If you go to the China town area you will find Indonesian people selling Indonesian Food, Korean people selling Korean Food, Japanese people selling Japanese Food. Well, you get the general Idea.
6. Bring your cameras, take a lot of pictures. There are so many old buildings in Sydney and they are gorgeous. I wasn’t that into buildings but seriously I took lotsa pictures of old houses/buildings.
7. Ozzies abbreviate lotsa words, like ‘prolly’ for ‘probably’, ‘brekkie’ for ‘breakfast’ and so on.

Kaarage Don Sold by a Japanese Guy. Only AUS5

I’ve never seen myself writing a continuous blog posts but I guess there’s a first time for everything.
smell ya later,
Ste

ps: I wanted to link this post to my Sydney flickr sets but I just found that the 200+ pictures I uploaded is gone, leaving about 20 pictures :( However, you can still see the sets I took with my Olympus camera. Here’s the link or you can view it on my multiply. enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. Lovely pictures Ste :)

  2. thank you, san. still learning :D


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