Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Melaka: When cultures collide...

From Penang we took an 8 hour overnight busride to Melaka. The journey could actually have been shortened to about half the time but in Malaysia the buses pull up and sit for around 30 minutes while people say 100 goodbyes, run to the toilet 5 times (that was me- I didn't need to pee this many times but I just failed to take the right amount of money every time!) and have a little feast.

We arrived in Melaka around 7am and had actually seen most of the sights in the town center by 10am. Melaka is again a complete blend of cultures from Dutch Square to yet another China Town.

Dutch Square, Melaka.

The downtown area is small enough to do in just one day with plenty of historical sights to see. We took a ride in a rickshaw, it was around 40RM ( 9 pound) for one hour, we probably could have haggled for a cheaper price but we were just too tired!

We spent 2 days in Melaka, the first just wandering the streets and taking in the sights and the second we hired a bicycle and rode along the riverside and around some more local areas. There is also a beach nearby but we didn't venture out to it. At night we were lucky enough to experience the night market and work our way through all the delicious eats, satay chicken, spring rolls, pancakes, dim sum, fried chicken, coconut shakes....I could possibly go on but I sound like such a pig already.

My favourite part of Melaka was the riverside graffiti, such a brilliant contrast to an otherwise serene and peaceful area.

Where did we stay? Private room at Jalan Jalan Emas Hostel in China Town. For just 5 pound per person per night it was an absolute steal, the staff were great and location just perfect. There is also a very special 6am daily wake up call when staying here- The call to prayer for local Muslims, followed by a 7am (ish) Hindu call (clattering) to prayer. I actually enjoyed being woken up to something other than an alarm and it was quite an experience to listen to the enchanting mellow prayer call at 6am followed by an manic chanting and clattering at 7am. I would definitely be in the the clattering tin drum team I think-bedlam at 7am!

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