Monday, October 29, 2012

'Mazing Melaka

We flew into KL on Sunday night, and then Wednesday morning we took a bus to Melaka, a great little tourist stop in sourthern Malaysia. The bus ride was fine, and the small bus from the main station to the guest house was totally crazy - it was really dirty, some of the seats were broken, and we had to hold our luggage on the little chairs, plus the driver didn't speak English so we kind of guessed at when to get off. But, it was like 1 ringgit or something so it was worth it. After stopping off at the guest house where we were staying, we were off on the town - having one big afternoon to explore before heading to Singapore the next day.
Our guest house took us through the little India district - where all of the streets had really awesome tile work, really cool (plus it helped distract from the smell, their sewer system isn't that great).

 In little India we ate lunch at a Banana Leaf place - they basically put food on this banana leaf mat and you eat Indian style - with your fingers! I think there is something about only eating with your right hand, but I couldn't remember and I ended up using both my hands a bit. I made such a mess, I don't know how they eat like that and not get so messy! No one around us was nearly as messy as I felt, but the food was really good.
 Here is Xavier in front of the St. Francis Xavier church, his namesake I think after the Catholic tradition.
 This was the central square of the old-town of Melaka, it was really beautiful with a lot of little tourist shops around, a lovely fountain, and right across the street from a small river that cuts through the city.
Bike carts were all over town decorated in all different ways. Some of the craziest ones included a cart covered in old, dirty barbie dolls, one with the batman symbol in glowing lights, and the one blasting "Gangnam Style" from a loud speaker on the bottom of his cart.
We walked onto Jonker Street - the shop central of China Town, and were greeted by this huge dragon! It was incredible, none of our pictures really captured how big it was. It would also spit water into the fountain below every so often. We loved looking through the shops, but were awfully bummed when, after resting a bit in the hotel, we went back and EVERYTHING was closed by 7PM! It was earlier even than Vietnam! We were lucky to get the last table at the last restaurant open in town, when it was 7:30 or so. I was rather bummed as we were leaving before the shops would open in the morning and there was a really awesome dress I had wanted to get, but ah well, we just have a reason to go back now :)
 Here's a random statue of Mr. Universe Michael shot while we were out - I honestly don't know anything about it as I didn't see it until we went through photos.
 We passed a beautiful temple in China Town.
This place was cool - it had some rebellious/creative art shop inside, and the giant mural was awesome. 
 Here's a photo of a water wheel from the colonial ages. Melaka was a port town I think, or at least had fort ruins, so being on the coast there were a lot of old ruins of different European power struggles.
Pirate ship! 
This was a beautiful bird we heard singing while walking through town. 
Here's a photo of our dinner we had in China Town - rice balls, seasoned eggs (they were really tasty, soaked in some herbs like star anise and who knows what else), herbal drinks, and some wonton soup (not pictured). It was really good.

 Here's the doorway to where we stayed. I'd never been to a guest house before, it was really neat. Basically, it's like staying in a friend's house - with lots of extra bathrooms. The owner was French with a Malaysian wife, and their kids were the cutest! Michael played some hide and seek or something with their son and he had the cutest giggle.
Here's the common area of the house, they had rooms on the right side, a bookshelf with all different languages of books, a fish tank, and a lovely area to relax. The kitchen was communal, you could buy drinks from the fridge and breakfast of toast and jam was included with the bill. The beds were heavenly, like a giant foam mattress, and the rooms had a kind of Japanese quality to them as the beds were on a raised portion of the floor. Overall I really loved this place and I wish we could have stayed longer. This quiet place was a really neat break from the craziness of KL and the upcoming major city of Singapore. After a great night and a breakfast of toast with peanut butter and bananas (also a first sight for our French friends), we were off to the bus station and bound for Singapore.


Miranda said...

The right/left hand thing is because it used to be if there wasn't any toilet paper, you', use your left hand. Sometimes it's a big deal, missionaries were told never to offer their left hand to shake.

Tabitha said...

So I finally looked up "Gangnam Style" just for you - and I think I want those few minutes of my life back. But seriously those bike carts look super crazy fun. I'm so sad those stores were all closed - I thought that Utah was bad for closing shops at 9pm! I hope you are able to go back and get that pretty dress! (and pick one up for me) ;) (actually you would probably just have to get me the fabric since I doubt they have any my size) I want more pictures of the people around you - I think it's cool to see how they all look and dress!

Sherri said...

Since I've never been off the continent, your travels amaze me. Rheid has always said that KL was his favorite place to travel to in Asia. He traveled there several times with NuSkin. I'm glad you got to have such a fun anniversary. Love you and miss you!