surviving G O L D C O A S T

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Apart from artz, another thing I'm passionate bout is travelling. My parents started inculcating a sense of intrigue for the rest of the world when they made it a point to go on family holiday trips at the end of each year. This time, however, I got to experience travelling with friends. Before you go all hatin' on my pretentious "wanderlust" (ugh, what an overused hipster term), I truly love travelling because you get to see a different people in their natural habitats, for lack of a better word. Cultures, mannerisms, way of lives, accents, all that good stuff. So, I collated my findings and this is what I've gotten from Gold Coast, Australia.

Things I've learnt from travelling to the land down under:

1. Have a good meal before flying

...Especially if you're flying budget and after dinner. La famille sent me off to the airport and mum reminded me to pack some little snacks in the bag that ended up saving my life on board. People usually get scolded for bringing food up the plane but as long as you ninja-warrior-hide-one-corner-while-eating, it's usually all good. Just so you know, Scoot sells Evian water for an astounding price of $5, and the capacity of the bottle doesn't even reach 400ml. fml. 

2. Anything but Cabs 
Tia's friend, Amos, told us that cabs cost at least 4 times the price of public transport (trams and buses), so we were very careful about our travelling habits. We took the airport transfer to our first accommodation: Budds @ Surfer's Paradise. This cost around $20-21, depending on which agency you take. 

3. Get the promotional 3 World (Theme Parks) for $99.99 deal 
It was totally worth it and so affordable, considering that one ticket is about $30 cheaper if you get this promotion. We only managed to cover 2 theme parks during our stay there though - Sea World and Movie World. 1 theme park took about 3/4 of our day. 
POLAR BEARS. Henry the baby is Sea's world's pride and joy. Tia and I stood looking at the bears for a good 20 mins. They were so enchanting <3

4. Buy your water 1.5litres water at 7-11

One of the woes I faced in Aus was the lack of water. I don't mean drought-lack-of-water, but water-so-expensive-hence. I was super dehydrated all the time because each bottle is at least $4.50. So when I saw these amazing unicorn poop things in Sea World, I had to have one. The lady asked which flavour I wanted, and in my mind, I was just scrambling to think of the prettiest colour combinations until 10 seconds later when I found her patiently and amusingly smiling at my confused face, I defeatedly asked her to just make it pretty for me. Which brings me to my next point:

Every time we entered a shop to buy something, they'll greet you with "Hi darl, how are you?", compared to the usual "Welcome to _ _ _ _".  Don't be rude, this is your cue to say, "I'm good, how are you?". They call each other adorable pet names like "sweetheart", "darlin'", "hun" and every time some one does that me, I'm sold. I don't know how they have the capacity in them to genuinely ask how you're feeling today, but they do it, and it's marvellous. +100 brownie points.

On a lighter note, I had Boost Juice every single day. GLORIOUS. They're not cheaper there btw. Just saying.

6. Surfer's Paradise = Younger crowd
Broadbeach = Working crowd

...That's generally what I get from the little time we stayed in those two locations. At Surfer's, as Tia and I sipped our juices, enjoying the cold air on Surfer's Paradise beach, there were groups of hawt ruggers walkin' round. I was 24/7 secretly fan girling there during the duration of our trip, but tia says that it's probably the "Cheerleader effect"- quoting Stinson. I didn't succeed on my mission to take a picture with a cute Caucasian guy though. I didn't have the guts to go up to them :'( 
Anyway, I digress. When we went to Shucks on Broadbeach for dinner (world renowned Crab Lasagne- please try), everybody was decked in chic and sleek - heels, handbags, blazers, the full works. So yes, please don't be super asian like us on Tedder Avenue with our Chucks and sweaters. You'll stand out like a sore thumb D:

7. Travel light

The best part about being on a Free & Easy holiday is the satisfaction you get when you safely arrive at your destination without getting lost. I shan't deny it, we have to attribute part of our success to Google Maps and our very cheap $2-per-day Optus 4G plan. Travelling light is so important because after taking a tram down from Budds @ Surfer's to Bell Air @ Broadbeach with all our barang and luggages, we were so exhausted from rolling our bags around the streets. Imagine if we had a few luggages. 

Side note: 
Anyway, we met Alan & Sarah who had already checked in. Originally, we were all supposed to arrive in Gold Coast at the same time, but I unfortunately had a photoshoot due for NPNF in the middle of our plans, prior to the change of date. So Tia accommodated to me and we arrived 2 days earlier so that we wouldn't miss out too much of Down Under.

8. Get an Apartment
If you're travelling with a couple of friends, share an apartment instead of a hotel. It's much cheaper if you split the cost four ways. Tia & I stayed at a hostel for our first night, just to experience how it's like. It's fun, because it's like a massive sleepover party with cute angmoh surfer guys living along the next corridor, but the living conditions long term, I cannot tahan.
We stayed at Bel Air on Broadbeach, which was quite cosy and convenient. Looking out from the balcony in the distance, you can see the ocean. And Whales. Oh my gawd. Because of this, Tia and I made friends with our upstairs + downstairs Caucasian neighbours. They were screaming "WHALES, WHALES DO YO USEE THEM?" from their balconies.
Side note: 
Also, bring your Gym clothes if you stay in apartments because they have all the facilities. That's tia and I tryna work with what we bought from the Harbourtown outlets. 

9. Shops close at 4pm during Winter

It gets dark by 5.30 pm. We spent most of our nights chilling around the TV watching Drake & Josh on Nickelodeon while drinking Moscato. It felt like camp fire time, only that the only fire around was the burning alcohol (lol). Never once did we turn on the AC because there's no AC during winter and the cool night breeze pretty much substantiated for it.
Getting ready for MOVIE WORLD.

10. Buy your breakfast from the Supermarket

You save a ton load of money if you just get bread/butter/milk/yogurt/bananas. Had my hearty breakfast in the cafe just below our 4 room apartment. This cost $10 btw. *stabs heart* *so ex*

#OOTD. Evidently, I learnt my lesson from the previous time we headed to Sea World. And even wearing shorts and a tube top didn't cut it, I still felt really warm in Movie world. So I came to a conclusion that as long as you're standing in the sun, no matter how cold the weather is, you will feel the heat. I blame the sun for increasing my freckles. You darn right will be hearing from my facial lady soon~!

I love'em.
Food so expensive. no place to sit for lunch. Being asian, sitting on the grass patch, watching the Scooby Doo performance.

Back at Surfer's with Boost again.

10. Take a day tour to Mount Tamborine
So scenic. Very commercialised, but still a very good getaway from the the hustle and bustle. It was so warm because you're nearer to the sun, on top of the mountain. That's my only logical explanation. We went for their Glow Worm tour, Forest track and a good walk around the shopping gallery street. The houses (picture below) were so quaint and beautiful. There was this vineyard that I really wanted to visit but we didn't have enough time. Lurve mah red wines.

Does this not look like a scene from The Land Before Time?
This is how I usually get people to selfie with me (see picture above).
*whips out fish eye*
I'm usually succeed. (see picture below)
#selfie with our tour guide

Casually sneaking a selfie at the balcony while eating Fudge from Mount Tamborine and the mug that I eventually broke while tryna stand up.
Yeap. That's all folks. Travel safe.

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