ES­CAP­ING ASIA

Asia Dreams - - CONTENTS -

To wrap up this edi­tion, we take a re­fresh­ing break in Syd­ney and sam­ple its daz­zling mix of world-class cuisines, renowned art in­sti­tu­tions and rich cul­tural her­itage – just touch­ing the tip of Syd­ney's de­lights.

The home of the in­dige­nous Abo­rig­ines for 30,000 years, Syd­ney was set­tled by the Bri­tish in 1788 as a pe­nal colony, trans­formed into a colo­nial out­post in the mid-19th cen­tury and has since flour­ished into a ma­jor fi­nan­cial, arts and cul­tural hub.

The state cap­i­tal of New South Wales, Syd­ney is cur­rently the most pop­u­lous city in Aus­tralia, fol­lowed closely by Mel­bourne. Boast­ing the world’s largest nat­u­ral har­bour, fa­mous ar­chi­tec­ture such as the iconic Syd­ney Opera House and count­less world-class fine-din­ing es­tab­lish­ments, it’s easy to see why Syd­ney con­sis­tently ranks as one of the top tourist des­ti­na­tions in the world.

More than 250 dif­fer­ent lan­guages are spo­ken in Syd­ney, mak­ing it one of the most multi-cul­tural cities in the world. Roughly a third of Syd­ney-siders are born overseas, re­flect­ing Aus­tralia’s ded­i­ca­tion to its in­te­gra­tion pol­icy. A ver­i­ta­ble melt­ing pot of di­verse eth­nic­i­ties, the vi­brant city is a haven of cul­tural tra­di­tions, trends and cuisines.

A DAZ­ZLING MIX OF WORLD-CLASS CUISINES, RENOWNED ART IN­STI­TU­TIONS AND A RICH CUL­TURAL HER­ITAGE IS BUT A SAM­PLER OF THE FULL EX­TENT OF DE­LIGHTS THAT SYD­NEY, THE JEWEL OF THE SOUTH­ERN HEMI­SPHERE, HAS TO OF­FER.

STAY

As a tourist hotspot and a global fi­nan­cial hub, Syd­ney is home to count­less five-star ho­tels, re­sorts and more af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions for visi­tors. Trav­ellers look­ing for ex­quis­ite ac­com­mo­da­tion with world-class fa­cil­i­ties need look no fur­ther than Hil­ton Syd­ney. Strate­gi­cally lo­cated in the heart of Syd­ney's cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict, guests can en­joy stun­ning views of the city and the ho­tel's lux­u­ri­ous ameni­ties, while rev­el­ling in the sights, smells and sounds of some of the city's most stun­ning tourist at­trac­tions.

For tourists look­ing for some­thing closer to na­ture, The Re­treat at Wise­mans is a win­ning choice. With 54 hand­some rooms, the lux­u­ri­ous re­treat boasts com­pre­hen­sive ameni­ties in­clud­ing a lush golf course, tennis courts, swim­ming pools and mas­sage rooms. Per­fect for an in­ti­mate gath­er­ing or larger event, the re­sort is equipped with a beau­ti­fully man­i­cured wed­ding gar­den, with a gazebo over­look­ing the beau­ti­ful Hawkes­bury River. A visit to the Syd­ney cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict is a short one-hour drive away, mak­ing the re­sort a per­fect choice for guests look­ing for tran­quil ac­com­mo­da­tion.

SEE

The hard­est thing ev­ery tourist faces is choos­ing from the count­less at­trac­tions in Syd­ney. At­tempt­ing to see them all would be close to im­pos­si­ble in a week­long visit. Tourists would be re­miss not to visit Syd­ney's iconic land­mark,the Syd­ney Opera House. The win­ner of an in­ter­na­tional de­sign com­pe­ti­tion in 1957, the scin­til­lat­ing de­sign was dreamt up by revered Dan­ish ar­chi­tect Jørn Ut­zon. Opened on 20th Oc­to­ber 1973, the Syd­ney Opera House has since won mul­ti­ple pres­ti­gious awards and was re­cently hon­oured as a UNESCO World Her­itage Site in 2007. Host to well over 1,500 per­for­mances in a typ­i­cal year, visi­tors are highly en­cour­aged to catch a daz­zling art event at the Syd­ney Opera House dur­ing their stay.

A trip to Syd­ney wouldn't be com­plete with­out a visit to the fa­mous Syd­ney Fish Mar­ket. A short 2-km trip from the Syd­ney cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict, the mar­ket is

the world's third largest fish mar­ket.

The mar­ket is sec­tioned into the bustling fish port, the rau­cous whole­sale fish mar­ket, as well as the full-ser­vice re­tail mar­ket, show­cas­ing a mind-bog­gling va­ri­ety of fresh seafood com­ple­mented by del­i­catessens, sushi bars, fruit and veg­etable mar­kets, a cook­ing school and even florists!

DIN­ING

The va­ri­ety of din­ing op­tions makes Syd­ney a per­fect des­ti­na­tion for hol­i­day­ing gour­mands. From eth­nic cuisines as di­verse as Per­anakan to fine­din­ing molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy, there is some­thing for ev­ery­one in Syd­ney.

Guests look­ing for some­thing to sa­ti­ate their crav­ing for Asian food can head over to Chat Thai restau­rant at Hay­mar­ket. Walk­ing through the sleek modern glass door, visi­tors are treated to a riot of tan­ta­lis­ing smells from the kitchens. Equipped with a quirky snack kitchen to the side of the en­trance, first-timers to Chat Thai are eas­ily iden­ti­fied by their propen­sity to pause and mar­vel at the mouth-wa­ter­ing street desserts cooked fresh in the mini kitchen. Visi­tors are known to gorge them­selves on sweet de­lights such as co­conut rice dumplings (khanon krok), tapi­oca and rice flour with shred­ded co­conut (kanom duang) while com­pletely for­get­ting about mains such as the beau­ti­ful char-grilled pork shoul­der served with smoked chilli and tamarind rel­ish (kor mhy yaang).

For visi­tors cu­ri­ous to sur­vey what Syd­ney's finest have to of­fer, head over to Sepia at Dar­ling Har­bour. Fa­mous for its con­tem­po­rary and ad­ven­tur­ous food com­bi­na­tions, Sepia's con­cept of Ja­panese fine din­ing with a Western touch is one not to be missed. The per­fec­tion­ist Ja­panese na­ture is vis­i­ble in ev­ery sin­gle de­tail at Sepia, from the im­mac­u­late ori­en­tal brush­work on dis­play, the per­fect ta­ble­side man­ner of the staff to the sump­tu­ous cui­sine on of­fer. Visi­tors can pick from a five- or nine-course menu, fea­tur­ing tan­ta­lis­ing fresh seafood flown in from Ja­pan, as well as the fresh­est hand­picked Aus­tralian ar­ti­san pro­duce. For an un­for­get­table din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, try the tea-match­ing menu, done to sump­tu­ous per­fec­tion, a sig­na­ture of the restau­rant's lofty stan­dards.

King Crab Green To­mato Hi­jiki Heir­loom To­mato

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