A Day in Melaka
Malacca Travel Blog› entry 111 of 121 › view all entries
I woke early, maybe 6am, but Beng was no-where to be seen. I had a quick glance around the room â€“ yep, wallet; watch; and passport are still here, so it the camera and iPod, back to bed. I did still get up early so I could do the city walking tour.
Melaka is such a cultural and historic city, thereâ€™s literally a museum every 100 metres or less! I personally wasnâ€™t bothered enough to go into any of them, but this is the kind of place my Dad would absolutely love to bits. Bazza (heâ€™ll punch me for calling him Bazza if he ever sees this) is a bit of a history buff, and would probably know a lot about the colonial empire and spice trade, but for me, itâ€™s not of major interest.
I did walk around the city in admiration of the architecture which showed all kinds of influences from the Dutch, English, Portuguese, and the Chinese. The walking tour started at Stadbhurys (the town hall), a Dutch relic, and then onto Christ Church, which is built with red bricks imported from Holland! The fountain is next and had an inscription reading â€˜Victoria Regina 1837-1901â€™ indicating the popularity from Melaka for the old empire.
I strolled on to St Paulâ€™s Church and the remains of Porta de Santiago, pretty much ignoring the wooden Sultanate Palace (though I was impressed with it being built completely without nails), and then towards the Proclamation of Independence Memorial.
I saw the beautiful buildings of the Baba-Nonya Heritage Museum, Malaqua House (which is worth going inside to see the accumulated masses of beautiful antiques), Hotel Puri, Chee Mansion, and Baba House. These are interspersed with temple after temple as well. I passed by Eng Choan (Yong Chun) Association, Leong San Thong, Hang Kasturiâ€™s Tomb, Putug Tam Therapy Centre, and finally Guanya Temple.
My next stops were at Wah Teck Kiong Temple, Guangfu Temple, Wah Aik, and onto Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. Now that one was worth a stop. It translates as Green Clouds Temple and is said to be the countryâ€™s oldest functioning temple. It is dedicated to Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and it really is pretty stunning.
I carried on with the walk to Kampung Kling Mosque, Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, and Sandus Temples, and then backtracked a little to Jonkers Melaka Restoran (an old Nonya building).
Thereâ€™s an incredible amount of souvenir shops as well. I was tempted, but found them a touch overpriced. Bazza would have to wait for a present (I feel safe and confident that people do not read blogs). I was especially tempted by the calligraphy on sale though. It was all written for the Chinese New Year i.
The whole walk had taken me about three hours, and that was plenty of culture for one day. I was staying in a hostel and was the only guest there, so quite fancied taking full advantage of the DVD system and planned on spending the rest of the day watching films. I did think it would be a shame not to see St Peterâ€™s Church first though and try some traditional Nyonya food first. I tried the Laksa again and found it even more spicy than last time, followed by Papiak (spring rolls containing turnip, lettuce, scallops, omelette, and prawns, all served with Malacca palmsugar (a source)). It was very tasty, but the Laksa only served to give me dÃ©jÃ vu of Ivanâ€™s bloody pepper source crap â€“ blurrgghhhh, that was to be my last laksa.