Monday, 4 June 2012

Getting around Melbourne with Wifi and 3G service

A modern backpacker in a city should always move with the times. Gone are the days when we backpack, holding a paper map in our hands. The advantages of strolling in a foreign city with a smartphone or a tablet are abundant. I like Melbourne for the free WiFi connections I could get in the cafes and restaurants. But when I am walking on the street, I could be as lost as newbie in town.

My friend had earlier recommended a handy application for my iPhone and iPad if we are in search of gastronomic experiences. You could download UrbanSpoon, which gives you the best reviews of eateries in Melbourne CBD. Using this, we managed to make our way to Koko Black, a popular chocolate cafe which also sells rich Belgian chocolate (oh, the chocolatey luxury!) at Lygon Street which was many, many stones' throw away from our apartment. Before getting a 3G prepaid package, we made good use of the Wi-Fi in the apartment to snapshot a map to Koko Black :)

There are a few mobile network operators in the city, some of the common ones; Optus, Telstra, Vodafone. I was looking for an operator which gives me 24/7 connection even out of town when I move southwards, near the suburban and coastal areas on the following week. After googling for reviews prior to landing in Australia, I opted for Telstra. Pretty cheap for sharing among 3 people on a trip as it was only AUD30. With 3G, we had more options on our hands - where to eat, who to call for emergencies, hiring a car, making last minute accomodation bookings, people contacting me...uhhh very long story (stay tuned for more).

Surfed the net and made calls locally using this prepaid package.

Very affordable package, ain't it? Connection was satisfactory too.


Koko Black could also be found at QV Market by the way. BUT nothing beats a nice walk along Lygon Street though, passing by Argyle Park and admiring all the Victorian-styled buildings on our way there.

Opening hours of Koko Black

The interior of Koko Black on Lygon Street looked inviting and cosy. We were seated next to the barista's coffee (or chocolate??) counter and served by a very friendly waiter.

Below is a breakdown of the costs of our first meal of the day. (Yes, we didn't have proper breakfast!)

  • Chocolate florentines - 5.50
  • Hot belgian chocolate - 6
  • Soy dark chocolate - 6
  • Chocolate affogato - 6

Totalling up to AUD 23.50

Very rich chocolate content for the chocolate lover!
Before leaving, I even purchased 2 small blocks of Belgian chocolate to take home. I had never imagined they could create a chocolate recipe with ginger!

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