Food Hunt at Asia Cafe, Tune Hotel

After being away for quite a while, I craved for some Malaysian street food. Hearing that Asia Cafe is newly opened at Kota Damansara was great news for me! Saucer and I went there with a group of friends to try out some of their specialties. The cafe is located just next to Tune Hotels Kota Damansara, at Persiaran Mahogani. Parking is currently free so I suggest you visit it now to take advantage of this! :)

Asian Cafe

Asia Cafe Kota Damansara

When I reached, I was glad to know that Asia Cafe was not the typical street food place you find here in KL, where the streets are packed with people, tables are cramped and environment is warm. No, this Asia Cafe is nothing like that. The area was spacious with nicely spaced tables, the environment was clean and best of all, there were plenty of ceiling fans and coolers to keep the place at a comfortable temperature. It’s definitely my type of place to hang out for late night dinners. Oh, did I also mention that Asia Cafe is open 24 hours a day? Now you know where to go for that midnight cravings eh? ;)

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Loong’s Grill Fish and Fried Seafood

We tried several stalls that night, the first one being Loong’s Grill Fish. It’s simply difficult to miss this stall with it’s huge and bright red banner from their Ho Chiak fame. The spread of seafood was laid out for customers to choose and they looked fresh and clean!

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The fresh seafood

One of us placed some orders while I waited at the table, drinking a giant-sized Melon Cooler. It was a concoction of water melon and lychee and it was oh-so-refreshing!

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Melon Cooler – Large (RM8)

Our food soon arrived, beginning with the Fried Balitong, which is always a delight to eat! It was done ‘kam heong’ style and very aromatic, not to mention addictive! I couldn’t stop myself from sucking out these little things! Most people think that Balitong meat is bland, but I say the fun is all in the sucking! *LOL*

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Fried Balitong

The Chilli Crabs arrived next, which was a signature dish from Loong’s stall. The crabs were huge and meaty, and the sauce was hot and spicy. Very appetizing!

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Chilli Crabs

The Lala in Superior Soup was one of my favourite that night! The dish looked quite plain and innocent really, but a sip of the soup sent shivers down my spine. It was unexpectedly and amazingly good! Very rich with the goodness of lala and a  hint of Chinese rice wine.

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What’s in the foil?

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Lala in Superior soup

Of course, how could we forget the Grilled Fish from Loong’s Grilled Fish? :) To me, the importance of Grilled Fish or Ikan Bakar lies in the chilli sauce (sambal) itself. The thing is, anyone can grill a fish but not anyone can make great sambal. It has to be thick, spicy and flavourful but not overpowering the taste of fish. And I daresay Loong managed to grasp the balance well and presented the fish really well.

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Grilled Fish

The last dish from Loong’s was the Kam Heong Squid, which tasted quite similar to the Fried Balitong sauce actually. It was spicy and savoury, very appetizing.

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Kam Heong Squid

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Bright red Ho Chiak banner

Next up was the ‘Siu Chau’ Food Corner, where all kinds of noodles can be requested and cooked by the owner here.

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‘Siu Chau’ Food Corner

I thought the Fried Yin Yong noodles (flat noodles and vermicelli) arrived drenching in wet goodness, with large-sized prawns to boot.

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Fried Yin Yong (Flat noodles and vermicelli)

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‘Dai Luk Meen’ or Fried Thick Noodles

While everyone was busy enjoying noodles, I found the Fried Rice to be quite good too. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that I was busy eating the Chilli Crabs, and hence coupling it with rice seemed to make more sense. :)

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Fried Rice

Another we tried was the one selling Wan Tan Mee, located at the far end at the back of Asia Cafe.

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Wan Tan Mee Stall

The stall served roasted pork, roasted chicken and BBQ pork as accompaniment to the wan tan noodles.

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Roasted Pork Belly and Chicken

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BBQ pork with thick wan tan noodles

Last but not least, a stall worth recommending is the Steam Rice and Soup stall, not really for the rice, but for the soups!

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Steam Rice and Soup Stall

I really fell in love with their soups! We ordered 3 to try that night and all of them were fabulous! Very home-cooked, flavourful and tasted like they were boiled for hours. The Old Cucumber Soup was supposed to bring cooling effect to one’s body, so it was perfect after I ate so much grilled seafood!

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Old Cucumber Soup

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Lotus Root Soup

I half-expected the Chicken Ginseng Soup to be bitter and difficult to drink but this was not! It was very pleasant and fragrant from the chicken that was boiled for hours, making the soup taste sweet and delicious.

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Chicken Ginseng Soup

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Steamed Pork and Salted Fish Rice (Ham Yu Far Lam fan)

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Kung Po Chicken Rice

Overall, I loved the seafood from Loong’s Grilled Fish and the amazing soups from the Steamed Rice and Soup corner. Oh, don’t forget their giant glasses of juice! Saucer and I loved them so much we ordered a second glass! :)

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witch and Saucer sharing a Dragon Heart (RM8/large)

Asia Cafe is definitely a place to hang out for some local street food without the discomfort. I applaud the fact that it is built next to the Tune Hotel, making our Malaysian street food literally foot steps away from the tourists who stay in the hotel!

Getting there (source)

Asia Cafe (Next to Tune Hotel Kota Damansara)
Persiaran Mahogani,
Kota Damansara PJU5,
47810 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor,
Malaysia.
Business Hours: Opens 24 Hours
GPS Coordinates: 3.154208, 101.590339

London Bridge has Fallen Down *updated with Video*

Remember the song, “London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down, London Bridge is falling down, My fair lady”? Of course, the London Bridge in London didn’t really fall down, but the London Bridge in Great Ocean Road actually collapsed! It happened circa 1990 and after the collapse, it has been renamed to London Arch instead. If you drive along the Great Ocean Road, you would see it after the Twelve Apostles. This was the new that welcomed us near the London Arch.

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View from London Arch

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London Bridge before it collapsed

According to the information board, there were actually tourists trapped on the London Arch when it collapsed! They had to be rescued with a helicopter! So fortunate that they were actually on the surviving portion of the bridge eh?

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London Arch #1

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London Arch #2

Just look at the powerful waves. It’s no wonder the bridge even collapsed. Such is the power of water. Never underestimate it.

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London Arch #3

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London Arch #4

Just further up from the London Arch, there’s another attraction called the Grotto, which we stopped by to take a look as well. The Grotto is a sinkhole formed by erosion from the coast.

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Shaping a Grotto

The view from the top of the Grotto was breathtaking! It was too bad that we were running out of time or we would have taken the stairs and gone down for a better view.

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View of Grotto from the top

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The Grotto

And that was the last stop we had before reaching the end of the Great Ocean Road and returning to Melbourne via the freeway. It was without a doubt one of the best drive ever. If you ever go to Melbourne for holiday, do spend at least 2 days to drive along the Great Ocean Road for an unforgettable experience.

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The Great Ocean

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Strong waves pounding on the cliffs

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The London Arch

Pounding waves at London Arch, Great Ocean Road

Thunder Cave and Blowhole at Great Ocean Road *updated with videos*

Second last post on our Great Ocean Road adventure, I promise! After the Loch Ard Gorge visit, we followed the signboard and walked towards the Thunder Cave. This was the information board regarding the Thunder Cave. As you can see from the information below, there used to be an arch over the ocean but the continuous force of wind, sea and rain water narrowed the arch until it gave way to what it is today.

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Thunder Cave information board

This was the picture of Thunder Cave as of 2010. Look at the strong currents from the ocean. It’s no wonder the arch collapsed over time.

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Thunder Cave

Just next to the Thunder Cave was another cave. I initially thought this was the Thunder Cave, for the strong waves that hit the cave gave a resounding boom not unlike the thunder. A very angry and loud sound indeed. You could almost feel that the waves were trying very hard to eat into the cave walls.

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Cave near the Thunder Cave – observe the strong currents

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Receding waves from the walls of the cave #1

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Receding waves from the walls of the cave #2

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Thunder Cave top view

Video of strong pounding waves at Thunder Cave

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Saucer and witch at Thunder Cave

From Thunder Cave, there was a path that led inwards, going through a vast green field and ending up with more magnificent views of the ocean.

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A view of the great ocean

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Another view of the ocean

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Observing the angry and strong waves

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An isolated arch

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Magnificent view of great ocean

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The angry ocean

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The green field that we passed by

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Amazing isn’t it?

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The path that we walked

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Great Ocean Road view #1

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Clear turquoise water


Video of the Great Ocean Road

Even though the waters were rough and the waves were strong, one could not help but be amazed by the crystal clear and turquoise ocean. This was definitely a must-visit view of the Great Ocean Road. Final part will be coming up shortly! :)

Loch Ard Gorge of the Great Ocean Road

Another attraction that one should not miss while driving along the Great Ocean Road is the Loch Ard Gorge. Situated just 10 minutes from the Twelve Apostles, this place was named after a clipper ship Loch Ard which was wrecked on a nearby Muttonbird Island after a 3-month journey from England to Melbourne. The amazing thing was only 2 survivors made it out of the 51 people on board, thanks to the gorge that protected them from the very strong and fatal waves of the ocean.

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Loch Ard Gorge information board

If you just stand in front of the Loch Ard Gorge, you would feel so very close to the waves. There was a staircase that led down towards the beach, where the two survivors were washed ashore hundreds of years ago. The waves hitting against the limestone hills were humongous and very strong. It was as if the waves were in a constant anger, trying to knock down the limestone barriers.

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View of the shore with receding waves

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View of the shore with oncoming waves

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Loch Ard Gorge from the top

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Us at the Loch Ard Gorge

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witch with the strong waves taken at the shore

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Warning of unstable cliffs

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Inscriptions on the limestone

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So close to the waves

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The Island Archway (closer look)

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The Island Archway

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View of the cliffs

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Strong and angry waves

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Limestone hill by the Loch Ard Gorge

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Clear turquoise waters

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Beautiful Loch Ard Gorge

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Limestone hill by the beach

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Saucer posing *LOL*

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The protective barriers of the ocean

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A cave behind the beach at Loch Ard Gorge

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Look at the strong waves – imagine if the hills were not that to break them

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Saucer and witch at Loch Ard Gorge

PS: Apologize for the lack of words in this post. The fact is we’re now traveling in China and the connection here is pretty slow. Loading the pictures took me almost an hour! Do bear with me for we’ll be back in a couple of days! :)

Magnificent Twelve Apostles at the Great Ocean Road

Right after breakfast, we checked out from the Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn and started our journey towards the Port Campbell National Park. Driving along the Great Ocean Road during day time never ceased to amaze me. The ocean was sparkling blue, while the limestone rock stacks on the coastline was just spectacular. Did I also mention that the road was clear? Just look at the road picture below! I even went all the way to take a picture standing in the middle of the road! *LOL*

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Great Ocean Road towards Port Campbell National Park

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Picture in the middle of the road

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Gorgeous view of the ocean

Getting to Port Campbell National Park was a breeze! There were signboards (brown colour) along the way and before long, we reached the lookout point for Twelve Apostles. It was really a well-developed attraction, as can be seen from the picture below. There was even a very modern building with washrooms and a cafe inside.

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Cafe and washrooms at Port Campbell National Park

Without further ado, we walked towards the Twelve Apostles Lookout point! It was a very nice path that went underground to cross the road over to the cliff.

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Twelve Apostles lookout point

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Path towards the lookout point

Soon enough, we came to another signboard that said “Twelve Apostles”. We’re there!

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Twelve Apostles signboard

Lying beneath us was not just a huge blue canvas of sparkling water, but an amazing work of God. The feeling was almost too hard to express, and to comprehend even. It was not just breath-taking, it was overwhelmingly so. The sound of strong waves lapping up against the limestone hills and the sight of the blue ocean coupled with the cool breeze were almost too much to handle. I assure you, you simply need to be there to appreciate the magnificence of it all.

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The magnificent Twelve Apostles

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I could almost touch it! *LOL*

I must have been so engrossed with the beauty that I wanted to capture it right away and tweet! Saucer caught me red-handed! :P

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Snap snap

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Tweet tweet

There were metal wires surrounding the edges of the cliff, so you have to be careful not to cross them, or else!

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Warning of unstable cliffs

I would just let the pictures do the talking from here onwards.

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witch with the Twelve Apostles

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The Twelve Apostles

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Information board about Twelve Apostles Underwater life

Oh I have to say this, while we were snapping pictures, a couple asked for our help to take a picture for them. In return, they also helped us take a picture. And after chatting for a while, guess what? They’re Malaysians too! What a coincidence really! This was the picture that was taken by them. Lovely!

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Saucer and witch with the Twelve Apostles

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Another lookout point

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Twelve Apostles

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The Twelve Apostles looking east

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Look at the crystal clear water!

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One of the lookout point

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Strong and angry waves

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Twelve Apostles – magnificent work of nature

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Twelve Apostles as seen from Port Campbell National Park lookout point

It was an entirely eye-opening experience and we spent so much time there just admiring the sea and listening to the strong and angry waves. How could something that sounded so angry be so beautiful? We almost didn’t want to leave, but time was running out. It was almost noon!

Port Campbell National Park
Coordinates: 38°37′S 142°59′E

*Update: Great Southern Touring Route application from Apple helps to plan your Great Ocean Road journey better:

GSTR on iPhone

Thank God for Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn

Since we’ve decided not to stay at Cape Otway, we had to continue driving to reach the next nearest town, which was Port Campbell. At this point of time, it was already getting dark, past 5.30pm. And the route from Cape Otway to Port Campbell was another 90km, with a large part of it through the rain forest! Just refer to the map below, driving through the dark rain forest with trees looming above you and a winding road was NOT funny. Plus, it appeared that there were no other cars passing by, and with no street lights (only reflectors which worked well actually), I was driving nervously.

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From Cape Otway to Port Campbell (~90km)

What else could be worse?

1. We had no hotel reservation for Port Campbell, since we initially booked to stay at the Caravan in Cape Otway.

2. The petrol in the car was running really low.

3. I wanted to pee badly!

4. There was no phone line coverage (Vodafone)

As I was driving in anxiety along the winding roads, Saucer kept calming me down and even offered to switch places since he thought that I wouldn’t be rational driving under the stress of wanting to pee. But I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of stopping the car in the middle of no where and in a pitch black road! So I persevered, while Saucer tried to contact our friend in Melbourne, Kendal. Fortunately, we had 2 sim cards, one with Vodafone (for phone coverage) and one with Telstra (for data network) and Telstra’s reception was pretty strong! So Saucer communicated with Kendal using MSN through the data network and within minutes, Kendal had managed to book a room for us at the Best Western Motor Inn in Port Campbell! Yay! I felt so much relieved after that, and about an hour later, we saw the quaint town of Port Campbell and immediately pulled over at the gas station.

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Our room at Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn (picture taken in the morning)

After filling up the car and relieving myself :P we were on our way to the Inn, which was just down the road. Checking in was a breeze with the kind and warm lady Stephanie. We told her we were freezing cold and she actually went to our room to start the heater while we parked our car and unloaded our luggage. How sweet!

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Double bed in Best Western Inn

Words could not express how very relieved and happy we were when we saw the room. Yes, it was nothing grand but it was all that we needed that night! A comfortable bed, a warm heater, hairdryer, hot shower, mini fridge (to store our beers), microwave (to cook instant noodles), water kettle, flat screen TV and a dining table. Thank God! It was already past 7pm by then and outside was freezing cold. We quickly changed, took a hot shower, and made some steaming hot instant noodles that we brought for the trip. Then we kicked back and laid on the bed while watching TV. It was just perfect! :)

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Everything that we needed

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Shower and toilet

While resting on the bed, I couldn’t help but feel grateful and proud of myself for making through the winding and dark road just before that. It was an experience that I’d remember for a long long time. Don’t get me wrong, the roads were not dangerous, it’s just a little scary for me since it was dark and trees were all around – left, right and above us. My advice? Try not to drive along the Great Ocean Road at night.

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Outside our room

The next morning, we planned on where to visit. In a way, I was really glad that we drove past Cape Otway to Port Campbell. If we had followed our original plan of staying in Cape Otway, we would have gone back  to Melbourne the next day without completing the whole stretch of Great Ocean Road. But since we were already in Port Campbell now, we might as well just went all the way to complete it. And we did!

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Surroundings of Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn

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White daisies

From Port Campbell, our plan was to visit the Port Campbell National Park which was about 10km away, where some of the great attractions of Great Ocean Road were at. The pinnacle of it was the Twelve Apostles, of course!

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Car park area

Once again, I must say that I really thanked God for Best Western Inn to provide us shelter when we thought we had no where else to go that night.  If I’m not mistaken, the room rate was circa AUD85, which was value for money, in my humble opinion.

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Our room key

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Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn, Port Campbell, Victoria

If you’re planning to drive along Great Ocean Road like us, I would highly recommend staying at this place for the night. It is at the perfect location, just minutes away from the Port Campbell National Park (12 apostles) and furthermore, you’ll reach here around the evening if you start from Melbourne in the morning. Just the right timing and the right place, don’t you think?

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On to Port Campbell National Park

Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn
10 Great Ocean Road
Port Campbell VIC 3269
Australia
Phone: +61 (0)3 5598 6522
Website: http://www.greatoceanroadmotorinn.com/