Monday, September 12, 2016

Sydney Travel Guides [Part 1]


As one of largest city in Australia, Sydney has become one of favorite city to visit for holiday. It's easy to use public transportation to reach most of major attractions with complete public facilities. It's been 8 months living in this super multicultural city and I think I wanna share some info and guides for you who wants to go to Sydney. 

First thing first
Here are some important info you might want to read:

Currency used in Australia is Dollar Australia, for bank notes there are A$5, A$10, A$20, A$50 and A$100 notes meanwhile for coins there are two materials silver for cents and gold for dollars. 

Power socket used in Sydney is type I, just make sure you bring your universal socket.
pic from worldstandards.eu

Water tap in Sydney is safe for drinking and there are many water tap available on tourist attraction sites and if you go to cafe or restaurant you can ask for tap water for free.

Opal travel card is used to pay public transportation (bus, train, light rail and ferry). It easily to be purchased or top up in every train stations or convenience stores. The card is free, so for the first time you purchase Opal Card you just need to fill the amount inside.

Best time to visit Sydney
I would say Sydney is nice to be visited at anytime, because it has different excitement on each season. I might say you have to visit Sydney during Autumn or Spring, well beside I am a big fans of those seasons you might want to see the flowers bloom (jacaranda, cherry blossoms and so on) and the color changing leaves during Autumn.

If you love to go to beach and do some 'ocean' things, from the end of winter to spring you can take cruise for whale watching in the ocean, while during summer you can go to beaches for sun bathing. The peak season for tourist is during summer, which is actually have a good weather but maybe Sydney will become too crowded. Well, you can still visit non touristy beaches so you can still get tanned too without being worry to get cramped with people. Ah don't forget the Vivid Sydney around June every year, where there are so many Sydney's building being illuminated by lights and animation. 

Transportation from Airport
The easiest way to travel from Airport to city is by using Airportlink train. It will cost you around A$13 - A$14 one way using Opal card. You can also buy single trip ticket too but it more expensive, so I suggest you to purchase Opal card. One more thing, if you buy Opal card in any Airport train station (International or Domestic terminal) they will only accept payment by card.

Beside Airportlink, there is a cheaper way to go to city from airport. You can catch bus route 400 to Bondi Junction from International or Domestic terminal and alight near Mascot Train station to continue your journey by train. It will cost you around A$2.10 - A$3.50 for bus plus around A$1 - A$2 for train (with the new opal fare calculation) well I don't really sure about the exact fare but it cost you more than half price compare to Airportlink. I don't recommend you to use this bus + train option if you bring heavy luggage or you have too many stuffs with you.

If you travel in a group, Taxi or Uber ride might be a best solution for you too since you can split the travel fare with your friends. It will cost you around A$20 - A$30 to city.
     
What to see?
Most of the tourist attractions in CBD area are can be easily reach by walking. You can also join for free guided walking tour operate by I'm Free start 10.30am or 2.30pm EVERYDAY from Town Hall square, juat take a look for person who wear green shirt with I'm Free tour on it. 

[Around city]


many faces of Sydney Opera House

1. Sydney Opera House
As a city icon, I think most of the people have to put Sydney Opera House as first thing to do in Sydney. This unique building with shell roof shaped situated in Circular quay which is near ferry terminal, The Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge which indirectly makes this area become one stop entertainment.


2. Sydney Harbour Bridge
Another icon of Sydney is the harbour bridge. it connects Sydney CBD area with North sydney area. You can basically walk, ride a bus, take a train or ride bicycle on it. You can also climb up Pylon Lookout to see the city from above.

3. Royal Botanical Garden
This large botanical garden located near Sydney Opera House where we can found many varieties of trees, cacti, flowers to herbs collection. It also the best place to go picnic on summer day and the best part this garden is FREE.

4. Mrs. Macquarie's Chair
beautiful sunset from Mrs. Macquaire's chair

This area is part of Royal botanical garden which actually one of the best spot to see sunset and New year's eve fireworks.

5. Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour is a great place to spend your weekend, you can visit Sealife aquarium, Madam Tussaud, Wild life Sydney zoo and watch free Fireworks every Saturday night.

6. Queen Victoria Building
This Victorian architecture building is one of shopping center in the heart of Sydney and located next to Sydney Town Hall.

7. Sydney Town Hall


Every capital city in Australia's state has their Town Hall. Sydney town hall is my second favorite beside Brisbane town hall. It has Victorian style architecture on its interior and exterior. It located alongside St Andrew's Cathedral.


8. Luna Park, Milsons Point

Well to be honest, I never come to play in this theme park as I think it is really overrated. I just come to see sunset near the ferry station or taking photo on the gate. I still wondering why Sydney doesn't have a great and big theme park like Disneyland or Universal Studios.

9. Sydney Fish Market
This is the place where you can eat and shop fresh seafood in Sydney. Try their fresh or cheese scallops if you visit it.


10. Paddy's Market
If you want to buy some souvenir to families and colleagues at home, you can visit Paddy's market in Haymarket next to Chinatown. There are a lot of kind of souvenirs can be found in this market. From key-chains to shopping bags, shirts to jackets. Don't forget haggle for lower price if you buy many stuffs.

11. Bondi Beach
Bondi beach is the famous beach in Sydney, well it is not located in CBD area but you can take bus 333 or 380 from Hyde Park or St James station to the beach. In Summer days, Bondi beach will be full of people who want to go for surfing or sunbathing.

[Outside city]
Here are also some great places to visit and can be reach easily by train and bus from Sydney CBD.


1. Blue Mountain
three sisters from Cliff view lookout

You can reach blue mountain by train from central station. It take around 2,5 hours travel time. You can go trekking to Wentworth falls, three sisters or just see the beautiful scenery from Cliff view lookout or Scenic world. There are also limestone caves area in Jenolan which you can reach by car, it will take 1,5 - 2 hours ride from Katoomba.


2. Palm Beach

The view from Barrenjoey Head in Palm Beach is really cool but the track to reach the Barrenjoey Head is quite challenging as it is steep and slippery when wet. You can read more about Palm beach on my previous post.


3. Royal National Park
This National Park is quite huge, you can trekking to wedding cake rock, figure eight pool or taking picture on Seacliff bridge.


4. Kiama
Kiama blow hole

Kiama is known for its Kiama blow hole and light house, it located around 2 hours by train from Central station.

5. Featherdale Wildlife Park
feed the wallaby

Actually there are zoo and wildlife park near CBD but I recommend you to visit this one in Doonside. You can meet and interact with most of Australian animals like Kangaroos, Wallabies, Koalas, Wombats, Echidneas, Dingos, Tasmanian Devils and Emus. I even took a video when I was giving a wallaby some snacks, he was so adorable.

Some others places below might be not major tourist attractions, but these are my favorites too.
  • Narrabeen Lagoon & Beach
  • Woolloomooloo Bay
  • Watsons Bay
  • Newtown
  • La Perouse
If you like to visit museums, you might one check some of these out
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • New South Wales Art Gallery 
  • Power House Museum
  • Australian National Maritime Museum

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Oleh-oleh dan Wisata Kuliner di Yogyakarta

Udah pada tau dong kalo negara kita ini surga kuliner banget. Indonesia memiliki beragam kuliner di tiap-tiap daerah. Salah satu kuliner di tanah air yang memiliki cita rasa khas serta banyak peminatnya yaitu kuliner daerah Yogyakarta. Tidak hanya gudeg dan krecek, di perjalanan liburan kalian ke Yogyakarta juga boleh loh mencicipi aneka destinasi wisata kuliner lainnya. 

Bakpia Pathok
Bakpia ialah makanan yang terbuat dari kacang hijau, gula dan tepung. Makanan yang menggunakan proses pemanggangan pada pembuatannya ini merupakan salah satu makanan yang populer dari keluarga Cina dan Tionghoa. Dinamakan bakpia pathok karena bakpia yang diketahui oleh masyarakat luas itu awalnya berada di daerah Pathuk, Yogyakarta. Seiring bertambahnya jaman, bakpia kini juga berisikan cokelat hingga keju. Bakpia yang terkenal di Yogya yaitu Bakpia 25, Bakpia 75 dan Bakpia Kurniasari. Kalo saya sih lebih sering beli bakpia 25 sampai langsung ke toko yang juga merangkap pabrik pembuatannya.

Yangko


Makanan khas Yogyakarta yang terbuat dari tepung ketan ini memiliki cita rasa yang manis dan tekstur yang kenyal. Awal mulanya yangko berisi campuran cincangan kacang dan gula, namun saat ini yangko juga sudah memiliki variasi rasa baru seperti strawberry dan durian. Makanan khas ini banyak ditemukan di wilayah Kotagede, Yogyakarta.

Geplak
Satu lagi cemilan manis yang cocok buat oleh-oleh dari Yogyakarta adalah geplak. Geplak dibuat dari kelapa yang dimasak dengan campuran gula. Makanan ringan yang satu ini biasanya dibuat berwarna-warni dengan ukuran kecil-kecil. Biasanya dijual dalam kemasan besek kotak anyaman bambu dan cocok banget buat jadi teman minum teh.

Soto Lenthok Pak Karjo
Tempat makan ini selalu ramai peminat terutama pada saat pagi hari. Akan banyak masyarakat sekitar yang menikmati sarapan di tempat ini. Soto Lenthok Pak Karjo memiliki ramuan khusus yang dapat mebuat anda selalu ingin kembali dan mencicipinya lagi. Warung soto ini terletak di Jl. Prof. Herman Yohannes, Sagan, Yogyakarta.


Soto Sulung Stasiun Tugu
Masih seputar dunia persotoan, satu lagi soto yang terkenal adalah soto sulung yang terletak di dekat Stasiun Tugu. 

Sate Klathak Pak Pong
Sate yang satu ini pasti udah sering kalian dengar deh namanya. Sate klathak adalah sate kambing muda yang disajikan 'beda' dari sate lain karena dagingnya ditusuk menggunakan jeruji besi jari-jari sepeda. Kenapa namanya sate klathak? Jadi saat satenya dibakar terdengar suara 'klatak-klatak' dari daging yang dibakar tersebut, makanya jadi disebut sate klathak. Ini juga jadi salah satu kuliner wajib kalo mampir ke Yogyakarta.

Tips Liburan di Yogyakarta
Pastinya sebelum mulai hunting kulinernya yang lebih dulu dihunting tiket pesawatnya nih. Kebetulan bulan September ini Sriwijaya Air punya promo tiket pesawat untuk liburan dari Jakarta menuju Yogyakarta. Harga promo tiket penebangan yang ditawarkan mulai dari 350ribuan. Informasi lebih lanjut dan pemesanan tiket dapat dilakukan di Tiket2.com.


Nah kalo kalian, kuliner favorit Yogyakartanya apa aja?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Tinggal di Australia setelah WHV? Kenapa engga


Setelah beberapa bulan tinggal di negeri Kangguru ini, ada beberapa teman yang bertanya tentang apa yang akan saya lakukan setelah selesai misi satu tahun di Australia. Kalo boleh jujur, semenjak memutuskan untuk apply work and holiday visa (WHV) di Australia, blasss resolusi 5 sampai 10 tahun ke depan langsung berubah. Yang awalnya sempat berfikir untuk stay di karir lama, akhirnya sekarang jadi perjalanan tanpa ujung yang amat sangat tidak bisa saya prediksi, bahasa kerennya go with the flow *tssaaaah*. 

Tinggal di Australia ternyata banyak mengubah hidup saya, mulai dari pola berfikir, gaya hidup, kebiasaan hingga tata krama. Iyah, tata krama aja sampe berubah saking lebih sering ketemu orang yang super sopan di sini. Lalu jika ditanya tahun depan mau ke mana? apa masih mau tinggal di Australia? jawaban saya mungkin masih antara iya dan tidak.

Iya mau (pastinya), karena selain taraf hidup yang lebih baik banyaknya jenis pekerjaan dan kesetaraan pola kehidupan membuat saya selalu belajar untuk menghormati orang lain terlepas dari apa latar belakang dan pekerjaannya. Tapi sepertinya saya sendiri masih tidak mau untuk tinggal terlalu lama di Australia jika, pekerjaan yang saya miliki masih "kasar" istilahnya. Karena selain ga yakin juga bisa kuat sampai kapan kerja kayak gini, ujung-ujungnya saya merasa sayang juga sama kemampuan lain yang saya miliki. 

Sayanya juga masih terlalu cinta sama Indonesia dengan berjuta-juta macam budaya, makanan dan tempat wisata seru. Jadi kalopun nanti dapat kesempatan tinggal di negara lain lagi, aku hanya pergi untuk sementara ~~~ aku pasti kembaliii~~ *pake lagu Aku pasti kembalinya PASTO*

Lalu bagaimana kesempatan untuk tinggal di Australia setelah WHV?
Ada beberapa cara untuk kembali lagi tinggal dan bekerja di Australia setelah WHV diantaranya;

Lanjut sekolah

Panorama view bagian dalam Notredame Univeristy

 Salah stau gedung unik di wilayah University of Technology Sydney

Dari dulu memang sempat terlintas untuk melanjutkan kuliah ke jenjang yang lebih tinggi, di Sydney sendiri ada beberapa kampus yang terkenal negri yang terkenal karena kualitas pendidikannya. Tapi tau kan kamu biaya kuliah untuk International Student tiga kali lipat dari harga murid lokalnya? Jadi sebagai gambaran, kira-kira biaya S2 di University of Sydney untuk domestic student per tahunnya sekitar A$13,500 sedangkan untuk International Student sekitar A$31,500 (info ini untuk jurusan komunikasi). Gilaa jomplang banget kan harganya, jadi mungkin untuk saya satu-satunya cara untuk lanjut kuliah di sini adalah mencari beasiswa dulu dari Indonesia. Ah iya, jika kedepannya memang berencana untuk menjadi permanent resident di Australia, bisa juga untuk cek list kesempatan mendapatkan PR dari skill. Biasanya setiap setahun sekali, pemerintah negara bagian setempat memiliki list-list pekerjaannya. 

Ada beberapa juga yang memilih untuk ngambil vocational school seperti cookery, Aged care, child care dengan pertimbangan skill-skill tersebut lebih banyak dicari di Australia plus ada kesempatan untuk apply PR juga nantinya. Vocational school juga biaya sekolahnya lebih murah ketimbang Bachelor atau Master degree. Ada beberapa vocational school yang jam masuk kuliahnya hanya 1 atau 2 hari dalam seminggu jadinya waktu kosong untuk cari kerja sampingan lebih banyak (dan diimbangi dengan tugas kuliah yg numpuk juga pastinya).

Lanjut kerja

Salah satu oportuniti lain adalah penggantian visa ke visa kerja. Banyak kok teman-teman WHV yang beruntung bisa lanjut kerja dengan Visa kerja 457 dari pekerjaan mereka sebelumnya dan malah tidak sedikit yang mendapatkan jenis pekerjaan sesuai dengan passion mereka. Namun hal yang satu ini agak sulit buat saya karena kesalahan saya setelah lulus kuliah yang langsung terjun bebas ke bidang pekerjaan lain (bukan bidang yang saya tekuni sebelumnya). Oportuniti untuk anak-anak IT bekerja di Australia cukup tinggi loh, namun sulitnya kalian harus berkompetisi dengan para job hunter di dunia IT dari negara tetangga seperti India dan Malaysia.

Lanjut nikah 

Ada juga yang beruntung mendapatkan pasangan hidup yang kebetulan warga negara Australia atau permanent resident di sini. Sebenarnya memang seru sih membangun keluarga di Australia, secara taraf kehidupannya juga bagus, tapi ahhh sudahlah, *lalu ga dibahas lebih lanjut, *lalu ganti topik pembicaraan.

Jadi gimana teman-teman yang saat ini lagi dan sudah selesai WHV, lanjut lagi di Australia ga nih?

Baca juga cerita teman-teman lain:
Efi - Australia, antara "ya" dan "tidak"
Hilal - Sapa Suruh Datang Australia
Irham - Thank you Renmark, Good Bye Australia! Bhay!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

5 Sydney Pokemon Go Inspired Food

1. PokeBall Donuts from Doughnut Time


 My fave Doughnut store in Central Park Mall, Sydney

Please don't throw away this Donut for catching Pokemon, because it is too good to be missed. It is Nutella-Filled Pokeball Donut special from Doughnut Time and of course it is for limited time only. I realized for this menu when I came to Doughnut time's store in Central Park mall and I didn't get this donut since it sold out just before my turn on the queue, too bad huh?


I Pika Choose you

I came back the following day to Doughnut time's store in Queen Victoria market and got it. 

2. Pokemon Pastries by Annachaannn



These pastries are really instagramable made by one of the famous food instagramer in Sydney. I bet most of Sydney foodies knew Anna from her instagram feed @annachaannn. She is not only an instagramer but also a baker who recently filled up "The Picnic Burwood", "Lid & Jar" and "Made" pastry showcase with her cute and yummy pastries. 






The bad news is you can't predict when will these cuties coming up to the stores, we have to stay tune to Anna's Instagram for the newest info for upcoming cakes and where it will be sold. Moreover these pokemon dounts and tarts are limited and sold out within hours   

3. Pokeburgers by Hashtag Burger - Down N' Out

Pokeburgers

Pikachu Burger

These are the most famous along this week, Hashtag burger on their Down N' Out Pop out store stand out with the idea of these Pokemon starter burgers. Meet Pikachu, Charmander and Bulbasaur burgers on Sir John Young Hotel on limited time only. They even have a special rules for these burger, where you cannot choose what burger will you get, which is similar with the idea of hatching egg on Pokemon game. One person can only order for one burger and no takeaway available for this menu. 

Charmander Burger

For those who are wondering why there's no Squirtle burger on the menu, one of their staff said that their chef tried to create blue buns but it always turned out green. No water element starter for this burgers then which actually my favorite starter. 

 Bulbasaur Burger

They will open until Sep 3rd 2016 on lunch (12pm - 3pm) and dinner (5pm - 9pm) service. I visited their store on dinner service which actually the customers already queued before 5pm hahahahha even some cops came inside to figure it out why there were long queue on Liverpool street. The good news is these burgers are not just cute to be eaten but they also taste really good, the patty is so juicy yes yes #burger (Hashtag burger) is famous for its burgers, right?

4. Pokeball & Pikachu Macaroons in Narrabeen



Located approximately 45 minutes drive from Sydney CBD, one of Narrabeen's cafe join the hype of Pokemon Go too. I went to Narrabeen frequently and paid a visit to this cafe once for its Almond Croissant, which I like the most. I came back this afteroon to Narrabeen and finally bought these macaroons. Well, the Pikachu's face was quite funny but it sure tasted good. It was Nutella-filled Pikachu macaroon.

 gotta catch 'em all

 Pokeball and Pikachu Macaroons