Quan Thi Lien Huong - 05/2019

“There can be miracles when you believe.” The beautiful Australia, a country of Kangaroo and Kaola. Brisbane, a young and thriving city, and Sydney, the diverse home of sunshine.

The favorite line “There can be miracles when you believe” from the song When you believe of Whitney Houston and Maria Carey suddenly popped up in my head I held in my hand an airline ticket to the beautiful Australia, a country of Kangaroo and Koala, for my long-term business trip after many days of expectations. After 12 hours crossing the ocean on Thai Airlines flight, Brisbane welcomed me and 2 reporters from Vietnam Television.

Located in the east of Queensland state, 900 km north of Sydney, Brisbane is Australia's third largest city with a distinctive sea atmosphere. The cold atmosphere of the last days of September made us shudder slightly as we stepped out of the airport. Hastily putting on jackets and warm scarfs, we took a deep breath to enjoy the fresh air before taking a taxi to the hotel. Unlike New York’s grandeur with skyscrapers, the city has a simple and friendly beauty, just like the people here. Most homes in Brisbane are built on large areas of land to allow space for gardens. The people of Brisbane prefer living in large houses with their own gardens rather than high-rise apartments in the city center. For that reason, personal cars become popular means of transportation here while in city centers, Houses, shopping centers, and offices must always set aside large areas for public parking.

After 20 minutes by taxi from Brisbane International Airport, the city administrative and commercial center, or CBD area, gradually appeared with high-rise European-American modern buildings, represents a young, dynamic and thriving city. What really surprised us as we got closer to the skyscrapers was a miniature tropical forest. Only 1 km away from the central buildings, Botanic Garden is a botanical sanctuary located along the city's waterfront with trees protected as they are pristine. The garden is a favorite relax area for Brisbane people after stressful hours of work and pressure. Major city events such as the annual fireworks festival are often held here.

Australians generally love outdoor activities. Coastal cities with warm temperate climate are always the first choice for tourism and entertainment activities and that's why Brisbane soon became the tourism center of Queensland in particular and Australia in general. The city is not too big, with many natural attractions such as Fortitude Valley, outdoor parks, etc., all are about ten minutes away from CBD by public transport. Tourists and residents can roam the Gold Coast city in the south, enjoy the fresh sea air in the northern Sunshine Coast, or watch Meraton Bay at the east of Brisbane if they have time. Families in Brisbane often equip a small boat pulling behind their cars for weekend picnics. With a tight schedule of the business trip, we caught a tram to Fortitude Valley to explore the life of indigenous people. Fortitude Valley is the cultural center of Brisbane. Enjoying a cup of coffee, listening to live music, shopping at the outdoor market or enjoying a barbecue at China Town are the activities that always linger in the minds of those who have come here.

Not only visiting attractive tourist destinations, the business trip has given us a valuable opportunity to explore the suburban countryside of the lovely Brisbane city. After 2 hours relaxing on the train, the familiar public transport of the city, leaving skyscrapers behind, the simple houses hidden among the vast Rocky Point sugar cane field gradually appeared in front of our eyes. Following the gentle peasant Tony Huth and listening to the stories that he shared about sugarcanes, we have gained more knowledge about the agricultural crops that bring high economic value to Australia, as well as the humanity lessons about life and people here.

Departing from Brisbane, Tiger Air flight brings us to Sydney, the oldest city in Australia and the capital of New South Wales state. With preference for the ancient European city walls, I used to be wandering all day on paved roads, admiring ancient buildings, visiting the deposition libraries of time in Paris or Florence; when I first came to Sydney, I tried to find some impressions here and compared it to the European cities that I have come across. I had a slight disappointment because Sydney was not enough for me compared to the historic Western European countries. However, Sydney has really attracted me with its own youthfulness. Sydney is one of the most ethnic diverse cities in Australia. Almost half of the city residents are born overseas and nearly 30 percent of residents speak languages other than English. Beside English, the most commonly used languages at home are Chinese and then Indonesian, Greek and Russian.

Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House Theater are special highlights that no tourists can ignore when coming to Sydney. The Opera House leaning against the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and it was designed by Jorn Utzon, a Danish architect, with the shape of a boat with the wind sails stretching out to the vast blue sea. The story of the construction of the Opera House is really interesting for anyone who likes to learn. The idea of building a theater was conceived by the Jorn Utzon from the 50s of the last centuries, and it was not until 1973 that the theater was opened. The initial cost for the theater was only 3.5 million USD, and then was up to 100 million USD. Utzon, the architect who proposed the idea and directed the construction, was expelled from Australia for refusing to give in to lower-cost construction options. Therfore, he swore to never look back at Australia and his own masterpiece. When the Opera House was grand opened, it was honored as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world of all time. Looking from the port waters when the sun shines down, the building is like a beautiful swan in the blue sky. Opera House was built on an area of 1.8 ha. The roof top weighs 161,000 tons. The outer part of the "sail" is made of more than 100 thousand Swedish antimicrobial ceramic tiles, glowing in the sun and it can last permanently without cleaning.

Sydney is always sunny, even if in the middle of winter. The winter noon here often has a warm sunlight that still makes girls' cheeks pink. Even on rainy days, when the last raindrops remained, the sunlight still gradually invaded the space. Being pleased by the beauty here, I chose to have a cup of coffee to have more time to enjoy this scenery. Sydney people especially like coffee. Walking through the center in the morning, you often see long lines of people waiting to buy coffee. Sydney people would not be able to work without a cup of coffee. The two girls just walked past me, they giggled and laughed with cups of hot coffee in their hands.

The business trip ended with attachment of me and the two reporters. Saying goodbye to Australia with beautiful impressions and memories, we promised ourselves to return here in the near future.