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AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 7 February 2009 | Views [1168] | Comments [1]

I flew into Perth (Australia) the day before new years. But even before I arrived I made a discovery. Perth was rediculously expensive.   I even found a dorm room in one of the hostels going for $55 (US)/night. Wow. Actually, everything was expensive in Perth. Food was about 50% more expensive than in the US.
Anyway, it was 40 C (104 F) in Perth, and did not cool off in the evening (it was still 37 at midnight). I managed to find a private room with shared bathroom at the YMCA for about 45 US. But I did not get much sleep. Perth seemed like a nice enough place, but I found it rather boring. My first night, I had dinner and hung out in Northbridge and had an excellent pizza and truely horrendus service.
The next day I took the train to freemantle (the orginally port, which is 12 miles west of Perth at the mouth of the swan rier) for the day. It was a pretty nice town, filled with vicroian buildings and lots of great art deco buildings. I didn't find all that much to do there, but I did spend a few hours at the decent maratime museum. I also had some good fish and chips, and a very pricey breakfast. After heading back to Perth, I bought a cell phone with some prepaid minutes from a store, and went back to Northbridge for dinner on new years.
Northbridge was alive that night. There were 3 stages with live music. I mostly watched a variety of swing bands. For the most part people were not very friendly in Perth (although in fremantle they were). People kept on crashing right into me, and almost knocking me other or sending my camera flying. And they just kept on going. Oh well. The one nice thing to say was that I liked the diversity of Perth with many asians living there.
After 2 days in Perth, my reaction was pure and simple. Don't come here. As a backpacker, don't even think about coming here. There is no value ofr money here.
I do need to comment on hotel prices in australia. Australian 3 star hotels are roughly the quality of 1 star hotels (well a bit worse, the 1 stars in the US always have cable TV and HBO or similar, and AC, and none of those are guaranteed in Oz) in the US but cost MUCH more. In the US a Motel 6 or similar costs in the $30-$50 range depending on location. These similar hotels in Australia start around $100 Australian (=$70). On the other hand, 5 star hotels are priced much closer to the US prices, although much deeper discounts are available in the US (for instance on priceline).
So if you are on a 5 star trip, maybe there is decent value for money, but not on a lower budget. I was dreading my 6 weeks in Oz.



Hi Josh,
Tina McKim forwarded this on to me. I am glorious on okb. If you are coming to Melbourne, email me and I'll entertain you. Depending on when you are coming I might even be able to give you a bed for a couple of days.

  Gloria Peston Feb 8, 2009 12:42 PM

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