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Perth, Australia 2014 – Fremantle

Melvin and Tania picked us up with the rented 7-seater Kia Van on our third day. Our first stop was Fremantle, another city nearby Perth city. I only know the place for being well known for seafood. I must say that the seafood was awesome.

Mel and Tania bought the famous Corica Apple Strudels at the city and brought it to Fremantle. The pastry was soft and the cream was nice.

We explored the beach a bit and even visited the museum.


Large ship uncovered

Thereafter, we headed to the famous Little Creatures brewery for drinks. The brewery is open to the public and contains a café/restaurant.


Melvin ordered a tester (FOC!). The tester comes in numerous glasses with different type of beers. Each beer has two small glasses and hence Melvin and I got one each. I like the cider the best whereas the rest was just so-so. Some tasted horrible to me.


Livia at the brewery.


Uncle Mel clearly doesn’t like kids and have no idea how to carry one.


All sorts of beer here.

The drive back home took us 40 minutes. We even shopped at Woolies for a bit for our BBQ dinner. We reached their home about 9pm. Mel cooked lamb, beef, salmon, trout, portobello mushrooms, corn and chicken.

One of Mel and Tania’s neighbours is into Xmas deco.

Livia would love to be here to destroy everything here.

Perth, Australia 2014 – Overview

My wife, Livia and I visited Melvin and Tania’s abode at Perth after Christmas. Melvin is one of my hengtais during my wedding and we knew each other since we were 15.

They migrated over there couple of months ago. They now live in a place called Secret Harbour which is about 40 minutes away from Perth City.


Secret Habour. Most houses around here are single storey.

Although we arrived after Boxing Day, the city was a little bit dead. Most of the shops were closed and the streets were pretty empty.

We spent some time in the city before meeting up with Melvin and Tania. We didn’t want Livia to travel too much (she can’t sit still!). We stayed at Sheraton Hotel and got a pretty good room thanks to our friend Elaine of Luxenomad.


Livia was very pleased with the room.

We got a free upgrade thanks to Luxenomad and also a baby cot. The room was spacious and comfortable. They even supplied us with a bathtub for us to bath Livia.


Victorian building at Perth City


A street in Perth City


Saw this while walking to the city from our hotel


Perth City at night

It was our first time travelling with Livia on such a long journey. But the journey there was pleasant. Livia was in a good mood but did cry a little bit. She has this habit of staring at strangers and then smiling whenever they look back.


Livia poo-pooed in the plane once. We changed her in the airplane toilet. It has a baby diaper changing table. Things I didn’t realise until I became a parent.


We got Livia a bassinet. We had to top up RM300 for the seat. We also got free Heinz baby food.


I’ve always enjoyed flying over Australia. The view from the top is amazing.

The weather was scorching hot during the day but cool at night. We literally had to bath in sun tan lotions. Livia became tanned too especially after spending a day at the beach. Livia loved the beach. She crawled around the sand and played with the water (and even tried drinking it!).

Another couple, William and Rachael, stayed with Melvin and Tania at the same time. It felt like my university days when I had 7 other housemates. It was like a party everyday. W & R were having their honeymoon in Perth and we traveled around together. They were quite good with Livia. Wife and I could rest a bit while they play with Livia.


Livia and W. Livia doesn’t really like strangers carrying her but W & R were exceptions.

Most of the attractions of Perth are outside Perth City. We made couple of road trips around Perth on a 7-seater KIA Van which Melvin rented (all of us chipped in for the rental).

Livia however didn’t enjoy the ride on the van much. She doesn’t like to be strapped down on the car seat. Wife had to distract her with food.

Melvin cooked us delicious food throughout the stay. He made us breakfast and dinner. He’s a good cook hence food was always tasty (and he just started a new job as a cook!). He even made us kangaroo burgers!


Livia was pleased with the food


Roasted pork!


Mushrooms and Hainanese chicken.


Barbecue was in our menu too.

After 7 days in Perth, we made our trip home. Melvin fetched all of us to the airport. Tania came back with us to Malaysia leaving Melvin alone in Perth. His home was no longer the lively home he saw for the past 7 days. But I guess he’ll be glad that we left him once he saw his electricity and gas bills.

The journey back home was terrible though. Our 2:30AM flight was disastrous because Livia was screaming and crying. She refused to sleep on her bassinet hence my wife had to carry her to sleep. My wife barely slept. Lesson learnt: Don’t take midnight flights when travelling with a baby!

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


View Larger Map

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


View Larger Map

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


View Larger Map

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. 😀

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..]

Welcome to the year of the Rat

www.xes.cx wishes all Chinese readers Happy Chinese New Year!!
With the year of the rat, many countries have issued stamps commemorating this auspicious year.

China

USA

Australia

Korea

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Taiwan

Philippines

Vietnam

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Singapore


Macau

Kyrgyzstan .. euww
Related Links:
‘Year of the Rat’ stamp issued — china.org.cn
StampNews.com : Australia: Lunar New Year – Year of the Rat
Year of the Rat stamps (China & Korea) – Like A Teapot – by solid copper
Year of the Rat stamps (USA & Taiwan) – Like A Teapot – by solid copper
Hong Kong Post – “Gold and Silver Stamp Sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals – Pig/Rat”
Australia Post Stamp Shop | STAMPS | CI Lunar New year – Year of the Rat
Macau – STAMP ISSUE “LUNAR YEAR OF THE RAT”
Vietnam latest news – Thanh Nien Daily
Singapore – Zodiac Series – Rat – Complete Set of Stamps