I recently had a great opportunity to go to Darwin for work. The town was hot, humid, touristy and refreshing. It was a taste of the break that I need away from the cold and the Canberra scene.
I usually love the atmosphere of festivals and markets - the smell, different languages, ability to stroll and look. At the same time I also hate being close to many sweaty people, snail-speed walkers and the whole 'buy me buy me' atmosphere. Paradox much?!
Many people told me before my Darwin trip that I should see the Mindil Beach Markets - these are on the beach and timed at sunset. Apparently its very multicultural, lively, fun and relaxed. However, much to my disappointment, I couldn't go... but I went to the Parap Village Markets as a substitute.
The Parap Village Markets is a short shuttle bus ride from Darwin's town centre. It'd probably take 1.5 hours to get there on foot (!!).
There were tropical fruits (frozen mango?!?!) and heaps of South-East Asian desserts. I didn't have the balls to try any of the latter because many of the desserts had lots of coconut milk and were left outside in the 30 degree heat for a few hours... It was tough - the threat of food poisoning or enjoying food that looked sooo good. I was a bit freaked out because a few of my work people got food poisoning :(. However, being at the markets made me desperately want to fly to South-East Asia... why work in a grey building when you could be on a holiday?!