MALAYSIA, Malacca "The Historic State" 13-14 Apr 2013, also spelt Melaka
Stayed at Mr & Mrs Li Wee's traditional Tea House with Doug & Phoenix
Malaysia 13-14 April 2013, Malacca “The Historic State” plus reading diary, Melaka or Malacca, city of bridges, mr and mrs li wee, tea house stay, UNESCO world heritage site, Melaka river, "Venice of the East" cruises, jambalan tan bin seng, chan koon cheng, old bus station bridge, kompung morten, waterside edge walks, shop houses, bastion Victoria, jonkers walk, night market, mr li’s taxi trip, famous chicken and rice, St John's Fort, chetti village, museums, Maritime museum, jonkers gallery, many churches, early Christianity, mosque by coast, sila tanggalhan, street kebabs and portugese shell fish restaurant by the harbour, orang utan shop, great to spend so much time with doug & phoenix, west ham drinks glasses, 112 images in the selective slideshows but poor doug and phoenix getting ill through eating some suspect street food, maybe the kebabs were not fully cooked who knows.
or alms geddit ;)
Saturday April 13th 2013
Malacca or Melaka, Malaysia
Guest house owners Mr. and Mrs. Li were very friendly and polite. Phoenix had booked this accommodation from Singapore. We had arrived in the hire car we picked up just across the border into Malaysia at Johor Bahru or JB in everyday parlance tee hee. We did the awful crowded lengthy Woodlands crossing by shuttle bus (cattle class tee hee) over the Johor Causeway bridge from Singapore to Malaysia. Not fun as the weekend when many of the Malaysian workers return to JB to their families after a week away working in the better paid country of Singapore, remember before independence on the 9th of August 1965 Singapore was a state of Malaysia.
Mr. Li offered to give us a guided tour of Melaka at 6.45 p.m. We went to a local Chinese cafe for breakfast, our guest house is in the old part of town so very traditional. Melaka is now a UNESCO world heritage site along with Georgetown Penang which we went to early on this trip.
After breakfast we walked around the old town down by the river, which was very smelly and sadly polluted. It was a dirty green sludge colour. We saw lots of old churches, one was built in 1756, which was when Malacca was on the spice route and had both Dutch and Portuguese colonies.
There were lots of men on rickshaws covered in fake flowers driving tourists around the old town. Plus, lots of Chinese tourists on coach tours. Culturally the Chinese do like to travel in convoy which makes sense when language is an issue, potentially less so here in Melaka which is very multi-cultural as indeed Singapore is. It is worth noting we were some of the only westerners we saw.
We saw monitor lizards in the river, they lived in holes in the walls at the rivers edge and came out to swim in the sunshine.
After lunch of some Chinese food in a riverside café we went on a boat cruise for a few kilometers up the river and then back again affording a view of some of the surrounds. There was a fake sailing ship, a Dutch East Indies ship that had originally been shipwrecked off Melaka in a storm circa 1650.
We then returned to the guest house which as it doubled as a Chinese tea house was a real treat and experience. We had fermented China teas, the ginger one was the best. We sat and rested there and chatted to Mr. Li.
Then we had showers and at 6.45 p.m. he drove us in his battered car around the city and showed us the sights which was lovely. We visited a Muslim Mosque on the coast with views of the Malacca Straits, old Malay Chetti Village houses down by the river, and the old St. Johns fort where we saw monkeys and then went on for a Portuguese meal in the open air by the sea. We also saw people launching Chinese lanterns into the sky, all quite atmospheric. Mr. Li carried on our tour until about 10.30 p.m. when he dropped us all off at Jonker’s Walk to see the night market. It was busy and bustling and we remember the humourous advert for Mr. Potato Head crisps the ad poster being Wayne Rooney ha-ha.
We then returned to the guest house which was close by, tired , had a shower and went to bed at 12 midnight. A very interesting day all in all.
And here are some UNESCO words for Malaysia, we have been to both Melaka & Georgetown, Penang.
“Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca
Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka demonstrates the early stages of this history originating in the 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.”
Sunday April 14th 2013
Malacca back to Singapore
Had breakfast at 10.30 a.m. in a Chinese café was dim sum. Then we walked around the old town a different area from yesterday, seeing old Chinese temples, Chinese theaters, and a lot of little shops, busy with Chinese tourists. Keef bought some new flip flips (or thongs as our aussie friends would call them). Phoenix was not well and frequently sick, not sure if it was the street food kebabs in the morning or the sea food at the Portuguese restaurant the previous evening, who knows but poor Phoenix.
K & A headed back to the guest house for a rest, the humidity was getting to us. D&P arrived back a little later and she went to lie down to try and recover. Mr. Li made us a lovely local coffee and then his wife kindly made us and Doug some winter melon tea, a vegetable we now know extremely well but didn’t at the time.
We all chatted and rested up a bit. Phoenix recovered after her little nap and rejoined us. We all went off to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, we had already loaded all our bags into the hire car boot at this point anyhow. After lunch we set off at 3.15 p.m. for the long drive back to the city of Johor Bahru which is the Malaysian city on the border.
We stopped at a service station for a comfort break. We played hunt the western loo ha-ha. It was mainly palm trees lining the motorway on the way back stretching for miles on either side. Not many signs of towns or villages. Palm tree oil (not great in COP26 times) and rubber are the main Malaysian exports. We used the sat nav to try and get back to the lady’s house whom we had got the hire car from but it took us to the wrong area, many are named the same in JB. By 7 p.m. we had already spent an hour circling around JB in a vain attempt to find the right address. Despite many phone calls to the lady to ask for directions she and her husband were not very helpful and did not know any of the local road names to the point where they could only tell us the name of the shipping mall that was nearby them. Very frustrating. Jalan Balau which was the road we wanted came up 14 different areas on the sat nav, so we methodically tried them all, grr! We needed Jalan Balau 1 to be precise. A nightmare to find but we eventually got there. Not a trip any of us would want to do again but as years pass, we would always remember it.
We then took a taxi back to the border crossing; it was not so busy on a Sunday evening so getting into Woodlands crossing was a breeze. We all got back to Geylang flat at 10 p.m. Went out for a Chinese meal locally and then had showers and flopped into bed very tired, but happy to have spent such a lovely adventurous weekend away with Mr. & Mrs. Douglas, fun times.