Can you name a locale that's in most cities and yet is distinctly different, no matter where you go? If you named Chinatown, you'd be correct, and Sydney's version is no exception. Sandwiched between the high-rise offices of Town Hall and the bustling train terminal of Central Station, lies Australia's largest Chinatown.
Bordered by two majestic examples of Paifang (a traditional Chinese ornate archway), Sydney's Central Business District's Chinatown is one of the most authentic places to embrace Chinese cuisine, culture and celebration. Dixon Street is your main locale with vendors hurriedly offering you dining deals and colourful performers dancing down the footpath. But don't just restrict yourself to the main thoroughfare - Sydney's Chinatown is full of more surprises, just waiting to be explored!
You didn't come all this way for fast food-style Chinese cuisine
But it is so hard to tell which restaurants serve quality Chinese cuisine versus the Western-palate fast food outlets, characterised by Mongolian beef and fried wontons. So how about you try the trusted Taipei original – Din Tai Fung. The CBD version is located in the adjacent World Square, within easy walking distance from Chinatown's main pedestrian walkway, Dixon Street, but Sydney is host to 4 different locations of Din Tai Fung.
Famed for their Shao Mai and pork soup-style dumplings, this bustling restaurant might have a bit of line but it is well-worth the wait! There is plenty of noise but the service is lightning-fast and the flavours are simply staggering. Don't get too distracted by the wide array of dumplings – the pork buns are just as good and worth a try! But if we can't tear you away from gawking at the most famous of dishes at Din Tai Fung, at least allow us to recommend the truffle dumplings (they've been awarded a Michelin star!) Even the fussiest of eaters (a.k.a. children) will be demanding second, third and fourth helpings of these delicious treats.
After such a delicious yet hectic lunch, you felt like the afternoon should be a more low-key affair
You might be searching in dismay, thinking that every attraction in Chinatown is too crowded and fast-paced but never fear, there is a quiet oasis just a few metres away. The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a rare commodity – it is it one of a select few customary Chinese gardens open to the public outside of China.
Built in 1988 in celebration of Australia's bicentenary, Sydney's sister city Guangzhou designed and built the gardens as a gift. Using the principles of Yin-Yang and the five elements, the garden's exotic flora was carefully created to be in perfect harmony with one another, focusing on the aspects of nature that are uniquely untamed – so don't go expecting to see a bunch of flowers neatly planted in a row! The history of the gardens goes far beyond the history of Sydney – try 3,000 years to the original Imperial parks devised under the Shang dynasty.
After what seemed like days (even though it was only 24 hours)
You finally got a chance to catch your breath. But it's hard not to take advantage of all your accommodation savings! So as day turns to night, it's time for some unique dessert to set your tastebuds alight. N2 Extreme Gelato reinvents gelato with a base of liquid nitrogen that enables new, exotic flavours to be created all the time. The menu changes every two weeks, so you always have a reason to come back for more. Honey Charcoal Vanilla, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mudcake, Vegan Cherry Ripe and Earl Grey Caramel are just some of the past flavours just waiting for you to sink your teeth into! It's impossible to resist.
Spend Less, Do More
Your Cheaperthanhotels Team
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