Melaka


Off we head to Melaka. A mid-morning coach from Singapore took us back through a considerably more relaxed immigration process, although we did have to play the on / off the coach game again at each step. We even got a new stamp for another 90 days in Malaysia.

Our Airbnb was about 20 min walk from the town centre in this weird industrial looking sector. The room was huge with a double and a single bed and having just spent 4 nights in a shoebox it was luxurious to be able to spread our stuff out. The Chinese lady that ran it didn’t speak a word of English but as most of our communication was translated by the Airbnb app that didn’t really matter.
The first night we walked into town past a few cafes, food courts and pricey looking bars to a gorgeous brightly lit riverside.

  

Melaka has been nicknamed little Venice and with all the twinkling lights and bistro cafes you could see a certain similarity. After a pint and glass of wine in Sid’s pub we walked along the famous Jonker Street and stopped for food in the Geographer Café. Slowly cruising around the streets blaring out pop numbers and waiting to take tourists on a trip round town are these trishaws that are lit up like Christmas trees. They are generally one colour scheme (pink being the favourite) and then have layers of tinsel, lights and cartoon characters decorating their carriages and bikes. Add in the banging pop tunes and you have some very eye-catching traffic going around the streets. We were lucky that first night as there was no-one else in the Airbnb with us, so when we got back I made use of the huge TV in the communal area to indulge in some Netflix viewing.

 

The next day we knew we wanted to go down the river to see what was about, so after breakfast at a bakery on route into town we headed to the jetty. In the day time we could see that all the riverside buildings were heavily covered with street art and brightly coloured murals. The boat takes you down the river past arty looking bars, flea markets and funky apartments and then back again. We earmarked some bars and cafes to try later and spotted the town slogan everywhere – Don’t mess with Melaka.
A walk back through town via the beautiful Dutch Square, which is said to have the oldest Dutch building in the East and we headed home to hide for the hottest part of the day.
A group of Chinese had taken all the remaining rooms in the Airbnb and as they had taken over the fridge, common room and the TV we stayed in our room. We had to keep it locked even with when we were in there as they seemed to keep forgetting which rooms were theirs and walked in on us a few times. Later we walked back to the places we’d spotted for drinks and watched the night lights slowly come on along the river. Having got an urge for western food we went to the Hard Rock Café to satisfy our burger and fries cravings – It was good but expensive.

The next day was an admin day, as we were flying to Borneo next but hadn’t booked anything for it. It was miserable weather outside anyway with more thunder storms rumbling away in the background. In the evening we tried to wander back along Jonker street for the market, but with the rain still lashing down we soon gave up. We ended up in a hawker food court and munched street food and people watched until late.

 

Our final day we were up and out to see the bits of town that we’d left unexplored. We spent a very pleasant day mooching around the historical buildings, churches and a few shopping malls to utilise the aircon.
One of the food places that is highly recommended is an Indian restaurant just outside town. We’d walked past it a few times and it had 4 large tandoor ovens outside, all in constant use for chicken or naan and the smells were amazing. The plastic tables and chairs spread across the small side road and it was always packed. We made a beeline for this and gorged on the most amazing triple cheese naan, tandoor chicken, prawn passanda and rice.
That all left just enough time for a couple of beers at the nearby food market, where we were serenaded by a very smiley lady and her guitar before heading home to pack.

Thank you sleepy Melaka for being the perfect come down from full on Singapore.





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