Malaysia: Melaka

One thing I have learned through my travels is that plans change constantly. Initially, this trip was supposed to be all around Peninsular Malaysia only, but when I added Borneo I suddenly had barely any time for the peninsula itself… so I guess I need to come back one day. Anyway, I started my Malaysian adventure by crossing the border from Singapore. What is the best way to see a country if not through the windows of a bus! The ride to Kuala Lumpur was 6 hours so I decided to stop half way and spend the day in one colourful UNESCO-listed city of Melaka (Don’t mess with Melaka!).

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Crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia is not very exciting. Just a regular screening on both sides. Took about an hour. Easy peasy! Just make sure you are not trafficking anything as it can get very nasty if you do, including a death penalty…

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East Asian countries love green tea and everything you can make out of it. It is super popular in Japan, but seems like the craze for it has reached the continent. The self-claimed Best One was established in 1995, so has been around for quite a while now. To be honest I wasn’t a big fan. You can have one cookie and enjoy it but more than that is meh…

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Legoland! ❤ Unfortunately I did not plan to see it.

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At first you might think this is a jungle, but sadly it’s just a never ending palm tree plantation (mostly for palm oil).

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Kuala Lumpur is the destination, but Melaka is a half-day stop.

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It’s truly bizarre to see an advertisement of facial cosmetics but the face is covered…

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Motorbikes are everywhere. I wonder whether there is more cars or motorbikes in Malaysia?

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Finally arrived in Melaka. It’s a decent sized historical city listed by Unesco. The city has been influenced mostly by Portuguese and Dutch colonists and the attractions mostly refer to the colonial times. It’s a beautiful, but somehow tacky in some places, city. The weather was the regular south eastern humid and hot type. If you can, it’s always good to start off with an observation tower to get a good understanding of the city locations. Plus the red roof tiles make it a great sight for pictures, too.

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Don’t worry, there was a glass between me and the city 🙂

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The old town and the surrendering green park is where I will be heading next.

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I did not dare to!

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Durian. This is (arguably) the most favorite fruit in South-East Asia. It does not taste nice and it does smell terribly! The fruit grows on tall trees and is the size of a watermelon. I suggest you get a taste yourself because as bad as it is, it’s also quite unique. It’s too fragile to transport hence not common in Europe. Not that I want it here anyway…

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Did I mention how tacky the city is in some parts?

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St. Paul’s Church, or what’s left from it. Built by a Portuguese captain in 1521, the church was often visited by St Francis Xavier. It is his marble statue you can see below. It is missing the right hand. Apparently a day after the statue was consecrated, a branch from nearby tree fell and broke it. It would not be anything unusual if it wasn’t for the saint’s right forearm that was earlier detached from his body and taken to Rome. Apparently it was still dipping blood after 62 years from the saints death.

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Dutch Graveyard.

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I feel sorry for the lad. He must be proper haunted at night for not respecting the dead!

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Animals and cats in particular are not well treated in Malaysia. Here comes and goes a life, I guess…

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3…2…1… fire!

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Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum. Unfortunately it’s not the original palace but rather a modern reconstruction. An interesting showcase of the history of the region. It’s a decent 1 hour walk through.

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As the tradition commands, shoes off!

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Wonder if this business would do well in the UK. I have a feeling it actually would…

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Well, what can I say. At least people have fun 🙂

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The famous Jonker Walk. The street turns into a very busy shopping and leisure street during the night. It is said it’s actually the biggest tourist attraction of Melaka, but it does require an overnight stay. And as I was just passing by I regrettably missed on this one. Do not make the same mistake! The city is interesting enough to spend a day and a night in it.

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Ice Green Tea anyone?

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Gula Melaka. It is a local type of palm sugar. It’s got a pretty decent taste to it. I highly recommend you give it a go. It’s different.

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I got tempted 🙂

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There is a bus that you can take from the city centre to the bus station, although it takes a while. I though I could actually have a walk to the bus myself and see the city along the way. A bit off the tourist bitten path.

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A reminder of how hot this place actually was…

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Like anywhere else in Malaysia, pedestrians are treated like a joke. You go along the paced road and suddenly the sidewalk ends. Not the first time nor the last time on my short trip in Malaysia…

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Ok… so I will walk in between the trees. Fair enough!

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Found another pathway 🙂

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This was a very nice surprise. I did not resist the temptation to see how it actually looks like inside.

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A nice selection of rare, local fruits.

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Very cheeky. Can you see the SONY sticker? It’s like they did not even make any effort to hide it… mind you it was not in Tesco but rather at one of the stalls outside.

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You do not have to buy the ticket to Kuala Lumpur in advance (I did though). There is plenty of providers.

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Here I am in Kuala Lumpur. Only for a day though. Stay tuned for more!

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I believe the city is well worth a stop, could even be a destination on it’s own if you stay for longer in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. It’s definitely cheerful and even beautiful in some parts, with decent history to make it an interesting day (and night) trip. Defo recommended!

Thanks for stepping by!

Adrian


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