A hint of Eastern Sydney

If you wanna get away from the city-feeling Sydney has, look not far away because in just about 30mins you’ll feel like you’re in a far away place.

Another thing that I really like about Sydney is that, it doesn’t take you too long of a ride to escape from the city. Eastern Sydney offers you plenty of beaches to choose from. And it is a not to be miss on your itinerary. Whenever someone visits here, I always recommend doing the Bondi Beach – Macquarie Lighthouse – Gap Park to Watsons Bay tour. This is definitely can be done in half a day depends on how much photo-op you’re gonna take (because every spot is worth taking a photo).

Coming from the city, take the bus 380 or 389, both will take you to Bondi. On a busy day like holidays or weekends, it’s better to ride the bus from the city because when it gets to Bondi Junction station, the bus will already be full and you have to stand for 10-15mins.

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When you get to Bondi, you will be greeted with locals having their usual tan, surfers, beach-goers and fine sand. Be sure to not forget your thongs (flipflops/slippers whatever)! You can have a swim, play with the sand, or even just enjoy the sea breeze and ambience. Once you get enough of it, head over to the Bondi – Coogee coastal walk which will lead you to Bondi Icebergs and fantastic views of Bondi beach. I recommend doing the Coastal walk until Marks Park.

After that, take the same 380 bus going to Macquarie Lighthouse. If you go on the right day, you can book a tour and get inside the lighthouse. Or you can just take photo and take it all in.

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From here, just walk towards the Gap Bluff. You will be treated with spectacular views of the sea while being caressed by the sea breeze. Another tip, put on your sunscreen, hat and sunnies, sun may be harsh. Coastal walk paths will lead you to the Gap Bluff which is a very touristy place and can get crowded. Nonetheless, it its a brilliant work of nature which left me in awe.

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If you still continue, you will be able to see Hornby lighthouse or you can just head-over down Watson Bay for a sumptuous fish and chips.

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You have two options going back to the city, either take the bus or hop on the Watsons bay ferry to Circular Quay from 45mins and 20mins, respectively. If you think this is not enough for you, why not take the 30min scenic Manly ferry after at Circular Quay?

Martin Place

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1 Martin Place in Sydney CBD

Too long since my last post. I thought I could’ve blog about my last trip in Sydney and Canberra, but unfortunately I was too busy living life and haven’t had a chance to do so. However, even before the new year resolution era starts (2017 hell..yeah!), I thought I’d share random street photos from my runabouts here in my new home – Sydney. Yes, I recently moved and has now settled down which is why I can probably start blogging again.

The above photo was taken in Martin Place just right beside the Martin Place train station. This building houses big names here in Sydney CBD. If you happen to be doing a walking tour around the area, don’t miss your chance and drop by Martin Place which is where the annual ANZAC memorial is held.

Happiest place on Earth

Almost all kid has dreamed of visiting Disneyland. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to come until I am twenty-freaking-five years old. Despite that being the case, it didn’t stop me from being a kid again when I went to Disneyland last November. ‘Coz you know it’s freaking Disney and who doesn’t love Disney right?! I have lived my childhood watching Disney channel and Disney movies.

Although the theme park is definitely for the young ones, it’s still worth going to but do not expect any extreme ride that will blow your head-off. It’s all that kiddy feels and to be honest, I did really felt like a kid again visiting the said theme park. I think I got teary-eyed from the park’s highlight which is the must-see 3pm parade of the stars, 8pm flight of fantasy and the finale, the most popular, Disney fireworks.

You could easily spend a day at the park but get ready for your money to be taken away. Everything here is Disneyland priced especially the food. I would say the food inside is pretty decent for the price. Also, the same with other theme parks, the souvenirs you can see inside would be solely exclusive inside.

All in all, it’s totally worth going to HK Disneyland at least once in your life. 🙂

 

Sydney.. Sydney.. Sydney

Oh. I just fell in love with Sydney. It’s always been Japan, Korea or Europe in my mind whenever I think of places that I definitely want to go. Until, I got sent to this lovely place and I never want to leave it.

I was suppose to do one last Hong Kong post but, because of a major sepanx, I ended up posting about Sydney.

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This photo was taken from the Sydney Harbour bridge walkway which is a popular viewing point of the Sydney Opera house. If you want to see the best view of the Opera, this is it. You can do the harbour bridge walk either starting from The Rocks (near Circular Quay station) or from Milsons Point (near Milsons Point station).

With a good weather, sunset and cold autumn air, this was the best 2km walk that I’ve done in Sydney and/or anywhere else. The bridge walkway is also a popular jogging place of many Aussies albeit it doesn’t really get crowded. The walk probably took around 30minutes including photo ops and just enjoying the entire view of the harbour and the opera. This is a must do in Sydney. Absolutely.

Serenity at Nan Lian Garden

With a landscape of modern high-rise Hong Kong and the Tang Dynasty-style hills, waterfalls and wooden structures, it is a mix of the ‘old’ and the new. This garden opened in 2006 which is a joint project of Chi Lin Nunnery and the Hong Kong government. That being said, there’s not much history in this garden. However, this in my opinion is one of the best escape from the bustling city of Hong Kong as it’s perhaps one of the least popular tourist destination in the area. Regardless, I would suggest that if you have a spare time and looking for a place to visit, this is certainly should be on your list. The garden is free for entry and it has some temple-scales, rocks and pottery exhibition inside. It’s also for free except the seasonal exhibition which requires you to pay around 7-10 HKD.

I don’t know if it is the golden pavillion or the exquisite garden landscape but this reminds me so much of the Kinkaku-ji which might be the reason why I decided to go here.

This serene place is only a 10 minutes walk from the Diamond Hill Station exit C1. You can get a peaceful walk around, enjoy a vegetarian snack or lunch inside the vegetarian garden behind the waterfalls or just simply relax and breathe the nice air from the garden trees along with the old people who usually hangs out there.

 

Macao’s Grandeur

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Just like Hong Kong, Macao or Macau is another Special Administrative Region of China. The region has certainly a different feel from Hong Kong. Although it’s full of gigantic buildings, It is still a place that is undergoing development. As most probably know, it is the heaven for gamblers and people who like to spend tons of money for entertainment.

You can reach Macao through the airport or from a one-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong. And to my utter dismay, it’s a one bumpy ride I almost puked. There’s two ferry terminals in Hong Kong, one is near Canton road which is serviced by TurboJet and the other one in Sheung Wan which has both CotaiJet and TurboJet. Ferry price varies on the day and time you will go. You may refer to their site for more details or buy from Hotels/Guesthouses which sells on a relatively cheaper price. We got ours in Golden Crown for a roundtrip ticket of HKD 300 on a weekend. Once you arrive in Macao, take advantage of the free shuttle buses to/from Hotels.

Historical wise, the region has been occupied by the Portuguese so if you speak the language you won’t feel alienated.

Senado Square is packed with a lot of people like literally a lot of people. I didn’t much enjoy the place and they were still in the process of setting-up the Christmas decoration so it’s not a pretty sight to me.

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Another mainstream destination in Macao is The Venetian which has the replica of the infamous Venice Grand Canal – as of this writing you can experience The Grand Canal in McKinley, Taguig.

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Don’t be surprised though, everything inside The Venetian is expensive. The Lord Stow’s Egg tart sells for MOP 10 per piece wherein you can get one outside at around half the price cheaper (not Lord Stow’s though but almost same taste).

Overall, even if you are not fan of casinos and luxury things, it’s still worth seeing Macao with all its grandeur and Chinese-Portuguese fusion. A little tip though, it’s hard to find someone who speaks English from locals.

Osaka – Kyoto, Japan 7D6N Itinerary

There’s so many places to explore around Osaka and Kyoto. Given that it was named as the “Nation’s Kitchen” and the “City of Ten Thousand Shrines”, respectively. There’s so much of it to explore and a seven days trip wouldn’t fit much. But if you’re a history lover, here is our itinerary for our 7D6N in the Kansai region.

When I did plan our itinerary, I roughly included every single train ride that we need to get into. Google has a good coverage of Japan that you won’t be much in trouble of getting into the wrong train.

Day 1 

The first day was only getting settled in Japan as we flew via Cebu Pacific which only has a single flight every day. When we arrive it was almost midnight and no more time to explore as trains stops operation right before midnight. You’ll be like Cinderella here in Japan and not your 24 hours bus at home.

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Second day was spent entirely at Universal Studios Japan. Believe me that it’s worth a visit especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. I have blogged our experience at USJ here.

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We didn’t purchase the amazing pass due to laziness but I’m sure it’s really a good value

Day 3

Third day we were in Kyoto. If you’re a history person, you’d probably love it here (so I did). You walk a little and you see a shrine. Almost everything speaks history. And I just really fell in love. You can read a glimpse of our trip to Kyoto here.

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We wen’t to Inari later on our trip and went to Kinkakuji straight away.

Kyoto Tour

Kyoto Tour

Some of it weren’t followed

Day 4 and 5

It was maybe of lack exercise which is why we always get a late start. Because the original itinerary intends to start early to be able to complete it. I decided to not follow it and just go where our feet takes us to.

Day 4 Japan

Osaka again. We’ve pretty much done the alternate thing. Kyoto is just an hour or so from Osaka which made the trip a lot easier. Although if you really want to spend a lot more time in Kyoto, I guess it is better to make Kyoto your home base. Day 4 and 5 can be read here.

Day 4 Osaka

Day 6

My energy we’re all depleted.

Day 6 Kyoto

Day 7

Going home. This was probably one of the best part of my trip. Drinking coffee al fresco style at a coffee shop while watching the world passes by contemplating about the whole trip.

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Last two days here