ISAQ Welcoming Party

ISAQ (Indonesian Student Association of QUT) is an association for Indonesian students who study at QUT. ISAQ is also open to all other QUT students who have interests with Indonesia. This association holds events regularly.

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Cooking is Fun!

It has been one year and seven months since I came to Australia. I still remember when I first came here, I found the living expense was very expensive. So I almost cooked every meal for myself even though it didn’t taste that good.

Gradually, I got busier and busier with university and managed to find a job to support myself. As a result, I got lazy with cooking because:

  1. Prepare food took a lot of time.
  2. Even though I spent time on cooking, it didn’t necessarily taste good.

So after about 2 months, I kind of gave up cooking and bought meal outside most of the time. However recently, I started cooking and gradually had an interest in baking.

I guess it is due to the fact that I was inspired by a friend who loves cooking and always say to me: Food is life, good for soul! I lived with her for a month when I came back from my exchange and didn’t have a place to live. She cooked different meal everyday and they all tasted extremely good. Watching her cooking made me feel that cooking itself is fun and it doesn’t take that long to prepare for a delicious meal.

Spent 15 dollar making 4 portions of pasta.

That day I missed the pork meat bun so much that I tried to make it myself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After moving out, I started subscribing different Youtube channels on cooking and try to cook food according to it. So far I tried to cook traditional Sichuan style boiling fish, banana bread, pizza, pasta and sponge cake. Not only did I save money from cooking, I also felt a sense of accomplishment!

Lemon sponge cake

Home-made pizza

Banana bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking is life, good for soul!

Orientation Lunch

Monday, 20 February 2017 marked the commencement of O-Week at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for academic calendar 2017. There was a lot of interesting events during the O-Week. One of the interesting events that caught my eyes was the $2 lunches. It was simply because you cannot get $2 worth of lunches anywhere near QUT. Because of that, this event was included in my must-attend events during the O-Week and in which I always had my lunch during the O-Week (of course because of the price). Read more

My trip to Gold Coast

After a year of hearing about the infamous Gold Coast and its beaches and absolutely dying to go there, I finally made it!

What nobody told me about Gold Coast was that, in fact, it is not one long stretch of … a coast. TheGC has many beaches and you have to choose which beach you want to visit. So yeah… there’s a little fun fact for you – that Gold Coast is not in fact one long beach.

By far, the most famous of GC’s beaches would be Surfer’s Paradise. So I went there first.

Undoubtedly, it was rather crowded on a Sunday. So I hopped on the G Link tram service and moved South to Broadbeach. It was only slightly less crowded than Surfer’s paradise but there was more shade to camp under, so I decided to stay there.

Broadbeach is lined with a market on Sunday afternoon so you easily get cheap food, fresh juice and little trinkets there.

Getting to GC via train and bus took me a total of just over $10 only for a round trip, which is really cheap. Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable going there via public transport yet, there are guided tours hosted by QUT ISS (International Student Services) for around $50 for a round trip. It’s a really good place to start looking if you want to start seeing more of Queensland’s beaches and wildlife spots. ISS will give you a detailed itinerary of your trip so you’ll be able to judge if the price you pay is worth it. A definite plus side is you won’t have to go alone as it will be a big group.

My advice is you pack and bring your own food and drinks if you’re short on money, rather than rely on the shops around the beach and they can get quite pricey.

Don’t forget to take a towel, sunglasses, your bathing suit, a large beach mat or blanket to spread and sit on, and HEAPS OF SUNSCREEN. I applied sunscreen religiously and yet suffered from a vicious sunburn. Use SPF 50+ always and stay hydrated. If your phone drains battery make sure you bring along a portable charger. Bring a nice book to read on the beach as you chill with your coke and chips.

 

 

Streets Beach – South Brisbane

Just a ten minute walk from QUT’s Garden Point campus, Streets Beach is a man made beach where people go to lay out and swim around. Right alongside the Brisbane River, it consists of a main beach and two side pools. A very popular place for families and groups of friends, but also a great place to have some alone time at.

There are plenty of restaurants around for when you need a little break from the sun. On the weekends there is a market with a lot of little shops to browse around. Down the way, you can visit the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and the Wheel of Brisbane, a ferris wheel that gives a great view of the city.

Streets Beach is very easily accessible by ferry and bus and overall a great place to be on a beautiful, sunny day in Brisbane.

New Year in Singapore

The famous Merlion

 

Guess where I am?

Can you recognise this Merlion?

Yes I came to Singapore. Merlion is the icon of Singapore.The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing town.

 

 

 

After my exchange in Japan and prior to my departure to Germany, I came to visit my friend Ada who’s doing an internship in Singapore at the moment and managed to catch up with two friends I met in QUT, one of them being my fellow international student blogger – Linette.

I have long been wanting to visit Singapore, a place people call Garden City and head of Asia’s financial hub.

As my friend was working most of the time, I visited a lot of places by myself. This was technically the first time that I travelled by myself. To be honest, I enjoyed it a lot. You can control your own pace and stop at places however long you want.

I spend my first day at Gardens by the Bay.

Sky trees in a rainy day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When getting out of the MRT(Singapore’s railway) station, I didn’t see Gardens by the Bay straight away. The reason I thought is that I got off one stop ahead of the stop where I was supposed to get off. So I took a stroll along the riverside and saw another Merlion and the Durian Museum.

Durian Museum

Another Merlion near Raffles Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I kept walking, I happened to see Marina Bay Sands where the famous infinity pool was located. This is the world’s largest rooftop pool. Imagining I have a hotel room there one day, I giggled and said to myself: You need to work harder and take a photo there one day.

Marina bay Sands. Does it look like a ship?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I understand why people call Singapore garden city. It is a very very small country but is also the financial centre of south east Asia. Even in the city area where there are lots of skyscrapers, plants, trees and flowers fit really well with the high buildings.

City centre where plants co-exist with high buildings.

Night view of the sky trees

Back to the MRT station from Gardens by the Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Chinese Food Hawker Stall

China Town in Singapore

Indian Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a lunch catching up with friends on the second day, I went to China Town and Little India to see the culture and shops. There is a very unique Indian Temple in Little India and the food was so authentic and cheap.

The third day was well spent in Singapore Zoo. It is literally the most amazing zoo that I have ever went. Not only did they have a wide range of animals, you get the chance to see them in an open environment. That is to say, sometimes monkeys walk pass on the trees beside you and there was no fence to separate you from the animals. I also saw Orangutan first time in my life. I guess you can only see them in Singapore or Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orang-utan eating food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last day in Singapore was well spent in Sentosa Island, the southern most point in southeast Asia and at friend’s place eating traditional Chinese Sichuan style hotpot. That day was the last day of 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentosa Island is actually a famous tourist resort where you can spend the whole week and not feel bored. They have a range of amusement facilities which include casino, cultural cuisine, 3D museums, universal studio, beaches, high-end hotels and many many more.

Due to the short time-frame, I only went to one beach that day. Luckily I went there early enough because it started raining soon after 2 pm in the afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

It started raining and a lot of people left the beach. That’s why there was nobody on the suspension bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you ask me what I miss the most from Singapore, my honest answer is food! The exchange rate of Singaporean dollar versus Australian dollar is almost 1:1. But the food there usually only costs 3-6 dollar from food court (also known as hawker centre).

 

 

 

 

 

There are quite a few exchange programs running between QUT and universities in Singapore. If some of the opportunities come up, please make sure to grab it because Singapore is truly a city worth exploring and a place you will fall in love.

 

Solo trip at Newcastle

I planned my first ever solo trip in life to Newcastle to mark the completion of my bachelor at QUT.

Due to my very limited travel funds, I came across Couchsurfing on internet and tried to send some requests to the potential hosts. I got the positive reply from one of the host finally which meant that the accommodation would be free during the trip! So Yeah! However it was a bit daunting for me to just go like that as I have never tried Couchsurfing before. Furthermore, I didn’t know the hosts at all and also I was going there by myself. It sounds like so adventurous for me indeed!

Newcastle is a harbour city with many beautiful beaches at New South Wales. It is located not very far away from Brisbane. The flight from Brisbane to Newcastle only takes around 75 minutes and the one-way flight ticket only costed me for $39 dollars!

My Couchsurfing host is a lovely couple, Cameron and Julie. Cameron is Australian while Julie is from Ireland. They met each other during their backpacking trip at South America and fell in love since then. Their love story is so beautiful.

Besides providing me free accommodation, they also cooked food for me and drove me here and there. I appreciate their kind hospitality very much.

My first home-cooked meal at Cameron and Julie’s house at Newcastle.

During the daytime, I wandered around Newcastle city and the beautiful beaches myself with the assistance of the map.

I went to Newcastle during the summer time in Australia and came across the list of things to do in summer in Newcastle at the mall. If you happen to plan your trip to Newcastle during summer time as well, hope this list gives you some useful travel information 🙂

If you are one of the coffee lovers, Newcastle will be a good place for you to explore because there are many good cafes scattering around the town.

The following photos are one of the best cafés I went at Newcastle, One Penny Black. I enjoyed drinking their coffee and also eating their signature muffin.

     

Other than the good food, the cafe also has the good ambience.

The nicely presented crepe I tried at ‘Coco Monde’. I miss the tasty crepes so much now.

Other than good cafes, there are many cool shops scattering around the town as well. The following photos are some of the cool shops I enjoyed exploring very much at Newcastle.

The popular doughnuts shop ‘Doughheads’ at Newcastle. It tastes so nice and I am craving for it now!

There are so many creative and hipster stuff in this shop which called ‘Blackbird Corner’ at Darby street.

I feel so comfy and refreshing while staying inside this shop. Probably this is the magic power of botanic.

I adore the design of the shop and also the cool products selling inside the shop.

I didn’t manage to visit this shop in the end. However I know I will like it just from the exterior of the shop.

If you are book lovers, you shouldn’t miss visiting the bookshops at Newcastle. I have so much fun while exploring the bookshops there. I believe you will be as well!

The following photos are some photos I took while wandering around the town.

       

       

I was also lucky to catch the free performance by the orchestra in the city.

If you enjoy seeing scenery, Queens Wharf Tower is the place that not to miss. The following two photos are the view taken from the tower.

       

If you have some time, you also can plan your visit to art gallery and museum at Newcastle. These two places are free for entrance.

       

Besides, I also went to many beautiful beaches at Newcastle.

       

        

        

There is a beautiful garden in front of the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent some good time exploring Newcastle with my hosts as well. They brought me to Newcastle Memorial Walk. I was so amazed by the breathtaking view there.

       

Julie drove me to Mereweather beach and still treated me dessert. How enjoyable to savour the dessert just right beside the sea.

Julie also brought me to Fernleigh Track to cycle.

We went to the wildlife park too. The following photos are the cute animals I met that day.

       

After travelling around Newcastle, I headed to Sydney from Newcastle by train to meet a girl friend and travel Sydney together. The travelling time is only around 3 hours and the train fare is pretty affordable. I will share my Sydney trip with you guys in the future 🙂

My solo trip at Newcastle was a wonderful and memorable one. I was so glad to meet Cameron and Julie during the trip and thanks again for their kind hospitality.

Lastly, I would like to share a quote with you guys I came across at one of the shops at Newcastle.

One Week Back to Home Town

It has been almost one year and six month since I came to Brisbane. My original plan was to come back to my home town after I graduate from QUT as my program lasts only for two years. My plan changed as I was offered a short term course in Japan to study Japanese language and culture. The flight time between Japan and Shanghai is only 2 hours, so I decided to visit my family when the program in Japan ended.

Here I am, lying on the couch at my cozy flat where I spent most of my teenager life and writing blogs.

I went to visit my grandparents and they made very delicious food for me. I also met my childhood friends and we watched a very artistic movie about Shanghai after our dinner.

My college friends

One the railway in Shanghai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming back home after such a long time away makes me feel both both excited and nostalgic.

I feel happy being able to meet my family friends, eat Shanghainese food and walk through the streets that I’m familiar with.

Chilling at home

Grandma’s cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, I miss how Aussie people interact with each other. China, as one of the Asian countries, has more conservative culture compared with Australia. Thus people rarely say Good Morning or smile to each other on the street.

Anyway, I feel very lucky to be able to go overseas and study in another country. I’m also very proud of my home town and cherish the place where I come from.

 

 

 

 

Unforgettable Trip in Bruny Island

dsc07562Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs

When you travel in Tasmania in winter, you will absolutely want something ”warm”. Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia and its winter is freezing. At this moment, Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs would be the perfect attraction for tourists. People can enjoy the thermal spring pools, BBQ in natural forests. Also, Newdegate Cave preserves billions years old stalactite formation and people can see the spectacular view of Earth’s history.

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Bruny Island

Next, I am going to share the main topic of this blog, Bruny Island. It is similar to North Stradbroke Island that is closed to Brisbane, Bruny Island is near Tasmania’s main island and it is the place for tourists to have wilderness experience, eco-cruise exploring the stunning coastline of the island, and enjoy delicious seafood, handmade fudge, chocolate, truffles, berries, cheese, and premium quality wine. Moreover, Bruny Island is home to fur seals, fairy penguins, white wallaby and many people also come here for bird watching.

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dsc07767dsc07765The Neck

It is the isthmus of land connecting north and south Bruny Island and also the most popular attraction of Bruny Island. People just need climbing up the stairs within 5 minutes and can see the breathtaking view which includes ocean, beaches, islands, and the sky.

dsc07778Give me aurora, please!

Seeing the aurora is one of our main goal of visiting this island. For achieving it, we checked the aurora forecast every day during our trip. Unfortunately, we still didn’t see the aurora in this Tasmania trip. However, Bruny Island is one of the best stargazing spots in Tasmania. The night sky is so beautiful that we almost see the galaxy. It is also the best ending of this Tasmania trip for me! Good bye Tassie!

dsc07855 dsc07865Hope you enjoy reading this blog and if you have any opinion that you want to share, please feel free to leave your comment below. Also, don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! 🙂

 

Tasmania Trip #1

dsc06429Australia is a country where students can travel easily because of cheap airplane tickets, numerous official and industrial tourism information, and plenty of things to do in different cities or attractions. Today I will share my first travel experience in Tasmania which is also second city that I have ever been in Australia besides Brisbane.

dsc06459Where is Tasmania? Is it attractive?

Tasmania is the southernmost island state of Australia and there are almost 45% of Tasmania are reserves, national parks, and world heritage sites. Therefore, this is the perfect island for tourists who like natural environment and beautiful views.

Me and my friends decided to rent a car to travel around the whole island and it is also the most convenient transportation option in Tasmania. After you arrive at Hobart Airport, you can immediately see many car rental stores in front of the airport.

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Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is our first destination and there are numerous amazing attractions in this city. For example, Salamanca Market locates in Hobart is Tasmania’s most visited attraction where you can enjoy the delicious food, art works, or music performances.

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Not just nature!

The Port Arthur Historic Site is also the famous attraction near Hobart and it was established in 1830 for punishing over a thousand of notorious convicts and became a timber station at that time. Now it is the perfect base for tourists to explore the history of Tasmania and the you can even take ferry to see this “unescapable” bay and island.

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The Port Arthur Historic Site

Richmond Bridge

Wow… it is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia and also the oldest stone span bridge in this country. It was also recognized the outstanding historic attraction added to the Australian National Heritage List few years ago. Richmond town is so quiet that I even felt that time was much slower than other places. Many local family come here to have picnics, feed the ducks, or shop in several special gift or food stores.

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Bay of Fires

I will personally recommend this attraction first to my friends! Bay of Fires is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Australia and also Tasmania’s most popular conservation reserves. Binalong Bay is the area’s main beach where you can walk on sugar-white sand and swim, snorkel, surf in the impossibly clear ocean. Moreover, you can go to the rock section to see the spectacular and unforgettable natural scenery.

dsc06800Do you have any experience that you want to share? Please feel free to leave comment below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! I will also share other interesting travel experience in Tasmania in next blog. See you soon! 🙂