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Malacca Travel Blog

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On Monday I bid farewell to Singapore and my pampered existence and crossed into Malaysia.  When I say it was hard to leave, I mean it was HARD TO LEAVE.  Wow.  No matter how you mentally prepare yourself, coming down from a posh lifestyle to that of backpacker squalor is unpleasant.  And then some.  I spent Monday as a sweaty, cranky mess.

Apparently Malacca's highlights lie in its Chinatown, where there are lots of little shops and night markets to wander.  The catch is that Chinatown only comes alive on the weekends; during the week it doesn't offer much.  Literally moments after arriving in Malacca my guesthouse owner is asking how long I'd like to stay and I tell him two or three nights, he looks at me like I'm crazy and informs me of the above.
  Huh?  This place revolves around Chinatown?  And that's only good on the weekends?  And it's Monday?  What am I doing here??  And the little dude is sagely looking at me like "si hombre, now you see my point."  So he booked me for one night.  And here I thought guesthouse owners (i.e. small business owners) would try to keep their guests as long as possible so they could make a buck.  Silly me.  Maybe I need to re-take Econ 101.

I spent the afternoon walking around the old colonial area of Malacca, which has a Saint Paul's of its own, one with more impressive ruins (and a better view) than the one in Macau.  From Saint Paul's I passed the town square and a giant boat that sits right in the middle of things, like that's normal.
Saint Paul's
  Apparently you can go up and tour it, but I was too busy being cranky to be bothered.

Oh wait, I haven't painted the proper picture for you yet.  Malaysia is hot.  BALLS HOT.  Sweat through everything you own hot.  In the afternoon it poured, which I thought was a good thing, because hopefully it'd cool things off.   Yeah right.  Instead it just made my hair look like Monica's on Friends when they go to Hawaii and all it does is rain for a week straight, and somehow made the hot even hotter, and unbearably muggy.  My guesthouse lent me a tiny little umbrella made for children, so while my head and shoulders remained relatively dry, the bottom 75% of me was soaked through.  This is how I puttered around looking at ruins and random old boats and dodging unruly traffic zooming entirely too fast for people who don't adhere to street signs and lane assignments and other assorted traffic laws.
Saint Paul's


The highlight of the day was finding a (covered!) hawker stand, with about a dozen different vendors to choose from.  I did a quick look-see and let me tell you, the options for vegetarians in Malaysia are slim to none.  Have I mentioned Malaysia is like China's half-sister?  We'll get to that later.  Point is: they like their meat.  And they can't begin to fathom how you possibly couldn't.  The happy ending is that I did find a stand that offered one non-meat dish, and I jumped on it.  It was bizarre: assorted fruits (pineapple and the southeast Asian fruit that they call "guava" but really is the furthest thing from a guava I've ever seen, hard and crunchy and green-skinned and not especially sweet, along with cucumber) tossed in a spicy-sweet chili sauce, the small pickled beans I associate with China, and seaweed, all with crushed peanuts on top.
Saint Paul's
  Didn't sound appetizing to me either.  If there had been other options, I would have opted for those.  But I have to say, it was pretty good.  You didn't taste the pickled beans, aside from adding a layer of flavor to the sauce (a bit too sweet, but otherwise tasty), and the seaweed was undetectable as well.  It essentially tasted like eating cold crunchy fruit in a spicy-sweet sauce with some crunchy peanuts on top.  Not bad.  I washed everything down with some lime juice, which is essentially sugar water with two lime wedges squeezed into it.  Next time I'm opting for a more traditional fruit juice.  (Watermelon, anyone?)  All in all though, pretty yummy.  And always fun to try something new.

And really, how crushed do you think I was missing yet another Chinatown?  And with a legitimate excuse to boot.  Thank you, but no thank you.  I'm Chinesed out.
Stigen says:
No there is`nt too much to do in Melaka! (but the mall is quite good though !). There is also a zoo and crocodile park outside of town, but that is a hellish path to travel(see my Melaka blog..) , and the animals are mistreated , like in any zoo in Asia.
Posted on: Dec 20, 2009
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View from Saint Pauls
View from Saint Paul's
Malacca Hostels review
Average Guesthouse in Malacca
Travellers Lodge is ok. It's bare bones accommodation. The shared bathrooms weren't the cleanest (although to be fair, they certainly weren't the dirt… read entire review
Malacca
photo by: louise2553