Monday, April 27, 2015

Ng Ah Sio Pork Rib Soup Eating House

I saw this blog post about Ng Ah Sio Bah Kut Teh, so decided to give it a try on Sunday evening.  We arrived early at around 6pm, the place was not full, luckily.  The place has this old feeling, it is like the clock has been turned back to 60s or 70s in the last century.

Ordering is simple.  You just choose from their menu and indicate your orders on the order slip.  A wait staff will take your order slip and input to their computer system.  It is a place that looks old but with modern technology in use.

There are actually not many choices, so we decided to try their signature dishes, which are the spare rib soup and premium rib soup.  In addition, we also ordered a plate of lettuce.

The lettuce was not bad.  The spare rib soup and the premium rib soup are the same soup.  You will know when they refill your soup for free.  It was from the same pot :).  There was a distinctive strong taste of pepper in the soup and MSG.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Journey to Gold Coast! - Day 6: Nerang River Cruise

The pier for Nerang River cruise is at back of Appel Park.  It is not very noticeable if you don't look really hard.

The cruise ship is a two-decker.  The lower deck is fully air-conditioned, and it is also the place where you have your lunch buffet.  The price for the 2-hour lunch buffet cruise is AUD$55/pax.
The upper deck is open air, with no cover to block your view.  It is good for photography enthusiasts

Seating is assigned.  When you board the ship, tell them your name, and a crew member will lead you to your table.  Table is set, and there is a piece of paper showing you the route we are going to take.

Buffet starts right away when the ship starts.  Most of the dishes are just salads, but they do have some meat dishes, such as chicken, ham, and trawler prawns.  The trawler prawns are definitely the star of the buffet.  They are fresh, sweet, tasty and big!  Here is a sampling plate for you to drool :)

As the ship moves, the guide will also explain to you the scenes that you will see.  People living along the Nerang River in Gold Coast are the rich and famous.  You can the home of one of them in the photo below.

And you can enjoy some great views of Surfers Paradise from another angle.

If you come to Gold Coast and have the money, a lunch cruise on the Nerang River is a must-do!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Journey to Gold Coast! - Day 5: Movie World

Warner Brothers' Movie World opens only at 10am, so you can have a lazy morning, and get yourself fully charged.

From Ferny Avenue, you can take Bus TX2 to Movie World and Wet 'n' Wild.  These two theme parks are just next to each other.

As we are in the Movie World, then you must meet some famous movie characters.

There is a Roxy Theater there too, where you can experience a 15-minute 4-D movie Rio!

What is a 4-D movie?  Haha...You have got to find out yourself.  A hint:  the chairs are motion chairs :)

In a theme park, you can't miss all the fun rides.

This is the darkest ride in the whole park.  I will advise you not to take this ride if you have any neck or back pains.  And if you are afraid of darkness, and in a confined place, well, probably you don't want to go there either.

There is a fun show of Hollywood style car stunts.

The finale of the day is the 3.30pm parade.

I would say this parade is pathetic.  Total duration is around 15 minutes and there is nothing interesting.  Probably some kids might be excited but then judging by the reactions from the kids that day, even they were not impressed.

If you are visiting during their low period, and no kids, probably half a day is more than enough.  It will take you a day to cover all rides, if the queues are long.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Journey to Gold Coast! - Day 4: Skypoint Observation Deck

Skypoint Observation Deck is located at Skypoint Tower, which is right at Surfers Paradise G-link (tram) station.  Once you get out of the tram, you will see the entrance.

Admission is AUD22.00 per entry.  For day and night entry, the cost is AUD29.00.  This is the place where you can find no discount tickets!

Once you are up there, the breath-taking view of Gold Coast is right in front of your eyes, in its best manner.

Skypoint Tower

A view from the top - Part 1

A view from the top - Part 2

There is a cafe on the observation deck.  You can order a cup of coffee, and spend a whole morning/afternoon/evening here.

If you are brave enough, you can participate in the Skypoint Climb as well.

This is definitely a must-visit place when you come to Gold Coast.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Journey to Gold Coast! - Day 3: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctury

Coming to Australia, there is no reason not to have some close encounter with Australia's iconic animals.  Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a good place to do so.  Took the G-Link tram from Cavill station to Broadbeach South station, then transfer to Bus 700.  Ask the driver to let you know where to alight, as it is not so obvious.  The whole journey takes about 40 minutes.

Admission to the sanctuary is AUD$49 at the door, but if you buy your tickets from, you can get it at ~AUD$33, it is quite a discount.

Voila, here comes our cute koala.  Currumbin has almost all the Australian iconic animals, koala, wormbat, Tasmania devil, wallaby, kangaroo, etc.  And you can have some really close encounters with some of them.

This 4-month wallaby is the most memorable one for this trip.  She was rescued from her mother's pouch, and raised by a keeper.  She is friendly to humans.  A lady staff of the sanctuary was very nice to introduce us to this wallaby and we had some enjoyable time with the wallaby.

You can also find a less known species of kangaroo, which is the tree kangaroo.  It is the very first time for me to know that there is such a species.  Tree kangaroo has golden hair, and shining like a pot of gold under the sun.

There are some shows in the sanctuary as well.  One is the bird show, and the other the sheep shearing show.  Both are interesting and entertaining to watch.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Journey to Gold Coast! - Day 2: Sea World

Early morning on Day 2, we caught Bus 705 from Ferny Avenue stop to Sea World.  It is very convenient, Sea World is the last stop.

Sea World is pretty large, and there are many opportunities for you to have close encounter with the sea creatures.

But before that, let's meet some fictitious creatures - The Ninja Turtles!

Sea Lion Show

They have 3 main shows, namely the sea lion show, dolphin show and jet skiing show.  There are 3 in the morning, a repeat of all 3 in the afternoon.

The dolphin show is not always the same.  I saw it twice on two different days.  The first one was just so so, but the second one was much nicer, with more dolphins, and more tricks.

They have a big aquarium where you can have a closer look at how beautiful the sea creatures swim under water.

A Cowtail Stingray

You can basically spend hours there just to watch all the beautiful fishes, sharks, stingrays gliding around.  However, I would say Singapore's SEA Aquarium is much better and offers much more species on display.

The penguins were just lively and very active.  One of them just couldn't stop swimming around in all kinds of styles and positions.

I will stop here.  If you want to know better, you've got to experience it first hand yourself.  :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Journey to Gold Coast! - Day 1

My flight touched down at Brisbane Airport at around 7 o'clock in the morning.  As I am holding a passport with an RFID, I went through their new immigration clearance system.  First, you insert your passport in a machine, the machine will automatically detect what language to display based on your passport.  You answer a few questions, then you will get a blue ticket.  Bring the blue ticket to the next station, insert it in the machine, face the camera and smile.  Voila, there you go.  You have got through your immigration clearance!  It is quite efficient.  Custom clearance is also a breeze.  No more dogs going around to poke at your luggage.

Brisbane Airport International Terminal

Train Station Platform

There is a train station right outside Brisbane Airport's international terminal.  Here, you can get your Go Card if you plan to use their public transport system.  You can find more information at their office website:  They have a very useful journey planner at the site, which you can use to plan your trips in Brisbane and Gold Coast easily.  You can also download their app from Apple app store or Android store.

For Go Card, they have this concession that if you use the Go Card for 9 journeys, Monday to Sunday, all the remaining trips for the week is free.  Take note that it always starts from a Monday, and ends on a Sunday, not any 7-day period.

One journey is from point A to point B, regardless of intermediate transfers.  For example, if you go from point A to point B, stay at point B for an hour, then go from point B to point C, then it is considered to be 2 journeys.  If you go from point A to point B, then transfer to point C within 60 minutes, then your journey from point A to point C is considered as only one journey.

There is a AUD10.00 deposit for the card.  When you leave Queensland, you can refund the Go Card and get back your balance and the deposit.  It is quite cool!

There is a direct train service from Brisbane to Gold Coast's Nerang Station.  From Nerang Station, you can take local bus #740 to Surfers Paradise, which is the center of everything in Gold Coast.

Train Interior

Here I am inside the Gold Coast train.  It is quite modern and comfortable.  There is a toilet in the train too.  Very convenient for people who need to meet some bio needs.

My journey from Brisbane Airport to Surfers Paradise took about 1.5 hours.  The hotel I stayed is just 5 minutes walk from Bus 740's terminal station at Cypress Avenue.

The hotel room is very basic, nothing fancy to wow about.

But it does have a good view.

The most important point is its good location.  It is 5 minutes walk to Cavill tram station, 10 minutes walk to Surfers Paradise beach.  There are three supermarkets within 10 minutes walk for you to choose from, numerous shops and restaurants nearby.

In addition, there is a bus stop which is 30m away from the hotel where you can board bus TX2 to take you to Movie World and Wet 'n' Wild, TX3 to Dream World, and 705 to Sea World.  You really feel the world is at your finger tips.  100m away is the pier where you can board your Nerang River cruise.  Fantastic location!

Dinner was at Bavarian Haus, a German restaurant, said to be famous for pork knuckles.  The restaurant opens for dinner at 5.30pm, and we were there at 5.30pm.  We were told that the place was fully booked for the night.  However, they offered us a table till 6.30pm.

The deco in the restaurant is interesting, lots of beer mugs hanging in the ceiling.  By 7pm, the place was full, full of Asian tourists from China and Japan.

Crispy Pork Knuckles

The pork knuckle was huge.  If you don't have a big stomach, I really suggest you share it with at least one other person.

The skin was indeed very crispy.  You could hear it crack in your mouth.  The meat was a bit on the dry and hard side, and VERY salty!

Bavarian Haus Teller

We also ordered the Bavarian Haus Teller.  Don't really know what it means.  Basically it includes two types of German sausages, a piece of bacon and a pork steak.  The pork steak was the only item that was not very salty, and it was easy to eat!

Journey to Gold Coast!

I am going to use this post as the summary page to list all the related posts.  Please come back to check it out!

Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Sea World
Day 3: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctury
Day 4: Skypoint Observation Deck
Day 5: Movie World
Day 6: Nerang River Cruise