Riverside at the Gardens – Sunday market

Having lived in Brisbane for a little over a year, one of it’s many little quirks I’ve found are it’s abundance of fairs and markets. You can find plenty of them right in the city and in the suburbs around the city.

I recently discovered the Sunday market that happens at Riverside at the Gardens, every Sunday of the month and decided to hop down there to relax during my mid-semester break. It’s located at the Botanical Gardens entrance right down Alice Street. (Pro-tip: if you find yourself at uni on a Sunday want to get out of uni for a rash shopping trip or to grab a bite, just walk down Alice street to this market. You’ll love yourself for it. Promise.)

My first experience at this market happened to the special Easter edition of the market, as it was happening on Easter Sunday, so there were some fun competition, an egg hunt and a raffle draw also happening.

There were not many vendors, but there were a generous variety of things on sale: sweet/savoury cuisine from different parts of the world, clothes, handmade jewellery, wooden crafts, soaps/bath bombs and even make-up.

My sugar-rush inducing, cookies and cream doughnut.

The best part of the market is it’s location – you can grab a bite and head over to sit under the shade of the trees in the garden and enjoy your food.

The prices were all very reasonable for the food. The clothes were on the pricier end.

There was great fresh produce at better prices than you would find at the supermarkets, so I would highly recommend taking a bag along for grocery shopping.

Brisbane’s markets are something you should definitely try out if you’re living here. Maybe we’ll run into each other sometime. 🙂

Hangout at Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley is my favourite hangout place with friends.

Fortitude Valley is a suburb near to Brisbane City. It takes only 10-15 minutes by bus to get there from Brisbane City. Fortitude Valley is also well known of its Chinatown Mall as it is a hub of exotic Chinese supermarkets and restaurants. Fortitude Valley is such a hip and interesting place. I have so much fun and surprises while exploring there every time.

During the weekends, there is a creative market happening.

Free chess can be played for fun if you are interested.

My favourite brownies shop at My Bakery Lane at Fortitude Valley.

I hope I can have a taste of all the flavours they have.

Once in a while, there may also have free music performance.

Recently I discovered Winn Lane at Fortitude Valley. Hearsay there is a shop selling tasty burger which is recommended to give it a try!

Some of the cool stores at Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley.

You can also spot many graffiti here and there while walking around Fortitude Valley.

James Street at Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s foremost retail and lifestyle precinct. It features a mix of over 130 specialty shops, including a huge range of designer clothing and homewares stores, award-winning restaurants and cafes, art galleries and design havens. You can receive more information from http://www.jamesst.com.au/

My favourite store at James Street. Simply like everything in the store.

My favourite book shop at James Street. The shop also sells tasty Matcha food. Don’t miss it if you are Matcha lovers!

Always can’t resist the desserts and pastries!

I believe you will have a lot of fun and surprises as me while exploring Fortitude Valley!

Urbanest – Student Accomodation

Located in South Brisbane, Urbanest is just about a fifteen minute walk to QUT’s Gardens Point campus. It is also a five minute walk from many restaurants on Grey Street and the Streets Beach. Needing to travel further? Urbanest is right next to the bus and train stations.

The apartment building itself is quite suitable for a University student as well. The two most common room styles are:

  1. a 5 or 6 person apartment, each resident with their own room and bathroom, and a shared common room and kitchen
  2. a 16 person apartment with 8 rooms, meaning two people per room and bathroom, and a shared common room and kitchen for the apartment.

There are also single suites and studio style apartments. Urbanest has a movie room, a fitness center, study rooms, and a laundry room. The management for the most part is pretty good. They know how to do their jobs, and do their best at accommodating residents needs. They also put on events for the residents.

Urbanest is a very sociable place with students from around the world. It is very easy to meet people and fun to learn about the different cultures this world has to offer.

No the apartment complex isn’t perfect, but it’s worth looking into if the majority of your classes are at Gardens Point – or even Kelvin Grove!

First Time Travelling Outside Asia

In my life up till early 2017 I have ever been in several countries. Those countries are Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia (my home country). It was exciting to travel to those countries. But guess what? All of them are Asian countries which more or less have similarity in terms of the cultures, foods, and so on. I did not have the chance to travel outside Asia before.

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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.