Wanderlust Wednesdays

We left Sydney on a rainy Thursday, had a stopover at Darwin (still in the continent of Australia) in the middle of the night and woke up on Friday morning seeing Manila come alive. Manila’s beautiful in the dark from above. The city’s full of lights; it’s like a a pond full of tea lights. It was a great welcome after two years of being away from our first home.
Here are a few snippets of the first few days we’ve been here. 

We traveled via Australia’s budget airline, Jetstar, so we arrived at NAIA 1. It was 5ish in the morning and our flight had the airport to ourselves. Going thru immigration, claiming our suitcases and customs was a breeze. 
We checked-in at the Remington Hotel at Resorts World Manila to rest there for two days. The Husband and I didn’t have any plans of going anywhere except Metro Manila but we’d like to make sure we get to relax in the city. Checking in at a hotel upon arrival revived us and helped in letting the idea that we are on holiday sink in. 
In the two days that we were at Resorts World Manila, we were able to have delicious meals at Shakey’s, Crisostomo and TWG; watch John Lloyd and Sarah’s movie “It Takes a Man and a Woman”; and watch “The King and I” (the musical). We also had a bit of fun playing in the casinos.
We’ve been having wonderful gatronomical indulgences since we came here. Manila is slowly becoming a food mecca with many restaurants offering good quality food and getting more creative in presenting Filipino food. 
Manila Life. I’m trying my best to get used to life in Manila and not to compare it too much to the old Manila that I used to love and know. Manila is home and I will love this city no matter what happens. While the new things fascinates me, I can’t help but say that Manila has changed so so much. 

Manila Heat. It is summer here and the temps average between 32-25 degree Celsius. We are not bothered by the heat as it is similar to the heat in Sydney when we have heatwaves. However, the humidity is thick and heavy and the air is polluted which we find quite a challenge. 

Manila Streets. The streets in Manila will never bore you. I’m fascinated by how the traffic works here  and how everyone just makes do with whatever space they can find on the highway. The bikey people terrifies me the most as they sneak up on you on both sides. I call the Pedestrian Lanes here “artwork” because no one honours them.
Manila Food. While we are never homesick for Filipino food in Sydney, there are still some things we don’t have there. Also, we’re discovering more new food offerings here so we buy one or two just to try. 

Manila Shopping. Manila is a shopping haven. They have so many brands here now and we’re very much enjoying buying Summer clothes here.
Manila Rejuvenates. The first three days we’ve been here I made sure to spend time at the spa for a body massage, a nail spa to pamper my hands, feet and nails, and a hair salon to have my scalp massaged, hair spa and hair cut. When in Manila, make sure you do these! Services for beauty and relaxation are pretty much affordable and you have a lot of salons and spas to choose from. 

Manila Reunites. What makes our vacation always memorable are the special people we spend time with. Our family and friends are always worth coming home for. As early as now, let me say thank you to the warmth and time they have given us.  In our travel, they are our greatest blessings.


The Husband and I have been sharing our travel experiences via our instagram account. Follow us there if you want to see Manila in a different light (Husband’s account: @keemps17 and mine: @ibyang). I also share some photos in my tumblr account Postcards on Air. You can also follow me at twitter @ibyang.

Went on a day trip to Bathurst while my Mom was here. We gathered up our other friends and rented a bus for the day so everyone won’t have to stress about driving to and from. Bathurst is lovely and quiet town with pretty houses, vast wineries and friendly people.

Something about Bathurst:

Bathurst is a regional city in the Central Tablelands of New South WalesAustralia. It is approximately 200 km west of Sydney and is the seat of the Bathurst Regional Council.

 Bathurst is the oldest inland settlement in Australia[2] and has an estimated population of 34,303 people.[1]Bathurst City is the 29th largest population area of the 135 regional NSW population areas in 2009. Residents of Bathurst are known as “Bathurstians”.

Bathurst is often referred to as Gold Country as it was the site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia.[3] Today it is education, tourism and manufacturing that drive the economy. Internationally known racetrack Mount Panorama is also a landmark of the city. Bathurst has a historic city centre with many buildings remaining from the gold rush period of the mid to late 1800s. {source}

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)



What we did in Bathurst:
Sightsee. We walked around the town when we arrived in Bathurst. Took a lot of photos of structures made of beautiful architecture. 

_MG_087Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)2
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)

We saw the Mount Panorama Circuit, a motor racing track where the Bathurst 12 Hour race is held every February. There were a fair bit of bikers that waved hello to us when they saw me taking their photos.
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)

We had lunch at a park on top of Mount Panorama. Together with family and friends we had a feast of home cooked meals.
P1170Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)567


Taste their wine. Our bus driver was able to find a winery company which accommodated us on a Saturday. The owners of Mt Panorama Winery (117 Mountain Straight Mt Panorama, Bathurst) welcomed us with happy smiles and lots of wine bottles to taste. 

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)


Even their dog was friendly enough to join us during the wine tasting. She even stayed still so I can take a photo of her.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)

The Husband had to pat her goodbye before we left.
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)


Have coffee, pie and ice cream.  When in Bathurst, visit Annie’s Ice Cream Parlour right on the corner of George and Church Streets. The restaurant’s theme brought us back to the 60’s as Elvis and other popular icons’ photos from the 60’s era are found on the walls of the shop. They make good coffee and serve homemade ice cream (must try!). And this was where I got to taste the best apple pie ever!

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)

Their apple pie’s filled with chunky and sweet apple slices, it was sooooo good. Served hot and perfect with a sprinkle of icing sugar and cream on the side.
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)


On our way to Bathurst:
I always enjoy the scenic routes of any travel in Australia during road trips. With the bluest skies and vast landscapes, I’m always in awe of the beautiful sceneries outside of my window.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)



We had a quick stopover at Echo PointKatoomba in Blue Mountains. This was where we had morning tea so we took this opportunity to marvel at the fog surrounding the Three Sisters Mountain.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Bathurst (NSW, Australia)

Happy 1st day of August!  


The Rocks Markets has become one of Sydneysiders’ after work hang out every Friday. It started being a weekend market but once there were more people going to The Rocks on Friday night, they now start at 5:00pm every Friday.

Set amid the sandstone and cobbles, the colourful markets have grown to include more than 200 eclectic stalls. Visitors from near and far come to find fashion and accessories by emerging designers, locally-produced homewares, linen and beauty products and original photography, art, crafts and jewellery.

Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks

Other than shopping, we love the food available from the market. This is where we usually take the chance to eat kebabs (shawarma), dim sums, pork buns and red bean buns.

Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks
Night Market at The Rocks

In one of the nights we were there, a busker provided entertainment for us by playing a guitar.

Night Market at The Rocks



It is always a busy place, hence, we just eat anywhere we are able to find a seat.  In the photo below, I was seated at the side of a big pot of plant that serves the street’s decoration too.  

Night Market at The Rocks
The best way to enjoy the market is to be early. If you can’t be early, be ready to brave the crowd, wait in lines for food and probably eat standing up.

Getting to The Rocks
The Rocks is in central Sydney, just a short stroll from the city’s two most recognisable landmarks, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. It is also just around the corner from the Circular Quay transportation hub. The Rocks extends from the harbour in the north and east, to Kent Street in the west, and Grosvenor Street in the south.

I have always shared life in Sydney thru my photographs, thru this blog and my column in Ang Kalatas. Although I haven’t made an exclusive account of what I think of living here, I do love living here. Maybe one day I will write about it some more, when I have the discipline to sit down and write; and when I have no more hesitations in doing so.  In the meantime, I hope you get to appreciate my photos, blogging and tweets about Sydney, my beloved city.


I found this video online yesterday and I just had to share it.  It shows a few things that Sydneysiders do: start the day at the beach, have coffee (we’re passionate about our coffee), enjoying nature even if we’re in the city, find beauty in unexpected spaces, the Vivid Sydney during winter time.  It shows the simple ways we live life here and how laidback we are.  

P.S.  I’ve been told by some friends overseas that they cannot access this video.  I’m not sure why but I’m sorry if you’re having trouble accessing it.  
Australia is a multicultural country and we have lots of migrants from around the world who have moved here.  I once mentioned to the Husband that I never feel isolated in this city.  Living here makes me feel a certain freedom being who I am while communing with different nationalities.  Chinatown is one of the places here where multicultural diversity is very evident.  People from all walks of life, whether living here or travelling, are seen enjoying what Sydney has to offer.

People who personally know me and those who follow me virtually (twitter and instagram) know that one of the places I frequent in Sydney is Chinatown.  It is located at Haymarket, between Central Station and Darling Harbour.  

I like having a walk in Chinatown whenever I have an hour or two before meeting up with the Husband after work.  Chinatown is a big place so in this entry, I’ll share with you some of the places I frequent.

So…walk with me?


The centre of Chinatown is in Dixon Street, a pedestrian street mall with lots of Chinese restaurants and shops.  It is here where we sometimes dine at Super Bowl Chinese Restaurant, shop at Morning Glory and have yum cha at another Chinese restaurant (the name escapes me at the moment).

Ever true to theme.  Chinatown has a Tourist Information Booth likened to a small temple.

When craving for Hainanese Chicken Rice, we go to Singapore Shiok! located inside Eating World Food Court.  It’s cheap and the serving’s very generous.

I sometimes devour some freshly-baked Cream Puffs from Emperor’s Garden Restaurant while walking around Chinatown. 
There are a few Asian DVD stores in the city but this store at the north end of Dixon Street is where my Husband and I hang out and buy DVDs/CDs from.  

There are lots of shops/boutiques in Chinatown but the biggest shopping area would have to be Paddy’s Market and Market City, both housed in one building.  This is where one can shop for food, souvenirs, trinkets, clothes, bags and shoes.  In Market City you’ll find factory outlets of Esprit, Cotton On, Giordano, Preview, Rubi, Converse, etc.  They also have a food court and lots of restaurants.


Whenever I’m at Market City/Paddy’s Market, I start walking around Paddy’s Market to look at trinkets and cute items.  Then I go up to Market City and explore the shops.  Once I’m tired from all the walking, I get a drink at Chatime and sit down for a while.

One of my favourite churches in Sydney is located at Chinatown.  I sometimes hear the 5:30pm mass at St. Peter Julian’s Church after work. 

Another area in Chinatown I frequent is the Capitol Square Shopping Centre.  The Husband and I usually meet up here when he needs to buy computer parts.  While waiting for him, I indulge in one of the best hotdogs I know at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels.    



Sometimes I have a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  It is worth mentioning this Starbucks branch because it is the biggest in (probably the whole of) Australia.  It also has a different interior design–they have a bar-like table on the ground level and a long table on second level for people who need to study or for a group of people who need to meet over coffee. 


It is in Capitol Square Building where the Capitol Theatre is housed.  This was where we watched “Phantom of the Opera”, “Love Never Dies” and “Wicked”.
I know there are a lot more things and places I’ve yet to discover in Chinatown and I’m taking my time in unravelling them.  

I hope you enjoy that little walk around Chinatown with me.