24 Hours in Sydney – A Korean Perspective
One of the best things about Sydney is there are a whole range of people here from all corners of the globe. So whenever I feel like talking to someone with a different view on life, I can just start up a conversation with someone and suddenly the world looks different.
Of course, it helps when you also work as an ESL teacher, and have students who will happily engage in all manner of conversation topics. This week we discussed how different people would spend 24 hours in Sydney, and we came up with some very interesting ideas. Jay, a Korean student from my class lives in the beautiful suburb of Rhodes, a waterside area 16 kms west of the city centre with some great walking areas, parks and cafes, and he wanted to share some of his ideas (including some top restaurant picks) with me. So without further ado, here’s a different perspective on how to spend 24 hours in Sydney.
Early Morning – Rhodes Brunch by the Water
Love an early start to the morning? Catching some early morning sun by the water is such a great way to start the morning. One of the most peaceful places to catch those morning rays is by the water in Rhodes. It’s easily accessible by train to Rhodes station, then simply exit on the shopping centre side, head to the back of the centre, and head out the back exit to the walkway. Grab some bites from one of the cafes in the centre or head over to Bare Witness for a scrumptious brunch with a waterview. Then walk it off at your leisure.
Morning – Rhodes/Concord West Waterside Walks
If you can tear yourself away from the cafes, try one of the fantastic coastal walks along the seaside. There’s the Rhodes foreshore walk that stretches from McIlwaine Park in the Rhodes to Majors Bay Reserve in Concord. You’ll pass mangrove-fringed Brays Bay, Yaralla Bay and Majors Bay on the Parramatta River. Be prepared to share the trail with joggers, as this is a favourite among locals who like to fit fit.
There’s also Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway covers more than 800 metres from Rhodes Station to Concord Hospital in Sydney’s inner-west. This walk commemorates the Kokoda campaign and features commemorative plaques and tropical vegetation simulating the conditions of The Kokoda Track. Take this track all the way to the old Concord Mental Asylum and see where the Great Gatsby was filmed, or just appreciate the gloomy surroundings of what is one of the creepiest buildings in Sydney. Afterwards find Concord West station and head to Meadowbank, which is less than a 10-minute ride.
Lunch – on the Ferry to Watson’s Bay
This mightn’t sound like the most obvious pit stop from Meadowbank, but you can get there all the way by ferry. This is a slightly longer trip than usual, but there’s no better way to enjoy the sights of Sydney than by ferry, so why not make a trip out of it? Take a packed lunch (Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre food court has some great options), sit back and enjoy the midday sunshine as you leave the trains and busses and people behind. Change ferries at Circular Quay and make your way over to Watson’s Bay.
Afternoon – Watson’s Bay
As one of Sydney’s most picturesque suburbs, Watson’s Bay is a haven away from the usual tourist trail. Get barefoot and paddle on the water at Camp Cove Beach, then head up to the Watson’s Bay Hotel for a refreshing ale or two. Watson’s Bay is home to one of Sydney’s most famous fish restaurants, Doyle’s, so if you’re still feeling hungry, get some takeaway fish or hot chips. Just make sure the seagulls don’t get at them first.
Dinner and Evening – Koreatown, Town Hall
Catch the ferry back to the city and head down to Town Hall to a great Korean restaurant called DonDon (636-638 George St.), a homestyle Korean restaurant specialising in pork and noodles. Jokbal is the specialty dish and is a concoction of pig’s trotters cooked with soy sauce and spices. It is usually braised in a combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and rice wine. But if you’re not a fan of pork, Jay tells me the spicy chickens’ feet are just as good, or the steamed eggs if you’re aiming to avoid feet completely. The Bulgogi at 116 Liverpool Street is another winner.
And while you’re in the CBD, why not check out some of the small bars on offer. Small bars have been popping up in the CBD since 2012 and there’s something for everyone from hole-in-the-wall cocktails to specialty whisky, rum and gin bars, and laid-back craft beers. Most of all remember, there’s something to do in all parts of Sydney, so get out of the usual touristy hotspots and see what else is out there. You might get knocked over by the odd local jogger on their rounds, but hey, what could be more Sydney than that?