Monday, September 5, 2011

Melaka, Malaysia

We couldn't have chosen a busier time to be in this historic Malaysian community.  It was the weekend after Ramadan had ended, the Hari Raya Puasa, the equivalent to my Christmas holiday in the Muslim world.  It was their new year, the start of the Chinese mid-Autumn Festival and the Malaysian Independence Day all in the week leading up to our weekend away.  Making this, the busiest weekend in Malaysia.  Wow! I am really getting to know these worldly religious holidays quickly.

Kevin has been on the road for business more than he has been home. Good news is that he was on the lookout for any Western food in the area, so we were typically the only ones in the given restaurant and had no wait for food.  Bad news, I didn't get to try any of the local food I had in mind....Next time!  On the menu: Pasta, pizza, steak, McDonalds, and the hotel complimentary breakfast :-(  I was so disappointed when we walked into McDonalds for lunch, that I skipped lunch that day, but all 3 kids were happy.

I did manage to find salay celup (bubbling soup with rice) and laksa at the chosen Western restaurants, "so I can't technically say that I didn't try some local food," says the Western food eater himself.

I still managed to find the fresh coconut to drink though! My favorite, in which Riley typically drinks most of.

The city itself was safe and walkable.  It was HOT, but walkable.  There are also many well decorated trishaws available throughout the area for hire to take you almost wherever you want to go.  The kids loved watching and listening to these bikes decorated in faux flowers, blasting 80's music (Micheal Jackson) on their 15 inch subs attached to the back.

Melaka, dating back to the 1400's, was once one of the top trading ports in southeast Asia.  Today, Singapore has taken over and left this village lost in time.  The city is now a World Heritage sight, so the look and feel of this little city should never change. 

Some of the highlights were Jonker Street night market, the River Boat ride at night, riding the trishaws, St. Paul's Fort (Originally built in 1591 and regularly visited by St Francis Xavier, who's body was temporarily held here until the final resting place in Goa), A'Famosa (built in 1511), St Francis Xavier Church that Little Miss M was convinced a castle that the princess lived in, Chinatown, the Palace, and just walking the streets taking it all in. 
I had heard many great reviews on the Maritime Museum, so we made sure to make it onto this ship.  The part nobody mentioned ~ you have to remove your shoes to go into this museum and the smell was unbearable.  We went through the ship for the kids to climb around on, but skipped the actual museum in the building. 

It may have just been our timing, the busiest weekend around, but we couldn't handle the thought of all those sweaty, stinky, bare-feet walking around with a pandemic of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease in the area.  Call me a mom, call me paranoid ~ I don't care! There is no treatment and I don't want to deal with it!

Had I known, we would've brought socks to wear through some of the museums that don't allow shoes!

Then, there was this guy in the red shirt:
Here I am, standing here, trying to take a picture of my family and he comes from behind me, obviously seeing me try take the picture. Walks right by me, in front of MY family and starts snapping away.  Did I mention he was snapping pictures of my family, before I got a shot..."Excuse me sir, can you wait until I get the shot of MY family?" 
"Just a second..."  "ummmm, excuse me sir!? can you move?"
"yes, just a second," as he snaps away.  Meanwhile, the kids are starting to move and get restless.
Now, tapping him on the shoulder, "My family. You are in the way and I did not get our picture. Stop taking their picture! and move."
"Oh, you want me to take your picture?"
"NO! We are done."  Are you kidding me!!!

Kevin and I have come to an agreement, we should start handing out cards with my email address on it, so we can actually get some family pictures.  We might get some really good ones from all over Asia, thanks to curious little people everywhere we go.

Riley draws another crowd on the street:

This city was great! Definitely worth another trip when it isn't so busy.  We were only there for 2 nights and saw a lot of interesting history, but there is much more to take in.  The drive is so easy and quick, yet we really felt like we were world's away from city-life in Singapore.

View of the Straights of Melaka from our room at the Renaissance Hotel.

Related Posts: Drive to Melaca

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