Saturday, December 15, 2012

My 1st USA trip: Harlo,San Francisco!!! part 3

Lots of
walking, snapping and enjoying
what SAN Francisco can Offer!!!

Although not the best weather for the day, 
no foggy morning
but being able to see the FULL Golden Gate Bridge
is just like a little dream came true

Fort point

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My 1st USA trip: Harlo,San Francisco!!! part 2

San Francisco
One of the obvious differences between the cities I have been to e.g Australian cities
is the way the residential units are designed
Much like what I saw in the TV dramas like "Friends" sitcom, 
They are colourful with its own unique character 
consist of stairways outside each apartments

Monday, November 19, 2012

My 1st USA trip: Harlo,San Francisco!!! part 1

Hello San Francisco!!!
One of the most talk about and famous city in the USA.
Today, San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, ranking 35th out of the 100 most visited cities worldwide.
Landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz Island and its former prison, and its Chinatown.

With a tight flight schedule, I got to San Francisco late at night,
caught the Muni train to the city.
The San Francisco Municipal Railway, known as Muni, is the primary public transit system of San Francisco.

I must admit walking in a city that is totally stranger to u at night is kinda scary
especially when I picked the shortcuts to cut through the city via side roads and back alleys. 
Didn't realized the downtown can be a totally different scene at night 
with all the poor, drunks and homeless seeking shelter at walkways, in front of the shop entrance, etc.
I don't know what got into me to persist through, luckily I got to my backpacker hostel safely, haha.
Oh well, there's always a first time.

With my limited time, 
I visited the fisherman's wharf right after I settled in
The wharf was surprisingly quiet and many shops have shut
But I can sense that this place can be the opposite at daylight and evening.

Walked pass this restaurant and heard JAZZ!!! 
I really wanted to go in and watch the live jazz which is what the blacks are famous for!!! 
But price-wise and time-wise (it's closing).....hmmm 

My 1st USA trip: Stanford University

I'm here @
Stanford University!!!

One of the most prestigious university in the world.
Ranked World no. 2 among all the universities!!!
Founded in 1891 by railway tycoon Leland Stanford in remembrance of his son, who died aged 16, Stanford is said to be, after Harvard, the US' most selective university, accepting around 7 per cent of applicants. Its alumni founded corporate giants including Hewlett-Packard and Google. The world's third-richest university, it teaches about 7,000 undergraduate and around 4,000 graduate students.

One thing I like bout the uni is it's close proximity between buildings

Some species of redwood trees

Monday, September 24, 2012

My 1st USA trip: The Grand Canyon

When I knew I had the approval to go to the Keystone symposium, I have been planning madly how to squeeze in some sightseeing around. At Keystone, I was supposed to follow a tour to see the amazing intercontinental divide but that didn't happened due to some miscommunication. 

In the end, I managed to squeeze in Flagstaff + Grand Canyon for a weekend trip. Of course, I was greedy and hoped for more, but oh well...there's just so much time!!! A lot of hard work + research had gone into this to make it happen. I even joined Couch surfing group to try to get free beds, haha which workout fine. 

I did not stay behind for the last free & easy day of the conference and opted to fly out straight from Denver to Flagstaff (3-4 hrs from Grand canyon south rim). But it's just so hard to match all the connecting transportation, which ended up I missed the last public van to Grand canyon the same day I touched down (just minutes away??!!). 

I was pretty stubborn and persist that maybe I can hitch hike though it's forbidden in US law. And in fact I did had that prepared as my last option and done my research. Caught a cab to one of the nearest petrol station and tried my luck. However, hitch-hiking prove to be pretty hard when u are out of luck. It was approaching evening too, so everyone was heading home. Those I met at the petrol station if any just came down from Grand canyon and heading further south. One even offered US$100 to take me up there, but no way, the public van only cost 30$, I'm not that desperate, haha. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My 1st USA trip: Keystone, Colorado

From Denver it takes ~3 hrs without jam to get to Keystone which had a base elevation of 2830m already. The highest town/resort I have been so far. 

I was here for a 5d4n conference, 
the 1st day it was already snowing and everywhere was covered with snow and looked grey

The snow was really deep, if it wasn't for the clearing of the snow on the roads, it would be so hard to walk on them. Your leg can just sink in them and it's hard to pull yourself up.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My 1st USA trip - Denver March 2011

The ride from Adelaide - Sydney - Los Angeles - Denver was my longest flight so far. Although the crews of United Airline were friendly and nice, the limited space in front of the seat is making it hard to breath and zzzz. 
Didn't have much sleep from Sydney to LA. To make it worse, I was sitting in the middle of the 3 seats, it's hard to get to the toilet and the one sitting on the right is a bigger size person.

Oh well...I still make it to LA, but not with other unexpected problems!!! (I'll leave that part out)

Because of the UNEXPECTED problem, I only reached my sort of backpacker hostel in Denver at 10-11PM instead of 5PM (USA is not good at backpacker hostel, they have more motels and hotels somehow). 

Friday, August 17, 2012

2010_01_01-02 Melbourne and Melbourne Day 11 & 12

The Last 2 days were spent just visiting Melbourne.
There's quite a lot to see for a first-timer 
And as I mentioned before, Melbourne is the city of Arts and Festival some even say Literature

Whatever it is, 
I like their NGV which stands for National Gallery of Victoria
There's two of them 
one the International which houses collections from the world, while the other is the National one
both buildings are located at different locations but within the city CBD.

The NGV national was good and houses many interesting arts 
below are some arts I fancied
Somehow I thought we are not allowed to take photos of them, but apparently we can, but without flash!!!

One of the "Impressionist" masterpiece that capture my eyes
"The Pioneer "
is a 1904 painting by the Australian artist Frederick McCubbin. The painting is a triptych; the three panels tell a story of a free selector and his family making a life in the Australian bush. It is widely considered "one of the masterpieces of Australian art (

2010_12_31 Melbourne and NYE 2011 day 10

Well, finally I reached the last day of 2010!!!! Not 2011, haha. 
I know this blog is already outdated , well, can't you see that I'm trying to catch up???

Well, the last day of 2010 in Melbourne was TERRIBLY HOT like sauna!!! 
My friend just wanted to keep going into the shade and shops with a/c.
Oh well, it's summer!!!

Queen Victoria market was on my friend's to visit list,
well, to help friend get stuff??!!! 
and get macademias??!! They said it's cheaper here??!!
oh well, having frequent Adelaide central market, 
this Queen victoria market does not really appeal to me
all I can said is that it's bigger, more stuff for sell ranging from cheap souvenirs to groceries to clothing to art

Melbourne City bath 
open to public

Lunch/snack?? at Brunetti, 
One of the famous Italian restaurant!!!
It's located at the famous Lygon st,
where a crime scene happened 2-3 months before we went, haha.
Their food was so tempting!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2010_12_30 Melbourne Gaol and University of Melbourne Day 9

Back to the City
Although I have been to Melbourne twice or thrice 
Still there's quite a lot that I have not explore due to all my previous trips was short ones
The melbourne Gaol is one of the most famous tourist spot of Melbourne wining many awards...
so we thought we pay a visit

Second on the list is
The University of Melbourne
This University has earned its reputation on my list to visit due to its fast climb in the University rankings
In addition, there's a lot of good work/research done here that become probably the best university to study in Australia other than ANU

So the day was jam packed with walking, Walking and WAlking....

One of the attraction of Melbourne Central, that house a shopping mall and train station 

Wished I can bring that Clock back!!!
It look so elegant!!!

Our brunch
at a tibetan food restaurant
not bad, pretty nice

2010_12_29 Mt.Buller day 8

From sea to mountain
It's definitely good to have a change of views
Mt.Buller is the closest and the biggest skiing resort to Melbourne
and takes ~3hr to get up here.
During Winter season, it's a busy place due to its close proximity to the city
but it's a very quiet place outside winter
Most people came here for a quiet escape with family/mountain biking and hiking
The best of all, the accommodation prices is a far cry from the expensive prices during winter season which makes it a very affordable place to stay with such great view around you.
Of course most accommodation here cater for winter only as running them with so little visitors outside of winter is high. So only a few lodges are operating making the choices limited, luckily they don't charge rocket high prices.
Oh and it's a perfect place to escape the summer heat, it's so cool here, other than the UV, haha.

Some of the bigger lodges (no, we didn't stay here) with awesome view

Ski run stations and chairlifts

Monday, August 6, 2012

2010_12_27 Along the Great ocean road day 6

Another day to continue our GOR exploration

One of the "maybe 12 apostles??" (below) is one of the amazing rock feature along the GOR carve into a unique rock shape and a thin slice

You have to walk down the Gibsons step to the beach. From here if one continue walking along the coast, one will eventually get to the twelve Apostles, however, be warned to watch for the tide to avoid getting trap in between. 

2010_12_28 Along the Great ocean road day 7

OMG, so pai seh, this blog grow mushroom dy...
Not even sure if I remember much of the details or not, LOL!!!

A beautiful morning and a great lookout point near Lorne!!!

So many dandelions!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012



Saturday, May 19, 2012

2010_12_26 Around Mt.Gambier and along the Great ocean road day 5

Woke up to a cloudy morning!!! 
And we had a good exploration of the old Mount Gambier gaol which is small but quite interesting!!!
This Gaol cum hostel is definitely one of the highlight of the our trip to Mt.Gambier!!!
The sinkhole and cave garden were the other highlights of Mt.Gambier!!! A garden in a sinkhole was certainly creative and unique!!! 

I was pretty happy that we made our way to Portland and to Cape bridgewater.
The big long stretch of beach was simply breathtaking!!! Wished we could stay longer, but the time was ticking, All the time we were racing with the clouds, trying always to stay a step ahead. The petrified forest was on the other hand so so, if no one said it's a petrified forest, I would have thought of them as weird rock or land formation, haha. I love Cape Nelson lighthouse too, haha, I guessed by now one can tell I'm a fan of Lighthouses!!!

There's many town to stop by on the Great ocean road, and my colleague has been bragging bout how she enjoyed Port Fairy, a quaint fishing town which was once a whaling port. So we visited this township though we kinda really didn't spend enough time there to perhaps appreciate the town much. But it's definitely a relaxing place and an ideal place to retire with your own yacht here. 
Warrnambool was just another bigger town where we stopped by for lunch and fuel. 

Pretty much from Warrnambool onwards, is where the Great Ocean Rd gets interesting!!! It's a long winding drive snaking along the coastline. We made our way all the way to Port Campbell and then camped at a caravan park in Princetown. 

Well, contrary to many beliefs and the great promotion, the twelve apostles was a bit disappointing. Maybe the sun light wasn't enough, but it was definitely not in its glorious days anymore. What you saw in most pictures and postcards were old pictures reprinted before more and more of the rock stacks collapsed. However, the Victorian tourism did a GREAT job in luring the crowds to come and see them!!! There were so many people and cars that evening we were there. I really wondered what was on their mind??!! 
Most people only join the tour or drive to see the twelve apostles and a bit around the area from Melbourne (~5hrs drive one way along the coast), which I reckoned is definitely great but the Great ocean rd has a lot more to offer than just the twelve apostles!!! Of course, you can't do it in a short time you are here unfortunately. 

However, we did saw a lot of other cooler attractions least promoted along the drive which my friend and I agreed is MUCH better than the twelve apostles!!! LOL. 
Among them are
Bays of islands, the Bay of Martyrs, the grotto and the London Bridge.
Don't miss these places if you visit the Great ocean road which are just a little bit further down than Port Campbell!!!
Oh, I must say that my pictures really don't justified well the beauty of the Great ocean rd as well as our JOY when we saw these spectacular coastline!!!

One of the smaller courtyard in the Mt.Gambier Gaol/hostel. At the far end is the entrance to a bigger courtyard which is used by the women.

The living room next to the little courtyard, free internet access which is just what we need to read the weather forecast. Here after dinner, I met a girl from Victoria?? and chat a long time...she was a bit of a troubled girl and her ex-bf in jail in Mt.Gambier.

Interestingly, here I learned tea can mean dinner too from her!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2010-12-25 Around Limestone coast day 4

The limestone coast stretches along the southern coastal from Fleurieu peninsular all the way to Mt.Gambier which is our destination of the day. Pretty long drive all the way from Newland Head conservation park (bout 5 hours ish), and the highlights are mostly at the end of the road trip today. Pity that I'm not driving a 4WD, so we did not assess the rugged limestone coast which is said to be very pretty!!! 

There were two surprises for the day:

Firstly, I did not foresee that we have to cross the murray river via ferry at Wellington, and I was like "oh FCUK!!!" what if the ferry wasn't operating since it's Christmas!!! Luckily it's operating, otherwise we would have to make a huge detour to cross the river which adds another 1-2 hours drive. Got to thank whoever was still working during Christmas!!!

Another surprise was our backpacker hostel in Mt.Gambier, it was so much better than what we thought and we were invited to join the backpacker hostel's family Christmas dinner!!! He told me on the phone months ago, but to be remembered and invited was so kind of them. They know it's hard to find food during Christmas!!! How good is that??!! Free food, haha.

oh by the way, I must say my eyes were drooping midway, trying hard to stay awake, luckily nothing happened, haha. 

Dennis hut "window"

The popular surfer's beach - Parsons beach 
It's quite amazing to see how much fog were there!!

Walking along the bridge (causeway) to Granite island just off Victor habour

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2010-12-24 Around Fleurieu peninsular day 3

3rd day was a full on day, haha but blessed with a pretty sunny day. We drove all the way down from Adelaide to Newland Head Conservation park along the coastal road. Who said the South Australia beaches are not as pretty???!!! then please judge for yourself with my photos below. In fact, i reckoned some of these beaches are better if not on par with the other beaches at the other parts of Australia. It's just that there are not heavily promoted in SA tourism and best known by locals!!! Looking back, those photos made me wana go kayak at these amazing waters!!!

We stopped by Port Willunga, Second Valley, Rapid bay and then did a "shouldn't do" drive to Tunkallila beach on hilly dirt road. This road was steeper and longer than what i thought. Thank god my friend was patient with me, haha. Though driving for such a long distance just to get to a beach on a dirt road with lots of small pebbles did give me a creep since the car was rented. All those thoughts started coming into my mind, i didn't pay extra for any accident, so i drove slowly and it just seems to take ages until we finally see the edge and the beach!!! I dare not drive down, haha and it's steep walk down (kam ngam tak kam qiu i stomach ache, aiks~!!!!). Then we visited parsons beach, setup our tent at Park 1st before we set off for the Starhill windfarms!!! Seeing the those turbines so close was one of the highlight!!! Though there wasn't a good sunset, but we were very happy with how the day turned out!!! 

Port Willunga

How I wished I was him with my kids and pets enjoying the crystal clear beach on a sunny day!!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

2010-12-23 Around Adelaide day 2

The second day of the trip, you bring people to where most people would normally go. To see the icons of Australia. 

But before that, we dropped by the big bridgewater mill which is kinda cool to look at for 1 min?? 

Well, the pictures speaks itself, my friend here just enjoyed her time with the icons, as you can tell by the pure smile and joy when she fed the roos, haha. Although i must say here she was a bit frightened by them in the 1st place, as some of them were quite BIG, they can stand on both legs and be taller than ya!! And it's understandable for my friend who was given a high school ticket price!!! haha. But i think i must applaud her courage to try to feed the emu, and she's lucky that she found a tame emu!!! haha.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2010-12-22 barossa valley tour day 1

2010's summer was a different one because i have a guest from S'pore over to travel with me!!! This trip have been planned since almost a year ago, lots of decisions, info searching, etc. Basically it's the first time i am travelling with a close friend from M'sia that i have not seen for 2 years??!! and it's just the 2 of us, haha. Somemore she's a girl, but luckily she's not the Cinderella type girl and love travel!!! 

Well, one question that was raised was, hmmm...a guy and a girl!!! well...i said, it's very common in Australia to travel like this, you don't need to have anything going on to be travelling together, haha. And whatever...

The 1st day was a pretty hectic day because she said she's fine without any rest after the long flight. Oh well,  the 1st place that i would like her to see is this amazing dam. Because i'm pretty sure she would be surprised as i was before and will like it. 

It was a great sunny day and my 2nd time driving in Australia, haha.