Monday, March 7, 2016

Australia Trip Day 4: From Darwin to Sydney

It is quite a relaxing day with the flight to Sydney at noon. I was planning to laze around in the hotel in the morning but my mum wanted to walk to Mitchell St for breakfast so I decided to be a good boy and accompany her. It was already hot in early morning. I offered her to walk to the Esplanade for pictures since she had none taken there yet but she did not want the heat. Oh well. Lol..

I was quite nervous during the trip to the airport as the timing was rather tight. However, the timing of the shuttle bus was based on flight timing and the check-in for domestic Qantas flight closes only 30 minutes before flight time. So actually there was plenty of time. It is quite interesting to do the self-check in as we have to stick our own luggage tags. Lol. Usually those machines only print me boarding passes at Changi. Luckily there were staff at the counter to help with sticking of the luggage tags. The screening at the airport is not as scary as I imagined. I did not need to remove my tablet from my bag and even drinking water was allowed. Wow.. There are some eateries and a souvenir shop so the 4 hour transit for the flight home should not be that boring.

The flight with Qantas was pretty enjoyable with pretty generous seat space. I guess Asian butts are narrower than ang moh's so there is quite a big space. The food is okay but I am impressed with the fact that they were served hot from the oven in the plane and not the usual warm from the oven at the airport. There was no screen for in-flight entertainment so I spent most of the 4+ hours flight sleeping.

We reached Sydney in the evening and the airport is quite impressive. My mum and my sister are already planning to come to the airport early for our flight to Melbourne so they can shop. Luggage was efficient as by the time we were done with the toilet, our bags were the last view to be uncollected from our flight. Lol. My credit card came to the rescue again as we decided to get Opal cards and go to the hotel using train. I was hoping for a shuttle bus or something but there was not any. It took us about 15 minutes to reach Central Station and the train was not crowded at all.

The platform of Central Station reminds me of Japanese train system and both are equally overwhelming for someone new to the city. It was already pretty dark when we were out of the station and I was pretty nervous to quickly get into our hotel. Located in the heart of the Chinatown, the area totally does not feel like Australia at all. 9 in 10 are Asians (Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesians etc) and this truly feels like a global city. If Singapore wants to be a global city, it still has a long way to go as our foreigners are only PRCs and Filipinos.

We are staying at Metro Hotel at Pitt Street. The hotel looks classy from outside but the inside really needs a lot of improvement. The lift door is making noise, the aircon is hot, the wardrobe sliding door is falling apart, and they asked me to buy my own toothbrush from 7-11 across the road T_T We ate dinner at Rydges World Square and I chose a Chinese mixed rice for $14 with 3 meal choices (does not matter if your meals are vegetable based or meat based). The portions were huge and they tasted great! When I went to Sydney 8 years ago, the Asian food I had were horribly tasteless so my expectation was as such. The supermarket gave another surprise. Unlike in Darwin where plastic carriers are chargeable, Sydney provides free plastic bags. Lol.. I guess they know a lot of stingy tourists here and mostly Asians who are not so bothered about protecting the environment. Haha..

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