Patrick Pang

Merry Christmas everyone

Dec
25

In 2009, I spent my Christmas with wifey and Ethan in Sydney. It was wonderful, we see Santa almost everywhere we go and it was definitely a memorable experience having our Christmas meal at Sydney Tower.

This year, Christmas is spent back home in Singapore and its rather different. Other than Christmas Trees, I don’t recall we see Santa at all. What we were busy with were spending and spending at shopping malls in order to get the photo opportunities with the different cartoon characters.

Ethan, Ezanne and Evan has got their fair share of Christmas presents this year which they were pretty excited especially Ethan. I guess it was a torture for Ethan as he got his presents in early December and we told him that he could only open it up only on Christmas Day. Over the last 20 over days, he had been asking everyday so when exactly is Christmas and told me that he saw from the TV that Christmas is here. I can only tell him that its not Christmas yet and will let him know when the time is right.

Ethan finally managed to open up all his presents today. Unfortunately, I’m not too sure what happened to the camera, all the pictures captured were GONE! Well, at least, I’ve still got the Christmas song that Ethan has sang for everyone. Enjoy.

Concluding our Sydney Trip

Dec
30

Our 12 days Sydney trip was overall an enjoyable one and definitely everyone of us enjoyed it. I just want to take this opportunity to thank the following people

1. My wifey, Jingyi for planning the entire holiday. The packing of the stuff and kept pushing me and reminding me to get the things done. I’ve irritated her quite a number of times.
2. My cousin, Sun for the advise when we were planning the itinerary and of course helping us to do the bookings and getting discounted tickets. Not forgetting providing lodging for us too!
3. Ethan for being so co-operative throughout, though, he actually made his mom go on physical training during the trip.
4. My parents for looking after Ezanne
5. Last but not least myself for being responsible for all the damages for the trip.

Here’s a wallpaper that I did for my cousin Sun.

Last but not least, where should I go next?

We are heading home soon…

Dec
30

After about 10 days of sightseeing in Sydney, we are nearing the end of our holiday trip. So how do we end it? We ended up shopping at QEB, Myer and David Jones at Sydney City Centre and followed by shopping at Westfield Hornsby. We shopped till quite late and wonders if there was any food around for us and YES, there was. We came across a an authentic Korean restaurant near my cousin’s place that sell Charcoal BBQ food. You know Seoul Garden in Singapore? And this one we had is the original one, served with marinated meat, kim chi and other Korean side dishes and charcoals to grill it. It was really nice.

Ethan was so happy that he even demonstrated to us how to open up the disposable chopsticks.

And what a better way to end off with a group photo (the photo was taken by the manager or the boss of the restaurant).

Disappointing visit to Blue Mountains

Dec
29

We were all eagerly to visit Blue Mountains and see the legendary Three Sisters, but the weather isn’t on our side and it was a disappointing trip. It was raining and the weather was really cold. By the time we reach Blue Mountains, there isn’t anything to see except for the fog. Our guide brought us to take alook at 1/3 of the Three Sisters and sadly, we could only see half of it.

Since we have already paid for the train and sky tram tickets and were following the day tour, we had no choice but to continue to Scenic World. We were supposed to see a valley with really nice backdrop of mountains etc, but…

But at least, I’ve visited the place I was still able to get to see the Sydney Olympic Village, a place which I wanted to visit. We saw the Olympic stadium, which was renamed ANZ Stadium and the guide briefed us on the current status and usage of different venues. We then took a ferry from the Olympic Village Wharf to Circular Quay where we started our journey of post Christmas Sale.

Our post Christmas Sale took place at one of Sydney’s largest departmental store, Myer. It was 7 storeys high and opened till midnight. It was really crowded and messy, basically, everyone just grab whatever they can. Personally, I thought it was so much better than our Great Singapore Sale, the people, the mood, the crowd, its definitely so much better. Well, at least the shopping therapy made our day better.

Its Christmas in Sydney

Dec
29

Sydney was practically like a ghost town on Christmas Day. It reminds me of the first day of Chinese New Year in Singapore. I told my cousin, Christmas Eve in Sydney is like our CNY Eve, Christmas is like first day of CNY and so on and so forth.

So where to go during Christmas? Its Taronga Zoo. Its a pity that when we went, it was drizzling, therefore not much pictures were taken and somemore the Zoo was undergoing renovation. The zoo seems to be located on an island of itself and you can only reach there by ferry. After taking the ferry, you can either take the cable car or bus to the main entrance.

When we reached, we were just in time for the bird show and Kola feeding. The bird show was interesting and really different from the one we see in Singapore.

After the Zoo, we headed to Sydney Tower for our Christmas Dinner. The revolving restaurant was located at Level 72 and from the restaurant, you are able to see Sydney with a different perspective.

While we were eating, Santa visited us and played a game with Ethan. Well, Ethan enjoyed talking to Santa which I don’t think Santa understand what he was talking about actually. Nevertheless, Santa sang a Christmas Carol for Ethan too! It was fun.

Just before we left, we continued our photo taking and this time, I had a chance to take a photo with Jingyi. Seriously, I can’t remember when was the last time we took a photo together.

Christmas Eve in Sydney

Dec
29

We met up with my cousin around noon and headed for a quick lunch before going to Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour. I didn’t really want to go, after all, we’ve visited Ocean World at Manly and watched Under the Sea previously but my cousin told me that it is a MUST go, so we decided to head down.

The aquarium itself have dugongs and shared with visitors their conservation efforts and spreading education message on how to take care of the coastal area of Sydney. The magnificent part was a super huge glass panel which you are able to observe the sharks with other types of fishes swimming together. Ethan was fascinated by the dugongs. It was no regret visiting the place as their display was really fantastic.

After visiting the aquarium, we went to Paddy’s Market. Its a wholesale centre and the setup is like our Pasar Malam. Factory outlets of ESPRIT and COTTON ON were located there as well.

It was Christmas Eve and there was a fireworks display at Darling Harbour. In typical Singaporean style, we arrived at about 7.30pm (1 hr before the start of the display) to get a good spot. If you look at the picture, you will not believe it that its 7.30pm cause its still so bright, but well, it is.

The scenery in the evening was beautiful. Just look at the picture below. I always love the waters around the harbour, it always look crystal clear and I like to see it whenever there are light cause it will reflect really nicely.
The fireworks displayed lasted for about 7 minutes and its my first time using my DSLR shooting pictures of fireworks. Well, I can say that its fairly good and of course, the greatest regret for the trip is not getting a good lens but well, we can always do it the next time. Jingyi took a video of the fireworks and enjoy it!

We ended our day with a really nice group photo.

Port Stephen and our very first sandboarding

Dec
27

After a pretty much relax day previously, we joined a day tour to Port Stephen. The tour was conducted by APT, which is quite a reputable one in Sydney, but of course, being efficient and reliable comes at a cost too, its slightly more expensive than the usual day tour group. Our first stop was Australian Reptile Park where we got to see the different types of reptiles in Australia, feel the Kolas and feed the kangaroo. We were all really excited, especially feeling the Kolas and Ethan was not even afraid of the Kolas and enjoyed the short span of time with it.

Ethan even enjoyed feeding the kangaroos and the ducks. This will be one of the rare opportunities that he will get to feed kangaroos and ducks.

After visiting the reptile park, we headed to Port Stephen for dolphin viewing. It was a rather disappointing trip as we were not able to get a clear view of the dolphins and whenever our ferry tried to get close to it, they just swam away. But for Ethan, hestill  managed to try to navigate the ferry.

After the dolphin viewing, we headed for our last stop, SANDBOARDING at Anna Bay. We tried the 4 wheel drive which brought us to this desert like place, or maybe its a desert, to try out sandboarding. The sky was blue, the sand was white, basically, the place was BEAUTIFUL!

Ethan was with me and we shared a board. We tried twice while mummy only tried once and Ethan really enjoyed himself and was pretty naughty. He was supposed to hold on to my legs when he suddenly let go mid-way which gave me a shock. Luckily, I was able to stop in time and get him to hold on tight to my legs again. Though we had sands in our pockets and slippers, we really had an enjoyable day.

Darling Harbour and IMAX

Dec
26

Day 6 of our Sydney Trip saw us visiting Darling Harbour ourselves, since my cousin gotta work. We went to LG IMAX Theatre to watch the 3D movie Under the Sea, which was narrated by Jim Carey. The show itself was about 1 hour, inclusive of 20 minutes of advertisments and Ethan only managed to watch the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes of the show cause he fell asleep.

After the movie, we walk around at Darling Harbour. Like any other harbour and wharfs that we see in other parts of Sydney, Darling Harbour is simply beautiful.

After that, we took the monorail and toured Sydney City Centre. Subsequently, we stopped at Chinatown when we didn’t know where exactly we wanted to go to, and guess where we ended, at my cousin’s workplace!

When you are in Sydney and is interested to find out what’s happening at Darling Harbour, you can find out from Twitter.

Climbing Gap Park and travelling the Explorer Bus

Dec
25

The next day after climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge sees us trying to climb the next thingy in Sydney, Gap Park. We took the Bondi Explorer which brings us up there. Gap Park is basically a place for you to appreciate the beautiful scenary of Sydney and what I can say is that the sceanry are fantastic and the wind are really strong. Ethan and us enjoyed ourselves very much.

We alighted the Bondi Explorer at the Stop 10 and boarded again at Stop 11. The Bondi Explorer brought us to the different parts of Bondi and I can only say that Australian beaches are really beauitful. Its white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. The Bondi Explorer took about 2 hours to complete and after that, it brought us back to Circular Quay where we boarded the Sydney Explorer.

Sydney Explorer took us to the different parts of Sydney City Centre and I really love the architecture of the colonial time building.

After that, we alighted at QVB and there was this huge Swarvoski Christmas Tree. Its really beauitful and of course, everyone was trying to take a picture of it.

Our day ended at David Jones where we had a group photo with Santa and this is the first time that we pay to take a picture with Santa, but it was fun. According to my cousin, one tradition that David Jones has was to have its display every year to narrate a Christmas story. Well, I can only say that you can really feel the festivity when you are walking on the streets.

The Breath Taking Experience

Dec
21

Both Jingyi and I had a breath taking experience on our fourth day of our Sydney trip, but it was 2 different kind. For me, I guess my Sydney trip has been a fulfilling one as I’ve managed to climb to the summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge. According to official sources, I’ve climbed 1439 steps on the bridge and personally I thought this was an amazing acheivement. Being able to be so high up and looking at the amazing scenary of Sydney, it was simply unbelievable and defintely a memorable one for me. I almost wanted to give up at first, cause it was about 3.5 hours and the worst thing was, I was doing it all alone with all the people whom I doesn’t know. My team had 14 climbers (excluding the guide) and they were from US, Belgium and Australia. This will defintely be the best birthday present my wife have given me.

On the other hand, while waiting for me to complete the climb, Jingyi and my cousin visited Pylon, which is another attraction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Well, I was told by them that Ethan suddenly became really home sick and was really difficult to manage. He wanted Jingyi to carry him all the way, which means all the way down from the Pylon and thereafter, and even wanted to pee!

So while I was trying hard to conquer the bridge, my family members waiting for me were trying to conquer Ethan…

Other than the bridge, we visited the Fish Market which have all sorts of fresh seafood and I promise I’m going back next Sunday to bring back some seafood for my parents. They have lotsa of variety, just take alook at the picture below of my cousin making an order.

And for the first time in our trip, I’ve managed to capture a really nice night view of Sydney. Its really beautiful.

In the meantime, if you want to know what we are doing in Sydney, you can view it at my Twitter account. I’ll tweet whenever I can (I mean if I can find a free wifi hotspot). Otherwise, the photo albums are available at Facebook.