Melbourne 2016

Wednesday, 24 August 2016



On the first week of July, I went on a long weekend trip with my sister Shirley and cousin Sharon to Melbourne, "the world's most liveable city". We were only there for a short 3 days and 2 nights so we limited ourselves to the heart of the CBD. (Though, we had plenty of time lefyoutubet over to explore the streets of the city by the end of it.) The last time I went to Melbourne was back in 2010 when I went with uni. I remember being left with good impressions of the city, but not so much this time round (unfortunately).

The levels of friendliness we encountered were quite extreme—some strangers were very nice, but some (most to be honest) were just plain rude. Is it just me or do Melbournians like walking right behind people regardless of whether it's crowded or not? One time, I was standing right outside a store (like I was literally on the corner of it away from everyone else), yet someone still managed to walk into me. Like, DUDE. You got the whole street available. I'm pretty sure it's not just me because Shirley and Sharon have had similar incidents too. However, the service in Melbourne is definitely worth a mention. Maybe because we went to popular cafés, but the waiting staff were great. I don't even remember any bad experiences.



We decided to fly with Jetstar and our flight was at 8:25am on Friday morning. I usually have a bowl of oats and a banana for breakfast, but I was super hungry by the time we got to the airport so we stopped by Chur Burgers for some toast—which turned out to be the biggest rip off. Two pieces of toast with some avocado spread, tomatoes, cucumber, red onions and fetta cost us $14!







The plane ride there was only a mere 1.5 hours, but time seemed to go by longer than usual. We reached Melbourne at around 10:00am and caught the SkyBus to the city, which was $38 each for a round-trip.



Our hotel in Melbourne was called Quality Hotel Batman's Hill on Collins, which is located on the outskirts of the CBD so it wasn't extremely convenient, but we could get to many of the main attractions of the city quite easily as it was only a 5-10 minute walk to one of the stops of the City Circle (i.e., in the free tram zone). That brings me to our mode of transportation for the three days we were there. #causewecheaplol I love how Melbourne still maintains this service because it's so convenient for tourists and locals alike.





To be honest, I was quite disappointed with our hotel—it didn't feel "homey" enough, but it was OK for 2 nights only. I would've been so uncomfortable if we stayed any longer. (Though, I understand that you get what you pay for.) I didn't particularly like the fact that they did not give us free wifi—actually they did, but it was for one user only. Both Sharon and Shirley took turns using it, but realised very soon after logging in that it was SUPER slow so I became their portable wifi. (My mobile plan gives me 11GB of data.)







After leaving our luggage behind at the hotel, we went to have our first meal in Melbourne at the Grain Store, which we all enjoyed very much. The food was good and the atmosphere of the restaurant was really relaxing. A tad pricey overall, but worth a try. Don't forget to check out the table full of sandwiches and desserts in the centre of the restaurant because it definitely made my day as a photographer.









On our first day, we visited many of the main attractions of the city, like Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, Eureka Skydeck 88, Southbank Promenade and Degraves Street.



















After walking around for a good few hours, we had dinner at Mr. Ramen San—not a place I would particularly recommend for dinner but not a bad little ramen shop. Thumbs up to their the lightest ramen broths I've ever had. (I love ramen, but I avoid having too much of it because of ramen broth is always so thick and heavy and/or salty.) However, our food adventures for the first night didn't end at dinner. We then had crêpes at La Petite Crêperie and waffles at Waffee before heading back to the hotel.













The next day, we made our way to the Queen Victoria Market and walked around for a bit. There wasn't anything in particular that we needed or wanted to buy, so we just spent our time there eating. I highly recommend the doughnuts from American Doughnut Kitchens and the paella.





After eating "breakfast", we went to have coffee nearby from Market Lane Coffee. I love how instagram-worthy the cup is, but coffee-wise, it was the worst cup of coffee I had in Melbourne. #sorrynotsorry And for such a notable place, why do you not have soy milk?! #unbohlievable







I don't even remember what we did in between coffee at Market Lane Coffee and our next food stop, which was brunch at Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters on Hardware Street. I think it was simply walking to Hash. We were still quite full from the food we had at the markets, so we only ordered one dish to share, a cup of matcha latte and the famous hot chocolate. Actually, it's "dark Mörk cocoa in a beaker and poured over house-made fairy floss, which collapses into a sticky chocolate morass" (Broadsheet). I really enjoyed the hot chocolate because it wasn't sweet like regular hot chocolate, but dark chocolate which is my favourite.







We then headed to Hosier Lane, probably one of the most famous graffiti streets in the city. Like everyone else who was there, we took turns taking photos for a good hour or so. I'm not great at pulling straight faces, so I did my part with showing off my hurrrr. I love how good the green looks against the graffiti in the background and I'm so glad I could use this Melbourne trip as an excuse to take more photos of my hair.



After Hoiser Lane, we met up with a friend of Sharon's and had dinner at ChangGo (also known as Paisaik Samgyeopsal). The 8 types of pork belly was very similar to what we had in Seoul, but the meal overall was definitely more expensive in Melbourne. (Thanks for the shout, Sharon!) We then had Taiwanese and Hong Kong dessert at Dessert Story in Chinatown. Not bad overall, but I still prefer Meet Fresh.





On the morning of our flight back to Sydney, we went to The Hardware Société, which is probably one of the top breakfast cafés in Melbourne. We got there at about 9:30am, but it was PACKED with people (and many more standing around outside as well). We quickly put own names down on the waiting list, but was told that the wait time was about an hour or so. We didn't want to pass on this place because we were like, "it must be good if there are that many people waiting".





And it did not disappoint! We ordered beef cheeks, mushrooms with toast and a lobster burger. The dessert of the day was surprisingly good, but a little too heavy for my liking. What I really liked about it was how they managed to infuse matcha/green tea into the bread without making it green.



After we finished eating, we walked around the Emporium and the Royal Arcade to do some last minute souvenir shopping and just chill before heading back to the hotel to pick up our luggage around 4pm-ish. We originally wanted to eat in the CBD for dinner, but we were way too full (we had snacks in between), so we decided to eat at the airport instead. Our flight was at 6:45pm.











Travelling anywhere, near or far is an adventure in itself, but this Melbourne trip was a nice little break from reality and a chance to explore our "rival city". I really liked how organised they were with their light rail (hopefully ours will be just as good), and how their wide (CBD) streets reminded me of Hong Kong—i.e., it felt bustling. I also loved their coffee culture and how serious everyone is about their coffee. I'm not actually a coffee drinker because I hate the fact that it dehydrates you and has more bad than good effects on your body, but I absolutely love the smell of it. However, I tried not to care too much and drank as many cups of coffee as I could. (I mean, you can't not drink coffee when you're in Melbourne.) Now, I've become a bit more lenient with myself and do enjoy a cup of coffee from time to time—and of course, good company makes all the difference :)



Shirley's vlogs of our trip:




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