This is my first trip to Australia. After a hectic trip to Myanmar and Brunei, I am at the last leg of my whirlwind holiday.
I fly to Melbourne on Air Asia with my 2 sisters and my brother and his wife. My niece lives in Melbourne and hence my choice of city to visit in Australia.
We leave very early in the morning to catch the 10.30am flight and it takes the whole day to reach Australia. When we reach the house (booked through Airbnb) it is already dark. So we settle down, have a good look and tour of the house. It is a family home and all the necessary things are there. It is much better than a hotel and better value for money too. We then wind down and get ready for the next day.
The next day we plan to go to the ‘I am free’ walk around Melbourne. However the weather is not good and is with a little drizzle.
One can get around Melbourne with the MyKi Card only. It is like the oyster card in London. If you do not have the card, you cannot get around by public transport. My niece got us all the card- I do not know how she does it, she is ingenious. I think she borrowed from her friends and colleagues.
Hence, we change our plan and go to the Queen Victoria Market instead. QV is the largest market in the southern hemisphere. There are fruits and vegetables stalls selling all sorts of produce from many continents . There are fresh sea food:- crabs, oysters, fish, prawns, lobsters, squids, octopus and sea food of sashimi grade.
In the meat section, there are cuts of lamb, beef, pork, poultry, kangaroo and all sorts of exotic meats.
Then there is the section selling clothes and also sorts of nik naks. There are many stalls selling leather goods. We browse around and I got myself several Aussie and Melbourne T-shirts. I can’t go home without the t-shirts. But I have to refrain from buying a lot of things as I only have 30kg baggage allowance on the flight home to UK. This is not much when I visit 4 countries.
We have our lunch in the food section. There are a wide variety of food, comprising Italian, Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, English, French, German and lots more. Of course there are cafes and
restaurants. We just buy our food and have it by the side-walk tables. It is pretty cool, like in Paris – a side-walk coffee culture. Well, it is not as romantic as it sounds as it is in the alley way, but good enough.
After that we decide to do the walking tour as the weather change for the better.. The tour is free and there is a guide (s) to show you the way and explain the history. At the end of the tour you can give a donation to the guide. There is no amount stated and you can give whatever amount you wish.
The walk takes about 2.5 hours or so. It starts at the State Library and takes us to the art precinct, the coffee culture area of Melbourne, Chinatown, the Melbourne Goal ( this is the old spelling for jail), etc., etc.
The walk is exhausting!!! My elder sister decides to call it quits at most 3/4 way into it. Finally, my younger sister and other family members finish the walk. We give our donation and join the rest of the family.
In the evening my niece takes us to a dumpling restaurant in China town. According to her, this restaurant is not the best for dumplings, it’s the 2nd best. The best one has a very long queue so we are not going there as we are very tired. It seems dumplings ( pot-stickers) are very popular here. Pot stickers are not well known in Malaysia as it is more of a Taiwan/China origin, pots tickers are famous in Sabah where is known as ‘woo tieak’ (or woh tip). We order various types of the dumplings as well as the ‘small dragon bao’, ( seow long bao). This is a type of dumpling were there is a flavourful soup inside the bao. One needs to be careful not to bite it too suddenly that the soup squirts out!! One can even drink the soup with a straw!!!
To make the meal complete, we order some fresh vegetables as well.
We are happy with the day so far and we go home by tram. But on the way we are way-laid by shops and we shop for vitamins and health food. Australia is well-known for its supplements. Malaysia imports a lot of vitamins and health food supplements from Australia. Australia has a large Asian community and a lot of Asian herbs and supplements can be found, too. Well, I look for vitamin D as I need to up my dosage! It is so much cheaper than in Malaysia.
Harbour Town is our next destination. It is a shopping centre and one can get quite cheap ‘designer’ goods here. The new name for Harbour Town is Docklands. From the original development at New Quay, featuring apartments, restaurants and marina, Docklands has grown as a waterfront precinct offering a mix of inner city living, shopping, business, parks, entertainment, dining, sporting events, community events, arts and culture. The shopping complex is at the end of the tram service and we get to see quite a bit of the city on the ride to Harbour town.
Near the shopping area, not all the shops, apartments and business units are occupied, and there are still a lot of spaces available.
The clothes are rather cheap and I got a pair of Levis for AUD10.00. Of course it is not the latest design. Trust me, I don’t buy full price clothes if I can help it.
We have lunch there and generally have a good walk around the area. We take the tram back to the city and then back home.
When we go back we decide to cook dinner in my niece’s house. We then go to a market nearby to get the meat, vegetables, etc. My youngest sister cooks ‘Tau Ewe Bak, which is a soy stew. It is great to have dinner with my family members and my niece’s house mate.
We then retire to our own house. Tomorrow we are hiring a car/van to go sight-seeing.
Till then, have a great day and don’t forget to like and share the post.