$7 ticket can’t go wrong

Early Good Friday morning, at 6:20 four of us hopping on a Mana bus to Auckland holding a baby seat and a three-wheeled pram.

Ticket was issued about two weeks before, and costed us $7 each one way to Auckland plus $1 booking fee, so $28 all up each way. Even cheaper than driving up, let alone the hassle of finding a place to park the car.

A brand new Volvo double decker bus manufactured in Tauranga under Volvo license.

DSCF5983 DSCF5985

The Mana party’s ex-parliamant members run the business and the Kim dot Com manages the booking web site, so everything works so perfect to keep the price down.

The bus has two conference tables(or at least on which you can put your laptop) on the lower cabin, and there are power sockets each seat with a free wifi(both for 240V and 5V USB).  Of course you will have a toilet if it is not blocked.

On board, they offered a welcome drink of coffee or tea served with a chocolate cookie but the hot water was so stink with Chlorine smell. Anyway where on earth you would get a free tea, an internet, laptop concection and a leather seat for $7?

DSCF5966 DSCF5973 DSCF5933

Well, You can’t make a Easter story without a Easter Bunny, proudly Korean-made easter bunny on board.

DSCF5935

This is the free tea and a cookie.

DSCF5913

The bus pulls in for Hamilton, Manukau and finally Auckland’s Customs street, but continues all the way to Whangarei. Yep these guys are tough Maoris once Mana party warriors now drivers and conductors.

 

Well, You would not expect all the shops and restaurants open on the Good Friday, neither do I. Only breakfast option gets us at McDonald.

DSCF5994

For the bunny, it’s cookie time.

DSCF6009

Upon acknowleging on the fact that we got no shops or department stores for shopping, the only other options we can possibly enjoy will be having food all day and a walking tour of central Auckland with a style. Sounds nice, smells even better.

Family turning the pram around away from the department store after making sure the door is locked.

DSCF6017

Around the Viaduct harbour, some metal piece arts make a good stop for a Kodak moment.

100_8430

DSCF6062

DSCF6057

Lots of people enjoying a noble breakfast at the pier cafe by the sea.

100_8440100_8454

People in line waiting for a ferry to Waiheke island.

100_8457

We are slowly walking toward uphill on Queen St. just wanting to see a bit of vibrant scene on the way and some street eateries if any.

100_8460 100_8462

The side small alley ways off Queen St. have some of best cafe scenes in CBD with a regular clientele support.

100_8473

Talking about Korean restaurants….There are 20 or more hole-in-wall snack bars and restaurants serving Korean foods or Japanese-Korean fusion foods, targeting on Asian students, around Queen street.

Korean sausage or Soon-Dae, made with minced meat, spices, pig’s blood, is a sure thing that one needs to acquire the taste, but if you are a decent Maori you will enjoy it as Maoris eat anything that smells like food.

100_8482 100_8491

The twin tower in blue hue.

100_8493

The Civic theatre shining back the sunshine.

100_8498

Pretty tacky fake food display in an Indian snack bar that would deter the potential spice lovers to other places.

100_8505

We decide to make a pit stop for an early lunch at one of Korean restaurant. Look at the empty Sake bottles stacked up on the wood frame. Full of Korean Sake-ish alcoholic drink ads cover the wall.

DSCF6080

Too dark inside to get the right feel of the food, so forced the flash to pop. This is the spicy roasted pork on a hot plate with rice, only $10.

DSCF6085

Now for my daughter, spicy squid on the hot plate, another $10 dish, well it wasn’t bad at all.

DSCF6086

Out for a dessert drink to neutralize the spice of the Korean food, and we find a queue for a tea shot.

100_8506

Chartime is the name of the shop dealing only teas with some exotic flavours added on. The black pearl tea(or Zenzhu Nei cha, Chinese calls it) for a medium size cup costs only $5.50 and has the taste 95% identical to its original. Two thumps up.

DSCF6088  DSCF6094

Oh my pearl tea. I ordered one with 80% sugar(20% less sugar than ordinary cup) but it was still too sweet. You may go with 50% sugar.

DSCF6096

Yep you are right. We got here from Rotorua all the way only to have this smile from my daughter. This smile only cracks up when her tongue curls up with an exotic tea or when stupid One-direction is on TV.

DSCF6108

Easter bunny, it is your day, drink hard and get pissed.

DSCF6117

We were too full to try this Spanish long stick called Churro, basically everyone passing this patch of footpath ordered one. Looked pretty oily to me.

DSCF6090

A young lovely couple munching Churro , Chur bro.

DSCF6114

Another black pearl tea shop just a block away from Chartime….No one goes in.

DSCF6120 DSCF6112

I like the way you holding the water bottle, man. Don’t be surprised if the water tastes sour.

DSCF6122

This apartment block built by Japanese Samurai, the sharp edge of the right corner resembles a Samurai sword.

DSCF6126 DSCF6136

A Korean meat BBQ buffet, $18 for lunch and $20 for dinner, very good value if you are a meat lover. We wanted to try but all the tables were already filled up.

DSCF6144

A Chinese dumpling house on upper Queen street.

DSCF6145

Cinema, cafe, and a food court. Not the premium quality but just adequate for any budget and variety.

DSCF6151 DSCF6152

A Korean restaurant specializing BibimBaab, aptly named Baab(literally meaning rice). You can choose your own veg, sauce and toppings and mix with hot sauce, and pay accordingly less than $12. Good for your taste adventure. The Bibija means Let’s mix.

DSCF6154

A Japanese Donburi(simple meat topping on rice) and Bento(literally meaning ‘lunch box’) corner.

DSCF6156

I still don’t know how to pronounce this cafe, OKO or KO or CKC or what? Specializing dessert and sweets. The free trial dish was mean.

DSCF6160 DSCF6162 DSCF6164 DSCF6165 DSCF6166

Look at the map on the wall drawn with coffee beans. Can you count how many beans used to make New Zealand?  Four…and How many for Australia? So shut up. We are just worth of 4 beans.  Hmmm Can you spot how many beans for Korea? Answer is humble ONE.

DSCF6170

If you got money, you don’t have to walk like us. Hop on and off this yellow Explorer bus all day which costs $45 per person.

DSCF6177

A Korean sign saying “Charcoal grilled spare rib” Oh I can’t resist.

DSCF6183

We walk and walk because we got no destination to stop.

DSCF6184 DSCF6187

Slowly toward SKY tower.

DSCF6192

Oh lovely Kombi in yellow. Yellow means freedom.

DSCF6195 DSCF6198

Looks like a missile aimed to Koutu.

DSCF6200 DSCF6203

Damn, the casino is closed for Good Friday. My gambling money can go for a luxury dinner.

DSCF6205 DSCF6207 DSCF6213

Um, this tree, just in front of Gloria Jeans coffee shop by SKY city, is a genuine coffee tree. I wonder how many people have noticed this. I knew this from the first sight and have never seen this size of coffee tree in NZ. Very healthy, bearing some coffee cherries ripe.

DSCF6222 DSCF6223

When the coffee tree touches the top of SKY tower, It will be the end of the world and you will remember my warning.

DSCF6224

I thought this cafe scene is much more like we are in Malaysia, in Penang island perhaps?

DSCF6225

On the way to the Art Gallery, going through this small cobble stone square with seats, good for taking a nap or reading books, googling or eating your lunch.

DSCF6230 DSCF6231

I’m a Feminist and will fight until this painting changes its title to ” Men’s Suffrage
Centenary”

DSCF6233

All the guys watching two girls walking down the alley but I’m not. I’m watching the viewfinder of my camera. Call me a Saint.

DSCF6234

Another Korean restaurant or a bar? Don’t know.

DSCF6237

A couple about to kiss. The man wearing a hard helmet, yep the kissing a girl can damage men’s brain so protection is needed. Once your brain’s damaged like mine, there is no going back.

DSCF6239

Wow. Art Gallery is open on Good Friday.

DSCF6241 DSCF6243

My second daughter explaining something to the youngest one.

DSCF6248

In Art Galley, watching people watching the exhibition is a part of Art, I guess.

DSCF6250

One of paintings that attracted my eyes the most. It’s like a photo taken with a 50mm prime lens at aperture f1.8.

DSCF6252

My favorite picture of all in this Auckland hangout. Perfect contrast and colour and angle taken from 2nd floor.

DSCF6253

My kids taking picture in front of the bubble art.

DSCF6255

A person surrounded by all concrete blocks, um my art contribution to the gallery.

DSCF6269

On the way to Auckland University, we got Albert park. Lots of family walkers.

DSCF6270DSCF6273 DSCF6274 DSCF6279

We decided to stroll down to Auckland Uni. as my first daughter will apply for this one next year.

DSCF6285 DSCF6294 DSCF6303 DSCF6305

This tree ‘ Hibiscus’ is the national flower of Korea, beautifully in full blossom.

DSCF6306

Some where up hill in wood land in the Uni’s campus

DSCF6309

DSCF6314

A mandarin tree showing dark green fruit in the campus.

DSCF6316

Back on the road, iron gate covered with ivy vines.

DSCF6329

Well everyone knows ‘Shortland’ Street, this simple patch of nothing.

DSCF6337

A perfect hanging pot shining the city bright and warm on Shortland street.

DSCF6338

Just before a cafe entrance meets some huge pots texturing the ambience. Lovely landscaping.

DSCF6342 DSCF6343

A side cafe street backed up by an apartment dwelling. Feels like an Art Deco.

DSCF6344 DSCF6346DSCF6347

A table setting with pot plants on the cobble. You gotta be noble to seat and call your waiter.

DSCF6350

In Auckland, you will see all the fortunate coffee roasters name in the street like these, one of them is MOJO.

DSCF6352

Low angled picture to capture the grain of the cobbles and the back ground.

DSCF6355

Another big name in the coffee industry. Atomic coffee.

DSCF6356 DSCF6357 DSCF6359

This shopping mall was closed and don’t go down to the food court unless you want to be in a middle eastern souq chaos with unpleasant spice smell.

DSCF6363 DSCF6367

Before catching the bus back, we popped in a Korean restaurant serving Chajang, a Korean black sauce pasta noodle. Yep bunny, drink another shot and get pissed hard.

DSCF6378

This is Chajang, loved by all Koreans for generations for $10.

DSCF6380

This one come with half Chajang and the other half,  Champong, a spicy seafood noodle soup for $14.

DSCF6382 DSCF6386

The pissed bunny, now guarding the pram while we are eating, looks pretty sober though.

DSCF6390

Waiting for the Mana bus, this damn bus supposed to be here at 7 pm, turned up 10 past eight. The ticket says the bus depart at stop number 7020 but it was 7026 around corner about 50m down from 7020 opposite the britomart train station.

DSCF6393

The stairs in the bus.

DSCF6397

Well this was our trip to Auckland and hope you enjoyed it. My style is always the same. No sightseeing or paying big money on admission to kelly talton or similar, just walking and eating and drinking. Thanks.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s