Mell and I just had Vietnamese pho at Mekong a couple blocks away (will blog about the place and other restaurants for sure) at Swanston street, and I decided to process pictures taken in the last two days and share some of them here.
Melbourne City night view, taken from Franklin/Swanston
I stay at the Verve apartment with Mell. The building is located at the corner of Swanston and Franklin, the edge of the busiest part of the city. At 20 odd floors, you get to see pretty much the whole city. It is rather magnificient, especially at night.
The city is very well planned, roads are relatively wide with very pedestrian friendly side walks that are, at places, wider than the roads for automobiles. Walking is pretty much the main mode of transportation here, every intersection is equipped with pedestrian traffic lights that not only blinks, but beeps too (for the blind). Very handy.
a typical Melbourne city tram
Crisscrossing the city are the electric trams. You can get on the tram for $3.70 (valid for 2 hours). Most of the trams stops at the middle of the road, unless it is a one-way street, like the one on the photo above. The trams are pretty much like the LRT without the elevated tracks, and running on a much slower pace.
State Library of Victoria
Queen Victoria Village – QV
There are also dedicated cycling lanes in most roads, I guess cycling works best during this time of the year when temperature hovers around the low twenties and mid teens.
the ceiling of Melbourne Central
To travel to the suburbs or further, the train stops at Melbourne Central, which is doubles as one of the larger shopping complexes in the city. There’s cinema, restaurants, shops, and an office tower. Interestingly, the Melbourne Central railway station used to be called Museum.
a mini cooper at the intersection
While cars are a lot more affordable, it is quite a bitch to find parking spaces in the city without breaking your bank. Since public transportation is very good in the city anyway, there is virtually no traffic jam in the city.
a restaurant by Lygon Street
The city is pretty much overrun by Asian. I did not see any whites at all on the first night. The sidewalk of Swanston street (the busiest street in Melbourne) is basically 80% Chinese.
Lygon Street, however, looks more like the Australia I expected. We had lunch with Pinky and Kit and actually were the minority. The place is littered with many Italian restaurants, and appropriately referred to as Little Italy of Melbourne.
Chinatown in Melbourne
Little Bourke Street is a little one-way road that is the whole Chinatown of Melbourne, which, incidentally, is also the oldest Chinatown in Australia. Like most Chinatown in the world, there are plenty of Chinese restaurants everywhere. We had lunch at a restaurant called Red Silk on Sunday and it was actually rather delicious.
I’ll attempt to create a food map for this city (as much as I can anyway), so watch this space!