2016年12月2日星期五

Quest East Perth

It's tough to look for an ideal lodging. I'm the Airbnb kinda traveller but The Man is not. I was looking for some Airbnbs until he voiced this out, and I actually looked into both hotels and Airbnb to find something that suits both of us.

And we found Quest East Perth.

Quest East is not exactly a hotel, it's not exactly an apartment, it's an apartment hotel. So you have a front desk that does your hotel check-ins and check-out, but your room is kind of like apartment, you chose your room type like studio apartment, one bedroom apartment, two bedroom apartment etc. We're a small family, so we took a studio apartment.

It's not a huge apartment but it's really just nice for the three of us.

The king size bed

The wardrobe, small kitchen (with everything you need), small dining table.

A work desk and a sofa

View from the room

When I said the small kitchen has everything you need. I meant it!

Utensils

Cook ware

Pots and pans of different sizes

Bowls, grater, chopping board 

Toaster, brush, sponge, and cleaning cloth

And on the third day, I realised they even have a set of three different sizes lunch box (microwaveable). I used that to bring banana bread for my son in case he's hungry on the road. Nice!

Besides, if you'd like to do laundry, it's FOC. There are two washing machines and two dryers at level 1 and even the detergent is provided, FOC too! There's a small gym at the same level, don't expect anything fantastic, pretty basic but good enough.

There's no parking provided, you can book a parking lot from them, which is actually Wilson carpark at the opposite street at AUD30 a day. I calculated the cost, if I didn't book I had to pay about AUD27-28 a night. It's about the same so your choice.

We had a little hiccup during the check-in. Small matters and it's sorted out pretty soon, thanks to the very helpful front desk lady, Megan. I actually wrote it in the review in Tripadvisor. And the management took time to reply to my review. Very attentive!

Quest East Perth is really new. When we checked in, they're just open for about two weeks. It's clean, it's new, everything is bright and shining. We love it :)

Recommended.

2016年11月29日星期二

Caversham Wildlife Park--Close Encounters with the Animals

Australia is one of the countries with most exotic wild lives, very different from what can be found around the world. Therefore, most tourists will take this opportunity (especially on the first visit to Australia) to come close to the animals.

We're not very interested in zoo. In addition to that, my friend told me Singapore Zoo is much better than Perth Zoo, it justified our decision. So we chose Caversham, simply because we got to touch the koala and wombat, feed the kangaroos, and also come close to some other animals.

Barking owl

Kookaburra, the biggest king fisher species

Common brushtail possum. This gold colour possum is native to Tasmania

Everybody goes to Caversham for the three big stars, kangaroos, koalas and wombat. But Caversham has more to offer, it's almost a mini zoo. However, I have to say they're not very well managed. The animals look mostly sad and depressed in the very small enclosures. Besides, the animals seem to be repeating on and on and on at different part of the park. It's almost like they have a lot of spaces, so they decided, ok, we have a lot of this animal, let's put it here again. After a while, it's just tiring to go through all the animals.

Wombats and koalas are animals which sleep most of the time. Therefore, there are timings for visitors to take photos with them and to understand them a little bit more from the keepers. So if you're planning a visit, do take note of the timings so you don't miss anything.

With the sleeping wombat

So cute and cuddly

He's probably counting his move to pull the koala
 As for kangaroos, they can be fed all the time during the opening hours. But they have more than enough food from all the stupid tourists like us, sometimes they just couldn't be bothered. But you can take a selfie with them, that's good enough for me.

He's a little afraid of the roos when they stand up, but he likes furry stuffs so he did kiss them from the back
Food? Nah, I can't be bothered.
Besides the three stars, they have farm show and penguin feeding show too, which we missed. We did walk to both areas, and I have to say, I can't take the pungent smell coming from the guinea pigs in the farm. I had to leave, immediately!!! As for the penguins, well, we got more from Penguin Island so, nah, not important to us.

Tickets:
AUD28 per adult (no additional charges for photo taking and petting)
FOC for children under three year old

Free parking at Car Park 8 just outside the park.

2016年11月28日星期一

Penguin Island--Sighting of The World's Smallest Penguin

Watching penguins does not confine to just Philips Island in Australia. Penguin Island, about almost an hour drive from Perth City and 5 minutes ferry has its own Little Penguins too.

Jetty at Penguin Island

Reached after a short 5 minutes ferry ride

Little Penguins got their name from being little, literally, the smallest penguins among the penguin species. An adult little penguin weighs about 1.5kg, and it's about 30-40cm tall. Emperor penguins are averagely double the size of a little penguin.

Just imagine how adorable are they!

The little penguins at the discovery center

These penguins here are moulting (changing their feathers). It happens every year, and it's a stressful period for them as they will not be able to go down to the water.
Penguin Island is a truly wild place. Besides the tiny little discovery center, the toilets (with no flush, they use waste collection), and the pathways that round the island for about an hour walk, this island is home to thousands of birds. There are also no rubbish bins around the island, visitors are to bring their own rubbish back to the main land. Besides, if you're planning a picnic, bring your own food from mainland. There's not a single cafe or even kiosk. Humans are meant to be just visitors, this place is reserved for the birds.

The seagulls are conquering the beach

Nice picnic area outside discovery center

The beach where I brought my son for a dip in the water

Having said that, chances to see a truly wild penguin is very very low. The wild penguins go out to hunt for food during day time, and only go home in the evening. You can see the 12 captive penguins in the discovery center anytime during the opening hours, and also during the feeding time. If you're a bird-watching-kinda-guy, don't forget your binoculars and telephoto lens. There are thousands and thousands of birds in the island. I can only recognise seagulls, crows and pelicans though.

The west side of the island faces the magnificent Indian Ocean, so do make time to take a stroll along the pathway and enjoy the great view of Indian Ocean.

View of Indian Ocean in Penguin Island

Besides visiting the discovery center, you can also join one of the cruise they have. Due to age limit, we can't do anything adventurous with the little one (most cruises have minimum age of 3 except for Sea Lion Cruise), we can only do Sea Lion cruise. The cruise took us to the Sea Lion Island, just a little further from Penguin Island. We did not go near, just observed from a distance, a row of Australian sea lions (only found in Western and South Australia) resting by the beach. They go out to hunt for food for a few days, and come back to the shore to rest for a few days.

Resting sea lions

One interesting fact of the sea lions there, is that they're all males. To breed, they will have to travel to another island to court the ladies. After that, they'll go back to their own island. And they do bring the teenagers back with them. As they're once almost extinct, they're currently given a special protection.

After seeing the sea lions, the cruise also tried luck to spot any inshore bottle nose dolphins. To our luck, we did see quite a lot of them. Mostly mother and child, and some coming very very near to our boat. It's really an exciting experience. (But due to the fact that I was carrying my son most of the time, I didn't take any photos of the dolphins.)

If you're planning for a trip to Penguin Island, you do need to take note of the timings of ferry (usually one per hour), the feeding time of the penguins, the timing of the cruise you want to join, and the last cruise out of Penguin Island. Plan your trip properly to avoid disappointment.

For your reference, our trip goes like this:
11am-Ferry to Penguin Island
~Picnic, watch penguins in the discovery center~
12.30pm-Watch penguin feeding
1.15pm-Sea lion cruise
~Watch Indian Ocean~
3.10pm-Left Penguin Island

We really like Penguin Island, if you like animals and island, this is a nice place to visit =)

Tickets:
AUD78 for two adults (ferry between main land and Penguin Island, discovery center and Sea Lion Cruise)
FOC for children below three year old

Free parking outside Pangos Cafe.

2016年11月25日星期五

4D4N in Perth

If you noticed, I only do this type of summary of my trip when I didn't travel with my sister. If we were to travel together, I'd just copy her link and share. Since she's already done that, why double the work right?

Well, since this is our little family trip, so here I am again, to do it myself.

18/11-Arrived in Perth

  • Got our rental car from Terminal 1 (AUD223.40 for entire trip, Toyota Corolla, automatic)
  • Checked in at Quest East Apartment (AUD636 for studio apartment)
  • Rest
  • Left the apartment and got a Telstra starter pack SIM card (AUD10 for 6GB, only available in city)
  • Late lunch at Jamie's Italian (AUD63.15 for two)
  • Dessert at Koko Black (AUD18)
  • Attempted to walk to King's Park but proven to be too far by foot
Attempted to walk to King's Park and walked pass the lovely Mount Street. It's jacarandas season in November.
  • Shopping at Target at Hay Street (AUD58.5)
  • Dinner at food court at Carillon City (AUD20.5)
  • Bought mineral water and yoghurt at RISE supermarket opposite our apartment (AUD6.50)
19/11-King's Park and Fremantle
  • Went to Toastface Grillah for breakfast, but ended up packing the sandwiches because baby is fussing (AUD18)
  • Went to King's Park to picnic (free parking!)
Lovely King's Park
  • Went to Fremantle Market (Parking in total AUD8.1)
Sunset at Fremantle Harbour
  • Bought avocado, organic fruit tea drinks, Levi's donut, Bratwurst hotdog (AUD20)
  • Dinner at Kaili's, at Fremantle Harbour (AUD66.90; Parking AUD3)
  • Back to Perth
  • Bought some tidbits and yogurt at Rise (AUD18.95)
20/11-Caversham Wildlife Park
  • Son was too tired so we let him slept in as long as he wanted. Father did the same.
  • Did laundry in apartment when they slept in (FOC)
  • Had breakfast at Infinity Cafe near apartment (AUD19.50 for one), and takeaway a muffin and a banana bread for father and son (AUD9)
  • Went to wildlife park (AUD56 tickets for two, children below 3 is FOC; Parking is free)
Kangaroo at Caversham Wildlife Park
  • Had a muffin in park (AUD4.50)
  • Head back to Perth, dinner at Ribs and Burgers (AUD54.4)
  • Bought tidbits and yoghurt at a cheaper minimart (AUD46.75)
21/11-Penguin Island
  • Breakfast at Buddha Espresso opposite apartment (AUD21). Bought takeaway to Penguin Island (AUD18-two sandwiches and a banana bread)
  • Penguin Island-Ferry+Discovery Centre+Sea Lion Cruise (AUD78 for two, children below 3 is FOC; Parking is free)
Little Penguin at the Discovery Center after the feeding
  • Penguin plushie (AUD8.95)
  • Dinner at Kaili's at Fremantle (AUD57.7; Parking AUD2)
  • Petrol (AUD19.90 for 17.7L)
  • Shopping at Perth city (AUD102)
22/11-Home
  • Parking fee for 4 nights, booked by hotel at Wilson carpark (AUD120)
  • Breakfast at Harvest Food Store at airport (AUD31.90)
  • Honey and date loaf at Hay Market at airport for my son before boarding (AUD7)
Stay tuned for more detals =)

The Good and The Bad of Perth

We're back from our short Perth family trip. We've been talking about a short trip for a while. Initially we wanted to do it before little man turned two (because he doesn't need to pay for air ticket!). But after we found out I am pregnant, we don't think that it's a good idea to have him on my lap for a 5 hours flight. So, we decided to postpone it to post 2 year old.

The Man can't travel away from Singapore for too long due to his work. So we're really looking for some place that's within 5 hours traveling time. We shortlisted to Taiwan and Perth. But I personally do not prefer Taiwan because I've been there three times. And the last time being February this year with my best friends. After considering all factors, we chose Perth =)

We had a good full four days in Perth itself. We bravely booked an overnight flight from Singapore, to ensure we have more time. It's probably a wrong decision because my son ended up too tired. He was a little too excited before the flight, he couldn't get into sleep. And one guy behind us kept turning on the light which made everything worse! Who turn on the lights at 3am!!!! He ended up sleeping for three hours only. So we had to let him sleep in once we checked in to our apartment. We ended up only went out about 2pm.

Before talking about the attractions in Perth, I'd just like to share what's the good and bad of traveling to Perth.

The Good

Baby Friendly
The first thing that made us happy is the very well equipped and spacious baby changing room at Perth Airport. It's clean, it's equipped with sofas and television. This is what all the parents want! So really, change your baby after you landed!

Some restaurants and public toilets are equipped with changing station too. While they may not be as luxury as the one in Perth Airport, you're glad that there's at least one! You'll understand this if you've been to Amsterdam.

(Sorry I was too busy changing I forgot to take pictures)

Friendly and Helpful People
Perth gave me a very good first impression, compared to Sydney. The moment we touched down at the airport, the moment we approached the custom, everything is so welcoming. The officers are friendly. Unlike Sydney!

Besides, when we're in the city, there are always passerby who offered help to take a family photo for us. What a friendly city!

A family photo taken by passerby, on her own initiative to help

FREE Cat Buses in the City
Nobody hates FREE stuffs! If you're planning to spend a day in Perth City, just hop onto any free Cat bus. It's TOTALLY FREE! Besides, the buses are stroller and wheelchair friendly. There's an automated step where you can push in the stroller with style. GREAT! Singapore should really have this and maybe I'll take more buses.

The Bad

EXTREMELY expensive parking in city
Now, this has to be the #1 in the list. Parking in Perth City is EXTREMELY expensive. Day time per hourly is AUD4. Over 6pm or some parking lots 5pm, it's a flat rate of AUD11.

Wilson carpark near our apartment put up a very misleading sign, saying overnight parking is AUD5. Whoa! So attractive. But wait, overnight parking is only until 5.30am. From then on, anything above 4 hours is AUD22. Which means, if you're departing from your apartment at 10.30am like we do (when you have kids you'll understand), you're paying AUD27 a night. Just O.N.E night!

Food is expensive too
Overall, food is expensive. An average cup of coffee cost you AUD4 minimally. That's almost a dollar more expensive than Sydney. An average meal for two, just a normal meal like burgers in a restaurant, cost about AUD40-50. Nothing fancy.

Simple breakfast of French toast and a cup of coffee at Infinity Cafe, cost me AUD19.50

Many attractions but YOU CAN NEVER DO ALL
This is not really bad. It's just I am really interested in Wave Rock and I'm so disappointed to find out it's so far away from Perth City. And I'd really like to go Busselton or Albany to catch a glimpse of whale, but again, they're so far away from Perth.

If you tell people you're going to Perth, most of the time you'll get this reaction. "Why Perth? There's nothing much in Perth!"

Well, people, you're wrong! There are many things surrounding Perth. The only problem you have is traveling time. The attractions are all over the places, all different directions! You may not have enough time to visit all of them. We only manage Fremantle, Caversham Wildlife Park and Penguin Island. The furthest being Penguin Island and that's about an hour travel time (one way).

If you're looking at Wave Rock, that's 4 hours from Perth. Margaret River is 2 hours from Perth. The Pinnacles is 2-3 hours from Perth etc. (These are one way trip I'm talking about)


So MANY FLIES
My family did tell me about their experience at The Pinnacles where there were simply too many flies they just wanted to get out of the place as soon as possible.

We didn't plan to go to Pinnacles. But to my surprise, flies are actually everywhere in Perth. EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!

They're SO annoying!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I'll continue more with the details of my trip (I haven't even finished with New Zealand trip, I doubt I'll ever finish it). But I hope this helps you by giving you a little bit idea of how Perth is, in general that is.

2016年11月8日星期二

The Most Chilled Mom

That's not me.

It's one of my aunt, my 4th aunt. And sometimes I really wish I can be like her, at least I tried sometimes, until I was told that my son has low muscle tone.

Playing with the 八宝粥 I fed him, just after taking a shower

There was a time when my son would eat any rubbish you sent to his mouth, literally anything, he would eat. And he drinks three times milk, and ate two meals a day. If the waking hours seems to be too long, he can have some snacks in between too. But those days were gone. L.O.N.G.G.O.N.E.

Now, you're lucky if he even eats. You have to give him milk when he's not conscious, i.e. sleeping. If he eats that particular food, stick to it! Cook a few times a week if you have to. But if he suddenly decided not to eat, it's not because the food sucks, he's just unpredictable!

My aunt, well, she would say, "Let him be, when he's hungry he will eat". When her daughter climbed the gate, my mom was worried, but my aunt said "Let her be, let her fall and she will be afraid." And true indeed, she fell, and she didn't climb the gate anymore. When my uncle having trouble waking the daughter up for school when aunt's not around, she said "Let her be, let her be late for once and she will wake up from then on." Guess what, she was late and never again.

The list goes on and on and on, and my aunt is always right!

There was once during our New Zealand trip, my son refused any milk or food. I took my aunt's approach. I fed him only once or twice a day, and if he didn't ask for food, he didn't get any. After two days, he ate normal. Prove my aunt's point very well.

However, things changed in me after the trip. We brought him to assessments for his delay development. And we were told he has low muscle tone. Since then, we were looking for all sorts of help, early intervention, physiotherapy sessions, TCM massages, food therapy etc. Anything that could help.

Since then, I got very stressed when he's not eating regularly. I scolded him, forced him, cried together with him, both of us went through a whole lot of emotional turmoil. And things didn't improve. And then I realised, he didn't change, I did.

He was always a bit unpredictable. For a period he would eat non stop, and then another time he would not eat anything at all. Back then, I was relaxed, I let him be. But now, I'm so obsessed with "low muscle tone", determined to not let him go hungry and make sure he has enough to grow, I changed.

So I decided, I should stop. Giving him as little food as possible, if he didn't finish it's fine. If he did, don't need to top up. Let him be. Don't stress him, and don't stress myself. Low muscle tone did not even cause by him going hungry.

No. Period.

Stop caring for what others tell you. Period.

Frankly it's not easy not to care, but I try to control as hard as I can. I'm managing a little bit better now than a few weeks ago. I hope he will return to his regular eating habit.

Chill, chill....