Category Archives: Melbourne & Adelaine, 2009

Barossa Valley, Australia 2009

[Note: Last entry for my Melbourne and Adelaide trip!]

A day after the wedding, Joe and Vivian brought us to the Barossa Valley, a place well known for its vineyards.


Lawyers?

The drive there took us less than an hour. However, we reached there quite late and our only available choice was Jacob’s Creek.


Wine tasting was free and a menu was provided to us to choose our wines.

Some tasted good and some tasted terrible. One even tasted like tit tar chau (Chinese medicated oil, usually used to rub bruises).


If it taste bad…spit it heree..heehee

My personal favourite is the moscato, a sweet sparkling white wine best served chilled.


Sparkling red Shiraz. I’m not a big fan of red wine though. It all happened when I downed a bottle and had it coming out from my nose.

Other than wine tasting, the place also offers a scenic and picturesque wine of the vineyard and its hilly surroundings.

After Jacob’s Creek, we made a trip to the Whispering Wall. The Whispering Wall is actually a reservoir by the name Barossa Reservoir.

If you stand at one end of the dam, you can actually heard the voice of another person clearly at the other end. It was as if the person is standing next to you!


Dont put your ears too close to the wall otherwise you will get these creepy crawlies into your ears.

The end!

Adelaide, Australia 2009

While I was in Melbourne, I made a trip to Adelaide for a wedding and also to MC the wedding.


Signboard at Melbourne Airport – don’t make jokes about bombs in bag.

Adelaide is a small quaint and tranquil city. Although it was summer, it was quite cold. It felt like winter! Thank god I brought a jacket along.

I stayed at the bride’s house. The groom house was about 8 houses away. The wedding was a mixture of Vietnamese and Chinese wedding. We had the chip san leong ceremony (the tasks were pretty mild) and also tea ceremony. Further, there was also a church ceremony at an old church.


Check out the cute outfits! πŸ˜€


Moments after the bride threw a bouquet of flowers. Check out the lady on the right in pink dress…fightooooooooo…..hoorryuukueeennn…

The wedding was held in a restaurant of some sort of Italian related club. There was a dance floor for people to dance (not fengtau but ballroom dancing etc). A and I MC-ed the wedding. We made little preparation as we only confirmed our participation as MC a day before the wedding. Fortunately, we didn’t screw up.


My friends bought their own wedding cake! Looks tasteeehhhh


Lobster yo!

The wedding went well! On the next day, the groom and the bride brought us to Barossa Valley πŸ˜€ More details later

I was only in Adelaide for 4 days. The 1st day was spent on preparing for the wedding, 2nd day was spent on the wedding, 3rd day was spent at Barossa Valley and the last day was spent on last minute shopping. I overshopped, spent rm1600 on 2 suits. I won’t be buying any more suits for the next 5 years!

Climbing @ Lactic Factory, Melbourne

Before my Melbourne trip, I wanted to climb outdoors. Wei Chen showed me couple of his Mount Arapiles outdoor bouldering pictures and it looked pretty good!

Unfortunately, it was summer time hence it is quite dangerous. A bush fire might happen while we are there. Therefore, we decided to climb indoors instead. My friends brought me to Lactic Factory, a bouldering gym not too far from the city centre. I was there 2 times in a week!

The gym consists of two floors. Each floor has a bouldering wall. The second floor wall has a roof.

The gym also has a very nice lounge with loads of book regarding climbing.

The entrance fee is about AU$13 per entry. First timers are required to sign a disclaimer form (as usual).

Routes are pre-set by the owner and changed from time to time. Dont need to crack your head to set your own routes.


View from 2nd floor

The climb was awesome as they had plenty of routes to try. Most of them power moves. Tire my muscles quite quickly.

Most of my friends were pretty good climbers. Some of them climb 3 times a week. They said there’s nothing much to do in Melbourne hence they climb 3 times a week. Fortunately, fatty Gavin Tan was around and hence I didn’t qualify as the worst climber wahahahha

The only drawback about this place is the toilet. It doesn’t have a place to wash your feet. I had to do some yoga moves to get my feet up into the basin.

Address
1 Studley St
Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia
Tel: (03) 9416 2508
Wesite: thelacticfactory.com.au

Map

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Unique Chocolates

I was in a convenient store buying chocolates for my friends and I spotted these..


50% His and 50% Hers. Look at the “equal” distribution..


Girth Control – Helps you avoid thinking about “it” for up to 15 minutes! Name and packaging made to look like birth control pills


I’m a Libra!


Bochox – For relief from symptoms of wrinkles and crow’s feet. Who needs Botox?

From my research, Girth Control and Bochox are made by a New Zealand company by the name Bloomsberry & Co.

Source: http://www.dionlabel.com

Bloomsberry & Co. chocolate is far from boring.

Bloomsberry & Co is taking a bite out of the chocolate industry with their witty packaging and delicious chocolate. Graphic designer Giles Barker and his wife Vanessa Kettelwell are the brains behind Bloomsberry & Co. Their chocolate is harvested from cacao trees in warm, often tropical, areas. Cacao bean is one of the main ingredients in chocolate and is found within the cacao pods, these pods are harvested once they hit the ground. The quality of Bloomsberry & Co chocolates are due to the patience and precision they take during the harvesting period.

“There are some big players in the chocolate category, but by creating a unique gift item with a story behind our brand, Bloomsberry transcends that,” says Mr. Barker. “Chocolate packaging is typically a very traditional and serious business – we are coming at it from a very different position.” Different position is right! In a world of boring packaging these chocolate bars contain names such as bochox, emergency chocolate, girth control, and lusty. With their bold colors and humorous slogans it’s no wonder why this New Zealand based company is now spreading like wildfire. Bloomsberry & Co can be found in Manchester, Melbourne, Paris, Singapore, and New York. The chocolate bars can be found in retail chains such as Barnes & Noble, Borders books, and Whole Foods Market. To learn more about Bloomsberry & Co you can visit their website here.

Check out their Facebook page for more stuff! And not to mention their official page.

Melbourne Food Guide – Coffee Culture

OK, back to my Melbourne Food Guide entry. The first one was here btw.

When I was in Melbourne in 2002, I didn’t realise that Melbourne has a humongous coffee culture. Coffee is served at almost every corner of Melbourne. Long queues are always seen in places that serves good coffee.

In 2008, American coffee giant Starbucks closed 61 Australian stores. I heard that Melbournians rather drink their local coffees than Starfucks. There is also a paid tour around Melbourne to see Melbourne’s historical coffee sites and also sample good coffee around Melbourne.

Back in Kuala Lumpur, I would usually have a cup of coffee before starting my day. But in Melbourne, coffee is so good that I usually have two cups a day. Makes me pangsai twice a day.

Here are some of my favourite coffee places.

Brother Baba Budan @ Little Bourke St

This small cafe serves one of the best coffees that I tasted in Melbourne. It is a very small cafe with very unique design. The seats are scattered and their ceiling is filled with hanging chairs.

The only drawback of this place is that the price is a little bit steep.


Nevertheless, the coffee is worth every drip of it. I had a cuppa almost everyday!

Address
359 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000
Telephone +613 9606 0449
Website: www.brotherbababudan.com.au

Map


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7 Seeds Specialty Coffee @ Berkeley St

Before our trip to Point Nepean, Gavin and I had breakfast at this place. This place is somehow related to the owner of Brother Baba Budan. It’s larger than Brother Baba Budan and it serves food all day long.

Finding the place was quite difficult as it doesn’t have a proper signage. You can only see a gray coloured wall from far.

The interior is nicely done. Great place to chill out.


Box to store bullets!


Not Marijuana…hehe


Yummmmmmmmmm


Dench sourdough served with smoked salmon, wasabi creme friach and pickled cucumber salsa – AUD13


Dench sourdough served with hommus, tomato salad, cold pressed olive oil and dukkah – AUD11

Highly recommended!

Address
106 Berkeley St
Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Tel: (03) 9347 8664
Website: sevenseeds.com.au


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St. Ali Coffee Roasters @ South Melbourne

Stopped by St. Ali on my last day to grab my last cup of coffee from Melbourne. Coffee was great, as good as those served at Brother Baba Budan and 7 Seeds.

Again, this place is not easy to find. We walked through a small alley to get to this place.


Looks like a factory!

Address
12-18 Yarra Pl
South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia
Tel: (03) 9686 2990


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Point Nepean, Victoria, Australia 2009 – Part II

[Continuation from Point Nepean, Victoria, Australia 2009 – Part I]

At the tip of Point Nepean, there are a few military ruins to see. One of them is the old tunnels. It has been around for ages and you even see scribbles by visitor from the past.


1963 – earliest scribble I could find.


The best looking scribble I saw

The path to the Engine House ruins is also worth taking as it has a great scenery. The beach was empty and the water was crystal clear. Access to the beach is prohibited but no one stops you from doing so. πŸ˜€

After hanging out at the place for an hour, we decided to head back. However, as the sun was scorching hot and there were many flies, we decided to hitch the shutter truck back. Further, while on our way to the tip, we saw one red faced guai lou walking towards the starting point. He was all burned up!

Our ticket only entitle us to a ride to the tip and not the ride back. There was no ticket counter to purchase a return ticket at the tip. If we were to walk back, we would probably end up like the red faced guai lou and attacked by flies throughout the walk. To overcome the problem, we did the Malaysian way, sit on the shutter truck and keep quiet.


Kid sitting in front of us. Poor kid had to endure the flies.

No one checked our tickets on the way back. It brought us back to our car without paying additional fee! Yay! Malaysia Boleh!!!

Point Nepean, Victoria, Australia 2009 – Part I

Gavin had a day off hence he decided to be nice for a day and drove me to check out Point Nepean National Park, which is about an hour and a half from the city of Melbourne.

Point Nepean marks the southern point of The Rip (the entrance to Port Phillip) and the most westerly point of the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia. Closed to the public for over 100 years, Point Nepean National Park is now a popular tourist destination. Besides spectacular ocean scenery, the park is home to Fort Nepean, established in 1882, and the historic Quarantine Station first established in 1852. This place also marks the place where Australia lost its 17th Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who disappeared on 17 December 1967, presumed drowned.

To get to the end of the point, one can either take a 7KM walk (back and forth) or take a shutter truck. For the fee of $16.80, the shutter truck will bring you to the tip and bring you back to the starting point. Alternatively, pay the fee of $13.50, the shutter truck will only bring you to the tip and thereafter walk back to the starting point. We opted for the $13.50 fee as we thought it would be nice to have a stroll back since it is only 3.5KM back.

Since we are only taking a one way trip, we had to drive up to Gunners Cottage to park our car there. Thereafter, we would have to walk to the 1st stop nearby to catch the shutter truck.


Walkway to the 1st stop

There is an old cemetery nearby Gunners Cottage. It was established in 1854 replacing an earlier quarantine station burial ground which became unsuitable when beach erosion unearthed the burials of 1852.

As we reached the place early, we had to wait for the shutter truck to arrive at the 1st stop. At that time, we were attacked by flies here and there. The bloody flies in Australia stick to people like we were pieces of shit!!


Shutter Truck

When the shutter truck came, we were still attacked by the flies. Nevertheless, the view was magnificent!

However, when we arrived at the tip, the flies became a little bit more aggressive. -_-


First there were 2.


Then there were 4.


And then there were too many. It was as if the flies were trying to set up a village on Gavin’s back!

A nice lady gave us some branches to swat the flies away. According to her, the act of swatting the flies is called the ‘Aussie Wave’.

[To be continued..]

Melbourne & Adelaide, 2009 – Overview

Happy New Year peeps! To begin my first 2010 entry, I shall post about my Australia trip πŸ˜€

My 2 weeks trip to Australia was very enjoyable. The purpose of the trip was to attend Jo and Viv’s wedding in Adelaide. Since I got many friends in Melbourne, I decided to drop by Melbourne. The last time I was there was in 2002. The place changed a lot.


Flinders Street Station didn’t change one bit except for the foyer.

I stayed with weichen in Melbourne and at Viv’s place in Adelaide. Many thanks to them for their kindness especially weichen who picked me and sent me to the airport numerous times.

Many of my Malaysian friends migrated to Melbourne. Those who I hung out with in Melbourne were either my old clubbing kakis or climbing kakis.


The gang

A came a day later than me and she only spent 2 days in Melbourne. I brought her around to shop before we flew off to Adelaide for Jo & Viv’s wedding.

Adelaide, to me, is a quiet and tranquil place. The city is small compared to Melbourne and there is nothing much to see there. However, our trip to Barossa Valley was quite enjoyable. We managed to visit Jacob’s Creek and the Whispering Wall.


Jacob’s Creek

The wedding started off with a traditional ‘chip san leong’ ceremony with a little bit of Vietnamese twist (Viv is Vietnamese). Thereafter, there was a church ceremony.


Got Siew Chu!

The wedding dinner was held in a small ballroom. A and I were MCs for the night. This time round, I didn’t scream yamseng too loud until the whole floor went quiet.

A went back to KL after our Adelaide trip. I stayed back in Melbourne for another week. I managed to climb twice at Lactic Factory and also made a trip down to Fort Nepean with Gavin.


Fort Nepean!

I also managed to try out a few good restaurants and went to some places that I didn’t visit when I was in Melbourne in 2002.


Yummy!


Inside the State Library


Didn’t try GayLord though

Stay tuned for details!

Melbourne & Adelaine, 2009 – My Flight

Back from Melbourne! Finally, after 3 weeks of living on a suitcase, I am finally back in KL. Been missing home!

The flight back was quite pleasant. I managed to grab a seat where there were no seats in front of me. Plenty of leg space. However, the problem was that my television screen was broken. The MAS crew was nice enough to place me in the crew seat.

During my flight to Melbourne, I was also fortunate to be able to grab a seat with no seats infront of me.

However, the bloody flight transited for an hour in Jakarta! I thought it was a direct flight to Melbourne and there was no indication that the flight will transit in Melbourne when I bought my ticket! Fking Malaysia Airlines! I know I bought the cheap ticket la, no need do this to me la kanasaaii!!!

When we were transiting in Jakarta, 2 Arabic lady sat next to me..with a baby….FML! Baby was crying the entire journey! The ladies had to take care of the baby throughout the journey. The baby was throwing things around as well.


I had only 2 hours of sleep throughout the 8 hours night flight…uuuh

Further, the ladies spoke no English. They even got me fill up their immigration forms for them. However, we couldn’t complete them cause they had no idea what I was asking them. They couldn’t even tell me what they are doing in Melbourne. They couldn’t even show me their air ticket!


And the worst part was…they left a half eaten carrot in my table.

Yes a half eaten carrot. The baby was biting it and the lady next to me decided to put it on my table.

NIAMA!!