Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hello Sydneysiders (Part VII Second Chapter)

We went to Bondi Beach. I could not believe this, it was like a dream comes true.

Yes, Bondi lives to its name. Clean, wide open, postcard perfect and this time less people coming due to weekday visit so we had fun exploring.

First dip in Tasman Sea was unbelievable. Though the sea was calm and cold, couples of swimmers made their way to the shore. No surfers. No people in their birthday suit ahaahahah.


People walk their dogs around. The local council held an election, as you can see the poster is so small and it is unnoticed, unlike our election, mau jugak satu bandar bermandikan posters, banner... 

Next, it was ride to see all these beautiful township of Surry Hills, Paddington and Darlinghurst. Kawasan yang agak upmarket. Happened these places used to be residence of low income earners or blue collar workers working with shipping industries, however along the way, it started to make way for better and trendier hub and the rest was history. Love to see the design of the iron fences of those terraced houses, classic betul, memang rare. If you wanna roam around, there are many little sidewalk cafes to try. The place is quite hilly, so if you wanna walk, have good comfy shoes to go with. According to travel guide, some nice shops selling house ware items can be bought here, and of course we did not much time looking. Kalau tak silap, Russell Crowe ada beli rumah area area ni jugak!

We headed back to Sydney CBD after completing this half day tour. 

So where we were going after the tour ? Ke mana lagi, Darling Harbour of course. There are many attraction such as Sydney Aquarium & Wildlife, ImaxTheatre and Australian Maritime Museum. Good spot for kids to enjoy themselves, so my dotter would be just happy.

Sydney Aquarium is just a lit bit bigger compared to KL Aquaria, not to be a cramped place which they have amazing species of sharks, which quite an advantage if you want to see them swimming on the surface. Beside the usual indoor aquarium, visitors have chances to feed small fish and of course on the boat itself, me and dotter would glimpse smaller type predators making their round. The bigger ones are kept separated from the visitor's feeding tank. Tak leh imagine kalau campur yang besar tu sekali, mai gila depa, ditolak tolak bot kami, dah jadi macam citer jaws pulak. Just add in AUD10 for the experience to feed the fish. Unfortunately you can see some tamer species like stingrays being bitten by these sharks, sampai ada sekor  hilang ekor, kesian... prove it is not easy to share limited living space with the entire sea creatures, the ones who are on top of the food chain tend to be a little big aggresive eh.

Yeah, i was so pleased with the aquarium staff who assisted us to feed. We were shown some baby sharks, tiger species in the laboratory, amek ko, berbaloi tengok beberapa ekor anak ikan sedang tidur ehehehhehe, anak ikan betul eh... and the funny part was when he asked me at the end of the session, "Who is actually the biggest predator among them all?" aku dah blur abes... He pointed to this bald guy, just  under our own boat in the indoor aquarium, whoa, kelakor siot. What he said we, human beings are the biggest predator, yeah his words make sense... anyhow, mamat ni boleh diberi lima bintang memberi penerangan,  Marvellous!

After some time spent in the gift shop, which of course, the merchandise were so irresistible, we made it to Maritime Museum. Our stomach growled to the extent we were so famished and needed to fill in something. Had lunch in Darling Harbour Shopping Bazaar, kebuluq tak hengat belasah kebabs. Yup, unfortunately we gave a miss for Sydney Wildlife and Imax Theatre due to time constraint, huhu, tak perla nak buat macam mana. So please plan for a whole day in Sydney Harbour if you wanna see them.

People enjoy the sunny weather. Darling Harbour is nice spot to gather and have some picnic. 
Now you guys know where to get your Hard Rock Tees.. right in Darling Harbour. Mine already done, so tengok jerla. This is the place we got our Iventure card on the first day arriving. Kedai Cotton On dalam tempat tu pun murah murah taim sale, ehehheheh, sayang saya tak minat.
National Maritime Museum, awesome experience!
Welcome aboard! 
We really had fun doing our tour to the submarine, which our first time venturing into the machine, kek Mesia tak dapat lagi hor, and my dotter being funny kept teasing me, "Mak, muat tak?" due to my heavy built..Kelakar la tu kan? Yeah, it was so cramped, not for claustrophobic type, but good enough to spend an hour inside. The Museum assistant in the submarine were ex-marine themselves. Siap ada torpedo kat dalam tau. I was asking whether it was permissible to take picture, and this uncle said why not? This is museum, sweetie. pergh, ayat tak leh belah, ahahah. 

Submarine Engine & Walves Room, Toilet (maha kecik) and of course the Periscope to 
The torpedo room and the sleeping deck ... gila sempit, tak leh guling pusing nak tidor, sabor jer la.....

It was an educational experience and we proceed to the next Royal Navy ship, HMS Vampire.
Please be careful with the steps, no high heels please... quite steep and small.
The bridge was uncovered until certain year... wahlau, kalau ombak besar, mau telan air masin dulu dulu. kesian kan!
What a selection of meals on board. Air Asia pun kalah, kantin sekolah pun... amek ko... mak nak beli Kitchen Aid Mixer, dah dapat baek punya atas kapal....

This fleet are interesting to explore, for first timers, and as civilians, you can imagine how tough it was for the marines to live in this ship. It is interesting to know that HMS Vampire did serve for Australian Navy during Malaysia- Indonesia Confrontation or better known as Indonesian infamous campaign "Ganyang Malaysia" , way back in 1963. pergh lama siot. This vessel used to be in Malacca Straits's water at one time. Wuhu. tak rugi mak belajar sejarah, berguna membuat penjelasan. Ni sebab anak tanya kapal ni penah datang Malaysia tak? yes, there is a video show on the ship itself. 

The wood carving is interesting, never see one before, even in the movie set...
Aye, aye Captain! Captain Cook? Captain Jack Sparrow? ahhahahahhahah

The outdoor exhibition range was quite a show, it is periodical and the next ship ventured was a replica of First Fleet. hah, apa tu? Please refer to the previous post, the history helps a lot. Masa ni layan jiwang perasan macam cerita Pirates of Carribean sangat, walau pacik yang jaga bagi 5 minit nak bergambar... ahahhahaha.

Making it to the Indoor, the structure is marvellous, macam dok kat limbungan kapal

We almost approaching the end as there was only half hour left for indoor and the gift shop. To our luck,    an exhibition of Remembering 100 Years Titanic was being held in the museum, so the chances to see the pictures of real person behind the famous film characters such as Mrs. Brown was not to be missed. The rest of the exhibition are mainly touches on the water sports; as Australia is also known for having many gold medals for Olympics, history of Australian women into Navy, evolution of swimming costumes, sea rescues stuff  and a spot dedicated to America's effort promoting sea venture ship to Australia. 

Titanic Exhibition. Informative. I was so into the mugs but the stuff was quite pricier. Abaikan.

In the end, it was nice to make it to the museum, considering it was kind of rare to explore into real submarine and the rest of the fleet. Do not miss this one when you are visiting Darling Harbour.

I do have sentimental moment to see this whaler. Why? I used to be in a whaler in Malacca Strait's water, rowing 40km whole day, way back in 2008 with some mates, whoa,tiring i can tell you, mau  rasa nak mati masa sampai!

To be continued.......

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hello Sydneysiders (Part VII)

We woke up early to catch up the bus somewhere in Macquire Street near Circular Quay. Risau jugak kalau tertinggal. Since we had limited time to complete our sightseeing, I woke up at 6 a.m, catch the bus to the city from Malaysia Hall at 7 a.m (bus No. 737, Randwick- Coogee) and arrived at 7.30 a.m. Cekap tak? Happened that we were so early which also made me worried since no sign of the coach, takut plak salah spot. Alhamdulillah, the small coach took us right in front Continental Hotel, memang posh la tempat ni, segan den nak lepak lama lama tunggu, sebab tau tak mampu nak dok hatta semalam, The bell boy dok pandang macam kita nak pegi serbu plak.... 

For the second day tour, the areas covered lies in southern part of Sydney. 

Since many tourist has booked this early morning tour to Bondi, we were transported to AAT Kings office somewhere near the Rocks. Macam Bust Terminal Putra la sikit sikit, tapi tak sure kat mana... There were so many buses going out from the terminal, some heading to Blue Mountains, some to Jenolan Caves, some to Wineyard Valley and we have to changed our coach into bigger bus. There are also other travel companies beside AAT Kings, so do not get mistaken because they are also offering the same kind of tour, luckily the rival of AAT Kings gave direction to refer to me when I almost took their buses instead, malu den.... To double check whether you are making into the right bus, just check with people who wait next to the buses who hold these list of names if you already book with them.

Enough of tersalah masuk bas experience, it commenced right after we took the last pasenger from Hilton... haish pasal depa ni kekwat wat lambat plak, sampai nak kene Bell boy menjemput dari Lobi Hotel, so you know you are with a bunch of poshy people along, they were quite picky... sabor jerla... Happened that we were the only Malaysian on the bus.. huhu, seb bek cina indon tu boleh berborak sakan ngan aku dalam bahasa melayu, lega mak... hahahahhahahha. we were the only asian presence, semua dari France, Canada and America, agak kekwat la jugak, muahhahahahhaha.

The tour start somewhere near the Rocks. As the bus moved along, the tour guide will inform us the origin how the Rocks got its name. Interesting fact when the Rocks is the early part of establishment, labour of convicts from England were being utilised to build many structures. In the area, many of these laborers needed to do manual hacking of the existing rocks that lies on the ground itself, yeah that is how they got the name when buildings were made of these. The tour guide mentioned these formation of rock was easy to be transformed into blocks, takderla kene letup bagai. Memang hebat mat salih zaman dulu, tak payah la nak wat kilang bricks, cari tanah liat dan membakar. They found the most easiest sources around, jimat masa, sumber dan tenaga, chewah!

The Rocks also known for its terrace residential areas which during those time, land is scarce (konon la)  and they have to utilized it optimum way. Ingat kek Mesia jer ada rumah teres, rupanya dari zaman abad ke 18 dah ada rumah macam ni ehehhehehehhe

As the Rocks area is a hilly kind of place, luckily we have our tour on the bus, yes we can have option to have Walking Tour tapi tak der larat mak nak mendaki bersama si kecik, hazab jugak nak menapak. Unless you are really keen to learn about the place, silakan, tapi mak lebih rela menapak panjat gunung dari menatap dalam bandar... penat seh....

One of the examples, how the rock blocks from the places being utilized to build buildings, sangat estatik kekdah penggunaan, timeless, lasak, dan senang,  mak suka... 
After the Rocks we headed to other part of Sydney which was Mrs. Macquaries Chair at Royal Botanic Garden. Again, who was this lady? Way back when Australia was ruled by the Governor system, macam kita kita dulu kek Tanah Malaya under British Colonial, the wife of the Governor, Madam Elizabeth Macquairies suka la satu spot dia duduk, chillex chillex... kira the best view of Sydney la.. so to appreciate the Governor's contribution towards developing Sydney, they made the spot for her. Wah untung ko, macam queen of England plak punya layanan... dok imagine how was the lady, with her costume, with payung, meronda ronda dalam taman sendiri...kalau ada filem, sah sah dalam kepala otak, sapa la pegang watak, tak lain tak bukan Nicole Kidman dan heronya sapa lagi? ehehhehehhehe

many tourist will come to this spot for the view... same goes to us, we did our shots and one of the best wooo...

Since it was early morning, there was a van selling coffees and simple breakfast for visitors. We brought our loaf of bread and of course these two paraqeet suka la kan datang dekat-dekat... yeah bringing roti semasa travel akan menjadi kering sangat sangat sesuai la untuk dijadikan makanan binatang pun... tapi kami telan cicah ngan hot coffee and hot choc, belasah! dah kebulur. Indon kat sebelah senyum senyum tengok sebuku roti mak bawak!

After we made a visit to this Botanic Garden, we proceed to continue our journey passing some areas. The map below tells which places we did.

view while being on the bus, i managed to capture a few, the bus is not the slow kind, so better to main main aperture setting....kalau tak sayang gambar blur.....

penempatan orang orang kaya, kat sini rumah bernilai jutaan, haish, tak mampu nak beli, hanya mampu melihat, so tour ni macam menunjukkan betapa lokasi sangat penting... As the bus moving, we approached hilly area, yeah tak der menapak la kalau nak tengok... Even the tour guide kata, ke"posh"an sangat penting area ni, sampai cermin kedai runcit Wools pun ditampal ngan sticker penutup, sebab penghuni area ni akan rasa malu shopping tempat bargain, diskaun macam tu, malu kat jenjiran sebab mampu membeli kat situ, haish, macam tu sekali... anyhow kalau tak silap, area ni dekat dekat ngan Surry Hills......

One of the view from the site as we were making towards Watsons Bay. memang terbaek la kalau dapat tinggal area ni, sebab dah macam Bangsar tepi laut.
As you can see from this picture, many buses will stop at this area. Why? Because this is the best spot for observing the other side of the northern coast, which we were already in Watsons Bay. If you notice there was a house in the left side with Aussie flag, you must be wondering why the residence got only one flag while the rest got none? According to the guide, the authority of Sydney requested the owner to put a flag in front of the house. Why? Because this spot particular,  a favorite spot to commit suicide among Sydneysiders, choish, wah seram mak dengar.. so before any fellow Aussie mau commit suicide, they can have a look at the flag to remind themselves how they should love the country before losing their life for not so important reasons. ahahhahahahahha, lawak jugak mendengar... haish tak leh lelama nak lepak, tempat ni kan keras la kot.....agak tu rumah sebelah berbendera kosong jer tader penghuni muahahahhahahah
Looking at Sydney National Harbour Park....Watsons Bay.

Cuba tengok cliff kat sebelah mak tu, lebih kurang jer nak selari dengan cliff di hujung sana, dan itulah spot tempat orang terjun bunuh diri, hehehehhehe. end of the world, end of the life, sangat cliche eh.
Sambil recce tempat ni terjumpa satu structure. A memorial built for late Lieutenant G.J Grieve, who died in a war in South Africa, way back in 1900.. muda lagi masa tu dia, umur 36... 3 tahun tua dari den la,  dah lebih seabad pun dia punya tarikh kematian,  ni kalau kat Mesia ni  dah ramai orang amik nombor dah jadinya, lagi season, lagi kaw kaw ong punya ehhehehehhe
After spending 10 minutes in Watsons Bay, we made our way to this place.  Where we were going? ehehehehehhehehe

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hello Sydneysiders (Part VI)

Introducing the AAT King Bus... the one who took us to North and South Sydney....

I guess this might be the last post before leaving for Annapurna, Nepal.

I don't have much time to write due to duties and travel plans stuff, but i am sure it has been great to be able to tell something. To tell to someone that i will be just good. Happy. Fine. :)

To do Sydney, knowing the history and how people thrive for some better living, it is the most expensive city in Aussie, yet it shows how vibrant the city is. Same goes to other places in this world, but sun shine, sea and wharf is the one i look forward to, perhaps I spent many years visiting beaches, and till today, I am still loving  every part of it.

So this post  mainly to highlight the outer side of the city, how the first explorer, The First Fleet made it to the coast and how interesting it was to learn it from the day tour and a visit to Museum of Sydney. Valuable.

Image showing how Australia was found by Captain James Cook... belajar sejarah sikit, eehhehehehe... picture courtesy of  NSW State Library....

We took two day tours with AAT Kings, which I think the best day tour to explore North and South of the city. The North Experience. The journey begins from Harbour Bridge, North Sydney and of course Mainly. We waited the company bus, and to our surprise it came with so knowledgeable Mr. Guiliano Nyuen, our tour guide cum the driver.

As we made our introduction, it is nice to know that Mr. Guiliano himself is an avid Penang Island visitor, almost bought an apartment somewhere in Batu Kawan for once a year trip to the Island.. cool, hope to see u again, mate! 

It is good to find someone who share the same passion :)

The tour begin to the ride on the Harbour Bridge, a structure built in future use in mind, which they had this idea of building it with 8 lanes to cut off the traffic congestion, how clever, isn't it? 
The other side of the city, Olympic Drive to Milson Point/ Luna Park. North Sydney was initially being the centre of business/commercial district, where offices being built and the day time would be bustling of activities. Till to some time, it was again Sydney CBD (the other side) to be the centre.
We were brought to capture some view of  splendid Safety Bay, Port Jackson where from this picture, you know the dwellers were rich people, owning boats, yacht, and the residence, oh my, millions of money to own these. Guilano's dream is to have one of this.
Now somewhere towards Mainly, but we were heading to Sydney National Park.....sorry Mr.Guiliano, i fell asleep when we came into the town.penat......

Yes, this is one of the must  for any Sydney first timers.

For those who have no idea where  the place we were visiting, some map for direction. The tour highlight was to show visitors where Captain James Cook and the rest of First Fleet entering Sydney from this point, the opening between two capes, namely Watsons Bay and north part of National Park..
The view, looking at North Head part... way back, hundred years ago, there was a quarantine place for sick ship passengers/immigrants at this point... legend say it is a haunted spot where sometimes visitors who do come to the place  can listen to wailing sounds at night, huhu goosebumps... love the water, the bluish tint of Tasman Sea is something nice, isn't it... i do not make any editing on this cobalt blue as it is...

We had a quick stop for some photos at Arabanoo Lookout. Who is Arabanoo? Some excerpt taken from Australian Dictionary of Biography;

"Arabanoo (d.1789), Aboriginal, was captured at Manly on 31 December 1788 by order of Governor Arthur Phillip, who wished to learn more about the natives. Arabanoo was taken to the settlement where a convict was appointed to guard him; he was at first pleased by a handcuff on his wrist, believing it to be an ornament, but became enraged when he discovered its purpose.
Then a severe epidemic of smallpox broke out among the Aboriginals in April 1789, several who had been found in great distress were brought to Sydney where Arabanoo helped to care for them; he caught the disease himself and died on or about 18 May. He was buried in the governor's garden"

A statue made to dedicate the effort of Duke Kahanamoku, the Surfing King, all the way from Hawaii, an Olympic athlete who made surfing a popular spot.

The tour became interesting when our bus stopped at this point, and Mr. G  wanted to tell us how a statue was built in honor of Duke Kahanamoku. Err,  who is this guy?  The statue itself is a piece of interesting object, and our first time seeing a statue of a man on a surf board, well not the typical one you can see is called the long board. 

Some excerpt about the Duke himself, 

During the first half of the 20th century, Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku -- known to most as Duke or The Duke, and as Paoa to Hawaiian and long time island friends -- "emerged as the world's consummate waterman, its fastest swimmer and foremost surfer, the first truly famous beach boy," wrote biographer Grady Timmons. Duke Kahanamoku is best known to surfers as, "the father of modern surfing."

"Duke competed in an Olympic trials swimming meet held in May 1912, in Philadelphia. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic team by winning the 100 meter freestyle event in exactly 60 seconds.Less than a month later, at Verona Lake, N.J., Duke qualified for the U.S. Olympic 800 meter relay team. More importantly, during his 200 meter test heat, he bettered the existing world record in the 200 meter freestyle held by Daniels"

"The New South Wales Swimming Association invited Duke Kahanamoku to give a swimming exhibition at the Domain Baths, in Sydney. While in Australia, Duke brought surfboard riding to the continent. Yet, he did not bring a surfboard. Instead, he made one. Patricia Gilmore, an Australian reporter/historian, described what happened, in a nostalgic look back forThe Sydney Morning Herald, in 1948: "Having no board, he picked out some sugar pine from George Hudson's, and made one. This board -- which is now in the proud possession of Claude West -- was eight feet six inches long, and concave underneath. Veterans of the waves contend that Duke purposely made the surfboard concave instead of convex to give him greater stability in our rougher (as compared with Hawaiian) surf." ---- taken from

More info on the legend icon can be found here

Yeah, we learnt many stuff on the day itself. The first Aborigine found and the King of Surfing. This tour was full of info, how some places like Manly got its name, so apart from the breathtaking coast view, please do have consideration to have this tour for those who want to do Sydney. It is very informative on its own, something you can relate to the existing our Sydney, Australia and the famous sport of surfing.

                                          I wish I have ample time to do some Olle style walking on this coastal side... sigh....

Later, we made it to Manly Town for a stop for coffee. The place itself, being a tourist spot, makes a good place to learn surfing. Too bad we could not see  many surfers on the beach due to calm sea. A row of cafes facing the beach makes a good spot to chill, but we proceed to the inner town to check on the shops for souvenirs.

Sight seeing in the town... we bought some marshmallow pink sweaters for ourselves... nice spot to see people move around...

We left Manly to Sydney CDB as it was already getting dark. The next day was our second tour to the south of Sydney... to be continued......