Friday, July 13, 2012

Perth Darul Awesome trip - Day 1

Well, not exactly a day because our flight was at 11:50 pm. The 5 hours journey was a bumpy ride. Apparently Perth was hit by a storm 2 days before so there was still a little bit of heavy rain here and there. I couldn't sleep at all, my stomach you know, refuse to give a cooperation.

We arrived at the airport at 5.00 am in the morning, the whole immigration process ran smooth. The counter to collect the car will only be opened at 8, so we chill. I went outside just to get the feel on how cold it is the weather, and it was freeeeeeziiiiiiingggg. 8 Celsius I tell you. 

Cut short, after the long process of registering, at last we got our car. First destination, Kings Park. At first I had a trouble adjusting to Perth people way of driving, but I adapted fast. The GPS is very helpful in this situation.

Drove to Kings Park through the city. Not much different from our city, except for the less busy road of course.

Kings Park
The War Memorial, one of the park's many landmarks. I guess it is the same thing like our Tugu Negara.

Without much trouble, we arrived at the Kings Park around 10 am. It was, breathtakingly beautiful. The weather is nice and cold, we had to put on our jacket to warm ourselves. We could see some old people walking by the road side, Some people jogged, some did some exercises, others, just mingled around and took pictures, like us. It was quiet and peaceful. 

You know, the thing that you always saw in brochures from oversea's universities where students do some study groups under the tree in the middle of the field, this is absolutely possible here.

So we walked around the park, and I told my wife if the weather is like this in our country, I would jog to the office. And my wife with a sly told me Malaysians will never jogged or walked. We will drive even if the distance is 50 meters.

Anyway, let me put some pictures here and describe it a little bit, that will be more interesting rather than me blabbering around.

Yes, you read that right. That tree with the white trunk is planted by Her Majesty herself. Look how tiny the tree was when she first planted it.

 This Giant Boab tree, known as 'Gija Jumulu', is a 750 years old tree. The thing that make this tree interesting is, the tree was found in Warmun, Kimberly WA, 3200km from it current location. It has to be moved to make way for the new highway project. The tree is some sort of iconic to the WA people and the aborigines, represent their historical culture or something. Just google it and then you will know.

Western Australian Museum

By noon, we moved on to our next location. My wife is a fan of museums, and we read in some blogs Western Australian Museum is a must visit if you really into local history. But we need to take a lunch first. We didn't eat anything heavy yet since we arrived and we were starving. Tried to look for a halal restaurant, and finally we found one just near the museum. It was a veges restaurant operated by some of the PAWS volunteers. And of course they will never served meat there. I didn't quite remember what we had, but it tasted awful and costed us around AUD30. That's more than RM100. We can get a decent meal for 2 at a decent hotel with that price. By that time we figured we need to stop converting the currency or else we will not be able to eat anything.

The museum, well, not that interesting though. Maybe because I was tired, been awake since yesterday. But we did enter though, the entry is free anyway.

That my friend, is a police station. Just across the road from the museum.

Told you nothing interesting there.

Somebody going to be eaten alive.

Now looking at the pictures, I wondered what actually happened there. All I can remember was I kept yawning all the time.

Harbour Town

I was told that Harbour Town is a good place to shop. I was told right. Harbour Town is much like our own JPO, minus the high end products. That means there are no Coach, Burberry, Prada yada yada. But Adidas, Nike, Levi's and equal to that, you can find it here. And the price, some are cheaper, some are more expensive. Perfumes are especially cheaper here. You can get a decent brand perfume for AUD10. How cheap is that? But we didn't do much shopping that day. We were tired, and seems to lost the appetite to shop. That is weird considering my wife lost the appetite to shop.

Reduan's house

So then we went straight to Reduan's house. It was located in Crawley, near the Kings Park. Got no problem at all to find the house. Being greeted by his wife Masdiana, sister in law, and 2 kids. Have a chat a little bit, before we ask for excuse to go to bed. It was 4 pm by the way. Hehe. Damn tired.

Our host for the day.

Dining hall.

We woke up around 7, it was already dark. Apparently the sun set earlier during the winter, around 5 pm. At 7 pm it already felt like 9 in Malaysia. And it was freezing, the temperature reached 7 Celsius that night. 
Mas served us a delicious dinner, and then we watched the tv for a while before continue our journey, in bed! at 9 pm! I never slept that early back in Malaysia. The earliest will be around 11. But you know, when it is cold you will always feel sleepy, I read about it somewhere and that writer was totally right.

End of 1st day.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Perth Darul Awesome trip - The Planning

Yauuzaaa! Yes we went to Perth last 2 weeks, and it was awesome. I mean damn Perth is like a Utopia, maybe not like a Utopia but close. After what we have heard and experienced in our own country we felt not safe anymore and somehow when we were there Perth seems like the epitome of community. Damn safe I tell you. I can leave my Geox shoes at the outside of the house and nobody gonna steal it. And the house doesn't have any fences either. But we'll come back to that later.

I bought 2 return tickets for me and my wife via AirAsia last January and it cost me RM1600. Pretty cheap, but I've heard some people can get it even cheaper. As low as RM500 return per person. Anyway back the topic.

Since then we've been planning on where to go and what to do, doing research and doing a lot of blog reading. Surprisingly there were quite a few blogs telling people their experiences when travelling in Perth, and we found it quite useful. Plus we got a friend who his wife just started pursuing her further studies in Perth, so maybe we can stop by and says hello or something.

So we asked around what the weather will be and how is the best way to move around, pretty much we found out the best way to move is by renting a car, and we should get prepared with some jackets because it gonna be pretty damn cold there in June.

We found a website which offers pretty good deal in car renting. If you, yes I mean you the not so many my readers, plan to go to Perth and rent a car, this website might interest you. Check on this website:

They offered a vast variety of cars with good prices, in extremely good condition, easy to pick up and send back, and you just have to pay 10% of the rental price for booking and the rest when you pick up the car. We booked for a Hyundai Getz with manual transmission for AUD31 per day but they threw us a blue Hyundai i30 with Auto transmission instead. Nice car, my wife love it so much she even considered to get one when we got back home. But it gonna cost us RM97k so I said forget it. And you can also add in GPS if you like and it is highly suggested that you take it, but make sure it is working. Ours? It died on us on the 4th day of our trip and we have to rely 100% on my wife's Iphone's Google Map then.

Our ride

My ride. If you know what I mean.

Driving in Perth is pretty much easy. They drive on the left side of the road, pretty much same like us, plus their drivers were so polite if they see somebody is crossing the road from miles away they already hit the break. The hard thing about driving in Perth is not looking for ways, but to comply to the speed limit. Yes, these people are law abiding citizen when it comes to driving. Maybe because there are speed trap anywhere you go. I read a blog where this dude being ticketed for driving 92 kmph at 90 speed limit. Damn.

Our plan was to stay for couple of days in Fremantle before heading south and then north. The last days in Perth will be spent with my wife's favourite activity of course, shopping what else.

So the do's of don'ts.
1. Entering Australia will require you to apply for ETA (Electronic Travelling Authority). You can simply apply it through website, they got even an online wizard to guide you on how to apply. The damage? AUD20. Go here.

2. Don't bring any milk products. That means no freaking Milo, Nescafe or whatever instant coffee or chocolate drink that you have. I don't know what is the deal with the Aussie's authority and their milk product, I just don't know.

3. Maggi/instant noodles are OK. No problemo.

4. If possible do all the necessary booking as early as possible. You might get some discounts.

5. If possible bring along a lot of chili sauces in packets, because chili sauces here ain't cheap I tell you.