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Vietnam, China, Korea: Finding a piece of home in Melbourne

IF you’re homesick and need something familiar that reminds you of home, Trinity College Foundation Studies students Evan Zhu and Ha Nguyen check out several Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean spots that promise to bring some comfort!

Looking for a home away from home can be a challenge especially for students new to Melbourne. But as students who have spent a little more time in this multicultural city can attest, it’s definitely not impossible. Here, we share some of our favourite spots that we hope will bring you some comfort when you are missing home.

Little Vietnam 

Photo: Ha Nguyen

Photo: Ha Nguyen

Venture a little further out of the city and you’ll find yourself in the suburb of Richmond, Melbourne’s ‘Little Vietnam’.  It is dotted with Asian groceries and traditional Vietnamese restaurants, and is home to many Vietnamese families. Chances are, you’d likely bump into someone from your hometown and communicate with them in your own language!

For Vietnamese student Vincent, Victoria St is his go-to destination for a piping hot bowl of pho.

Vietnamese noodles. Photo: Ha Nguyen

Vietnamese noodles. Photo: Ha Nguyen

How to get there: Catch the 109 tram towards Box Hill. Get off at stop 21, in Richmond.

Chinatown 

Photo: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Photo: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Chinese students, look no further than Chinatown to feel a little more at home. Located on Little Bourke St, you’ll find various restaurants that will likely serve dishes from your hometown.

Trinity College Foundation Studies student Hactor Wong visits Shanghai Street whenever he misses home. His favourite dish is their steamed buns, which he says reminds him of family.

Alternatively, if you prefer recreating your favourite dishes at home, you will find many Asian grocers in Chinatown that stock ingredients and sauces that can make it possible!

How to get there: Take any tram down Swanston St and get off at Bourke St. Little Bourke St, where Chinatown is located, is a two-minute walk away.

Little Korea

Photo: Evan Zhu

Photo: Evan Zhu

While there isn’t an official ‘Little Korea’ in Melbourne, you’ll find many Korean eating spots concentrated in the vicinity of La Trobe and Lonsdale streets.

Trinity student Shannon Kim recommends visiting Mook Ji Bar if you are after authentic Korean food at reasonable prices. Personally, she feels Mook Ji Bar reminds her of Korea and her family.

Other restaurants along La Trobe and Lonsdale streets also serve traditional Korean dishes such as kimchi, hotpots, and Korean-style barbecue. If you feel like a quick manicure, there are also some shops that provide manicure services, just like they do in Korea!

How to get there: Take a tram to Melbourne Central. La Trobe St and Little Lonsdale St are just a short walk away.

Are there any other places that remind you of home? Let us know in the comments box below!

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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