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Where : Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
When : March 27th – April 3 2002
Why : Need a quickie!! Err I mean a quick getaway.

Departure via SQ 231 (B777-213)
Aircraft Registration: 9V-SQG
Departed SIN (Changi) : 0027h(on-time) Arrived SYD (Kingsford Smith International) : 1040h(on-time)

Departure via SQ 232 (B777-313)
Aircraft Registration: 9V-SYB
Departed SYD (Kingsford Smith International): 1224h(delay) Arrived SIN(Changi): 1743h(on-time)

Sydney in brief : Australia's premier city is the oldest settlement in Australia, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country's capital in everything but name. Built on the shores of the stunning Port Jackson, you would have to die and go to heaven before you see a more spectacular setting for a city. It's a vital, self-regarding metropolis, exuding both a devil-may-care urbanity and a slavish obsession with global fads.

The Sydney area was the ancestral home of the Cadigal band (also known as the Eora people), whose territory extended from the south side of Port Jackson from South Head to Petersham. There are some 2000 Aboriginal rock engraving sites in the Sydney area, and many of Sydney's suburbs have Aboriginal names. The city of Sydney began life as a penal colony in 1788, and for the next 60 years received the unwanted, persecuted and criminal elements of British society. Despite its brutal beginnings, the city's mixture of pragmatic egalitarianism and plain indifference has transformed it into a thriving multicultural society. Sydney now attracts the majority of Australia's immigrants and the city's predominantly Anglo-Irish heritage has been revitalized by large influxes of immigrants, including Italians, Lebanese, Turks, Greeks, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Population: 4 million
Country: Australia
Time Zone: GMT/UTC plus 10 hours (+1 for Daylight savings)
Telephone Area Code: 02


The centre of Sydney is on the south shore of the harbour, about 7km (4mi) inland from the harbour heads. Skyscrapers in the Central Business District (CBD) vie for dominance and harbour views, but its relentlessness is softened by shady Hyde Park and The Domain parkland to the east, Darling Harbour to the west and the main harbour to the north. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the harbour tunnel link the city center with the satellite CBD of North Sydney and the suburbs of the North Shore. The city's airport, Kingsford Smith (otherwise known as Mascot), is about 9km (6mi) south of the city centre. Central station, Sydney's main train station, is in the south of the city centre, and the main bus terminal is just outside it.

The city has a population of over 4 million and is growing fast. The inner city areas of Woolloomooloo, East Sydney, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Paddington, Newtown, Glebe and Balmain are an interesting mix of bohemian, gentrified, gay and traditional working-class suburbs. There are three distinct socio-geographic areas outside the inner suburbs: the wealthy eastern suburbs stretching from Kings Cross to South Head; the middle class family-oriented North Shore; and the less wealthy and much disparaged western suburbs, stretching inland for over 50km (30mi) to the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

The harbour is the focal point of the city, and its beaches, coves, bays and waterside parks offer welcome release from the rigors of urban life. Criss-crossed by ferries and carpeted by yachts on weekends, it is both the city playground and a major port. The string of ocean beaches on the north and south shores offer dramatic cliff scenery, great waves and a close-up of Aussie beach culture at its best. Kings Cross is the city's budget accommodation centre and has a well developed travellers grapevine. The less stressful alternatives are Glebe, Bondi Beach and Manly. The international hotels are concentrated in the city and the Rocks.

There are heaps of good restaurants in Darlinghurst, Kings Cross, Paddington and Glebe, and a few around Circular Quay. For cafes, try Oxford and Victoria Sts in Darlinghurst, Stanley St in East Sydney, King St in Newtown or Norton St in Leichhardt. Sydney's theatres are scattered around the edge of the CBD, the Opera House is on the edge of Circular Quay, the mainstream cinema complexes are on the ugly neon strip of George St. The best nightlife is centered on Oxford St and in Kings Cross. Louts in the city centre on Friday and Saturday night can make it a less than enjoyable experience. The Rocks can be fun, but the area is overtly aimed at tourists. The city has a large and vocal gay community centered on Oxford St. Been there for two nights.. interesting place indeed.

Average Total Distance walked (7 days) : 40km – Refer to maps : Bondi Beach and Sydney City
Average Temperature : 19-24 degrees celcius (4 Rain days and 3 fair and lovely days)
Official tracks for trip : Natalie Imbruglia – “Wrong Impression” , Chemical Brothers – “Star Guitar”
Total weight gained : -0.5Kg (cool eh? Despite all the food and booze haha)
Co-travel companion : Colin
Co-host : Kristi
Quote of the week : That is so wrong!! (Aussie sentence)
Total amount spent (inclusive wine&dine,3 nights hotel accommodation, excluding air-fare) : $1243

Approximate Expenditure Breakdown

1. Hotel - $200
2. Hunter Valley Tour - $119
3. Kink Cafe - $25 (dinner at Oxford St)
4. McGuigan Cellars - $26 ("horny wine")
5. Liquorland - $28 (sheridans)
6. Harbour Jet - $45
7. Blue Fish Cafe - $36 (lunch at Darling Harbour)
8. The Cotton Store - $65 (shirt)
9. Glebe Pt Gourmet - $12
10. Downtown Duty Free - $205 (XO)
11. Rattle n Hum - $11 (lunch at Bondi Beach)
12. Opera Quay Rest - $33 (dinner at Sydney harbour)
13. Wyndham Estate - $38 (sparkling wine and Semillon)
14. In cash : $400 - Ice cream, shirts, wine (and beer too yes!) dine (with the chick at blackbird, darling harbour)

Top 10 Most Memorable Events in Sydney

10. “F*** your mother!We were at the Coogee beach and we came across these 3 aussie teens who were happily singing away a song which would have been frowned upon here. Listen to the real version here, vs their remix. Here's the lyrics : F*** your mother upside down doo dah doo dah, stick a dildo up her ass doo ah doo da deh! KEWL MAN!
9. Watercress picker – We were doing this Coogee - Bondi walk and we came across a group of Chinese tourists who were gazing over the bushes and mentioned they could grab a couple bunches and bring it home?!!?! Wassup people you’re embarrassing Asians!
8. Cab fares – The meter ticks to your heart rate at 5 cents per beat! Serious! Take heed if you travel in Australia.
7. AMP Tower view – The view is simply breath-taking. Climbing the harbour bridge cost A$130 and I do not think it is really that worth it yeh?
6.Oakford Hotel – Set 3 minutes walk from Darling Harbour, we had the best rates we could get (though it will cost $375 a night normally). You can get anywhere around the streets of Sydney!
5. Australian Bad Ass – It was late and I was sending a friend off in a cab, suddenly 2 cars raced down the road horning at each other. One wound down the window and yelled “Fuck you!!!” and I was like…?!?! That’s so wrong!
4.Girl @ KooKai – Sophie.. the sweetie who works @ KooKai. She is from Korea but was adopted by Australians. She studies in a local uni, NSW I believe…Kristi maybe some day you will bump into her. Absolutely great girl, we should have gotten a picture.. drats!
3.Wazaroo – We were on our way to Hunter Valley and the coach driver was really hilarious. He was explaining why there may be dead wombats on the side of the road cause it is impossible to swerve a bus to avoid them, which is sad but there is nothing they can do. He jokingly added.. “See that fella there? We have names for all the dead animals in Australia. This buddy’s called Wasaroo”. You don’t get it? Okay.. WasARoo. Geddit? It was funny.. the way he said it.
2.Black Sesame Ice cream – Passion Flower. Absolutely wonderful stuff. Black sesame ice cream! Lychee. Durian. And even new year cake flavours! A must visit for all Australia destinations. Check out their local stores! But remember one thing. Things usually cost MORE if you dine in then you take away. There are 2 menus for this reason. Kristi said cause labour cost are added if you dine in so take away as far as possible, the savings are quite substantial, around 20-30% of the bill.
1.Kristi,Wendy,Bernice and friends – Kristi our host who also so kindly put us up for 4 nights and traveled with us around. She’s a real sweetie. Thanks Priya (is that how you spell it? Sorry if I got it wrong) too! The house party was awesome and we all agreed here in Singapore we just don’t get those things, what a pity. Thanks Wendy for hanging out with us on our last night sister. You’re a sweetie too…? And yes Bernice I swear I am a true blue (or red?) Singaporean though sometimes it sucks to be one…(*looks around just in case someone is around..*) And to all the guys too, Yen and friends. Have a swell time there. Rock on!

List of Visited Places

The Strand, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Central, Midtown, CentrePoint, Hunter Valley (Wyndham Estate, Mcguigans, Mt Pleasant), Oxford, Chinatown, Broadway, Coogee, Bronte, Tamarama bay, Bondi Beach…I could go on and on….

Next : day 1 - day 4