I’m excited to introduce Vancouver’s Vincent Ng. We are gong to learn Pinterest with him today. Vincent is a Pinterest specialist that owns marketing agency mcngmarketing. He was introduced to me by friend Alex Yu who I also interviewed. Pininterest is one of those social networks that doesn’t get as much attention as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, I believe Pinterest is an important visual platform that can be used for businesses. It was refreshing to talk about a different social network and learn from Vince. He has about 4000 followers on Pinterest and is a Pinterest speaker at the upcoming Social Media Marketing world in San Diego March 2015, so no doubt he knows his stuff. Thanks to Tree Organic for letting us do the interview at their coffee shop in Yaletown Vancouver. Thanks to Vincent for the interview!
In this video Vincent talks about how he went from a Starbucks manager to getting his early start with Pinterest. He explains to us what it is and how it works. Vincent also explains how to built his following.
In this video Vincent talks about the size of the Pinterest audience and who makes up that audience. The largest user base is in the United States (45-50 million) followed by Canada. He also clarifies that Pinterest is a good fit for businesses looking to reach an American audience. Vincent lists some businesses such as Lululemon, Nordstrom, and other companies that are doing a good job of using Pinterest and perhaps worth studying. We also discuss some of the differences between Pinterest Vs Instagram. Vincent contrasts users behavior between mobile and desktop.
We switch gears to talk about content producing in terms of podcasting. Vincent shares the gear, costs, and some of the realities of podcasting. The launch, relationships, and who you interview are important aspects of the podcast that Vincent mentions.
We continue to talk about how Vincent built his peer relationships as well as the importance of knowing who your podcasting audience is. He talks about not limiting oneself to the local market, which he refers to the marketing of old. Instead he encourages thinking about marketing more globally. Vincent believes that it’s important to give and take and be different to stand out. He shares some other social media gurus he follows, but cautions not to follow someone blindly and use a critical mind. Vince shares a great nugget that reveals not fall in love with the way we deliver the customers problem rather to actually solve the customers problem.
Life after Corporate: What does an Entrepreneur’s Monday morning in Vancouver look like?
I’m visiting Vancouver for a month during the holidays and I’ve already had a chance to see some of my family and friends. On a Sunday night I went for dinner with my friends Dulce and Eliza. It was Sunday night, which is usually the time when we dread the thought of going to the office the next morning. Dulce said “Tomorrow we have to work. Greg you’re so lucky you don’t have to wake up early.” Yes in this aspect I am lucky, but I still have to work. I did a lot of my work upfront the month before so I could relax a bit more in December.
In some ways the Entrepreneur lifestyle I’ve designed gives me the opportunity to choose my schedule and where and when I want to work.
On Monday morning in Vancouver people will drive 20 minutes to an hour one way to the office for an 8-9 hour day. I skip this commute and will wake up about 9:30am and sometimes earlier to fly my drone near the park downtown. I might enjoy a dip in the condo hot tub when it’s not busy and everyone’s working. After I may take a walk for lunch at the local café/grocery store in Vancouver called Urban Fare. I bring my laptop to do some work. They have water, washrooms, good wifi, desk, chairs, booze, and food.
On other days I’ll wake up early to do some work at the local coffee shop Tree Organics and spend the rest of the day with my Mom. I’ve plugged away hard since 2011 to figure out what works and realize this sort of freedom. It’s still early days and I’m not earning nearly as much as I was an IT manager in Vancouver yet. However, the freedom I get for doing something I enjoy when and where I wants means a lot to me. In fact, I can do my work from anywhere in the world with a good Internet connection. One of those countries I’ve chosen to live is Taiwan where I can cover the majority of my living costs with my Internet business. I lived there for more than a year learning Chinese and experimenting with different ways to monetize my passion for Travel and videos.
Vancouver is an expensive city compared to Taiwan so I had to work hard, hustle, and be creative before I arrived to enjoy the freedom I’m having now. If you’re interested in hearing more about my Taiwan experience or my Entrepreneurial businesses I’ll be speaking about this on December 27th. Ticket information is below I hope to see you.
I had an idea to talk about my Taiwan working holiday experience before I returned to Vancouver. I scheduled an event on Eventbrite and was actually surprised once I started getting some ticket sales. After all this was my first paid talk and and an experiment. Once I got to Vancouver I found a great spot at the Tree Organic coffee shop on Pacific and Richards st in Yaletown Vancouver. Thanks for the coffee shop for reserving the space and letting me use the projector. This is a nice quiet coffee shop near the waterfront. After some weeks I started to see more paid tickets and came to the realization that I was actually going to do this talk. I put together some slides on slideshare, but I already knew most of the material I just used it as a reference to keep me on track. I brought out my camera to video record 47 minutes of the talk.
Highlights of the talk
The experience of a Working Holiday in Taiwan and what Taiwan can offer someone in Vancouver
Living in Taiwan
The experience and freedom of leaving a job and go travel the world
Teaching English in Taiwan
Making friends in a new country
Creativity on making your own income through the Internet. Earning a passive income on the Internet writing Amazon kindle books, Teaching on-line travel video courses, freelancing, and selling video footage on the Internet
First this experiment paid off. It feels great that people actually paid to hear me talk. To me that is market validation that I have something of value to share. Second this was the first time using the Eventbrite platform to schedule a paid event and it worked out very well. The third, is that it’s worth it to try and see how it works out. If this talk didn’t workout then it wasn’t the end of the world, but at least I tried. Luckily in this case it did work out, and I already see some things I can improve on for next time.
I really enjoyed doing this paid talk and sharing valuable tips, stories, and experiences with the audience. I would like to do a lot more talks like this around the world as I feel I’ve invested a lot of time especially the last 4 years on experiences that most people will never have the chance to experience. At least they can hear firsthand what is was like to leave the corporate life and have the taste of freedom. I also realize that I don’t really get nervous speaking in front of a crowd anymore. Once upon a time during high school I dreaded speeches. since those days I’ve done so many presentations during the MBA, run many work meetings, and have taught many classes in Taiwan, and talked in front of the camera many times during the past 4 years that I’m just comfortable with it.
If you are looking for another revenue stream and you enjoy public speaking as well and have something of valuable you think others would like to hear then maybe you can try a paid talk like I have.
Video highlights from the event
Here are some highlights of the event. If you wish to purchase the full 47 minute talk in HD just click on red button on the left for the download link.
In the past month I’ve been inspired by success stories from publishing e-kindle books on sites like Patt Flynn’s blog and Meron Bareket’s blog . These sites are right up my alley providing free inspiring podcast’s with real stories from people that are making a good living using passive income methods. I even saw a success story on BBC new’s with someone making a six figure income writing their book over the weekend. The roadblock from getting started by what to write about and the motivation to actually get started and complete the process.
In the past several months I have seen a growing passive income from my stock footage on Pond 5 and Shutterstock. I’ve even recently discovered two on-line teaching platforms that let you create your own course and sell them. The first was Udemy, where I’ve created 2 travel video related courses that have generated some sales, and I have my Gopro video course being made for sale tomorrow. During this process I discovered another teaching platform owned by Shutterstock called Skillfeed. As these teaching platforms are non-exclusive I was able to leverage the same video content to create a course on Skillfeed without too much additional effort. I’ve made at least made a 3 figure US income in 1 month with 2 courses. With several revenue streams I was eager to find the next area on the Internet I could look at building some business.
With some E-book momentum I decided to start on the second title based on my two separate trips to New Zealand. During the first trip I made a series of blog posts I made from my trip in 2010 to the North and South Islands long before Chicvoyage. I’m lucky that it is still on-line as I’ve misplaced some of those pictures and wrote the blog post during that actual trip. The first 18 day trip takes us to such places as the Coromendel, Rotorura, the popular Tongariro Alphine Crossing, Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound, and Auckland.
The second trip took placed under completely different circumstances. I sold my possessions, sold my Acura TL, and my luggage in tow said goodbye to friends and family and left for my second solo filming journey to Auckland for 5 days. I stayed at a Airbnb paradise at the Te Atatu Peninsula with locals to experience life as a local and tap into their knowledge and explore local destinations such as Muriwai beach, Piha, and Waiheke Island.
If you’re curious on the adventure and experiences I went through and like great images and in depth detail on travel details like restaurant menu’s, flight airlines, places I’ve stayed, and revealing popular local destinations like Muriwai beach and Waiheke Island then this book may be for you.
Now onto the Kindle Process. I found there was a lack of information as the sites I Googled for their experience ended up trying to sell me something to help me become a master at this. I decided to just try it out. What did I have to lose?
The Kindle Process
1. The first step was to get the content together into a word document. In my case the raw content was already, but I had to get the content from several sources into one document.
2. Next go straight to the source and download the building your kindle guide from Amazon. This guide covers in great detail the paragraph settings and spacing, formatting for the title, picture standards and more things along those lines. I actually went ahead and created the e-book for New Zealand before looking at this guide. A mistakes as I ended up having to re-insert all my images, remove headers and footers, and many other changes to put my book in a Kindle friendly format.
3. Next I had I got some feedback on the book and cover from Pat Flynn’s Kindle Facebook group. I also emailed family and reached out to friends on Facebook. I got some responses and made some adjustments
4. Next I created a Kindle account on Amazon to provide my information, fill out a tax form, and start providing information on my title. I also downloaded a Kindle Viewer that mimics what your book will look like on different Kindle formats. I heard that this is a must if you don’t have a Kindle.
5. After the word document was in the Kindle format the guide will instruct you to save your document as an HTM file and zip the output. You will then upload this to Amazon
6. Once the upload is finished you have the option to view it with an on-line viewer. Once you click this you can go back and download a file that you can open on your kindle viewer. Note that you may have to download an add-on to get the viewer to work.
7. View your book using the kindle using different formats like Kindle Fire (color) and the black and white formats as well
8. You may find things you need to change. I had to change the table of contents as it looked like garbage on the kindle.
9. After I made the adjustments I had to go through step 5 again. Once this was done on the Amazon site I selected the pricing and whether I wanted to be part of their exclusive program.
10. Next I had to publish the course and then wait. I published it at around 3pm today and checked it at about midnight at it was live!
Whew, the process involved a lot of small steps, but the actual process of getting your files on-line to them publishing it was the same day in my experience. From here I wait to see how it does. If you’re interested in seeing the book there is a link on the picture below.
I’ve decided to spend some time to put together my first Travel Ebook based in Bondi Beach and Sydney Australia documenting my filming adventures.
For the past 4 years I have put out a lot of travel content from videos, blog posts, tweets, and facebook posts. Since making the decision to start my business and making the decision to follow my heart I have been on an interesting journey with many lessons. This journey has taken me to many countries and even as you read this I’m sitting in a café in Taipei, Taiwan putting together this e-book. I wanted to create a series of e-books to share some of these adventures and along the way inform and inspire you explore and travel. I’ve taken many risks such as leaving good corporate jobs twice in Vancouver to selling my apartment and by car. As this is the first e-book I’m sure the books will evolve so I thank you for your patience. We will start in Sydney, Australia and I can tell you I have enough stories and great footage for many more books in countries such as New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan and more. Let’s begin.
See great pictures of the popular Bondi beach and Sydney
See the surf cave where I based myself on airbnb and a direct link to the airbnb listing
Learn about the shocking prices and some survival tips
I provide some of the best spots to enjoy a beer with a view of the Opera House and Harbour bridge and take awesome footage
I share some of the Sydney nightlife
I share my story of how I made some new friends in Sydney
If you interested in a free copy enter in your email and you will be sent a free link to the e-book.
I had lived in Taipei, Taiwan almost a year and during this time I heard lots of positive things from locals about Kenting’s beaches and great weather. It was a 2-hour high-speed train ride and a 2-hour drive south of Taipei. I decided to travel there and see for myself. Kenting is located in the far South of Taiwan. We took the HSR from Taipei to the closest station in Kaosiung called Zuoying左營站. From there we rented a car and took a 2-hour drive down south to Kenting .
Tip: if you have internet on your phone use google maps for audio navigation
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We would have gotten lost if it wasn’t for google maps. The driver’s in Kaoshiung are terrible and you can expect cars to change lanes without signaling, tail-gating, and if you leave a car space in front of you some idiot will attempt to overtake you (by weaving in and out) by using that space.
We stayed at the Kenting Culture Resort, which provided a good value, free breakfast, internet, free water, free parking, and great customer service for about 2000nt a night. It wasn’t right by the beach, but it was quiet and a close drive to all the places we wanted to go.
Our first night we decided to take a 15 minute drive to a seaside hill called Guanshan 關山. I discovered it by accident while searching for the sunset time. I clicked on one of the pictures and found that CNN actually rated this viewpoint for one of he world’s best sunset views. Interesting.
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We drove to Guanshan shortly before sunset with my camera gear and drone. It was packed with people and mosquitos. The views are spectacular to say the least. I also discovered a viewpoint that wasn’t as crowded just a 5 minute walk west of the main viewpoint. We woke up early the next morning just after sunrise for a filming session at that secret viewpoint with no other tourists to compete with.
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After that we decided it was a good time to film the main street, which happens to be Pingtung night market墾丁大街 . I’ve seen a lot of night markets in my one year here. You will see your typical night market fare here as well. What is unique about this night market is that the night market is just on one large street that transforms from a regular street to a night market that you can easily cover in an hour. I could see some interesting accommodation on the second floors of this street and around the area, but could imagine how noisy it could get on most nights. The gem my friend introduced me to was the Mambo Thai restaurant near the end of the strip. It was probably the most authentic and best tasting Pad Thai I’ve had in my life for about 200nt. I’ll just let the picture speak for itself.
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Our hotel was conveniently located across from a famous baozi shop. A baozi is a steamed bun with some filling. This shop was serious about their baozi’s. They had a large selection on their menu and everyday you could watch the staff make them fresh from making the dough to preparing the filling wearing their surgical masks.
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After we decided to check out the lighthouse area and the most Southern point in Taiwan, which was about a 20-minute drive. We parked and walked down to what looked like a teashop for a break and drink. I must mention that the summer down here is blistering hot. The temperatures hover around the mid to high 30’s and the sun is intense. Expect to leave the car air conditioner on “full blast” and it’s a good idea to take regular cold drink breaks. They had an observatory platform to view the ocean. It was special to imagine being at the most southern point of Taiwan. There was still a short distance to walk to the shore, but we could see many tired people coming back that deterred us. We decided to get a coconut milk drink. This was no coconut drink from 7-11. This was the real deal with a straw right into the coconut with pure natural coconut milk. Delicious! We were lucky to get special access to see how he prepared the coconuts, which you may see on our video.
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It was a couple hours before sunshine and it was time for the secret beach known as Baisha (White sand beach). If you want to put it on goggle maps you need the chinese words for it (白沙彎) I had heard so much about. The sign into the beach was discreet and easy to miss. We drove down the driveway as we saw people coming out. We scored a free parking near the ocean and got our stuff. Before you enter the beach there were a couple of older looking Taiwanese women that you had to speak to if you wanted an umbrella and seats. I think it cost 200nt for the package. The beach was busy lined with umbrellas, Taiwanese girls in bikini’s, and local guys trying to dare each other to see who could walk closest to the ocean. I didn’t see any sign of any foreigners or anyone swimming. The sand was awesome, but the waves were really rough. We stayed until sunset. I wish I had a couple more days to enjoy that beach and just decompress.
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Our final stop was at the Houbihu Fishing Port to sample some of the fresh seafood. We had some trouble finding the right place, but there was a large building by the ocean near the wind turbines. We went to the second floor to skip the crowded uncomfortable seating area. I got a small order a sashimi for about 200nt, which is enough for one hungry person. The same amount would probably cost about 100-150nt more in Taipei. I had 3 different types. It was a delicious and inexpensive way to end our Kenting trip.
My local Taiwanese friend Serena told me about the Chinese New Year lantern festival. I looked at the official page and saw that it was held in Pingxi district on Valentines Day. I was debating for days whether to go or not due to the weather. I wasn’t even sure the lanterns would still be able to fly with the rain. I posted a message on their facebook page, and got a response that the lanterns would be able to fly! After watching some of the past pingxi videos I thought I could produce a quality video that was different from the ones in the past.
The weather websites forecasted heavy rain so I packed a large umbrella and our camera gear. We took the train from Taipei Main station to Ruifang and from there we transferred to Pingxi. I’m glad that Serena helped me because catching the trains to Pingxi was a confusing process due to train delays, mostly schedules in chinese, and misinformation. We met some people that were going there as well and pretty much followed them there.
It was heavy rain as predicted when we arrived about 20 minutes before 9pm. We purchased the rain suits to wear over our clothes. The show ended early around 9pm and we rushed to catch the last show. As we were nearing the site, we saw the last batch of lanterns go up without warning. We manage to catch some footage of them, but the wet conditions slowed me down. I had to use some past footage of the lanterns to keep the flow of the video
We were disappointed, but manage to find a tent where they were letting lanterns off individually. This was a blessing in disguise because it gave us an opportunity to talk to some people who were kind enough to talk about their lanterns. As you can see in the video the lanterns go up very quickly. The people we spoke to were genuine, and it was great to people to connect with them on a more intimate level.
It was miserable weather and with the weather it was very difficult conditions to film. However, the genuine happiness from the people we spoke to from the people we spoke to helped to lift our spirits.
We hope you enjoy this video that gives you a different perspective into the pingxi lantern festival than some of the videos in the past have.
Greg is a modern World Explorer, Film-maker, Mobile & Google friendly Website producer, & Entrepreneur at the intersection of travel and technology. He has directed, shot, edited, and produced over 30 high definition travel and lifestyle related videos on Youtube videos in addition to producing ChicVoyage in Asia – modern travel adventures on the Amazon.com store in 2012. He has been instructed by globally renown SLR Director and film-maker Phillip Bloom. His 4 month 2013 journey took him to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
22 days living like a local in Sydney: The journey begins
A several months of planning, anticipation and talking about Australia it was now actually going to happen.
The first order of business was to get set up on a cell phone sim card for a local number in Australia with internet access. I ended up selecting a sim card provided by Yes Optus for $30 for 30 days of high speed access on a 3G network, which is fast enough for youtube, google maps, facebook, and surfing the internet. Vodaphone is a familiar name, but even the employees said that their coverage would be poor in some of the other Australia cities I was going to.
As I have basically sold all my major possessions and savings to make this trip Ive been more frugal than I normally am. As such I’ve been avoiding some luxuries such as cabs and limiting expensive dining out. It takes discipline after having enjoyed these comforts already while working at a good full-time job.
Sydney public transport and helpful Australia
I hate transfers from airport to your place of accommodation in most destinations. If I had the resources I would make this experience better. You should be able to get off the plane and after customs walk directly to your transportation that will take you where you are staying. It’s not rocket science. Back to Sydney so I missed the Eastern shuttle from the airport to Bondi beach area, and now I had my first experience with the Sydney public transportation system. Compared to Singapore, Taipei, and Vancouver I found the system confusing. Many square grids and colored lines and many interconnecting trains with dangerous gaps between the train and the platform. I was surprised that the train itself wasn’t exactly in tip top condition.
On the bright side I had a working cell phone and an Airbnb host to guide me as well as some friendly Australian locals. I asked a local girl at Bondi junction which bus I needed to take and she escorted me right to my bus and helped me with my luggage. I can tell you 18 days into my trip that local Sydney Australians are probably among the most friendly and helpful people that I’ve met. As a Canadian I have taken this friendliness for granted.
The Bondi Crib
As I monitored the blue dot on my Google maps I arrived at the stop at Dorcas street. My host John introduced me to the apartment and the area. This was my first private apartment suite from Airbnb. The spot was an original with the custom sandstone and surf inspired theme. The apartment had everything I needed from wifi, full kitchen, condiments, couch, ping pong table, and washer and dryer. John even provided wetsuit, surf and snorkel gear, which is a value add in my books. This would be a perfect space for a couple of people to enjoy a Bondi surfing retreat for a week.
As soon as I unpacked I made a stop to the local owned Chinese grocery store. I picked up some pasta, some veggies, pasta sauce, milk, and a small bread and the bill came to almost $30. I use a small cup of coffee from Starbucks as a baseline between prices in Vancouver and Sydney. A small coffee in Vancouver goes for about $2. A small coffee at a Sydney Starbucks is $5!, but if you find a local spot (which most are better) the cheapest you will find is $3.50. Good cheap food will go for $10-13. Now I really appreciate the good prices we have in Vancouver. If I was going to survive 2 months Australia I was going to have to be in super frugal mode. This meant shopping for local groceries, taking public transport, and basically questioning every expenditure while still trying to have a decent time. Sounds challenging? Well I was still able to enjoy a local Australian Porterhouse steak dinner by getting two steak cuts for about $8-9 by picking it up from Woolworths (where the locals shop for good priced quality groceries).
The Bondi lifestyle
Bondi is well regarded by locals and from what I’ve read one of the most popular beaches in the world. I will vouch for that. I have seen some of the better beaches in the world from Turks and Caicos, Cancun, Maui and Honolulu. In my opinion Bondi is one of the best beaches because the sand is nice, it is large and spacious (unlike Honolulu), offers free Wifi, is clean, relatively clear water, and it has real waves. Big waves. There is a strong surfing culture. There were large groups of surfers in wetsuits riding waves and even chatted to a couple in the water. I bumped into several on my walk to the beach on their way out or on the way back. You don’t have to go that far out from the beach to catch some good waves. The north side of Bondi has tamer waves that are more beginner friendly while the side closer to Bondi Iceberg is closer to the rocks in the picture with rougher. The waves are very powerful and it’s hard to get far from the shore. I didn’t find this at Honolulu.
tip: use a longer board. 7 foot or longer if you are a beginner. wear a wetsuit as salt water will burn against your stomach and the board.
Bondi is among several other beaches along a seawall path that leads to other beaches such as Bronte, and Tamamara. Each beach has it’s own vibe and characteristics. The locals here come out to walk,tan or jog along this path and at Bondi beach as part of their daily lifestlyle.
There are plenty of shops in the town of Bondi to have a drink and eat. I walked into town on a weekend night in Bondi to get a feel for the nightlife. It felt like a different vibe during the day with a lot of wild young people spilling outside of bars and young people loitering on the street. I enjoy my nightlife, but for some reason this didn’t feel like my scene or that welcoming.
I read much about Bondi Iceberg and felt that I had to at least check it out while I was staying in the area. The camera operator that I hired told me that the Bondi Iceberg club was a bit snooty and I had to arrange a filming with them beforehand. Later during my stay I came there for a drink and found that it was not pretentious as I thought it would be. They just asked for my drivers license and you’re free to order a drink and enjoy it on the patio along with some of the views of Bondi beach. In fact the prices of their beer and wine are very good. I sampled some other spots in Bondi like the Bucketlist bar for a beer and the surf shop for a deep fried Mars Bar. The Bondi Iceberg pool is something I didn’t try. It is not heated and I think the appeal of it for the locals is the heritage and the branding associated with the club.
There are many well located waterfront properties along the beach. I would love to have a vacation home here with the proximity to a world class beach, good year round weather, and it’s just about 25 minutes away from the Sydney CBD. to top it off there are many great adjacent beaches if you walk along the beach path known as the coastal walk.
Celebrating my birthday in the Sydney CBD
I found an excellent and attractive masseuse at Bondi iceberg, and treated myself to one with her to start out my birthday in Sydney. My masseuse had suggested checking out Watsons Bay. I made a mental note. Sydney is a huge area. Good thing my next Airbnb host offered to pick me up from my place at Bondi. I based myself in the neighborhood of Surrey Hills using Airbnb, a good neighborhood located a short 10 minutes walk to the CBD area. I started by exploring on foot to get familiar with the streets and my surroundings. I started by doing some grocery shopping at the local IGA. I had never once experienced a birthday in a city where I knew just about no one. I felt that I had to at least have a drink and attempt to make some friends. I quickly search the meetup site and found an informal entrepreneur event where beers were allowed. I walked and navigated myself using Google maps and asking people directions. At the event I had a good chat, drank some beer, and exchanged some business cards. Like some meetups in Vancouver this one felt like a superficial crowd and didn’t feel like I made many genuine connections with exception with one couple from New Zealand. I reached a point where I was ready to leave and try to see Iron Man 3 by myself. I found the main movie theater on George street and was not allowed in the movie theater because I brought my SLR camera. I decided not to risk leaving it with their office and sadly headed home.
I walked down Elizabeth street checking out the various asian restaurants. The Mcdonalds cheeseburger meal wasn’t going to suffice as dinner after all it was my birthday. I was reading the menu of a Thai restaurant when I bumped into the New Zealand couple from the meetup that were doing their Avatar conference just up the road. They kindly offered to invite me for dinner at this restaurant. We had a good conversation and the couple suggested that I visit an area called New Town while in Sydney. Funny how things worked out that night. There are some good people in this world. I hope you’re reading this. Thank you.
Tip: It’s a good idea to get familiar with your local area on foot or on bike.
Surrey Hills & the Nightlife
Located just south of the main attractions Surrey Hills is a suburb lined with character homes with unique second floor terraces and cafe’s. It is a safe neighborhood during the day, but at night especially during the weekend I found much of the nightlife crowd makes their way through this area during the weekend. I did reserve a Friday night to sample some nightlife just a 4 minute walk away from my place. First stop was the H bar, which appeared to be a happening spot for a drink on a Friday. I snagged the only seat available on the outside bar for a sparking champagne. To figure out my next stop I asked the bar tender who suggested the wild rover and the Playbar just a minute away. Next stop was the Playbar. A bouncer guarded the door, but as I approached he greeted me and let me in. There was a good vibe in this place, with a live dj, and some benches to sit. I grabbed a quick drink and took some footage before moving onto the Wild Rover.
The Wild Rover looked intimidating from the outside. A darkly lit building with people coming in and out guarded by a bouncer. As I walked closer I mentioned I was referred here by H bar to come have drink and was let in. This place was a controlled chaos. Limited seating with some table and seats by the bar with the majority of the space standing room only. Bar tenders dressed in smart outfits and with the crowd appearing to have a good time socializing with their group. Not the most solo friendly space but an interesting spot to check out on both floors and have a good beer. I ended the night by walking 5 minutes down Campbell street where you’ll find many of the Asian restaurants. I enjoyed a good meal of Korean Jap Chae noodles at the Campbell food court
Tip: Ask local bar tenders for suggestions for bars and lounges if you are unsure. They are usually in the know.
3 Sisters & the making a good friend on the Meetup Coogee Coastal Walk Hike
I decided to take half the day to get out of the city and take the train to go see an attraction called the 3 sisters. You take the train to small town and catch the bus to get off and take pictures of 3 pointed rocks known as the 3 sisters. Sorry I’m not getting too excited about this one, but the attraction did attract bus loads of chinese tourists that I had to compete with to get some decent pictures. If you’ve got some time in Sydney and want to get out of town to see an attraction then this is one idea. Personally I would like recommend spending your time seeing the Sydney Opera, Harbour Bridge, or the Coogee Coastal walk before even thinking about the 3 sisters.
Speaking of the Coogee coastal walk I joined a meetup group called the Sydney Bushwalking Meetup to do this walk with a group. We would meet at the Circular Quay , the location where you would catch ferries and also see the Sydney Opera House, the Rocks, and the Harbour Bridge. We met our group and I immediately hit it off with an attractive UK expat. We got took the Ferry to Watson’s bay and snapped some shots of the Sydney skyline and along the coast. The walk is a great way to get some sunshine and exercise while enjoying the beautiful ocean and views along the coast. We walked past Bondi and Bronte beach and stopped at our destination at Coogee beach. During the walk I had a glimpse into expat life as one of the girls who had been living there told me that it was frustrating making friends with other expats because they would leave shortly after they met. Her solution and tip was to join associations that were more established like tennis clubs and make friends there. By the time we arrived at Coogee I found out my UK friend had a South African boyfriend, but we exchanged contacts to do dinner in Newtown before I left. Coogee was a nice family friendly beach to have a bbq or a picnic. Most of the group was too tired to BBQ after the hike so we picked up some kebabs and beer before I caught the bus back. A productive day where I got some exercise, some shots, and made a new friend.
Saving the best for Last: The Opera house & the Harbour Bridge
Before I traveled to Sydney the image of Opera house was the image I envisioned when I thought about Sydney. To me it was an iconic structure and I had to all type of shots of it before my trip was over. To get to the Opera house you go to the circular quay. You have to walk about 10 minutes from there until you get to it. The first sight of it will have you reaching for your camera. It is indeed amazing. I recommend taking pictures of it during the day and night time and from both sides of the Harbour Bridge to cover all the angles. I walked inside it to check it out and use the bathroom. If I had budget I would probably have seen a show, but instead I chose to enjoy an organic tap beer at the Opera Bar. This bar is happening and you can enjoy it sitting my a heat lamp at night or by an outside table as you enjoy prime seats of the Opera House and the Harbour bridge. One sunny day I decided to reward myself after I filmed and enjoyed a beer and a pizza at this Opera Bar. It was one of my highlights of the Sydney trip and I savored every minute of it.
The harbour bridge is also a significant structure and I recommend walking across it. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to walk on top of the bridge you can spend around $11 halfway through the bridge and climb to the top. At the top there is a viewpoint where you can enjoy amazing 360 degrees views of the Opera house, the bridge and the people climbing it, and more. I also recommend to continue walking to the other side of the bridge where you will be rewarded with views of the Sydney skyline and another angle of the Opera House. If you plan it well you can get to the other side by sunset to take evening shots. Just when you thought you got all the best pictures try taking the ferry back to circular quay instead of walking back across the bridge. You will get picture angles of the Opera house that a good percentage of the tourists had never thought of.
Tip: Try taking the ferry to Manley beach from circular quay. Its a worthwhile trip on its own and you’ll get good photo ops of the Opera house from the ferry.
Newtown & Brekkie
On my last evening I met with my UK friend at the Newtown train station for dinner (she is camera shy btw) Newtown was packed with restaurants on both sides of the street. We decided to try a vietnamese restaurant. The next morning I decided to sample some brekkie in Surrey Hills. I settled on a spot referred by locals called Reuben Hills. The portion was small, but good quality and I ended up tagging some good tracks on my Shazam so I was happy. Back at the Surrey Hills mansion I had my bags packed and was about to open the door for the shuttle when I saw it drive by and stop at the street. I chased it down in my socks and the Airbnb host got him to drive back in front of the house. We said our goodbyes. Next stop a return to Auckland.
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Produced by Greg Hung for Chicvoyage Productions 2013
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I’ve lived in Vancouver since 1995 and being the explorer and active person that I am believe I know the city well and I hope that visitor’s can get inspired and informed to visit Vancouver in the summer. I hope that Vancouverites feel proud of the city they live in because after traveling to all the countries because in my experience there isn’t too many cities I can think of that can compete with Vancouver in the summer. The beautiful mountain backdrop against the city, the world class ski resort mountains of cypress and grouse mountain, the active lifestyle along the seawall, and the hip area of Gastown and Yaletown and so much more. This video features host Alison from the successful Vancouver Nightlife I produced and currently the most viewed video for Vancouver nightlife. It also features my friend and part-time mode Catherine C showcasing Main street and the grouse grind hike of Vancouver.
The footage in this video is available for licensing
ChicVoyage offers high quality global travel content (videos, pictures, entertainment) available for licensing.