Friday, 14 December 2012

Melbourne Food Is Freaking Good Part III

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

I was in Melbourne once again in early December 2012 for more than a week and I have more restaurants to recommend to you :)

I did drop by once again at Mercadante, Lygon Street for pasta (and then for dessert we crossed the road to Freddo for some ice-cream) and Hardware Societe for lunch. Both these restaurants were mentioned in my very first article on Melbourne's Food Outlets titled Melbourne Food and Coffee Is Freaking Good - click here to read it.

In my previous trips to Melbourne, I had dropped by Hardware Societe for Breakfast. However, this time around, my wife and I would sleep till pass 9am since this trip we did not have any specific programs for our trip down-under and was more like free and easy holiday. And if you want to have breakfast at Hardware Societe, you better be there before 10am or else most of the breakfast delicacies would be sold out and you are only left with pies to choose from.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Space Hotel Melbourne Queen Ensuite Room Review

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

I revisited Melbourne in early December 2012 and once again stayed at Space Hotel, Russell Street, Melbourne. I took a cab from the airport to Space Hotel and it cost me AUD54 for the ride. It was after 1am when I reached Space Hotel and my room key card was given to me upon me presenting my Agoda voucher. The guy on duty did ask for my credit card and charged AUD1 to confirm that my card was valid.

The last time I stayed at Space Hotel was back in May 2012 where I shared a twin room with my son for a couple of nights and then moved to a single room by myself after he flew back to USA to start his summer internship job. That time we had to use the shared common bathroom. This time around, I went with my wife and therefore I booked the Queen Ensuite Bedroom.

Previously I booked my rooms directly via Space Hotel website because I found their weekly rates to be lower than rate per night; but this time around, I only stayed 2 nights at Space Hotel and found that Agoda daily rate was better than Space Hotel website rates. Click here to read my article on Agoda versus HotelClub for Online Room Reservations.

Without further ado, here are some photos taken of the Queen Ensuite Room I stayed in at Space Hotel. Fresh towels were provided daily and toiletries included bath gel, shampoo and conditioner. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Australia 7 & 8 Seats Family Car and MPV - Introducing the New Toyota Prius V and Nissan Dualist+2

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

If one is looking for a 7 or 8 seat family car in Australia, there are not many choices from the same car manufacturer. For example, Toyota has 7 seater cars like Wish and Vellfire, and Mazda has Mazda 8 which are not available in Australia.

Some of the current 7 or 8 passenger cars (which are mostly SUVs) available at car dealers throughout Australia are:

Ford Territory - SUV.
Honda Odyssey - Car like people mover.
Mitsubishi Challenger and Pajero - SUV
Nissan  Patrol and Pathfinder - SUV
Toyota Kluger, Prado and LandCruiser - all three are considered SUVs.
Toyota Tarago - 7 or 8 seater Van
Volvo XC90 - a 7 seater SUV which is due for a new model since it has been close to 10 years since it was first launched.

The good news is, we now get the latest Toyota Prius V which is a hybrid 7 seater car and Nissan has also launched a compact SUV which has 7 seats named Dualis+2.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Melbourne Food Is Freaking Good Part II

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

Back in June 2012, I published my article Melbourne Coffee and Food is Freaking Good. This article will be a continuation where I will post more photos of food that we can get in Melbourne - The World's Most Livable City.

Sushi Burger- Exhibition Street between Bourke St and Little Bourke Street

I highly recommend this place where you must try their Sushi Soft Shell Crab Burger which is really good. However, in order to dine in, you need to purchase minimum AUD12 per person; so, you need to order at least 2 sushi burgers or just take away if you can only eat one. 

Formule 1 Hotel Melbourne CBD Budget Hotel

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

Update - This hotel has been renamed as Ibis Budget

Previously, I published an article titled Melbourne Clean Affordable Hotel Accommodation Single Person or Family of Four, where I mentioned that Space Hotel located at Russell Street, Melbourne is good if one is looking for a clean single occupancy room or on a tight budget for a family of four. In this article, I also touched on Ozstays Katz 2 Bedroom Apartments if one is looking for accommodation for 5 people as it comes with a sofa bed in the living room.

I was in Melbourne last week and this time I stayed at Formule 1 located at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Collins Street. The reason why I chose Formule 1 this time round was, once again I was on a tight budget and needed a room for three as my youngest daughter tagged along with my darling wife and me.

Australia Best Savings Account

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

Back in April 2012, I published an article titled Australia Education, Term Deposit, Savings Account and Credit Card Interest Rate where I prepared several tables comparing interest rates offered by Australia Banks for Savings Account. 

And then I went to Melbourne sometime in May 2012 and when I came back I published my article titled FREE Visa and Debit Cards from Australia Banks  where I posted photos of my Australia Debit Cards from Citibank, Commonwealth Bank and HSBC Bank. At that time, I also have wanted the NAB Visa Debit Card but the guy who opened my account forgot to request for it and I only found out just before I left Melbourne for Gold Coast with Tiger Airways.

Well, I was in Melbourne last week and I noted that the interest rates offered by Australia Banks for Savings Account have reduced since I last visited Melbourne back in May 2012. So I thought I'll update here the latest interest rates (as of October 2012) for Savings Accounts, comparing it to the rates back in April.

Once again, I have prepared a table for your easy reference. The table below shows the interest rates of Savings Account offered by  Bankwest, Bank of Melbourne, Citibank, Commonwealth Bank, HSBC Australia and National Australia Bank (NAB) for the month of April 2012 and October 2012.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

My National Australia Bank FREE Visa Debit Card

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

Previously in my article titled FREE Visa and MasterCard Debit Card from Australia Banks, I posted my Debit Cards from Citibank, Commonwealth Bank and HSBC Australia. I did open a NAB Classic Banking Account and was expecting to get my NAB Debit Card, but it never came. So, I called NAB Customer Service and their system shows that I never requested for it! I guess the guy who opened my NAB account forgot to request the NAB Debit Card for me. Unfortunately, I had to fly to Gold Coast back in June with Tiger Airways and therefore did not manage to collect my card until I was back in Melbourne this October.

If you see the above image, you will note that the NAB Classic Card comes is Pink and I was worried they may issue that to me, haha.

The good news is, mine is black as you can see for yourself. Of course I have Photoshopped the photo of my card below to show the first 4 digits starting with 1111, hahaha

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Melbourne Property Prices To Drop Further in 2012?

I happened to read an interesting and informative article in Bloomberg titled Melbourne Hasn't Seen Worst of Housing Drop As Glut Builds by Nichola Saminather and thought I share it with you guys.

Below are some of the points mentioned in the article above:

Home prices inflated more than 100% between 2002 and 2010 but has been heading south since then.

It seems that Melbourne property prices have fallen the most compared to other cities in Australia (for year end June 2012 - Australia financial year end).  

Population growth slowed for three (3) consecutive years (2009 to 2011).

Melbourne city homes relative to income are the most unaffordable after Hong Kong, Vancouver and Sydney.  

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Earthquake 117km Southeast of Melbourne Victoria.

In June 2012, Victoria Australia experienced an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 Southeast of Melbourne and once again an aftershock earthquake of magnitude 4.5 was recorded on 20th July 2012 at the same area.

Fortunately, no injuries were recoded for both earthquakes mentioned above.

Click here to Sky News for more report.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Chevron Towers Surfers Paradise Gold Coast Australia

I took my family to Gold Coast and stayed at Chevron Towers located at Surfers Paradise for 3 nights. It cost me close to AUD80 for a 8 seater Tarago Taxi (Toyota Estima) from the  airport to Chevron Towers.

Boy was I surprised that the 2 bedroom apartment was huge and comfortable and best of all I had sea view :) We stayed at Tower 1 and from the Lobby we could access to the shopping centre and many other stores/shops along Surfers Paradise. 

My wife booked the 2 bedroom apartment through and the price per night is like half of what I paid for the smaller 2 bedroom at Katz Apartment in Melbourne.

KPop in Melbourne and Sydney Australia - Where To Get Them

While walking around Melbourne CBD, I came across a shop selling Korean KPop DVDs and other related stuff. And was I pleasantly surprised that the shop had my eldest daughter favorite Korean Boy Band 2PM albums on sale.

I immediately took photos of the albums with the cheap Android Huawei X3 smart phone I got at Vodafone and emailed them my daughter who was attending class back in Malaysia. I am sure she  will be happy to note that she can get 2PM albums when she attends University in Melbourne next year.

The shop is located at Bourke Street opposite Target nearer to Russell Street.

Free Visa and MasterCard Debit Cards From Australia Banks

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.
I was in Melbourne Australia for about 3 weeks in total and this gave me the opportunity to go get FREE Visa and MasterCard Debit Cards from Australia banks. You see, unlike in Malaysia where non premier Debit Cards can be issued on the spot with pre-printed card numbers, in Australia the debit card number and your name are the embossed type like credit cards and usually need several days for the card to be ready for collection or sent to your mailing address.

Of course, I needed an Australia address too, which was not a problem as I have relatives staying right smack in Melbourne Central Business District where I can just walk to his apartment from my hotel :)

So what do I meant by FREE Visa and MasterCard Debit Cards from Australia Banks?

Most banks in Australia have a account to cater for day to day use which they term as Transaction Account which allows you to deposit and withdraw cash, use to pay bills online, transfer funds online, a debit card for face to face or online purchases and even cheque book. However, most banks charge a monthly fees and only waive it with certain conditions like monthly deposit of AUD2K or maintain a certain fixed monthly balance in the account. The good news is that there are few banks that do issue you FREE Visa or MasterCard Debit Card for FREE and you won't be charge a single sen penalty even if your account balance is ZERO. 

I am pleased to share with you the few truly good Australian banks that are not out to suck your hard earn money (not really applicable to my case since I have no income in Australia, haha).

Melbourne Clean Affordable Hotel Accommodation Single Person or Family of Four

My eldest son and I flew into Melbourne, Victoria, Australia sometime in the 2nd week of May 2012. However, my son had to leave for the United States after a few days stay as he had to report for his summer internship job. It was winter time in Australia and summer in USA. The rest of my family (my wife and 3 kids) would only join me in the early part of June 2012. So, I was alone in cold and sometimes rainy Melbourne for about 10 days.
Before I flew into Melbourne, I checked for hotel prices and it would cost me a small fortune staying in a typical 3 star hotel for about 3 weeks. What I noted was that there were boarding type hotels where several people would share a room making the cost for a night pretty cheap.

Melbourne Aquarium - An Experience Not To Be Missed

In my article titled Melbourne Central Business District - Getting Around, I mentioned the locations of Melbourne Tourist Centres where you can obtain free maps and also seek directions to your destination. And there is one attraction that every visitor to Melbourne should visit, i.e. Melbourne Aquarium, located in Melbourne CBD itself at the junction of Flinders Street and King Street.

Below is a photo of the Melbourne Aquarium taken from SouthBank.

And from inside the Melbourne Aquarium you do get a good view of Southgate and Southbank.

Melbourne Coffee and Food is Freaking Good

I was in Melbourne for close to 3 weeks and had the opportunity to savour what Melbourne has to offer in terms of food. Well, I am pleased to inform you that you won't have any problems finding the right food because Melbourne offers you all kinds of great tasting food from all over the world.

If you need to put on weight, Melbourne is the place to be :) I definitely put on a few pounds while I was in Melbourne. I tell you, the coffee in Melbourne is really good; I guess this is because the milk there is fresh. And below is how coffee is served in Melbourne :)

Coffee serve at St Ali South Melbourne

The first place I dined in upon reaching Melbourne was at Stalactites, a Greek restaurant. I ordered the chicken souvlaki wrap with pita bread and the serving was huge for my standards. I asked for a knife and cut it into half and shared it with my cousin. My son on the other hand could finish one by himself. Anyway, the food tasted not too bad.

Melbourne Central Business District Australia - Getting Around

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

Good day mate, in this post I will be listing out what I think you will need to get around Melbourne Central Business District (CBD).

Upon arriving at Melbourne airport, you can take a taxi to your hotel at Melbourne Central Business District for about AUD60. And if you are traveling in a party of more than 4 people, not a problem as there are taxi vans too, and it would be much cheaper than taking 2 taxis.

The first thing is to get a map upon arrival.You can get one at your hotel or at information centres. You can get a free tourist booklet shown below which comes with a map of Melbourne CBD.