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China-Australia Ties: There's more than kangaroos on Sydney's streets

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

08-16-2017 11:38 BJT

By Tom McGregor, CCTV.com Panview commentator and editor

Editor's Note: CCTV.com Panview was invited to Sydney, Australia; Aug. 8-10, by Australian-based property developer Crown Group. Panview commentator and editor, Tom McGregor visited scenic spots and met local officials, reporters and business people to get a better understanding on how China-Australia relations have created win-win scenarios for both nations.

In the 1980s, a Hollywood blockbuster film, 'Crocodile Dundee,' had depicted the usual Australian stereotypes. The main character, starring Paul Hogan, played a rugged cowboy from the Outback wilderness.

Film-goers were led to believe that the country is swarming with koala bears and kangaroos. And since the USA and Australia were separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, few Americans have visited the nation.

Sydney

Sydney

So it came with much fanfare to visit Sydney, even for a few brief days, in order to see the real Australia of today.

Open for business

Upon arrival, one recognizes Sydney deserves recognition as Australia's financial hub. The Sydney Stock Exchange and the country's leading corporations are mainly located in the Central Business District (CBD).

The CBD looks similar to other downtown areas in major cities around the world, but you can also take a stroll for stunning seaside views.

At the harbor, you'll find iconic scenic spots - Sydney's Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you're visiting in August, it's still winter, but the climate is mild.

On some days in Sydney, temperatures may drop below freezing but that's rare; including this year when record low temps were reported in July.

Bite of seafood

If you love to eat and have a taste for seafood then it's essential to visit the Sydney Fish Market on Bank Street at Blackwattle Bay. You can order large plates of fresh and delicious seafood.

The rock lobster and oysters come highly-recommended, but a word to the wise: It's way too crowded. The food is wonderful, but it's hard to find a seat and you must contend with long lines when ordering food.

Eating at the fish market is similar to doing so in a number of restaurants in Beijing, where space is limited and you have strangers sitting on the same table.

Shopping excursions

Like most men, I hate shopping. But I promised my wife and son I would buy gifts for them, so I headed out on a shopping adventure.

The prices are much higher than in China and even the USA. So go shopping with discretion and care unless you are loaded in cash.

But if you enjoy window shopping then a good place to visit is Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in the center of Sydney. Most trendy shops and luxury brands can be found here.

The interior decorations are set with an old British feel when the Queen's empire was at it's strongest. A huge ornate wooden clock that sets off a musical alarm every 15 minutes hangs from the center of the ceiling.

Additionally, avid book lovers can drop by the Kinokuniya Bookstore, which is the largest one nationwide, selling over 30,000 titles. But on the downside, they sell few items at a discount.

Pleasant surprises

On a nice weather day, it's great to walk to Hyde Park, which is Sydney's version of Central Park in New York. You can lie on the grass for a tan or take a look at the surrounding views.

When peering your eyes westward, you can see a magnificent Catholic Cathedral, St. Mary's Church, which is home to the Cardinal and the offices of the Sydney Diocese.

The cathedral has a traditional facade with tall steeples. When walking inside, you can feel its sanctity. There's a daily Mass at noon and regular service on Saturdays and Sundays.

Many Catholic families reside in Sydney and the city has Catholic Schools that offer a top-notch education for young students.

Where are the kangaroos?

I was curious if any kangaroos would be hopping about on the streets, but no such luck. You can find living and breathing kangaroos at the city's zoo, but not elsewhere in Sydney.

But if you visit some national parks, or the Kangaroo Island to the south of the continent, you would have chances to meet them face-to-face. But be careful, and not to try a boxing-fight with them.

And, Australians take pride in kangaroo culture and you will find pictures of them plastered on billboards and advertisements all over the city.

Whenever, you purchase snacks for children, in all likelihood, there's an image of a kangaroo on the package. The kangaroo trademark remains vibrant and strong.

But there's more to Australia than Crocodile Dundee and the so-called kick-boxing kangaroo. 

The globe-trotting Chinese should consider taking a family trip to Sydney, so they can enjoy the sights, eat delicious food and take a stroll in a relatively safe atmosphere.

They might feel disappointed if they don't see many kangaroos outside the zoo, but they can find plenty of excitement and beauty in Sydney and along the Gold Coast.

Tmcgregorchina@yahoo.com  

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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