After we experienced the first part of our trip visiting South Korea and enjoying the hospitality of the wonderful Koreans, and enjoying their food, we had to wonder if it was possible if there would be a significant let-down when we’d get to Australia.  Would the people seem less friendly?  Would the food seem not so amazing as in Korea?

Well, it is of course very hard to compare.  One thing Shirley and I love about traveling, as we told each other several times, is it is an adventure.  Every place is different, and the best way to enjoy international traveling is to embrace the culture, its people’s, and to learn and enjoy the experience, especially enjoy how it is different from how we live in the U.S.

We were pleasantly surprised that, after a few hours or maybe a day of culture shock after we arrived in Sydney, we really got comfortable with the style of the Aussies.  They are an easy-going and fun people too.  I frankly love how it is really quite true that they say “G’Day” a lot (but maybe not all the time).  When you depart from them they often say that phrase.  Many people called me “Mate” and I found it wonderful. 

Instead of saying the simple phrase we use “no problem” they would say “no worries” often in the context when you would say “thank you” for doing something for them. 

Another thing we loved about Sydney is how diverse it is.  This is one of the few countries I have visited that seems as ethnically diverse as the U.S.  It is indeed dominated by native Australians and Brits, but we saw many Asians, Middle Easterners and many others.  That was very refreshing.

As for the food, as a major city of apparently over 2 million people, Sydney has a good collection of restaurants.  Sydney is a very expensive city.  But like Seoul, after a few days we found the best deal for eating.  And clearly it is in Chinatown.  We went out with two other colleagues, and the four of us ate about 6 or 7 dishes, and the whole meal cost $54 Aussie dollars (nearly the same as US dollars).  When we looked the restaurants in Chinatown, nearly everyone of them was ranked 80% or higher.

If we have a complaint, it is that Sydney and Australia really is behind the times in terms of internet.  It seems few hotels consider internet standard fare to include with the hotel.  It is about $20 or more per night.  And after we stayed at the first place for three nights, we checked out and our internet bill alone was $117!